Contact Us

How to Spend 4 Days in Cusco: Detailed Itinerary

Written by Sam Corporations January 22, 2024

How to Spend 4 Days in Cusco: Detailed Itinerary

What is the best way to spend 4 days in Cusco? You need to explore this unique city and the beautiful Sacred Valley. Depending on your time in Cusco, we’ll provide a the possible itineraries . If you’re planning to explore Peru’s Sacred Valley and visit Machu Picchu, Cusco is the perfect home base to explore the region.

Situated high in the Andes Mountains, Cusco’s rich history and ideal location as an adventure hub of the region. The perfect spot for a few days exploring the Sacred Valley with easy access to many great day trips. With so many amazing ways you could spend your time, deciding on the perfect Cusco itinerary is certainly a challenge.

In this article, we’ve constructed the ideal itinerary if you have just 4 days in Cusco. This outline will save you some time as you plan your Cusco itinerary!

The Best of Cusco in 4 days

Overview

  • Day 1 | See the highlights of Cusco
  • Day 2 | Venture from Cusco to Ollantaytambo, stopping at Maras and Moray
  • Day 3 | See one of the 7 modern wonders of the world: Machu Picchu!
  • Day 4 | Day hike to Huchuy Qosqo

Detailed Itinerary.

The map below displays the location of each activity included in our Cusco itinerary for 4 days.

Cusco Itinerary Day 1 | See the highlights of Cusco

Spend the first day of this Cusco itinerary exploring the city and getting acclimated. If you had a long flight to Peru, this is a great chance to rest up for the next couple of days.

Where to stay in Cusco

As there are a myriad of hotels the choice is endless. Here we give you a couple of choices, located in the center of Cusco and San Pedro Market.

Hotel Antigua Casona San Blas. Located in the barrio of San Blas, this restored colonial house has a beautiful patio to relax in the evening around the fire. There are several different types of room to suit. The staff are friendly and helpful and have the perfect recommendations for dinner. The Hotel Antigua Casona San Blas is recommended for families groups and independant travelers.

The Costa del Sol Cusco. Located one block from the famous Plaza de Armes, this 4 star hotel has everything you will need on your stay in Cusco. Away from the hustle and bustle of the plaza, the hotel features comfortable quiet rooms and some with views of the city. Dine in the restaurant and relax on the patio with an evening cocktail.

Get coffee and explore Plaza de Armas

The perfect way to start the day is a stroll through the Plaza de Armas. This bustling square is located at the heart of Old Town Cusco. The square is lined with various shops, restaurants, and cafes. Have breakfast at one of the many cafes and get energized to start the day.

One of the main features of the square is the Cusco Cathedral, built at the site where the Incan palace Quishuarcancha used to stand. Construction of the cathedral began in the mid 1500’s and took over 100 years to build using stones carried from the Sacsayhuamán citadel. Today it is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

From Plaza de Armas have a lovely view of the mountains that surround Cusco, with little red-roofed houses clinging to the hillsides. It’s truly one of the most beautiful city squares that you will ever see.

Visit the Sacsayhuaman Ruins

Overlooking Cusco, the Sacsayhuaman fortress was built by the Incas and likely used the site to host religious ceremonies. Another theory is that is was a store for valuables, like food, armor, and precious metals. From Plaza de Armas, its about a 20-minute walk uphill to the ruins.

While the ruins are impressive themselves, the view overlooking the city of Cusco from Sacsayhuaman is worth the visit. In order to enter Sacsayhuaman, you will need to purchase a Cusco Boleto Turistico. Purchase your Boleto Turistico in advance or at the entrance to Sacsayhuaman.

The San Pedro Market

Here you will find a chaotically beautiful assortment of vendors selling various textiles, souvenirs, local produce, cheeses, meats, and more. The market also includes a huge selection of food vendors, where you can eat anything from the classic Peruvian dish Lomo Saltado to freshly made juices, another specialty in Peru.

The assortment of smells, from sweet mango juice aromas to the scent of meats. The sounds of yelling voices trying to entice shoppers to their booths and the vibrant array of colors and items to look at is a feast for the senses.

Explore San Blas and the 12-Sided Stone

Picture a maze of narrow cobblestone streets with quaint, colorful homes packed in tightly on all sides and small, local artisanal shops on each corner.

