If you love hiking and trekking then you will have a fantastic time in Cusco. There are plenty of treks that will take you to Machu Picchu. Some are off the beaten track trek that will take you to lesser known places.
Here we have listed three best one day treks in Cusco.
High up in the Andes nestles this shimmering turquoise lagoon, Lake Humantay. Locally known as Laguna Humantay, this lake was sacred to Incas. Infact even today some Shamans (Andean priests) hike up to offer Apacheta. This is a form of expressing their gratitude to mother nature.
Humantay Lake is at 4,200 metres above the sea level. It is a glacial lake thats flows on the footsteps on the snow capped Humantay Mountain, after which it is named. It can be accessed only by hiking or on horse back.
Total Hiking Distance: 4.3 Kms. (2.7 Miles) | Duration: 3-4 Hours | Highest Point: 4,200 metres
Rainbow Mountains of Cusco are an out worldly attraction. Infact, it is one of the most popular day trips in Cusco. These mountains were covered in dense snow and were discovered in 2016. It soon got all the deserving attention. The colours on this mountain are a result of mineral deposits which started appearing as the snow started fading away.
Rainbow Mountains or Vinicunca is located on the way to Ausangate. This is one of the high altitude hikes. If you are not keen on hiking you can rent a horse as well. Also, there is another Rainbow mountain closer to Vinicunca, Palccoyo. Visiting Palccoyo is fairly easier than Vinicunca. It just involves a 45 minutes to an hours hike.
Total Hiking Distance: 8.3 Kms. (5.2 Miles) | Duration: 3-4 Hours | Highest Point: 5,200 metres
One of the recently discovered archeological sites near Cusco. Waqrapukara is an Inca fortress. The site is located in the middle of two horn shaped peaks. The name, Waqrapukara in Quechua means “Horn Fortress”.
Much like Machu Picchu, Waqrapukara demonstrates finely crafted stonework. The archeological complex also houses eight man made agriculture terraces. While doing a research recently, archeologists discovered a triple jammed door here. This has a great significance to Incas. They used such doors only at sites with extreme political or religious worth.
The trek to this lesser known site itself is a rewarding experience. Along the way, you will see many Andean wildlife like guanacos, vicuñas, alpacas and condors.
Total Hiking Distance: 11 Kms. (7.9 Miles) | Duration: 6.5 Hours | Highest Point: 4,122 metres