Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Inca Complex in Cusco

City Tour Cusco

Half Day Tour
Starting from US$50 per person
Group Size Icon
Up to 12 People Group Size
Max. Altitude Icon
3,800 m / 12,467 ft Max. Altitude
Difficulty Icon
Easy Difficulty

Explore the Best that Cusco Has to Offer

Cusco Cathedral - Qoricancha - Sacsayhuaman - Qenqo - Puca Pucara - Tambomachay
Group Size Icon
Up to 12 People Group Size
Max. Altitude Icon
3,800 m / 12,467 ft Max. Altitude
Difficulty Icon
Easy Difficulty

Welcome to Cusco, the navel of the world! Join us on this spectacular half-day tour of all the most important historical sites in the city. You’ll feel inspired as you walk through ancestral streets and the pretty plazas of Qosqo.

You’ll go back in time as you walk through each era in the royal city’s past—it’s the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Americas! We can trace time through history from Native Americans to Incas and Spaniards and finally to modern-day citizens of Cusco.

Besides the historical importance of this grand city, Cusco is breathtaking with a buzzing culture and a cuisine highly-acclaimed on the world stage! We’re sure this majestic city will go above and beyond any expectations you have.

Cuzco City Tour Half Day Map City Tour Cusco Half Day Map
  • Itinerary
  • Inclusions
  • Before You Go
  • Packing List
  • Pricing
  • Enquire Now
  Itinerary

As you touch down in the imperial city of Cusco, you’ll be greeted by our friendly team who’ll help you get settled in. Whether you’re visiting by yourself, as a couple, or as part of a larger group, you can join us any day of the week to explore the magical city’s magnificent past.

The half-day city tour is a perfect way to spend your first day in Cusco. It’s a relaxing trip consisting of visits to nearby archaeological sites and admiring the surrounding landscape. There’s only light walking involved, and you don’t need to worry about the logistics as we’ve got it all covered.

Cusco holds amazing cultural richness. This tour is highly recommended for those who would like to know more about our culture and the city’s past—which made it what it is today. You’ll enjoy a visit to the Main Plaza (Plaza de Armas), where you’ll find the Cusco Cathedral. We’ll also stop at Qoricancha (Temple of the Sun) & Santo Domingo Convent. Later on, we‘ll head out of the center and drive to the archaeological sites of Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Puca Pucara, and Tambomachay.

Cusco maintains its customs, traditions, mysteries, and tales of its legendary past as a city. So make your first day in the imperial capital of the Inca empire one to remember.

Highlights

  • Soak up the rich culture and traditions as you touch down in the city of Cusco.
  • Cusco holds various titles, including UNESCO World Heritage Site, Archaeological Capital of America, Historical Capital of Peru, and Navel of the World. Come and see why for yourself.
  • Take a tour of the most historically important sites in the whole city to welcome you in the best way possible.
  • During the Viceroyalty in Cusco, houses, colonial churches, and convents with magnificent art pieces were built on top of Incan walls and foundations. You’ll get to witness this and more.
  • As you head out of the center, you’ll be blown away by the incredible views of the surrounding mountains as well as the expansive city below, right in the middle.
  • Sit back and relax as every last detail of your trip is taken care of by our friendly team.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01

Cusco | Cathedral - Qoricancha - Sacsayhuaman - Q'enqo - Puca Pucara - Tambomachay

Highlight of the day: Learning all about the ancient Inca culture and observing their incredible craftsmanship.

Touch Down in Cusco City and Explore the Sites

Min. Elevation Icon
3,390 m / 11,122 ft Min. Elevation
Highest Elevation Icon
3,800 m / 12,467 ft Highest Elevation

We’ll pick you up from your accommodation to start the half-day city tour. The first stop is the Cusco Cathedral in the main square before we head on to Qoricancha. You’ll see some incredible artwork at the first and then astounding Inca constructions at the second.

After, it’s time to head out of the city center and visit four historically important Inca archaeological sites—Sacsayhuaman, Q’enqo, Puca Pucara, and Tambomachay. At each, you’ll learn something different about the incredible ancient culture. You’ll then be taken back to Cusco and dropped off at your accommodation for the evening.

