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Alternatives to Machu Picchu you have to visit in Cusco

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Home » Conoce Perú » Alternatives to Machu Picchu you have to visit in Cusco
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In this article we present alternative destinations to Machu Picchu in the city of Cusco has many other archaeological treasures that are worth visiting, we know that Machu Picchu is undoubtedly the main attraction of the city, however this time we want to present the other options which you can also visit on your trip to the archaeological capital of Peru.

Here are the 6 alternatives to Machupicchu that you should visit if you are in Cusco: Maras and Moray, Choquequirao, Sacred Valley of the Incas, Waqrapukara, Mountain of Colors and Humantay Lagoon.

7 alternatives to Machu Picchu

  • Maras y Moray
  • Choquequirao
  • Valle Sagrado de los incas
  • Waqrapukara
  • Montaña de Colores
  • Laguna Humantay

Maras and Moray

 The archaeological circuit of Maras and Moray is a half-day adventure that you should definitely visit, the tour includes a visit to the agricultural terraces of Moray.

A wonderful site where you can see the circular terraces that served as a center for agricultural experimentation, a beautiful example of Inca engineering.

Afterwards, we will visit the salt ponds of Maras, one of the few salt mines that are still in use.

The salt extracted from these ponds has an additional nutritional value that makes it a highly sought after product in both domestic and international markets. On this tour you will also visit the town of Chincheros, where you can have an exhibition about the Andean looms and how they still maintain the traditions of natural dyeing based on plants in the area.



The archaeological complex of Choquequirao called by the local people as ''the sister of Machu Picchu'' was an Inca urban center, it is at 3050 meters above sea level.

It is a beautiful tourist destination that, unlike Machu Picchu, is almost always empty or with little influx of tourists and visitors.

To get to Choquequirao it is necessary to hike for 4 days with campsites in the surrounding forests. The level of difficulty is medium-high. So it is not recommended for small children.

This is a tour for all those adventurous spirits who are looking for new experiences away from the stress of the city and rediscover themselves in the middle of nature.

Sacred Valley of the Incas

The Sacred Valley is a whole tourist circuit that includes different archaeological sites that certainly can not be missed.

Most of these are included in the General Tourist Ticket, a special ticket that gives access to different archaeological centers such as museums, the most important places to visit in the Sacred Valley are the following:


The town of Ollantaytambo, is a picturesque place that still preserves the Inca urban planning, with a colorful local market where you can buy souvenirs and handmade crafts made by the villagers themselves.

On the other hand, the archaeological complex of Ollantaytambo is an imposing work of engineering and Inca architecture, which undoubtedly stands out the most are its wide terraces and the Temple of the Sun.

The climb may be a bit steep, but the view from the top of the mountain is a delight not to be missed.



Pisac is one of the most outstanding towns of this circuit located only 33 km from the city of Cusco, has wonderful viewpoints to appreciate the entire Sacred Valley.

The archaeological site of Pisac is also a wonder worth visiting, the strategic location of Pisac makes it a place of fertile land where the agricultural production of some of the most outstanding products of the region is carried out.


Pisaq Valle Sagrado
Pisaq Valle Sagrado

Waqrapukara is located in the province of Acomayo, a pre-colonial religious sanctuary that still does not receive many visitors, so it is very common to find it empty.

There are different routes to get to Waqrapukara being the trek or hike, one of the most outstanding activities for those travelers who love long walks. However to get to Waqrapukara is enough with a day trip, a destination that will certainly give the extra touch to your visit in Cusco.

Mountain of Colors

The mountain range of the Cordillera del Vilcanota has different natural attractions among its colorful mountains highlight 2 tourist spots that currently receive many visitors from different places, there are many who venture to visit the mountains, to reach the top of the mountain can be glimpsed with the majesty of the colors that this mountain has. If you are looking for a new challenge without going far away from the city, these options may interest you.

Vinicunca Mountain of Colors

Montana Vinicunca
Montana Vinicunca

The mountain of Colors - Vinicunca, is a Trekking Adventure, a hike that lasts about 2 hrs, through the cold mountains of Cusco.

This natural attraction has become one of the most outstanding of the city due to the presence of various minerals in the soil, this gives new shades to the mountain giving a view of pink, fuchsia, turquoise, accompanied by wide landscapes surrounded by llamas and alpacas.

The height of this colorful mountain Vinicunca is approximately 5,200 meters above sea level so it is not recommended for seniors and / or children, it is necessary to have a good physical condition for the tour, likewise here you can find the service of horses offered by local people, who will help you on the way, but should take into account that to reach the top of the mountain horses are not allowed access. 

Palccoyo colored mountain

Montana Palcoyo Terandes
Montana Palcoyo Terandes

The Palccoyo mountain is located in the same mountain range as the rainbow mountain, the difference lies mainly in the fact that it is 20 km farther away, but in compensation the physical demand for the tour is less, since the walking time and inclination of the mountain is less. Additionally, the Palccoyo mountain receives less tourist flow than the previous one.

Humantay Lagoon

Laguna Humantay Cusco
Laguna Humantay Cusco

The Humantay lagoon is in the same classification of adventure tourism as the mountains Vinicunca and Palcoyo, this beautiful natural attraction is a glacial lagoon with beautiful turquoise tones in its waters, to visit this cold paradise, you can make the hike of about 1hr and a half approximately.

Also, if you want a more comfortable alternative, you will find that local people offer horseback riding services, so we recommend that you bring cash in local currency (soles) to purchase the horses.

Alternative tours to Machupicchu

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