There are sixteen attractions in Cusco and in the Sacred Valley that you can visit with the Cusco Tourist Ticket. We’ve compiled a list of these Cusco Tourist Ticket sites for you with an explanation of each. Having this information can be helpful, especially if you’re prioritizing and may not have time to see all 16 sites.
Some will include our advice on how best to explore them on your own. Of course, you can hire a guide at a lot of these places. Our preference is to do a little reading about the sites and then do an independent tour. We rarely hire guides, so that part is up to you.
Here are all the places included with the Cusco Tourist Ticket.
Cusco Tourist Ticket Museums
There are plenty of museums in Cusco, yet only four of them are Cusco Tourist Ticket sites. That’s unfortunate because there really are only two that we believe are 100% worth your time. Fortunately, they are all within the Cusco Historic District, so if you decide one isn’t enjoyable, it’s really easy to move on to the next one.
(One museum that’s not part of the Tourist Ticket is the Machupicchu Museum. We hope they eventually remedy that because the museum is fantastic.)
Here the four Cusco Tourist Ticket museums:
Museo de Sitio Qorikancha
Qoricancha (Coricancha) was an ancient Inca Temple to the Sun and was once the most important Inca sacred palace. The Spanish destroyed it in the 1500s and built a church on top of it. Today, all that remains of the Inca part is the base – a testament to the near perfection of Inca construction.
Unfortunately though, the Cusco Tourist Ticket doesn’t cover entrance to this impressive structure. There is, however, a small museum under the Sacred Garden right outside the church. It is a Cusco Tourist Ticket site.
Pro Tip: You can easily browse through the exhibits in this museum in less than an hour. It’s not a great museum, but it’s still pretty good. That said, there are far better ones in Cusco not included with the ticket, like the Machupicchu Museum.
How to get to Coricancha: Walk straight down Loreto from Plaza De Armas for about 8 minutes. The road ends at Coricancha. (Google Maps)
Museo Historico Regional
The Museo Historico Regional is one of the most professional museums in Cusco and was one of our favorite places to use the Cusco Tourist Ticket. It’s really nicely laid out and well-curated. The Cusco Regional Museum is two levels of Inca history and well worth at least an hour of your time.
The museum has a mummy from the Nazca region, along with Inca fabrics, gold ornaments, and paintings by artists from the so-called “Cusco School” of artists. Those include Diego Quispe Tito, Pablo Chillitupa, and El Maestro de Almudena.
Purchasing the Cusco Tourist Ticket is the only way to enter this museum and you cannot take photos here. [FYI: We asked first!]
Pro Tips: The Cusco Regional Museum is laid out chronologically, so be sure to do this museum “in order.”
How to get to Cusco Regional Museum: Walk west of Plaza De Armas for about 3 minutes on Del Medio – near Plazoleto Regocijo, (Google Maps)
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo
The Museum of Contemporary Art in Cusco showcases local and regional artists in the rooms on the bottom floor. But there is more to the museum than that. Make your way through the courtyard and head upstairs to explore even more.
The museum is in a government building, so don’t accidentally walk into an office while you’re here. It’s an enjoyable experience with well-maintained exhibits. It’s worth spending an hour or two here.
Pro Tips: Sometimes, events take place in the courtyard that might make you feel like you’re intruding if you walk through. That’s not an issue. Do it anyway and make your way upstairs to the rest of the museum.
How to get to the Museum of Contemporary Art: Walk west of Plaza De Armas for about 2 minutes on Espaderos, then turn right. The Museum is the first building on your right (Google Maps)
Museo de Arte Popular
The Cusco Museum of Popular Art is not exactly all that popular. And that’s probably mostly because it’s (a) not very well maintained and (b) hidden in the basement of a government building.
We really don’t like being negative, but the front desk people ignore you, punch your ticket, and just point you to where you have to go. And it’s just two small rooms with a short film, few small statues, what look like crafts, and admittedly, a few interesting pieces like the one above.
The museum could use a good cleaning. We amused ourselves by wiping the dust off the displays. We weren’t the only ones.
Pro Tips: You can easily walk through this museum and even stop at a few interesting pieces in 30-45 minutes. A great place to get out of the rain, perhaps. Photos are strictly forbidden. We snapped the one above before we saw the sign.
How to get to the Museum of Popular Art: You’ll find the Popular Art Museum in the Touristic Galleries, Avenida El Sol 103. This is where you can also purchase a Cusco Tourist Ticket. Look for the building with “Municipalidad del Cusco” on the front. (Google Maps)
Inca Ruins in Cusco
If you’re only coming to Cusco as a sort of “base camp” for your journey to Machu Picchu, then it might surprise you to know that there are at least four very cool Inca ruins in Cusco that are pretty amazing themselves.
