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4 Places you can visit in Cusco on your way to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is the main tourist attraction of the Cusco Region, seducing thousands of tourists every year who marvel at the beauty and history of the Inca Culture. However, the Inca citadel is not the only travel destination in the region. Therefore, in PeruRail we recommend other 4 places you can visit in Cusco before your journey to Machu Picchu.

Vinicunca or Rainbow Mountain

Just over 100 kilometers from Cusco in the district of Pitumarca and more than 5,200 meters above sea level you can find this set of mountains dyed with beautiful colors. Lavender, fuchsia, red, green, purple, gold and turquoise are some of the shades that give life to the beautiful landscape offered by the Rainbow Mountain.

Thanks to the erosion and humidity, minerals that cover the mountain were oxidizing and they took the colors that can be appreciated nowadays. Despite the height and the cold that characterizes the area, tourists continue to increase over the years in order to capture the beautiful landscape of The Seven-Color Mountains.

The Magical view of The Rainbow Mountain, in Cusco


At 7 kilometers from the town of Maras and 38km from Cusco, the Moray Archaeological Site gives tourists the purest sample of Inca landscaping through this system of terraces and irrigation of concentric shapes that have an appearance similar to that of an amphitheater.

The terraces of Moray have a depth of 45 meters and are characterized because every step sort of creates microclimates that depend on the level at which we are located.

It has been found that the average temperature of the upper platform is 20ºC, while in the lower platform the average temperature is 15ºC. These temperature differences allow this terrace system to have at least 20 different microclimates. According to some researchers, Moray could have been used as an agricultural laboratory center. In this way, they were able to determine the favorable environments for planting more than 250 plant species.

The Moray Archaeological Complex is open to the public every day of the year between 7am and 5pm. In order to visit this attraction, you can taker different tour packages around the Cusco Main Square.

Moray’s impressive terrace system

Templo de Coricancha

The Coricancha Temple was one of the most important buildings of the Incan Empire and was built as a place to worship Inti, the Sun God.

There are still theories about the Inca Emperor who would have ordered the construction of the temple. However, it is said that Pachacútec was the one who ordered to beautify the temple with a significant amount of gold and silver ornaments.

When the Spanish conquerors arrived, the temple was destroyed and the ornamentation of precious metals were stolen under the command of Juan Pizarro. After this, Pizarro decided to give the lands to the Order of Preachers (Dominican Order), who used the foundations of the destroyed temple to build a convent so as to demonstrate the power of the Spaniards over the Incas.

This temple full of history is located in the center of Cusco, two blocks away from the Main Square and opens to the public from Monday to Saturday from 8:30am to 5:30pm and Sundays from 2:00pm to 5:00pm.

The union of two cultures in the design of the Coricancha Temple


Only 2 kilometers away from Cusco, is located Sacsayhuamán, the most important ceremonial center of the Incan Empire. Builded at 3600 meters above sea level, this fortress represents the architectural skill of the Incas and the sense of the harmony of their constructions with the natural landscape.

Every June the 24th, this building receives the participants of the Inti Raymi, a ceremony dedicated to the Sun God. Sacsayhuamán captivates tourists with its large carved stone walls.

Within the more than 3 thousand hectares of the Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Park you can find, in addition to the ceremonial center, The Qenqo Sanctuary, Puca Pucara, Tambomachay Sanctuary, among other attractions.

The incredible Inca construction with stone in Sacsayhuamán

Tour the Inca lands with PeruRail!

Cusco is full of tourist attractions, so you have no excuse to enjoy an unforgettable trip in your visit to Machu Picchu. If you do not have them yet, purchase your train tickets now to get to Machu Picchu Town aboard the PeruRail Vistadome train, and if you need more information about these or other tourist destinations, you can check our blog to discover more.

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