For many people Peru is Machu Picchu, the famous Inca Citadel is what most people travel thousands of miles to see. Every year thousands of people emerge on the site and wonder at the brilliance of the Inca builders and architects. However, Cusco is not all about Machu Picchu there are many other interesting and equally as beautiful, to visit so here we will give you Peru travel guides Machu Picchu Travel alternatives.
Here we do not want you not to go to Machu Picchu as this should not be missed and you should investigate your Machu Picchu train tickets, Machu Picchu travel packages and set aside your days to see the magnificent Inca ruin. However, many other ruins should also occupy your time.
If you missed the Machu Picchu Inca Trail then why not try the four-day hike to Choquequirao, a wonderful yet challenging hike where you will trek across rolling fields pass farming settlements before entering the Apurimac valley and see the raging river below. On the trek, explore the ruin of Choquequirao with its enormous complexes of agricultural terraces, which you will need a full day to explore. The ruin features unique designs that are not found anywhere else at any other Inca site.
On the walk back from Choquequirao you will follow a different route, enter the jungle where you will see varieties of birds and trees full of fruits. After a full days walk spend the night in an old Spanish colonial hacienda. The fourth day rejoin the same route until you reach the road back to Cusco.
Travel south from Cusco to the lesser-known ruin of Tipon, thought to be an ancient Inca Palace and is home to engineered waterways, baths and fountains and an irrigations system that still works today. Take the time to visit Tipon and learn about the brilliance of the Inca engineers. Not far from Tipon is the pre Inca ruin of Piquillajta, from the Wari civilization this site was re settled by the Inca´s as part of their expansion, the ruin give a great insight into how the Inca were able to take over other civilizations and make them part of their own.
Also in the Valley South you will find the town of Andahuaylillas, the town is famous for its 17th Century church known as the Andean Sistine Chapel. The interior of the church is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the Cusco area. The artwork in the church depicts the early attempts of the Spanish to convert the local people to Christianity.
Travel in the other direction from Cusco and you will arrive at the one of the most naturally beautiful places you will ever see, The Sacred Valley of the Incas. The valley is a popular with tourists and day-trippers with busloads arriving every day. But if you have the time, spend a few days exploring the valley. The Inca´s also made the valley an important part of their culture as you will see with the amazing ancient sites they left behind.
On a visit to the Sacred Valley, you must spend at least a few hours at Ollantaytambo. The town itself is one of the oldest inhabited towns in the Andes and people have been living there since the 13th Century. The town has ancient stone houses built in the Inca style, cobbled streets that have flowing rivers and some really spectacular hillside ruins that overlook the town. Visit the Ollantaytambo fortress, which is the site of a famous Inca victory over the Spanish and is said to have caused the fall of the invasion.
Also located in the Sacred Valley are the ruins at Pisac, set above the town of Pisac the site dominates the landscape. Take a guided tour and learn about the history of the site. From the town you can there is a track and you can walk up to the site if you are feeling very energetic. While in the town of Pisac visit the Market that is held every day in the main square, the market is a feast of color and there are many things to buy. This is the place to purchase all your souvenirs for home. Try the oven fresh empanadas and see the local people who have come to sell their wares.
Not far from Cusco are the Inca sites of Maras and Moray. Said to be the research laboratories of the Inca, the terraces at Moray were used to examine the range of growing conditions to ensure that the empire was never short on food. Not far from Moray is the salt pans of Maras, the white saltpans are in stark contrast to the green mountains of the Andes that surround the site.
There is not a best time to visit Cusco and the surrounding valleys and Machu Picchu. All year round have its positives and negatives, the high season and the amount of tourists may play an important part, the weather also so see the internet for your Peru and Machu Picchu weather tips. But whatever time of year you decide to travel there are plenty of Peru travel guides Machu Picchu travel alternatives.