Your exciting day out begins when we pick you up between 12:40 and 13:00 to begin the city tour. First off, we’ll visit the Cathedral in the Plaza de Armas—the main square of Cusco. Inside, you’ll enjoy a wide range of incredible paintings from Cusco’s School of Art—famous in all of South America—and gold leaf and embossed silver works.

Our next stop will be at Qoricancha, or Temple of the Sun, to appreciate its architecture and perfect stone constructions only seen in Inca temples of high importance.

We’ll then board our transport and head out of the city center to visit four highly significant Inca archaeological sites: Sacsayhuaman, Q’enqo, Puca Pucara, and Tambomachay.

At Sacsayhuaman, you’ll see the gigantic stones that have been perfectly carved. Q’enqo boasts areas of high religious importance. At Puca Pucara, you’ll observe an ancient military construction, part of Cusco’s ancient defense system. The final stop is dedicated to a water cult and has working fountains where water still runs to this day.

At the end of your city tour, we’ll take you back to your accommodation in the city at around 18:30. You’ll then have the evening free to spend as you please.

Below is a little more info about each site you’ll visit.

Qoricancha Sun Temple and Santo Domingo Convent

This hundreds of years old religious center was built to worship the sun, the most revered deity during the Inca Empire and what most of their culture was based around.

Inside the temple, you’ll find smaller temples dedicated to the sun, moon, stars, etc. To construct the site, the Incas used ashlar masonry, constructing upon the placement of similarly sized cuboid stones that they’d cut and shaped for this very purpose.

Outside the building are beautiful, regal gardens and fountains on the grounds of the monumental temple. You’ll find many pretty flowers as you walk along the paths. Here, the combination of the outstanding Inca architecture and the Spanish colonial architecture is what stands out the most.

Cusco’s Cathedral

Located in Cusco’s Main Square, the cathedral is a colonial monument of astounding artistic value. It was built on top of the Wiracocha Inca Palace and houses. Once inside, you’ll be able to observe works of carved wood such as the choir, pulpit and altars, beautiful paintings from the Cusquenian School of Art (including a Last Supper painting in which Christ and his disciples eat cuy—guinea pig!), and works of embossed silver and gold leaf.

Among all the 13 churches located in Cusco Historical Center, the Cathedral is one of the most important because it represents the mix of the Andean and colonial civilizations. The grand cathedral sits at the head of the Plaza de Armas—the historical and cultural heart of Cusco.

Sacsayhuaman

Located 2 km from Cusco center, this archeological site was built using enormous carved rocks joined with compelling precision—it’s almost unbelievable how they were able to engineer such incredible feats hundreds of years ago. From here, you can also enjoy a spectacular view of Cusco city along with the beautiful landscape formed by the surrounding mountains.

The site itself is composed of three overlapping platforms that stretch roughly 360 meters. In the construction, you can see stones as big as 9 meters tall. The most well-known part of Sacsayhuaman is its grand plaza and the adjacent three massive terrace walls. The stones used in the construction of these terraces are among the largest used in any building in pre-Hispanic America.

Q’enqo

Another 1.5 km from Sacsayhuaman is Q’enqo. This archaeological complex was an Inca ceremonial cult center. The name may have derived after the small yet intricate network of underground passageways that make up the site. It’s fascinating making your way through them all.

The most prominent feature of this site is an open space called the amphitheater. Hundreds of years ago, you would have found Inca mummies in the 19 trapezoidal niches found here. Today, the amphitheater is only half of its original height.

Puca Pucara

This site is known as the red fortress due to the reddish tints resulting from the vast amounts of iron in its rocks. Many experts believe that this fortress was perhaps an old Tambo that served both as a resting and guarding spot to protect Tambomachay. Here you can see some excellent examples of architecture, fountains, aqueducts, and several Inca enclosures.

Tambomachay

The final complex on your tour is made up of a combination of finely carved stones, waterfalls, and aqueducts that were constructed to carry water coming from nearby springs. Tambomachay is associated with the water cult for this reason. In front of this construction, there’s a tower that’s believed to have served as a guarding post and communication tower.

Why Travel with us

  Inclusions

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 to avoid missing anything. Some items may be different for specific programs, so please read carefully before booking with us.

What Is Included?