Here are the Inca ruins in Cusco included with Cusco Boleto Turistico:
Saqsayhuaman Archaeological Park
Saqsayhuaman is a UNESCO-protected site near Cristo Blanco in the hills above Cusco. When you’re in Cusco, you may see it written as Sacsayhuaman, Sacsahuaman, Saxahuaman, Saksaywaman, Sasawaman, Saksawaman, Sacsahuayman, Sasaywaman or Saksaq Waman. Often you’ll hear locals refer to it as “Sexy Woman.”
The earliest settlers probably came here around the year 900. The Incas expanded on what these earlier settlers did starting in the 1400s.
Plan to spend at least a couple of hours here. The site is impressive and large. Like many Inca sites, the stonework here is unbelievably impressive. In particular, the fact that all of these stones – many are several thousand kilograms – sit atop other stones. You’ll wonder how it was all possible.
Pro Tip: Have some fun by sliding down the smooth rocks. It’s like an Inca amusement park. Sacsaywaman is one of four Cusco Tourist Ticket sites in the area. Consider combining them for a full day.
How to get to Sacsayhuaman: A taxi or Uber works. But you can save money by trying the Cusco bus system. Take the Cristo Blanco or Huerto bus route for S/. 1. Or, you can walk up 600+ stairs from the city center and hike over. (Google Maps)
Qenqo Archaeological Park
Qenqo is one of the largest holy places in Cusco. When you enter the “cave” formation, you’ll see a large stone surface where mummifications and sacrifices occurred.
It’s one of the smaller Inca ruins included in the Cusco Tourist Ticket sites, but it’s well worth a visit.
Pro Tips: Combine your visit with Sacsayhuaman, which is just a short walk away.
How to get to Qenqo: From Plaza de Armas in Cusco, either climb the 600+ steps towards Cristo Blanco, then to Saqsayhuaman and Qenqo, or hop onto the public bus “Huerto” from Rosaspata Market. Read more on Cusco Public Transportation here. (Google Maps)
Puka Pukara Archaeological Park
No one really knows the true purpose of Puka Pukara, though there are many good guesses. Because of its excellent location with amazing views of the valley and jungle below, most researchers seem to believe that it was a military site – a great place to keep an eye on what was happening below.
Something visitors will notice about Puka Pukara is that, in contrast to most Inca ruins, the rocks here seem to be very random. They all fit together perfectly – wouldn’t want to ruin the Inca reputation for being obsessive in this respect – but there is no pattern or regularity at all.
This suggests to researchers that perhaps Puka Pukara was built in a hurry.
Pro Tip: If you plan to see Tambomachay either before or after Puka Pukara, take the trail through the residential area on the other side of the road and walk between the two sites. It’s an interesting stroll through a local, more rural neighborhood that you won’t get to experience in the city.
How to get to Puka Pukara: Puka Pukara will require either a bus or taxi ride, as it’s a little far from the city. Taking the Huerto bus is the cheapest option. We suggest taking it all the way to Tambomachay and walking to Puka Pukara when you’re done. (Google Maps)
Tambomachay Archaeological Park
No one is sure what Tambomachay is either. Theories suggest anything from a military outpost to a spa. Yes, a spa. In the Quechua language, tampu means “inn” or “guest house,” and machay means “drunkenness.”
Because I prefer to think of the Inca as a fun sort of people (who already have enough military bases) I prefer the “spa” interpretation of Tambomachay. For me, it adds a bit more cultural interest to a civilization that’s more often than not depicted in military terms.
Pro Tip: Walk up the hill a bit and take a short, horseshoe-shaped hike around Tambomachay. You’ll get a great view of the ruins while others remain down below seeing it only at eye-level.
How to get to Tambomachay: Tambomachay is the farthest “Cusco ruin” from the city center. We recommend the Huerto bus or a taxi. Tambomachay is the last stop on the Huerto bus line in Cusco. Buses come and go regularly here. (Google Maps)
Ruins outside of Cusco
There are a few sites you can see with the Cusco Tourist Ticket that are quite far from the city. We recommend doing at least a couple of these as day trips from Cusco.
If you want to know more about Cusco day trips and how you can visit these sites (or go on an organized tour), we recommend reading our post about the best day trips from Cusco.
Tipon Archaeological Park
If came to Peru to see ruins, you’ll love Tipon as it’s one of the most unique Inca ruins in Peru. Tipon even has an intact, working irrigation system.
And it doesn’t seem to be a busy place, to be honest. You might be one of only a few dozen people on the grounds, making your visit very peaceful.
