Cusco, the capital of the Inca Empire, is widely known for the majestic Machu Picchu and its increasingly famous Rainbow Mountain, Lake Humantay and the fertile Sacred Valley of the Incas. However close to all those places, there exist a beautiful jewel that can be explore in only 1 day. The Yanacocha lake trek has amazing sceneries of the most precious valley of the Incas and of the farming valley of Huayocari. This incredible lagoon of changing color during the day, due to its natural components, minerals and the position of the sun; It is located in the famous and beautiful Sacred Valley of the Incas. This 5-hour hike also gives you panoramic views of the sacred valley and a series of cave paintings along the way. The one-day trek to the Yayacocha lagoon, in addition to its immense natural beauty, also has its historical part. The battle of Yanacocha of 1835 had as its main stage the mysterious Yanacocha lagoon located in the town of Huayoccari in the province of Urubamba. The battle was fought between the Peruvian army commanded by Agustín Gamarra and the Bolivian army led by President Andrés De Santa Cruz. The battle took place because both presidents sought to have absolute control of the new Peru-Bolivian confederation that was being created. Both leaders were unable to reach any agreement, so they decided to use weapons, thus generating the Battle of Yanacocha. The Peruvian army was unfortunately defeated by the Bolivian army, and General and President Agustín Gamarra after this defeat decided to flee Peru.
Cusco Alternative short hikes
Cusco Alternative Short Hikes. Peru is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and has an incredible variety of tourist destinations; They can be found from beaches, deserts, mountains and even Amazon jungle. In addition to the hiking trails to Machu Picchu known worldwide as: the Inca trail and the salkantay trek. In Cusco, Peru; we have other short hiking alternatives, that take you to natural and archaeological sites of invaluable beauty.
Within the Cusco alternative short hikes, which are not far from Machu Picchu: We have from mountains turned into the rainbow, electric turquoise lagoons, original Inca trails that cross imposing waterfalls; and even a hill located at the foot of an immense lagoon, whose shape and colors resemble that of an Andean poncho woven by hand.
Alternative treks are not regulated by the government, so you can reserve it up to two days in advance; we have the following categories:
- First category: Hike through snowy mountains and electric turquoise lagoons; like the Humantay lagoon and 7 lakes Ausangate Trek.
- Second category: hike through archaeological complexes, Inca trail and imposing waterfalls; like the Chinchero Inca Trail and Poc Poc waterfall, and the Perolniyoc waterfall.
- Third category: Hike through beautiful Andean landscapes and mountains with multiple colors that will leave you impressed; like the Rainbow Mountain, Palcoyo Mountain or the Pallay Punchu Mountain.
We have 8 tours for you to choose from: all of them are in group service; However, if you want to hike only with your friends or family, we also have the option of private service.
Peru and by extension Cusco, is a region full of beautiful peaks and lakes of various colors. After so much exploring looking for new natural tourist attractions for 1-day visit, we found out and visited an immense turquoise lake, located just 3 hours by car from Cusco. Enjoy the best lake and snow-capped mountain views of the Singrenacocha lake, considered by locals as the older humantay lake. This incredible one-day hike to Singrenacocha lake, that we have called the older sister of Lake Humantay. It is located in the Ausangate region, an area known locally for its beautiful lacustrine and snowy landscapes. This lake is 4 times bigger than the famous Humantay Lake and easier to access; be encouraged to visit unusual tourist attractions. There are two communities that own Singrenacocha lake: the Yanacancha community and the Maranp'aqui community (divided equally between the two). The Yanacancha community is the one with the closest and most direct access to the lake, and therefore the one that frequents the place the most. In addition, 7 families from that community currently live in the lake and their main income activities are within the same lake, such as raising alpacas, trout and vicuña. With the exception of the chaccu, the economic activities carried out by the Yanacancha community are subsistence and self-consumption, and the commercialization of their products is scarce. Among the fauna of the Singrenacocha lake and its surroundings we can find three different species of the camelid family, two of them domestic, the llamas and the alpacas, and another wild one, the vicuñas. The former is usually used as a pack animal, while alpacas and vicuñas are coveted for their fur, which is sold at very high prices. We can also find wallatas (the Andean goose), vizcachas (a large rodent with a hairy tail) and trout, which are the base of several typical traditional dishes of the Cusco region.
