Explore the Imperial City on Foot
The imperial city of Cusco was the capital of the Inca empire and is buzzing with culture and history. When you visit, you’ll want to make the most of your time here and visit the most significant sites in the city. You’ll surely be visiting Machu Picchu and many other archaeological sites and museums, but what about the modern-day culture in this city?
Our Cusco walking tour is the best way to see what the city offers behind the scenes and takes you to some of the busiest parts of the Inca capital. On this tour, you'll start at the vibrant traditional San Pedro market. You'll then walk through Cusco's streets while learning about its history and culture.
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Our Cusco walking tour is perfect for those who want to get to know the city on a more personal level and see how the locals live their everyday lives here. You can join us at any point on your trip for half a day, whether you’re by yourself, a couple, or in a larger group.
Cusco is the oldest constantly inhabited city in the western hemisphere. Built within the mountains and considered one of the most beautiful places on the planet, it was the Inca Empire's flourishing capital.
Both locals and tourists alike consider it the most impressive and historically rich Peruvian city due to its history and architecture. In addition, it has the impressive beauty of its mountainous landscapes and the warmth of its friendly inhabitants. On this tour, you’ll visit markets, historical sites, and unique neighborhoods.
As you walk through its streets, you'll discover colonial buildings built on top of Inca temples and palaces—reminding us of the city’s incredible past. For those visitors to Cusco who wish to acquire a wider vision of Peru's history and culture, the walking tour is perfect.
- Learn all about the most important historical and cultural sites in the city of Cusco.
- Observe locals going about their daily lives away from the main square.
- Wander around intriguing streets and discover their secrets.
- Enter one of the oldest markets in the city and enjoy the colors and sounds as you pass through.
- Visit a craft market that offers every kind of souvenir you can imagine.
- Discover parts of the city you might not consider when exploring by yourself and learn things about them you wouldn’t usually.
Cusco | Traditional San Pedro Market - Craft Market - Qoricancha - San Blas
Highlight of the day: Walking through Cusco and visiting its most significant places.
Wonderful Walking City Tour in the Andes of Peru
We’ll decide a place and time to meet to begin our tour and head for San Pedro Market—one of the oldest and most famous in the city. You’ll observe all the fascinating and colorful stalls before continuing onto the Craft Market. Here, you’ll get the chance to shop gifts for yourself or friends and family back home.
Later on, we’ll head to Qoricancha and the Santo Domingo Convent. You’ll enjoy an interesting history lesson here and see some incredible Inca structures that are well-preserved. From there, we’ll make our way to our last stop in the traditional neighborhood of San Blas. You’ll wander the small cobbled streets and see lots of art on display in museums, shops, and on the sidewalk.
Before your tour begins, we’ll decide on a meeting point and time to start from. Once we’re all together and ready to get going, it’ll be time to set off on our exciting walk around Cusco.
First off, our historical tour will take us to San Pedro Market— a traditional market that sits at 3,400 masl. It’s one of the oldest markets in the whole city and probably the most famous. It was designed by the French architect Gustave Eiffel and inaugurated in 1925.
As you wander up and down the rows of bright fruits, colorful garments, pretty flowers, handmade pieces, and food and drink stalls, you’ll be impressed by how busy the place is. Your bilingual guide will tell you about the history and how the market works today. You’ll also get the chance to interact with locals on their stalls, so get ready to practice your Spanish and Quechua skills!
Our next stop is at the Craft Market (or Artisan Market) on Avenida el Sol—the main road that takes you to Cusco city center. This spot is a shopper’s paradise and sells all sorts of items for you to buy as a reminder of your trip or for souvenirs that friends and family back home will appreciate.
You’ll find beautiful alpaca clothes, paintings, jewelry of all kinds, and traditional ceramics. Remember to bring some cash in peruvian soles as these kinds of places don’t tend to accept card payments.
Next, it’ll be time to continue to Qoricancha. This site means Temple of the Sun in English and was and is the most important Inca construction in the city of Cusco. Inside, you’ll find well-persevered bits of Inca architecture that are truly astounding—especially when you see how incredibly the fitted stones together.
