PLACES TO VISIT IN OUR SACSAYHUAMAN & PISAC TOUR
- Ccochahuasi Animal Sanctuary
- Pisac Ruins
- Pisac Market
We will pick you from your hotel at 8am in our private van to start your journey towards Sacred Valley in the direction of the Large White Christ Cross at the top of the hill, called Cristo Blanco (White Christ) that shines 24 hours a day over Cusco. There we start our tour at the famous archaeological site of Sacsayhuaman, with its impressive Inca architecture, which dominates the city. Finally, we explore the archaeological sites of Q’enqo, Pucapucara and Tambomachay, which are located in the northeast section of Cusco City on the way to Sacred Valley.
On our way, again to Pisac we stop to enjoy Ccochahuasi Animal Sanctuary, which has a variety of endangered Peruvian animals including a Peruvian Puma, and the great Condor, the national bird of Peru. Then we are off to the mirador of Taray to enjoy a classic view of the Urubamba valley with crops dressing the mountains like a carpet. Onward, we drive to the archaeological site of Pisac, one of the finest remaining Inca archeological sites in the country. There we explore the Inca tunnel and the Sacred Temple Complex constructed from exquisitely carved pink granite of this important citadel. You will explore one of the biggest Inca cemeteries with more than 2000 tombs and admire the incredible farming terraces carved into the mountain. Here we will spend more than 2 hours, exploring the Inca city.
Then we head to the colourful market of Pisac, in the quaint Inca Village that is famous for its being the largest pre-Columbian style handicraft and textile market in the region of Cusco. At the colorful Inca market in Pisac, you will be able to appreciate a mixture of colors and Inca Culture and Tradition. You will have plenty of opportunities to test your bartering skills, interact with the local artisans and purchase their hand-made souvenirs. You will discover Alpaca goods of all types, such as sweater, shawls, hats, gloves, spreads and much more, woven textile rugs, a huge silver jewelry market much of which is made right there, decorations, alpaca rugs, art work and trinkets of all types. Be sure to try out fresh made pizza and empanadas made en large old fashion Inca ovens. There you can stop for lunch and try out all of the local food. We will return to Cusco around 4 or 5pm in the evening.
Sacsayhuaman (which means ‘satisfied falcon’) is one of the most impressive sites built by the Incas. It is generally referred to as a fortress; however it is not certain what its main function was in reality. Current research suggests that it was more likely used as a temple, as Inca tombs have been discovered in the area. The site is a marvellous archeological feat; even now after it was destroyed, one can only imagine its greatness when it stood in its full glory. The stones in the wall are incredible and the largest one weighs 128 tons.
The Incas envisioned Cusco as having a puma shape and Sacsayhuaman was the head. The magnificent zigzag walls are the major attraction. The grounds surrounding Sacsayhuaman are still used today for the colourful festival of Inti Raymi which is held to celebrate the winter’s solstice on the 24th of June.
The site of Q’enqo (meaning ‘maze’ in quechua) contains the most impressive carved rocks in the Cusco area. There are carvings everywhere, although some are very indistinct, such as a llama, a condor and snakes have been identified. There are many zigzag channels on top of the natural rock, probably used for pouring sacrificial chicha (a local liquor made from corn). Below the rock, there are a number of caves and passageways , an altar which was used for the sacrifices of lamas, and mummifications of buried people have been discovered.
Puka Pukara is translated to ‘the red fortress’ in quechua. This is a small site and although the name suggests that it was a fortress, it does not appear to have had any defensive purpose. Probably it was used as an administrative center. The interesting point is the way the Incas built the walls over the rocks.
The name means “place of rest” in quechua. It used to be the royal hacienda of the Inca Yupanqui when he went to hunt in the surrounding area. This site was also thought to have been used as a Temple to the Water. There are some interesting aquaducts, canals and cascades sculpted out of stone, designed to channel water flowing from a nearby stream.
Ccochahuasi Animal Sanctuary
CCOCHAHUASI ANIMAL SANCTUARY is a family run private organization, dedicated to rescuing and looking after animals which have suffered mistreatment of any kind from former owners, poachers or illegal hunters whom commercialize protected species. Since CAS was established in 2007 we have been sheltering wild species, many of which are endangered. One of the species at risk of extinction is the Andean Condor, it deserves special consideration, because its population has been seriously decimated, and efforts to encourage its reproduction in captivity and later releasing the young Condors. The Sanctuary hosts the magnificent Condor birds, Pumas, llamas, Alpacas, and numerous other rare and endangered animal species of Peru. It is well worth the visit.
Pisac is located at the entrance of the Sacred Valley. It is a quaint Inca Village that is famous for its being the largest pre-Columbian style handicraft and textile market in the region of Cusco and its archeological Ruins. At the colorful Inca market in Pisac you will be able to appreciate a mixture of colors and Inca Culture and Tradition. You will have plenty of opportunities to test your bartering skills, interact with the local craftsmen and purchase their hand-made souvenirs. You will discover Alpaca goods of all types, such as sweater, shawls, hats, gloves, spreads and much more, woven textile rugs, a huge silver jewelry market much of which is made right there, decorations, alpaca rugs, art work and trinkets of all types. Be sure to try out fresh made pizza and empanadas made en large old fashion Inca ovens.
