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Cusco, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley Things to See and Do

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The range of activities in Cusco and the Sacred Valley is simply overwhelming; it's impossible to do everything, so don't even begin to try. In Cusco you can start by buying the Cusco Tourist Ticket, the Boleto Turistico: it's a wise purchase that allows entry into the region's main attractions, including a number of museums throughout Cusco. In addition, don't miss the nearby ruins of Sacsayhuamán, Q’enqo, Puca Pucara, and Tambo Machay. Explore Cusco's oldest neighborhood, the quaint and arty San Blas, then go crazy in the artisan markets tucked away off the Plaza de Armas.

In the Sacred Valley, the remarkable ruins and market in Pisac are a must, as is the unspoiled, delightful Inca town of Ollantaytambo with its mountainside fortress. Chinchero offers a more authentic, alternative market to Pisac's more famous one, while the well-preserved ruins of TipĂłn provide an interesting day out, as do the unusual archaeological terraces of Moray and the salt pools of Maras, both of which can be found near the pleasant but little-visited town of Urubamba. If you have some energy left over, ask a tour operator to fix you up with an exhilarating day trip: choose from white-water rafting, canoeing, mountain biking, horseback riding or even para-gliding and bungee jumping.

Then of course, there's the region's biggest draw: Machu Picchu. Whether you're hiking the Inca Trail or doing it independently, it's an unrivaled experience. If you're eager to do a multi-day hike but also eager to get away from the crowds, the "alternative Inca Trail" treks of Salcantay, Lares, Vilcabamba and Ausangate and Cordillera Vilcanota boast some of the most enchanting views of both Inca ruins and the Andean landscape. The five day trek to the ruins of Choquequirao, which many say rival the ruins of Machu Picchu, is fast becoming an alternative to the Inca Trail.

Other Activity pages in Cusco, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley that may be of interest: Ollantaytambo Activities, San Blas Activities, Machu Picchu Activities, Aguas Calientes Activities, Near Cusco Activities, The Sacred Valley Activities, Urubamba Activities, Tourist Ticket/Boleto TurĂ­stico Cusco , Pisac Activities and Cusco Activities.

By Martha Crowley

I work as an Editor/Writer at Viva Travel Guides in Quito, Ecuador. I first came to Latin America five years ago to escape rainy...

20 Apr 2012

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