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I was on a tight budget when I lived in Cusco for two months. Because of that, I had to find ways to explore the city and surrounding area without spending too much money every weekend.

It was great, though, because Daniel and I ended up discovering some absolutely breathtaking places that we never would have seen if we just stuck to the easy (but expensive) guided tours.

If you want to save some money or just get off the beaten path for a bit, add these seven cheap day trips from Cusco to your Peru itinerary!

 

stream running throuh Llaullipata park

Hiking in Llaullipata park outside of Cusco

1. LLaullipata Park

Cost: Free
How to Get There

No seriously. This is one of only a few Cusco day trips that is actually totally, completely, 100% free.

If you wake up from a late night out in Cusco and realize you totally blew your budget, visit this park to cure your hangover while without opening your wallet. Or, visit anytime just to get some fresh air!

Llaullipata (pronounced jowjipata) is a 30-minute walk from Plaza de Armas. When you arrive, you’ll find some peaceful meadows to chill in and shaded hiking trails to explore. It’s a nice easy escape from the crowds in Cusco.

Visit Llaullipata park with this detailed guide.

 

Temple of the Moon in Cusco, Peru

View of the rolling hills around the Temple of the Moon

2. Balcon del Diablo and Temple of the Moon

Cost: Free
How to Get There

This is the second day trip from Cusco that’s 100% free if you just pack a lunch.

First, walk up the Imperial Inca Road to see the ruins of the Temple of the Moon. Then stretch your legs further and walk to the Balcon del Diablo cave to get an aerial view of Cusco (or, rent a horse with a guide to take you to the Balcon del Diablo instead). Horses cost 35 soles / 12 usd per person but I have to say it was totally worth it.

Whether you want to walk or ride, here’s everything you need to know to take this super easy Cusco day trip!

 

mountains on the Huchuy Qosqo hike

Enjoying the view on our hike to the Huchuy Qosqo ruins

3. Huchuy Qosqo Ruins

Cost: 39 soles / 12 usd per person if you are a couple or 14 usd if you go alone.
How to Get There

I spent 4.5 months in Peru and hiking to Huchuy Qosqo was still a highlight.

Lush valleys, glacial lakes, and expansive mountains views await on this (moderately difficult) 11-mile trek along an ancient Inca road. The best part, though, is that these ruins are so remote you’ll be the only ones in them and get the Inca site all to yourself.

The Huchuy Qosqo trek is definitely one of the best cheap day trips from Cusco and you can do it on your own time without a tour group. Just use this guide to find everything you need to know!

 

Hiking with llamas at the Kinsa Cocha Lakes

Playing ‘Follow the Llama’ at the Kinsa Cocha lakes

4. Kinsa Cocha Lakes

Cost: 61.5 soles / 18.75 usd pp for a group of two. Going with 3 or 4 people will cut costs significantly.
How to Get There

When it comes to cheap day trips from Cusco, this is my second favorite after Huchuy Qosqo.

I loved exploring the Kinsa Cocha lakes because the hike was easy and flat (always a plus in Peru’s mountainous landscape) and we were the only ones on the trail. Also, we got to wander through a giant herd of llamas (alpacas?) and see three gorgeous lakes!

If you want some nice nature photos and would like to enjoy a secluded picnic, Kinsa Cocha is the place. Afterward, explore the small town of Pisac, Peru and browse the famous Pisac market before heading home.

Use this guide to get all the details for the trip.

 

view of Cusco from Sacsayhuaman ruins

View of Cusco from the Sacsayhuaman Ruins

5. Hike to Sacsayhuaman and the Four Surrounding Ruins

Cost: 7.5 soles / 2.30 usd per person for transportation for a couple or 4.30 usd if you go alone. You will also need the tourist ticket to enter (see below for more details)
How to Get There

Sacsayhuaman and the next two day trips from Cusco are all on the Boleto Turistico (Tourist Ticket). So, if you want to do all three of these Cusco day trips (Sacsayhuaman, Tipon & Piquillacta, and Pisac) then you should buy the 10-day Boleto Touristico – get all the details and pricing here

Now, onto the ruins.

Walk to Sacsayhuaman from Plaza de Armas to start your excursion. Then, follow this guide to see the rest of the four nearby ruins (Qenko, Puka Pukara, and Tambomachay) in order.

This is one of my favorite day trips from Cusco because you don’t have to spend a long time in a bus or collectivo to get there and you will get amazing views of Cusco from above. Enjoy!

 

Tipon ruins in Peru's Sacred Valley

Along in the Tipon ruins

6. Tipon and Piquillacta Ruins

Cost: 16 soles / 4.90 usd per person for transportation for a couple, or 8 usd if you go alone. You will also need the Tourist Ticket to enter.
How to Get There

If you’ve already invested in the tourist ticket, this Cusco day trip is crazy cheap at just $5 per person. That may be because the Tipon and Piquillacta Ruins aren’t thaaaat great.

However, if you’re into history you’ll probably fall in love because these ruins are pretty much deserted (unless you visit on a Sunday when they’re free for Peruvians).

Tipon is up first after an hour ride from Cusco and then it’s another 20-minute trip to the more remote Piquillacta ruins. Piquillacta is worth the extra effort because it’s pre-Incan and believed to be over 1500 years old!

This outing also includes some nice views of the Huacarpay Lake but to be honest I only recommend it for long-term stays in the city because there are better day trips from Cusco on this list. If you still want to go, this detailed guide will get you there!

 

Incan terraces at the Pisac ruins in Peru

Incan terraces at the Pisac ruins

7. Pisac Ruins

Cost: 20.5 soles / 6.20 usd per person for transportation for a couple, or 33 soles / 10 usd if you go alone. You’ll also need the tourist ticket to enter.
How to Get There

The Pisac ruins are definitely one of the most famous day trips from Cusco, and for good reason. These extensive ruins are built high on top of a mountain, so you can admire the Inca terraces and stonework will also getting beautiful views of the valley below.

Like Kinsa Cocha, a day trip to the Pisac ruins also means you can explore the town of Pisac and the Pisac market before you head home. If you’re only in Cusco for a short time, I think Pisac is the best site to visit in Peru’s Sacred Valley and just like the six Cusco day trips above you can use these directions to visit Pisac without a guided tour.

 

Save Money on These 7 Cheap Day Trips from Cusco

Skip the guided tours and check out these seven destinations on your own on your next excursion from the city.

If you only have time for one, I recommend the Huchuy Qosqo ruins because it was one of my absolute favorite experiences in Peru. However, all of these Cusco day trips are great and it really just depends on what you like to do, the costs you’re comfortable with, and how you like to travel!

No matter what you choose, you’re guaranteed to save some money while still having an awesome time on these seven cheap day trips from Cusco!

 

Ready to go? Plan the rest your trip with the Peru Series to find the 10 best cheap restaurants in Cusco, learn how to visit the famous Rainbow Mountain, discover the 11 things you need to know before you visit Peru and so much more!

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