Cusco Region
Ecotourism

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Our most recommended Cusco Region Ecotourism

From Cusco: Moray and Salt Mines Quad Bike Tour

1. From Cusco: Moray and Salt Mines Quad Bike Tour

Get back to nature in the dramatic landscapes of the Andes Mountains and experience the amazing scenery of the Sacred Valley by Quad Bike. Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in Cusco, and then journey through typical villages to reach the colonial town of Maras. Admire the pretty church and rustic buildings of the pretty town center and watch the locals going about their everyday lives farming the surroundings. Visit the archaeological site of Moray to see the incredible terraced holes that form an amphitheater-like depression on the surface of the land. Learn how the holes were used by the Incas in ancient times to acclimatize seeds from the Andes Mountains. Next, visit the salt ponds that the locals continue to work to obtain salt at the mines, just as their ancestors did in the days of the Inca Empire.

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Cusco: Rainbow Mountain Tour with Meals

2. Cusco: Rainbow Mountain Tour with Meals

Your professional tour guide will pick you from your accommodation in Cusco between 4:00AM and 4:30AM. After a 2-hour drive, you will arrive in Cusipata where you will stop for breakfast and buy water and snacks for the trek. Following breakfast, you'll travel one more hour to the hike starting point, at 4,850 meters. From there you will start your 3.5-kilomter trek to Rainbow Mountain over both flat and uphill terrain. During your hike you will enjoy amazing views and encounters with wild alpacas, llamas, and vicuñas. Once you reach the top at 5,010 meters, you can make use of some free time to take a break, and if the weather is good, you will be able to enjoy views over Rainbow Mountain. You will then have the option to explore the Red Valley lookout, before beginning the easy part of your trek. You'll go downhill to the starting spot for another hour, where you will take transportation back to Cusipata where a local lunch will be waiting for you. Once you finish your buffet lunch you will travel back to Cusco, where you will arrive between 4:00PM and 5:00PM to Plaza de Armas.

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From Cusco: Rainbow Mountain Full Day Trek with Meals

3. From Cusco: Rainbow Mountain Full Day Trek with Meals

Depart Cusco and get back to nature on a vigorous approximately 6-kilometer hike in the Andes. Experience the majestic beauty of the Rainbow Mountains as you trek in the foothills of Mount Ausangate. Keep a look out for native wildlife, such as the mighty condor - the largest bird in the world - pumas and different types of camelids. Learn more about the extraordinary geology and the flora and fauna of Peru from your knowledgeable guide. Soak up the stunning views before you return to Cusco for a refreshing cold chicha drink (a fermented or non-fermented beverage usually derived from maize).

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Cusco: Full-Day Rainbow Mountain & Red Valley Trekking Tour

4. Cusco: Full-Day Rainbow Mountain & Red Valley Trekking Tour

Following an early morning pickup between 4 AM and 4:30 AM from your accommodation in Cusco, head in direction of Quiquijana and savor a delicious breakfast buffet in a local restaurant. Then, continue the journey until you'll reach the control point in Llaqta and finally arrive in Phulawasipata where your trekking adventure awaits. Before starting the trek, your guide will give you some recommendations to start your adventure towards the Rainbow Mountain. Walk for approximately 1.5 hours until you reach the Rainbow Mountain at 5,036 meters above sea level. Take in panoramic views from the top of the mountain from where you'll be able to see the Ausangate Mountain, Peru's fifth highest mountain. Enjoy 20-minute of leisure time to take pictures of the fascinating scenery. Then, continue for a 30-minute trek to the Red Valley. Once again, admire the views of the Red Valley located at 5,038 meters above sea level. After 15 minutes, you'll return to the parking lot where your driver awaits you. On the way back, stop for a break in Quiquijana where you'll taste delicious buffet lunch. Then, head back to Cusco where you'll be dropped off at the Plaza Regocijo, 2 blocks from Plaza de Armas.

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Salkantay Trek 5-Day Hike to Machu Picchu

