A half-day tour of the city and nearby Inca ruins begins at Koricancha, which was the Inca’s sumptuous Temple of Sun before becoming the Spaniard’s Santo Domingo church.
Chinchero Market & Ruins
Chinchero Market & Ruins, Peru
During your day of exploration, you visit the colourful local market in the town of Chinchero. This is one of the most traditional markets in all of South America, and you will be surrounded by locals in their traditional dress all buying and selling their produce.
Next visit the Maras salt pans, a fascinating system of platforms used since the Inca times to extract salt from a natural mountain spring. Visually the shining salt-encrusted terraces are extraordinary. There are beautiful views of the snow-capped mountains of Chicon, Veronica and Salcantay and the stunning altiplano of the Andes that surround you.
Maras is a typical Andean village that boasts a beautiful 400-year colonial old church. A further 6km down the road are the experimental agricultural terraces of Moray. Here, different levels of terraces are carved into huge bowls, two large and one small.
Part of the landscape is thought to have occurred naturally and part of which was developed further by the Incas. Their exact purpose is unknown but it is thought that the terraces created varied micro-climates in which the Incas determined the optimal conditions to grow their crops.
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Photos of Chinchero Market & Ruins
Other experiences in Cuzco
These activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences around where you're staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident's eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can suggest tours and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the local ways of life.
The trail takes you through small hamlets and affords stunning views of the Sacred Valley and Pisac below. The trail climbs steadily to a pass at 4200m, beyond which you will descend to a beautiful canyon, where a picnic lunch is served.
Visit the Maras salt pans, the experimental agricultural terraces of Moray and the remnants of Ollantaytambo, once an important Inca administrative centre.
In the small colonial village of Pisac, spend the morning exploring the colourful Indian market, with its wide variety of textiles and ceramics.
Today will take you above Cuzco to the Chuquicahuana section of the Urubamba River to raft on class III-IV rapids. Here the river is much cleaner and more fun than in the lower sections, and no previous experience is necessary.