5 “MUST-DO’S” that DON’T include Machu Picchu by Valencia Travel
Pallcoyo is found in the Ausangate region, in the Red Valley. You can make a day trip from Cusco to this alternative rainbow mountain and there are a number of rainbow mountains to be found in the area. The main reasons why this is a better option than the Vinicunca rainbow mountain is that there are fewer visitors and there is a lot less hiking involved than the Vinicunca rainbow mountain. Still, whichever you choose, you can guarantee some incredible photos of these stunning mountains!
Sacsaywaman is the Inca fortress that protected the Inca capital of Cusco and is one of the best examples of the incredible Inca architecture, still visible to this day. The immense stones used to build this site were brought from miles away, which only adds to the mystery of this archaeological site, close to Cusco. This site is where the famous festival of the Sun or “Inti Raymi” takes place each June and you can include this site on a City tour of Cusco.
3. Waqra Pukara
Waqra Pukara is a pre-Inca archaeological site south of Cusco, consisting of both pre-Inca and Inca archaeological traits. It looks likely that the Incas invaded this ancient city of the Canchis as part of their domination of the South American Andean region as it was a strategic, geographical location protecting the gateway into Cusco. This stunning site, once more, is a mixture of incredible natural scenery and beautiful rock formations and the original purpose of Waqra Pukara remains a mystery to this day. This off the beaten path day trek is not for vertigo suffers, but the surrounding scenery is a remote, breathtaking experience and worth every second you spend there.
The Queswachaka bridge is one of the few remaining handwoven Inca bridges in existence to this day. The bridge spans the Apurimac river and is made from woven grass from the area. These handwoven bridges formed a major part of the Inca road-building system and they have to be rebuilt every year to maintain a decent level of preservation. There is a yearly ceremony and bridge rebuilding in June every year, however, you can visit this incredible feat of Inca architecture at any time of the year.
The Ausangate region is in a totally different direction from Machu Picchu and you can do a 5-day trek around the base of the Ausangate mountain, the highest peak in the Cusco region. If mountains, glaciers, turquoise lagoons and the starriest of skies sound like you “thing,” then this incredibly picturesque, dramatic, sacred mountain trek, may just well be one of the best treks you can do! Adequate acclimatization is a must of course, but the trek is not that technically difficult, just be prepared for the sub-zero temperatures!
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