High Quality Service & Safety

  • Pre-departure briefing Phone Call

    The evening before the tour, you will receive a phone call via WhatsApp from your guide, who will provide you with important information about your trip. To ensure that you receive all the necessary information, it is essential that you provide us with accurate and complete personal information.

  • Experienced Tour Guide - All our guides have professionalism, experience, responsibility, seriousness and passion, which will make your trip safe and comfortable.

    English and spanish speaking official tour guide. All our guides are graduates of the professional career of Tourism of the National University San Antonio Abad of Cusco. We choose them for their professionalism, experience, responsibility, seriousness, unbridled passion for exploring, and sincere desire to proudly share in our culture and history. 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 - Our guides are trained to deal with basic emergencies.

    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.

  • 24/7 Customer Service - We have 24 hours a day telephone service.

    We have telephone service available 24 hours/day for ease of communication with Salkantay Trekking leading up to your trek.

Transportation

  • Transport

    All your transportation is included in this package. We will pick you up from your hotel to explore the city of Cusco. Once you complete the tour, we will take you back to the door of your hotel.

What Is Not Included?

  • Cusco Tourist Ticket

    This ticket is necessary and allows you admission to many of the most popular attractions in Cusco and the Sacred Valley, including archaeological sites and museums.

    • From PEN 70.00 (US$ 20.00) to PEN 150.00 (US$ 45.00) per person.
  • Cusco’s Cathedral Entrance Ticket
    • Adult: PEN 40.00 (US$ 12.00)
    • Students and Children (11-17): PEN 25.00 (US$ 8.00)
    • Children (under 10): Free
  • Qoricancha Entrance Ticket
    • Adult: PEN 20.00 (US$ 6.00)
    • Students and Children (11-17): PEN 8.00 (US$ 3.00)
    • Children (under 10): Free
  • Travel Insurance
  • 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.

  Before You Go

We want to make your trip to Peru as memorable and as carefree as possible. In this section, you’ll find the answers to all the questions you have about traveling with Salkantay Trekking in one place. Please read the following information carefully – it will help you with any questions about our services.

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

Please note:

  • All pickups are within Cusco City, but we recommend booking a hotel in the historic center for its convenient location.
  • Our guide or staff will confirm the pickup time the day before the tour.
  • Due to traffic conditions, the pickup time may vary between 30 and 45 minutes.
  • Cusco is an old city and has many narrow cobbled streets. Some hotels and Airbnbs are located on streets without car access or on long, steep slopes, making it difficult to transport luggage. For such reasons, we strongly advise you to book accommodation with good access.

Group Tours

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 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.

Lost objects

Please pay attention to where you leave your things and remember to take everything once you leave our transport, tents or restaurants. You’re the only one responsible for your objects during the tour.

  Packing List

WHAT SHOULD YOU BRING?

ESSENTIAL

Valid Passport
Valid Passport
Extra money (recommended soles)
Extra money (recommended soles)
Personal medication
Personal medication
Water bottle or CamelBak
Water bottle or CamelBak
Sunblock: factor 70 or more
Sunblock: factor 70 or more

CLOTHING

Light footwear or sandals
Light footwear or sandals
Warm jacket
Warm jacket
Waterproof jacket
Waterproof jacket
Raincoat or rain poncho
Raincoat or rain poncho
Sun hat to protect neck and face
Sun hat to protect neck and face
Wool hat for the cold
Wool hat for the cold
Sunglasses with UV protection
Sunglasses with UV protection

EQUIPMENT

Medium trekking backpack (15 - 25 liter)
Medium trekking backpack (15 - 25 liter)

RECOMMENDED

Camera and charger
Camera and charger
  Pricing

The "City Tour Cusco" can leave any day of the week, the whole year.

2024 Land Cost

Group Price: US$ 50.00 per person

This small-group journey is guaranteed to operate with just two guests.

Notice that PayPal charges a fee of 5%, which we ask the client to cover since it's due to the use of its service. This tax is just for online deposits.

Price Guarantee

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.

  Enquire Now

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.

Personal Details

Trip Details

City Tour Cusco Half Day Tour
14 years and above
Below 14 years
7 + 3 =

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!

Feel free to reach us via email at info@salkantaytrekking.com or by calling us directly at (+51) 958 191 179

Every Day: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm

Triunfo Street 346 - Main Square of Cusco, Peru

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