After shopping for the perfect alpaca sweater, tasting delicious traditional Peruvian dishes, and exploring the historical sites in the center of Cusco plus the not-to-be-missed Sacsayhuaman fortress on the city outskirts, here’s the chance to go (slightly) off-the-grid on one of our unique, off-the-beaten path tours and activities:
- Hike Inkilltambo: Avoid the crowds on a half-day hike to the seldom-visited archaeological sites of Kusilluchayoq, The Temple of the Moon, and the newly restored Inkilltambo…a treasure-trove trifecta of mysterious carvings, stone formations, ceremonial altars, and maze-like aqueducts and tunnels thought to predate the Incas by hundreds of years.
- Mercado San Pedro: Known as the central market in Cusco, San Pedro is a bustling explosion of color, texture, taste, and sound. Take a guided tour through the myriad stalls, kiosks, and traditional open-air market aisles heartily stocked with everything from colorful produce and meats to Andean superfoods (quinoa! kiwicha!), medicinal herbs, and artisan handicrafts…not to mention the fresh juice counters that would give any North American pressed-juice establishment a run for their money.
- Inca Trail Express: If you dream of arriving in Machu Pichu through the celebrated Intipunku, or Sun Gate, but can’t commit to a 51 mile/88km high-altitude hike that includes 3-4 nights of camping (not glamping!), then the Inca Trail Express is for you. Take an early morning train from Cusco to the KM 104 rail marker for a day-hike that begins at the edge of the Urubamba River, takes you uphill through the Wiñay Wayna archaeological site, and further up still until you reach (ta da!) the Sun Gate and are rewarded with a spectacular view of the Machu Picchu citadel below.