The Sacred Valley is known for its imposing Inca precincts such as the grandiose Machu Picchu and Ollantaytambo, its fertile crops of giant grain corn and its picturesque pre-Hispanic towns. Explore the best sceneries of the sacred valley in the Saywa hike. The hike to Saywa Mountain, from where you have a spectacular view of the Peru's Sacred Valley, is a 1-day hike off the beaten track. This magical excursion will allow you to learn and understand Inca astronomy and their relationship to their beliefs and their application in their daily life and practice. Also enjoy incredible panoramic views of the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the Urubamba city. The saywas or sukanqas, large stone columns that served as astronomical markers, had the category of wakas (sacred places) and therefore were also erased from the geographical environment. The order of the Spanish crown was that before proceeding with the destruction of a waka, an act should be drawn up to certify its existence and destruction, the name of the place, its location, the use that was given to the waka, the families involved in its maintenance and rituals. To then proceed to its disappearance until there is no more of it. As a final recommendation, the Council of Lima of 1551-1552, provided: that the huacas be demolished, and in the same place, if it were decent, churches be built or at least put a cross." In Urubamba, on the hill called Saywa, the remains of two saywas or sukanqas for astronomical use that were used to record the winter solstice (Inti Raymi) and establish with them the start of the Andean New Year and the calendars. We do not know if its difficult access (it is on a high and steep hill), its location far from the town, or perhaps the negligence of the catholic religious authorities in the area to enforce the order of destruction, has been the "happy cause" of his salvation. Apparently, the only thing that was done was to partially collapse them to minimize them and place a wooden cross on top of one of the saywas that is currently venerated every May 3, the day of the Holy Cross.
The Inca empire throughout its 600 years of existence in South American territory, have left countless archaeological remains of enormous historical value and architectural beauty, which are now famous world tourist destinations. The Pumamarca hike in Peru's sacred valley of the Incas, is one of the most beautiful and less explored 1 day trek in Cusco. Spectacular 1-day tour around Ollantaytambo, the oldest living pre-Hispanic town in America and the most important administrative center of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Hike to the little-visited but beautiful ruins of Pumamarca and enjoy an astonishing panoramic view of Ollantaytambo from the Pinkuylluna granaries. The Pumamarca archaeological site is located north of Ollantaytambo, on a hill overlooking the convergence of the Patacancha River and the Yuracmayo River, approximately 6 kilometers away. This great archaeological site is made up of a variety of architectural structures, among them you can see platforms, ancient Inca trails, canals, and others, among the most outstanding are food deposits. Pumamarca has an eminently military structure built during the imperial period of the Incas (1450 – 1533 after christ). It still maintains architectural details that show us the construction techniques of the buildings and a powerful defensive wall. If we accept the indications left by the ancient chroniclers, Pumamarca should be identified as the place where one of the few battles won by the Incas against the Spanish was fought.
In the heart of the Peruvian sacred valley and very close to Ollantaytambo and the lost city of the Incas, there is one of the most impressive worship centers of pre-Hispanic times. The hike to the sacred valley sun gate, takes you to a stone door made by Incan people 600 years ago. This hike to the door of the sun of the sacred valley, will take you to a ceremonial door through which you will look the imposing snow-capped Veronica in all its splendor. Throughout the hike, you will also see the amazing fields of the Sacred Valley of the Incas and a 360-degree view of Ollantaytambo, the oldest pre-Hispanic town in America. Intipunku, which translates as "Gate of the Sun" and which is in itself a modest architectural complex, compared to the citadel of Machu Picchu or the Qoricancha in Cusco, but no less important for that. It is an astronomical and ceremonial viewpoint built by the Incas 600 years ago. It was also used as a kind of watchtower for the access trails to Machu Picchu and Ollantaytambo, from the Amazon jungle. In front of this beautiful door you can see the Veronica or Wakay Willka mountain !Sacred tears!, A snowy peak raised to 5,893 meters of altitude and which was sacred to the Incas.
