10 Must-Do Hikes Around Cusco PART 3

The nature surrounding Cusco, Peru is some of the most astounding in the World. Complete with snowcapped peaks, deep sprawling valleys, roaring rivers, ancient buildings, and colorful sunsets and sunrises. These magical landscapes in and around Cusco are ones you’ll want to explore close up, walk through, and take a day or two to slow down to soak it all in. The perfect way to do this is by one of many half-day, day, or two-day hikes in the area. Travel to the Sacred Valley to experience astonishing ruins or stay close by and enjoy remarkable views of Cusco from the nearby mountains. Continue on to find more information on the top ten hikes we offer in this area. All of our hikes include transportation (if necessary), a bilingual guide, and some include meals.

8) Hike Palccoyo

Duration transportation (RT): 6:15 hours
Hiking distance: 3.3 km / 2.1 mi
Duration of the hike: 3:30 hours
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

Enjoy a lot of the same experiences listed in the two hikes above, but with a more relaxed and less strenuous trek. In the same area as the Vinicunca hike but on a different route, we start out on a scenic stone path, passing two viewpoints along the way. Once we arrive at the main viewpoint we’ll be enchanted by the entire Vilcanota Mountain Range, including the snow-capped Ausangate glacier. This glacier is one of the three most important Apus (sacred peaks) in Incan culture. We have the option to hike up to the stone forest viewing the unusual rock formations before taking another path to complete our circuit.

9) The Vinicunca Experience

Duration transportation (RT): 7 hours
Hiking distance: 10 km / 6.2 mi
Duration of the hike: 4:30 hours
Difficulty: Challenging

Vinicunca, more commonly known as the “rainbow mountain,” is one of the most famous hikes in all of Peru. A challenging, but rewarding hike where you’re able to marvel at rolling rainbow-colored mountains littered with alpacas. The unusually colorful mountains are created by striped layers of sediment formed by diverse minerals. The trek begins in Chilca, making stops at Urcos and Checacupe along the way. In Urcos you’re able to enjoy the bustling local market and in Checacupe, google at the colonial bridges and Churches. Next, we continue to Pampachiri where the challenging ascending trail begins. Drink in the crisp mountain air as you make your way to the viewpoint. Rewarded with panoramic views of unimaginably colorful mountains, it’s a trek you’ll be writing home about.

10) The Vinicunca Experience and Red Canyon

Duration transportation (RT): 6:30 hours
Hiking distance: 16 km / 10 mi
Duration of the hike: 7 hours
Difficulty: Challenging

This trek is similar to the one listed above but includes the Red Canyon in addition to Vinicunca. Enjoy the vibrant rainbow mountain before continuing to the impressive Red Canyon. Another colorful masterpiece, these scarlet hues contrast beautifully with the blue skies and vibrant green terrain. And if that wasn’t majestic enough, observe the striking white glacier of Apu Ausangate and the Vilcanota Mountain Range. If you’re lucky you might even spot a golden vicuna, the wild ancestor of the alpaca.

Stay tuned for the rest of the top ten hikes around Cusco next week!

Want to add one or more of these to your next Peru adventure? Contact us!

Your friendly Peru expert,

Gretchen

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