5. Salkantay Trek 5-Day Hike to Machu Picchu

Follow in the footsteps of the ancient Incas and hike along the same paths they used to trek through the mountains centuries ago. Get back to nature and experience amazing views of the snow-capped mountain peaks of the Andes. Day 1: Cusco - Mollepata - Markhuq’asa - Soraypampa - Humantay Lake (L, D) Depart Cusco and journey to Markhuq’asa for the start of your trek to Soraypampa, 3,850 meters above sea level. Stop for lunch at the base camp and then go on a round-trip hike to Humantay Lake. Then return to base-camp to spend the night. Day 2: Soraypampa - Salkantay Pass - Collpapampa (B, L, D) Hike to the highest point of the trail at Salkantay Pass and get spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains before a 2-hour downhill hike to the camp for lunch. Then, enter the upper part of the Amazon jungle on a hike through the “cloud forest.” Look for native wildlife on the way to the village of Collpapampa, where you will spend the night. Day 3: Collpapampa - La Playa - Santa Teresa (B, L, D) After breakfast, take an easy hike to La Playa through the Santa Teresa valley and marvel at the waterfalls and wild orchids. Encounter coffee, banana and avocado plantations, and get the chance to sample the local coffee at an organic coffee farm. After a typical lunch in La Playa, take a 40-minute car ride towards Santa Teresa where attractions include hot thermal springs and abundant birdlife. Here you will spend the night.  Day 4: Santa Teresa - Hidroelectrica - Aguas Calientes (B, L, D) On this day, in Santa Teresa, you can choose to visit the zipline, canopy, or hot springs. Then, you will head to Hidroelectrica, passing trough waterfalls coming from the glaciers and fields of cocoa and coffee. After a nourishing lunch, begin a 2-hour walk to Machu Picchu Pueblo, known as Aguas Calientes. Once in Aguas Calientes, you can go to your hotel to shower and relax before dinner. After dinner, get some rest before the early morning climb up to Machu Picchu the following morning. Day 5: Machu Picchu (B) Explore Machu Picchu in the early morning before the crowds arrive. You can choose to hike uphill to the ruins or take the bus for an additional charge. Benefit from a 2-hour guided tour on arrival and learn more about the temples, palaces, priest houses, and more. You will have some free time to explore at leisure and you can use it to climb to Huayna Picchu or the Machu Picchu mountain (if booked in advance). Alternatively, you can trek to the Sun Gate at the main entrance of the Inka Trail. Take the train to Ollantaytambo at approximately 6:30 PM and then catch the bus back to Cusco for drop-off at your hotel or hostel on arrival.

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From Cusco: Classic Salkantay Trek with Return by Train

6. From Cusco: Classic Salkantay Trek with Return by Train

DAY 1: Cusco - Mollepata - Challacancha - Laguna Humantay - Soraypampa Pickup from your accommodation in Cusco. Pass through the towns of Izcuchaca and Limatambo arriving at Mollepata, where you can buy a light breakfast and water. Continue until you reach Challacancha, from where the 3-hour walk begins to Soraypampa. Stop for lunch and then walk around 1-2 hours to the Humantay Lagoon. Return to Soraypampa and overnight at camp with tent and dinner. DAY 2: Soraypampa - Soyrococha - Salkantay - Huayracmachay - Chaullay Wake up with the first light of the day at 5:30 AM and have a quick but energizing breakfast. Start a walk to the highest point of the trail: the Salkantay Pass (4650 meters - 15255 feet), where you will appreciate the imposing snowy peaks of the Salkantay, Humantay, Tucarhuay and Pumasillo mountains. The hike down is snake-shaped, leading to the Huayracmachay camp, where you will have a stop for lunch. At the end of this exceptional hike, arrive at Chaullay Village (2900 meters - 9514 feet) for a break from a long day of hiking. Overnight at camp with tent and dinner. DAY 3: Chaullay - Playa Sahuayaco - Lucmabamba - Santa Teresa (optional Cocalmayo) After breakfast, continue the walk to the small town of La Playa through the Santa Teresa valley. Stop for lunch. Board a bus to the camp in Santa Teresa. Arriving at the camp you can choose to enjoy the hot springs of Cocalmayo in Santa Teresa, which have medicinal and therapeutic waters. Overnight at camp with tent and dinner. If you choose the 4-day option, you will be taken by bus to Hydroelectric right after your lunch in La Playa; from there, start a walk on the train tracks through the native jungle to Aguas Calientes, about a 3-hour trek. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, you will have free time before dinner to rest or walk through the town. DAY 4 for 5-day option: Santa Teresa - Hydroelectric - Aguas Calientes After a typical breakfast, you will start the walk to the Hydroelectric through the valley floor for about 3 hours. Upon arrival, recharge with lunch. You can choose to add on a zip line adventure after your breakfast; in this case, after the activity, you will be taken by transport to the beginning of the trail to Aguas Calientes at Hydroelectric. From Hydroelectric, start a walk on the train tracks through the jungle to Aguas Calientes, about a 3 hour trek. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, you will have free time before dinner to rest or walk through the town. DAY 4 for 4-day option / DAY 5 for 5-day option: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco Get up early to start the trek to Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas. The steep walk will last approximately 1.5 hours, and the objective is to appreciate the sunrise from the Incan citadel and be the first to arrive. The walk up to Machu Picchu requires a fair physical condition, but you can choose to add on a bus to Machu Picchu at the checkout, if you don't want to do the walk. Enjoy a 2-hour guided tour of Machu Picchu and the surrounding sites. Enjoy free time to take photos and look around the citadel. If you choose one of the extra hikes to one of the mountains, you will split ways with the group to go by yourself to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain. Leave Machu Picchu and return to Aguas Calientes (walking or by bus, depending on what you choose). Once in Aguas Calientes, board your train to Ollantaytambo, and take a minivan from there to Cusco. Be back in Cusco around 9:30 - 10:00 PM. The drop-off will be in San Francisco square in the historic center, near the Plaza de Armas.

