Today you are free to explore Cusco and the surrounding ancient ruins. Since Cusco was designed by the Incas as a city for walking, start your exploration of the narrow stone alleyways on foot. Suggested activities include:
Visit the Coricancha
, also known as "The Temple of the Sun." The temple was built by the Incan Emperor Pachacutec (1438 - 1572), and after the arrival of the Spaniards became the basis for the construction of the Santo Domingo Convent.
See the Cathedral
, the most imposing monument in the central Plaza de Armas
and a repository for Cusco's colonial art. Its construction lasted for almost 100 years, beginning in 1560 and ending in 1654.
Walk to Sacsayhuamán and next-door Quenqo,
both archaeological complexes used mostly for religious and agricultural rituals, located 2.5 miles (4 km) from the city of Cusco. Built by the Killke people, Sacsayhuamán is a marvel of ancient architecture, a monolithic fortress built from giant blocks of stone, the origins and assembly of which remain a mystery.
Discover the elaborate Puca Pucara ruins—
an architectural complex of alleged military use with multiple plazas, baths, aqueducts, walls, and towers. It is believed that the entourage of the Incan emperor used it while he stayed at Tambomachay, the elaborate estate and baths nearby.
Explore San Blas
, an old bohemian quarter famous for its picturesque white walls, blue doors, and creative artisan community.
Experience the legendary Mercado Central de San Pedro
, a large and diverse market famous for its mouth-watering juices, home-style meals, medicinal herb stalls, and rows of various meats, loaves of bread, vegetables, and other necessities.
Eat lunch at a local Peruvian restaurant
and sample local flavors and cooking techniques—crackling pork, pickled vegetables, seasonal flavors, bread baked in earthen ovens, roasted vegetables, and sweet donuts make for a delicious and filling meal.
- Overnight: Cusco
- Meals included: Breakfast