Huchuy Qosqo means "little Cusco" and according to the Spanish chroniclers of the 16th and 17th centuries; it was a royal summer retreat of the eighth Inca emperor, called Wiracocha. The Huchuy Inca Qosqo Trek is one of the best and less visited 1-day treks close to city of Cusco. If you are looking for a day hike outside of the hustle and bustle of Cusco, then this day trip to a destination off the beaten track is for you. Huchuy Qosqo is an Inca ruin, perched on top of a mountain above the sacred valley of the Incas. The tour will take you through dreamy Andean landscapes, original Inca trails, indigenous villages and impressive Inca buildings, granaries, terraces and shrines. Huchuy Qosqo received its name in the 20th century, previously it had been known as Kakya Qawani. Pedro Cieza de León, in his second chronicle of Peru, stated that Huchuy Qosqo was built by Wiracocha, the eighth ruling Inca ruler and father of the great Pachacuti. Among a large number of buildings, some stone, some adobe, there is also a kallanka (great hall) 40 m long. The water supply is an Inca irrigation channel, built in stone with a length of 800 meters. Huchuy Qosqo was probably established as a royal hacienda by the Inca Emperor Wiracocha around 1420 AD. The Spanish took control of Kakya Qawani in the year 1534 and after the Manco Inca Revolution, around 1540 the site was used as a farm.
The Sacred Valley of the Incas is one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in Peru, in addition to its sumptuous Inca buildings, its mild climate and its fertile agricultural valleys, it also has snow-capped mountains and beautiful lakes. If you have 1-day free in Cusco, then take advantage of it and explore the hidden lake of Juchuycocha in the sacred valley. This incredible turquoise lagoon is located in the upper part of the sacred valley. A day hike in Cusco, that will take you to a very little known and visited place; the Juchuycocha lagoon has nothing to envy to the Humantay lake, in addition to having the advantage of being away from the crowds. This incredible turquoise lagoon is located in the upper part of the sacred valley. A day hike in Cusco, that will take you to a very little known and visited place; the Juchuycocha lagoon has nothing to envy to the Humantay lake, in addition to having the advantage of being away from the crowds.
The Inca city of Cusco never ceases to amaze. In addition to its imposing Machu Picchu, its beautiful sacred valley, its electric turquoise lake and its rainbow mountain, now it also surprises us with a little visited natural viewpoint of condors. Chonta the hike to the condor viewpoint is a destination off the beaten track. New 1-day hike to spot condors in Cusco. Chonta is a new tourist destination little visited and where condors can be seen flying in their natural habitat. Unlike the observation of condors in the Colca Canyon in Arequipa, where hundreds of tourists arrive daily; in Chonta this show can easily be reserved only for you and your loved ones. In addition to observing the largest flying birds in the world, this excursion to Chonta is combined with a visit to the religious sanctuary of Killarumiyoc and the beautiful Inca site of Tarawasi.
The Waqrapukara hike is a wonderful new short alternative hike in Cusco. It takes you to a region adorned by impressive curious shaped cliffs and a wonderful Inca Sanctuary perched on the top of a mountain. This one-day hike is also surrounded by the imposing Apurimac Canyon; which is one of the top 3 deepest in the world. According to the researcher Dr. Victor Angles Vargas, the Quechua word Waqrapukara, etymologically comes from two words, "waqra" means horn and the word "pukara" fortress or barracks. In short, this word waqrapukara means fortress in the shape of a horn. It was a residence of the nobility of this place; with astronomical observatories and at the same time it was a protected religious center with watchtowers and underground paths.
The hike to the Sharp Rainbow Mountain: Pallay Punchu del Apu Tacllo, is a new tourist destination shown to the world during covid 19 pandemy. It is known as: Pallay, the clothing handwoven and adorned with geometric drawings. Some of these symbols are quite abstract and others portray people or animals. The Pallay Punchu del Apu Tacllo mountain, looks like an elderly dressed up with a poncho adorned with pallay, a woven made in the Andes of Peru. This new tourist destination has no comparison and will undoubtedly catch all your senses with its beautiful geological features. The colors of the sharp rainbow mountain or Pallay Punchu Mountain of Apu Tacllo are due to the mineralogical composition formed between 250 and 65 million years ago. The pink color is due to the red clay, fangolitas (mud) and arilitas (sand). The whitish, by the white quartz sandstone. The brown, brown and purple, by limonites and marl, rich in calcium carbonate. Red is made up of claystones (iron) and clays belonging to the upper tertiary. Green is due to the compound of phyllites and clays rich in ferromagnesia. The earthy brown is the product of the fanglomerate composed of rock with manganese belonging to the Quaternary era and the mustard yellow color due to the calcareous sandstones rich in sulfur minerals. A day hike near Cusco that will show you a beautiful geological quirk of the earth.