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Cusco: Full-Day Rainbow Mountain Tour

7. Cusco: Full-Day Rainbow Mountain Tour

Drive approximately 2.5 hours after your pick-up from your hotel in Cusco. Stop in Pitumarca for a delicious breakfast before continuing your way towards the amazing Rainbow mountains. Next, it's time to start your walk uphill that will take approximately 2.5 to 3 hours. During the hike, admire the beautiful landscapes with many mountains covered in snow. Walk pass local people wearing the typical dress of the region and llamas and alpacas breeders. Once you reach the top, make use of some free time to take pictures and enjoy the beautiful view. After this, start descending through the Red Valley for about 3 hours (optional) to reach Japura where transport will wait for you. This path will be more special because you may be one of the only groups on this route. Finally, stop for a comforting lunch before returning to Cusco where the tour ends.

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Sacred Valley: Huaypoo Lagoon and Maras by Quad Bike

8. Sacred Valley: Huaypoo Lagoon and Maras by Quad Bike

Be part of an incredible experience on four wheels. Begin with a private transport from Cusco, for about 35 minutes, to the Cruz Pata community in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. After a few minutes of training, be ready to get dirty, and stop at the imposing "Laguna de Huaypo," about which many stories and legends are told. Feel the adventure from foot to helmet and venture along the path that will take you to the Pueblo de Maras, where you will admire the best view of the Urubamba Mountains and the imposing Verónica and Chicon Mountains. From there, descend to the salt mines known as Salineras, where experienced guides will bring you back to the base before returning to the center of Cusco, ending your full day of adrenaline.

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Cusco: Humantay Lake with Breakfast and Buffet Lunch

9. Cusco: Humantay Lake with Breakfast and Buffet Lunch

Your professional tour guide will pick you up at your homestay, hostel or hotel in Cusco between 4:00 AM and 4:30 AM. After a 2-hour drive, you will arrive in Mollepata where we will stop for breakfast and pick up water and snacks for the trek. After breakfast travel one more hour to Soraypampa. Once you arrive at this high mountain plateau you will be able to see the beautiful mountains Apu Salkantay 20400 feet (6230 meters) above sea level and Humantay 17225 feet (5250 meters) above sea level. After a short time preparing your day pack you will start the 2-hour trek to Humantay Lake. The way up to Humantay Lake is steep however your group is small and your guide will let you take your time to enjoy the trek. Enjoy the views of Humantay Lake and enjoy an optional small climb above the lake to the right or left where you can enjoy a panoramic view.  Next, you will have the easy part of your trek. Go downhill to Soraypampa for another hour. Then you will take your private transportation back to Mollepata where a local lunch will be waiting for you. Once you finish your buffet lunch you will go back to Cusco arriving between 5:00 PM and 6:00 PM to the drop off near Plaza de Armas.

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Sacred Valley: Maras & Moray by Quad Bike from Cusco

10. Sacred Valley: Maras & Moray by Quad Bike from Cusco

Embark on an incredible experience on four wheels. Leaving in tourist transport from Cusco, travel for approximately one hour to the community of Cruz Pata in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Prepare for the start of your adventure after a few minutes of quad bike training to get you feeling confident. Then cruise over to the archaeological site of Moray to get a closer look at the remains of the terraces built by the Incas to experiment with the adaptation of crops. Continue to the town of Pueblo de Maras for beautiful views of the Urubamba mountain range. Gaze in awe at the peaks of the Verónica and Chicón mountains before descending to the historic salt mines of Salineras. You will take a different route back to base before your return to Cusco city center, ending a day of adrenaline.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Cusco Region

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What people are saying about Cusco Region

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 184 reviews

To see our full experience, check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcRS6TQPVxI We truly loved our experience to Rainbow Mountain! The first thing I want to share is a shout out and a thank you to our guide! Although there were about 14 people on our tour, he intentionally stayed with and encouraged my 60-year old mother to keep hiking and make it to the top. Without his support, I am not sure she would have made it. As many have said, the hardest part of this hike is the altitude, other than that, general physical fitness should provide enough. I would not recommend heading straight there after arriving in Cusco. I think it is important to consider what your expectations are for the experience. If you expect a private photo session with instagram results, think again. It is crowded! That being said, I think the hike through the Andes is worth it alone and the view at the top is a nice bonus. Overall, would recommend!

The Alternative Rainbow Mountain Tour is an excellent way to view three rainbow mountains with only about an hour of hiking. Our guide Darwin was wonderful and very knowledgeable. Our tour also included a delicious breakfast and lunch and stops at the small but very interesting village museum and the market. We live at 6,000 feet altitude in New Mexico, so the 17,000 feet didn’t bother us at all. The panoramic views are absolutely stunning! We highly recommend this tour!

Overall really great experience! I think it should be clarified that there are some extra costs involved with going to each location. Also you will not be ATVing to the salt mines, you will actually take a bus. Other than these small issues, the experience was actually awesome! Truly breathtaking views and everything was handled very professionally. Pick up was on time, drop off was a bit late but not bad!

The experience was unforgettable, the landscapes that you see when you reach the mountain and descend from it are unmatched. It is really worth doing. Many thanks to the guide for being aware of the health of the team and everything that can be learned from him.

Great tour!! An absolutely must see. Guidance was super helpful and informative!!