Don’t just stay down on the main grounds. Walk up to the top. You’ll be treated to a sight of the ancient irrigation system that feeds the fountains far below. Not only that, but you can also take a detour to the Pukara – an ancient fortress that protected Tipon. It’s awesome and we were the only ones there!
Pro Tip: After you visit Tipon, find a restaurant in town that serves Peruvian food and try cuy – or guinea pig. Tipon is the Capital of Cuy, and it’s the best place to eat guinea pig in Peru.
How to get to Tipon: Take a colectivo from Avenida de la Cultura for about S/. 10 or less. The colectivo will drop you at a bus stop near a sign over the road that reads “Bienvenidos a Tipon.” From there, hire a taxi to take you to the top of the ruins. (Google Maps)
Pikillacta & Rumicola Archaeological Parks
If you are in danger of becoming tired of Inca ruins and want to see an even older Cusco Tourist Ticket site, take a half-day trip to Pikillacta (Pikillaqta).
Pikillacta is a ruin of the Huari culture that dates back 1,200 years to 800 AD – before the Incas. It’s one of the least-visited Cusco Tourist Ticket sites because it’s not straightforward to get here.
After you’ve toured Pikillacta, walk 10 minutes to Rumicola – an aqueduct from Wari times that the Inca later took over. At least that’s one theory about what it is. Be careful crossing the busy highway to get there.
Pro Tip: Pikillacta means “the place of the flea” – and that description is very well-earned. Before you go, buy insect repellent and use it liberally.
How to get to Pikillacta: Make your way to Terminal Urubamba (Google Maps) and find a bus to Tipon or Urcos. Buy a ticket and ask the attendant to drop you at Pikillacta. The bus will drop you on the side of a highway, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Across the street, take the trail through the field. There’s a house in the distance – the Pikillacta Visitor Center.
Getting back to Cusco from Pikillacta: After you visit Rumicola, cross the street and either wait there or continue walking back toward Cusco. Within 10-15 minutes a bus will happen by that’s on its way to Cusco. We know this doesn’t seem very organized, but it’s just the way it works here. (Google Maps)
Ollantaytambo Archaeological Park
You’d be missing out if you just came to Ollantaytambo to catch a train to Machu Picchu. Ollantaytambo is a former Inca administrative center that is about 72 km (45 mi) northwest of Cusco. It’s worth a day trip from Cusco just to spend a few hours here.
Ollantaytambo was the imperial palace of Pachacuti. In addition to being his estate, the town also provided lodging for the Inca nobility as they traveled throughout the Sacred Valley.
And don’t just climb the stairs to the top of the main site in Ollantaytambo. Take the trail over to Inka Watana as well.
Pro Tip: If you’re going to Machu Picchu on the train, you’ll either start at or pass through this town. Book a hotel in Ollantaytabmo on the way back so you can get up the next day and explore the ruins. Ride the train back to Cusco that night.
How to get to Ollantaytambo: You can either spend the money for the PeruRail train to Ollantaytambo, or catch a colectivo from Cusco for about S/. 10. Here is the Google Maps link to find the colectivo station. Here is the Google Maps link for Ollantaytambo itself.
Pisac Archaeological Park
Pisac Archaeological Park is an ancient Inca hilltop citadel with temples, plazas, and more. It includes the Intihuatana, a stone structure thought to have been a sundial. It’s one of the most impressive examples of Inca civilization, making it a must-visit Cusco Tourist Ticket site.
When you get to Pisac, you have two options: you can either hike to the top or you can take a taxi up and walk down. We preferred the taxi option for about S/. 25.
Here is everything you need to know about how to spend a day in Pisac.
As you spend at least a couple of hours walking down, you’ll wind your way through temples and other ruins, with amazing views of the gorge below. Take a look:
Pro Tip: Combine your visit with a market tour. The market is spectacular and a great place to take vivid photographs of crafts and more. On the main street outside the market, grab a set menu lunch – soup and a main course – for less than $2.00.
How to get to Pisac: You can find several collectivo buses just down the hill from Rosaspata Market that will take you to Pisac. Here is a Google Maps link to help you find them. The cost for the 45-minute drive from Cusco to Pisac is around S/. 5 each way – or about $1.50. (Google Maps)
Moray Archaeological Park
I’m originally from Fredericton, NB, Canada. On the outskirts of my hometown, the Department of Agriculture operates an experimental potato farm. I always wondered what happened under the roof of the large greenhouse there. Turns out, it was probably something similar to what was going on in Moray hundreds of years ago.
Moray is one of the most unique Inca sites you’ll ever visit. While it just looks like a series of circular terraces, it’s actually a demonstration of the scientific advancement of the Inca civilization. Each terrace includes soils from all over the country brought there by hand. Although it’s a gigantic bowl, it never floods, like other places in the area.