The main function of Qoricancha was for astronomical and religious reasons. When the Spanish entered this building, the first thing they did was loot all the gold and precious jewels they found.
Then, on the religious side, they formed one of the main churches built by the first religious order that came with them. The Dominican order here forms its main church and convent to impose the Catholic religion on the inhabitants of the city of Cusco. After you’ve explored Qoricancha, you’ll also get to visit the convent.
The final stop on our walking tour is the neighborhood of San Blas. This is a very traditional part of town and where nobles lived during the Inca empire. Nowadays, it’s a very arty neighborhood. You can find lots of museums or exhibits and will also see many locals selling their handmade artisan crafts on the street.
This is also a perfect spot to get a spectacular view across Cusco. You can head a little further up from the San Blas Plaza, and you’ll see all the city and how it spreads in the deep valley in the middle of the mountains. In this hood, you’ll come across some traditional “chicherias“ where you can taste what is known as “Inca beer” by the local people.
Once the tour is over, you’ll have the rest of the day to enjoy as you wish or to revisit some of the shopping spots to shop for souvenirs.
Why Travel with us
At Salkantay Trekking, we specify the included and non-included services under all the tour itineraries listed on our website. We take care of all the logistics, but please pay attention to the details, so you don’t miss anything. Some items may be different for specific programs, so please read carefully before booking with us.
What Is Included?
High Quality Service
Experienced Tour Guide
English and spanish speaking, professionally educated, and official tour guide. Your guide will explain the culture and surroundings along the entire route, including leading your group in ancient ceremonies! He or she will keep you safe, sound, and comfortable on your trek so that you can enjoy your time worry-free!
Medical Kit or First AID Kit
All Salkantay Trekking guides have received specialized training in first aid. We hold mandatory training sessions with our guides every February. Your guide will always carry a first aid kit to face basic emergencies (altitude sickness, travelers' diarrhea, cuts, scrapes, etc.) as well as oxygen. If necessary, we’ll evacuate you from the path as quickly as possible and ensure that you arrive at a clinic for treatment.
Customer Service 24/7
We have telephone service available 24 hours/day for ease of communication with Salkantay Trekking leading up to your trek.
What Is Not Included?
Qoricancha Entrance Tickets
- Adult: PEN 15.00 (US$ 5.00)
- Students and Children (11-17): PEN 8.00 (US$ 3.00)
- Children (under 10): Free
Tips for our staff
Tipping is the norm on any excursion in Peru. Although we pay good salaries to our entire team, something extra is always welcome.
Additional costs or delays beyond our control
Landslides, bad weather conditions, itinerary modifications due to a safety concern, illness, pandemia, government policy changes, political instability, strikes, act of God, etc.
Here we leave you with a brief list of extras that you can enjoy during this package.
Huayna Picchu Mountain
Huayna Picchu is the mountain behind Machu Picchu and which can be climbed in 45 minutes. Although this excursion is up to you, our guide will take you to the place of entry. This walk requires an entrance ticket which we can assure for you if we have enough time in advance.
Your entry ticket will be purchased to coincide with the dates of your excursion on the Inca Trail. The entry can be done in two shifts: from 7:00 am to 8:00 am or from 10:00 am to 11:00 am. We buy the tickets in the second shift so that our clients can fully enjoy their guided tour of Machu Picchu. Remember, the shifts only indicate the time of entry. You can go up and down Huayna Picchu without haste.
The ticket for Huayna Picchu costs US$ 75.00 per person.
Machu Picchu Mountain
Machu Picchu Mountain is another of the mountains that surround the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. It offers even more incredible views than Huayna Picchu, but it takes 1.5 hours to reach the top. This walk requires an entrance ticket which we can assure for you if we have time in advance.
The excursion entrance to Machu Picchu Mountain is open in two shifts as well, the first from 7:00 am to 8:00 am, and the second from 9:00 am to 10:00 am.
The ticket for Machu Picchu Mountain costs US$ 75.00 per person.