PISAC ARCHEOLOGICAL RUINS
The archeological ruins of Pisac are considered to be one of the finest remaining Inca archeological sites in the country. You will explore the Inca Tunnel and discover the biggest Ancient Inca Cemetery anywhere with more than 2000 tombs. Further down the mountain is the Temple Complex constructed from exquisitely carved pink granite, featuring a sun temple, ceremonial alters, water channels and wells. Then finally a few hundred yards further down the mountain is a beautiful urban area located on a high semi-circular ledge. The ruin is surrounded by vast sweeping agricultural terraces which harmoniously blend into the natural curvature of the landscape.
WHAT IS INCLUDED?
- Pick up at your hotel
- Professional English & Spanish speaking private guide
- Private transportation to visit all Inca places
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED?
- Entrance to Archeological sites: Purchase the Boleto Turistico (tourist ticket) 130 soles (about US$38), at the first site you enter. This can be used for 1o days to visit archeological sites in the Cusco region.
- Ccochahuasi Animal Sanctuary entrance: 10 soles about 3 dollars
Please note: The Cusco City Tour is only offered to our clients doing a 2, 3, 4 or more days tours or treks to Machu Picchu.
WHY CHOOSE SAM TRAVEL
SAM (initials of Saul Alvarez Montalvo) Travel Peru is a family owned travel agency and direct local tour operator based in Cusco with personal experience over many years of trekking. SAM Travel Peru is a 1oo% Cusquenian Company without any shareholders.
My dream as the owner was to create small personalized tours & treks strictly and only operated by local professional staff catering in PERSONALIZED and HIGH QUALITY SERVICE.
We take pride in having a reputation as being a RESPONSIBLE & SUSTAINABLE tour operator. My staff are my extended family. I ensure they are supported financially by paying them a good wage. I am proud of my team without them I couldn’t give the best service and lifetime experiences to our clients.
ONLY SMALL GROUPS FOR CUSCO CITY TOUR
In an effort to provide a more personalised service to our passengers, we, in SAM Travel Peru have a policy to keep our groups small. With private tours we do 1 to 6 person and a larger group of 7 to 12 if requested. By keeping our groups small, this sets us apart from other companies that operate departures with much larger groups.
OUR TOP TOUR GUIDES FOR CUSCO CITY TOUR
I am very proud of my guides! Highly professional, speaking fluent English, very knowledgeable, passionate for the Inca heritage/ history, dedicated to a steady personal development, learning to ensure that you receive accurate and recognised theories about the Inca Andean culture. Fun loving, great sportsmen and well educated crew as well as having a degree in Archaeology, Botany, History or Anthropology. Some of them are great entertainers and the best “Salsa Dancers” on this side of Machu Picchu.
OUR SOCIAL PROJECTS
SAM Travel Peru has always believed that we should “give back” to the communities we pass through when on our treks. Therefore, as part of our commitment to responsible tourism, we always do many social projects and hire locally.
Have a look our recent social work: “We, (the students from Patachancha Community) got to go to Machu Picchu for the first time”
SAM Travel Peru is so proud to be able to support these beautiful people, not only employing them work but also to keep things at grassroots, to share in their homes and with their families. This makes us happy to have this holistic approach with our highland employees and their families!
A beautiful reflection of our attitude in everything we do, is making life richer and more meaningful for all involved.
The Boleto Turistico (tourist ticket )
You have the Option to Purchase a 1 Day or a 10 Day Boleto Turistico.
The partial ticket, or 1 Day ticketcosts70 soles (US $20) and is valid for 1 day. You can visit a many sites as you like in one day with no further charge. There are no discounts with this ticket.
Both tourist tickets, of 1 day or 10 day, allows the access to different archeological sites around Cusco, and Sacred Valley. This is the best way to visit all the archeological sites of the region and the Sacred Valley. Most of the main archeological sites are not accessible for free.
The general ticket allows you over the next 10 days to enter16 archeological and cultural sites in Cusco, the south valley and the Sacred Valley. The price of this ticket is 130 soles (about US $40) and is valid for 10 days. This is the cheapest and most convenient way to plan to see different sites in a few days. The cost for students under 25 (with the presentation of a valid ISIC card) and for teenagers under 18 (with the presentation of an identity card) is 70 soles (US $20). Children under 11 are free.
Here is a list of sites where you can use your Boleto Touristico:
Note : The entrance ticket to the main archeological sites like Sacsaywaman, Pisac, Ollantaytambo,Chinchero,Tipón and Moray cannot be sold individually; you must buy the Boleto turístico to visit them. You can get it in Avenida el Sol nearby Peru office or at the time you enter the first site that you are visiting. YOU MUST PAY IN SOLES, NO CREDIT CARD OR US DOLLARS ARE ACCEPTED.
Important: These entrances are not included in the Boleto Touristico.
- The entrance to Qoricancha or Santo Domingo Convent (10 soles)
- The entrance to the Cathedral (25 soles)
- Animal Sanctuary (10 soles)
What to Bring
WHAT TO BRING FOR CUSCO CITY TOUR?
- Warm jacket
- Sun protection
- Some money for souvenirs and food
- Money in soles to purchase boleto touristico y entrance to Ccochahuasi Animal Sanctuary (80 soles)
- Original passport
- If you are a student, take your ISIC card (only works for the 10 day boleto touristico)