We often look down on ancient civilizations as undeveloped with little scientific knowledge. Moray puts that notion to rest. It is a demonstration of genius and one of the Cusco Tourist Ticket sites we most recommend you visit.
Pro Tip: Be extra careful walking the trails around Moray. There are a lot of spiny cactuses here that can easily swipe your head and scratch you. And some of the trails are narrow. Watch your footing so you don’t end up falling into a patch of stabby things!
How to get to Moray: The cheapest way to get here is to get a colectivo to the Maras Salt Mines. After you are finished your tour, take a taxi for the 20-minute drive to Moray. Otherwise, hire a driver for the day who will take you to Moray, Maras, and Chinchero for about S/. 200 (Google Maps)
Other Cusco Tourist Ticket Sites
A couple of the sites you can visit using the Cusco Tourist Ticket are neither museums nor ancient archaeological sites. Here they are:
Chinchero is a beautiful colonial town off the main road between Cusco and Urubamba. It’s a little higher than Cusco at about 3,700 meters. The town of Chinchero is the Peruvian home of weaving. As such, you’ll see many women in the main square selling beautiful fabrics and other crafts.
Chinchero used to be a vacation home of Inca Tupac Yupankui. The vistas surrounding the town are quite stunning, especially when it’s sunny. You can see why an emperor (or anyone for that matter) would want to vacation here.
Be sure to take lots of photos!
Pro Tip: The entrance to the church is not included in the Cusco Tourist Ticket. But be sure to pay the S/. 5 to go inside. It’s super nice and well worth the price of admission. And, well, S/. 5 is only $1.75 US.
How to get to Chinchero: Take a colectivo from Cusco towards Urubamba or Ollantaytambo and ask the driver to drop you off in Chinchero. You’ll have to walk a little to get to the plaza, but this is by far the most inexpensive way to get there. Otherwise, hire a driver for a half day and include Moray in the trip as well. (Google Maps)
Pachacuteq Monument (or Pachacuti Monument) was undergoing renovations when we were in Cusco. That means we didn’t get to actually see the inside of the monument. And, since most of it was surrounded by plastic and scaffolding, we didn’t get to see much of the outside either.
The tower stands as a monument to the Inca emperor who built Cusco and was responsible for an impressive expansion of the empire. Pachacuteq Monument is 22 m (72 ft) high. The people responsible for its construction believe it will stand for 5,000 years. When it’s open, go inside and climb to the top for an impressive view of the area.
Should you go? If you have no interest in the view, there’s really not much of a reason to stick around except to get a photo of the monument.
Pro Tip: If you’re here around lunch or dinner time, eat at the El Tablón Food Center. It’s just up the street from the monument and offers a wide variety of food. Although it’s a bit more expensive than other places (which still = cheap), it’s well-reviewed and the food is good.
How to get to the Pachacuti Monument: It’s pretty simple actually. Just walk down Avenue El Sol (or hop in a cab or Uber) until you see it. It’s 2.1 km or 1.25 miles from the Plaza De Armas (Google Maps)
Cusco Native Arts Center
Want to attend a live show of native song and dance? This is the place to do it. You’ll need to get here early though. The show starts at about 6:30-7:00 PM, but the line starts forming about an hour before that.
The Cusco Center of Native Art features a performance that we think is worth your time if you have the Boleto Turistico. That said, you should know ahead of time that it is an amateur performance. I got the impression that, perhaps, they were volunteers coming together to do the best job they could to put on a performance for tourists.
And in that respect, it’s a fun night. The costumes are quite nice and there is a great display of costumes in the back of the theater that you shouldn’t miss.
Attendants sell popcorn and drinks before the show and during a break.
Pro Tips: If you were planning on buying an alpaca sweater, do it while waiting in line outside the theater. Vendors here sell beautiful sweaters for super cheap. We saw several people buy them for next to nothing and they were quite happy with their purchases.
How to get to the Native Arts Center: The Native Arts Center is an easy 9-minute walk from Plaza Des Armas at 872 Avednida El Sol. Just north of the Post Office (Serpost) and right next to the Craft Producers Fair. (Google Maps)
Is the Cusco Tourist Ticket Worth It?
If you know you are going to see at least two of the archaeological sites, then yes. It is completely worth it. The full Cusco Tourist Ticket is S/. 130, and if you paid to go to a specific archaeological site, you’ll pay at least S/. 70. Not only that, but most sites won’t even allow you to pay individually, so you need the ticket.
Because we knew we were going to write this post, we went to all of the Cusco Tourist Ticket sites on the list except for the Pachacuti Monument, which was closed. But even if we just did a few things, the ticket makes complete sense and more than pays for itself.
If you’ve had an experience with the Boleto Turistico that you’d like to share, please leave a comment.
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