All our tours include the PeruRail Expedition train. This train leaves Aguas Calientes at 4:22 pm. The Vistadome train is a higher category service that offers more comfortable seats, a panoramic design that will allow you to see through the roof, as well as an entertainment show on board. The Vistadome train leaves Aguas Calientes at 4:43 pm and goes to Ollantaytambo train station. From there, we’ll take you on our transport to your hotel in Cusco.
You can access this service for an additional payment of US$ 75.00 per person.
We want to make your trip to Peru as memorable and as easy as possible. In this section, you'll find speedy answers to all those questions you had about hiking in Peru with Salkantay Trekking in one place. Please read the following information carefully – it will help you with any questions about our services. Please read carefully the following information – it will help you with any questions you may have about our services.
Have another question that we haven’t answered here? Drop us a line and we will get back to you asap!
Can I store my luggage at your office?
Of course! During the trip, your main luggage can be stored at our office (you can organize it with us on the briefing day or by email) or at your hotel, both free of charge.
Any equipment that you won’t need on the trek can be stored safely in your hotel. Nearly every hotel will provide this service. Don’t leave items of value with your bags; put them in the hotel safe and obtain an itemized receipt (in the unlikely case of theft, many insurance companies require that you have a copy of the receipt itemizing everything). It’s best to put items such as credit cards inside a sealed, signed envelope for extra peace of mind.
Pick up of guests
Salkantay Trekking can pick you up from your hotel, as long as it’s in the Historical Center of Cusco. Your guide will coordinate the pickup time in the briefing session, but please keep in mind that the time may vary between 30 and 45 minutes due to traffic.
Cusco is an old city, meaning it has many narrow cobbled streets. Some hotels and Airbnbs may be located on streets without access to cars or on long, steep slopes, making it difficult to transport luggage. We strongly recommend that you book accommodation with good access.
Group tours are made up of different types of people, then physical conditions and ages can vary. By agreeing to be part of a group tour, you also accept that some people may be faster or slower than you. Therefore, each person can go at their own pace on the route. It may be the case that a group wishes to modify the tour; however, the guide will be the one who decides, after consulting with all the participants, if such modifications are possible.
Strikes and demonstrations
Strikes and demonstrations are usually common in Peru, and this may interrupt some of our tours. Roads can be blocked, and train tracks can be taken over. However, we will try to keep your trip as originally planned, even if it means leaving the night before the scheduled date. Under these circumstances, tours may also be canceled. In case of changes or cancellations, everything will be coordinated with you by our operations department. Your safety is our highest priority, and our decisions will be made to protect it.
Please pay attention to where you leave your things and remember to take everything once you leave every place we'll visit. You’re the only one responsible for your objects during the tour.
The "Cusco Walking Tour" can leave any day of the week, the whole year.
2021 Land Cost
Group Price: US$ 20.00 per person
This small-group journey is guaranteed to operate with just two guests.
Notice that PayPal charges a fee of 8%, which we ask the client to cover since it's due to the use of its service. This tax is just for online deposits.
Please, after your payment, send us the transfer number to firstname.lastname@example.org; only after that, we'll be able to confirm your deposit and reservation.
Extensions & Offers
There are several extensions you can include to your Peru Adventure.
- Rainbow Mountain: US$ 100.00 US$ 80.00
- Sacred Valley: US$ 60.00 US$ 50.00
- City Tour: US$ 30.00 US$ 20.00
Once your booking has been confirmed, we guarantee the price won’t increase, whatever the circumstances. So please, before booking, ensure you’ve read all our important tour information.
Thank you for your interest in having an adventure travel experience in Peru curated by Salkantay Trekking. Please take a moment to complete our short form, so one our friendly Adventure Consultants could provide you all the information for your trip of a lifetime in Peru.
Our Pledge | Your privacy is respected and protected. The Salkantay Trekking Company will never share, sell, or make public any of your personal contact information to third parties.
Remember | One of our Travel Experts will contact you soon to confirm the availability of the trip you chose, give you more information, and/or provide you alternative options. Once availability is established, we will ask for a deposit and a completed online registration to confirm your spot on the trek. Please call us at (+51) 958 191 179 with any questions or to confirm availability over the phone.
Note | Due to the rainy season and trail maintenance, we don't offer this trek during the whole month of february. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, we are working to provide you a better service!