This is San Blas, Cusco, one of the most picturesque neighborhood in the heart of the ancient Incan capital. Spend days simply wandering around the small streets, finding small surprises, bursts of color, and local shops or dine in one of the restaurants.

One of the most popular things to see in San Blas is the 12-Sided Stone.

Made of green diorite, the 12-angle Stone is part of the now-destroyed Incan Palace of Hatunrumiyoc. What makes this particular stone so unique is that it contains, you guessed it, 12 angles! The Incas were masterful craftsmen, constructing massive walls with stones cut to fit perfectly together without using mortar that remains perfectly airtight today.

Have Dinner and Drinks

To wrap up day one, grab dinner and drinks at one of the many restaurants and bars around the Plaza. The city is full of some of the best restaurants in South America. Peruvian food is considered some of the best in the world, there are many awards to prove it. If you love the nightlife, Cusco is the place for you. There are many different bars to have a drink and dance the night away. Try one of the famous Peruvian cocktails like a Pisco Sour or a Cuba Libre.

Cusco Itinerary Day 2 | Travel to Ollantaytambo

On day two of our Cusco itinerary, make your way through the Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes, the main hub for visiting Machu Picchu, with a few fun stops along the way.

All you need to KNOW about Ollantaytambo Town - Sam Corporations

Visit Pisac

There are several things to see in Pisac, the first town on any Sacred Valley tour. Start at the impressive Inca ruin where you will receive a guided tour and learn about the history. The view from the site is spectacular. After you have finished at the ruin travel down to the colorful Pisac Market. The market is the place to buy all your souvenirs for home.

Visit Maras and Moray

The stunning salt mines of Maras and the mysterious ruins of Moray are located on the way to Ollantaytambo from Cusco and are a great way to break up the journey. Both sites are interesting to visit and learn the history.

History of Maras - Sam Corporations

Continue to Ollantaytambo

After visiting the Maras Salt Mines and Moray ruins, continue to Ollantaytambo. Plan to spend a couple hours in Ollantaytambo, exploring the cute little town and the nearby Ollantaytambo ruins.

Take the train to Aguas Calientes

Your final destination on day two of our Cusco Itinerary is Aguas Calientes. To get there, you will need to book a train ticket from Ollantaytambo.

Where to stay in Aguas Calientes

On the second night of our Cusco itinerary, stay in the small town of Aguas Calientes, from where you visit Machu Picchu.

Below are a few recommendations on great places to stay in Aguas Calientes:

Keep in mind that this route is primarily used to get to Machu Picchu. This means that tickets do sell out so be sure to book well in advance.

Cusco Itinerary Day 3 | Machu Picchu

Day three is the pinnacle of our 4 day Cusco itinerary. The main reason most people who go to Cusco go see Peru’s famous wonder of the modern world, Machu Picchu!

Visit Machu Picchu

From Aguas Calientes, there are two ways to get to Machu Picchu:

  • By foot | It’s a steep 2 mile climb with about 1700 feet of elevation gain to reach the entrance to Machu Picchu.
  • By bus | The roughly 30-minute bus ride is offered only by the bus company, Consettur. You can purchase tickets online.

Regardless of whether you hike or take the bus, you’ll need to have reservations to enter Machu Picchu. When you purchase tickets, select a designated entrance time and route through the ruins.

During the peak season, these tickets sell out far in advance for the best time. You have to purchase tickets online before you leave home to ensure entry. Tickets costs approximately $50 USD and may be purchased online here.

Hike Huayna Picchu

When purchasing tickets to Machu Picchu, we highly recommend selecting one of the circuits that includes access to hike Huayna Picchu. The mountain that towers over Machu Picchu!

Huayna Picchu provide the absolute best views of Machu Picchu. Be able to escape some of the crowds, get your heart pumping while climbing some of the steepest stairs we’ve ever seen. Explore a whole separate set of ruins that people who only visit Machu Picchu never get to experience!

Return to Cusco

Foot traffic through Machu Picchu is one way and you have to follow a specified route.

After a couple hours exploring Machu Picchu in the morning, begin the journey back to Cusco at the end of day 3. Once again, either walk or take the bus back to Aquas Calientes, take a train to Ollantaytambo, our driver will take you back to Cusco, which will take you around 2 hours.

Cusco Itinerary Day 4 | Huchuy Qosqo Day Hike

On day 4 of your Cusco itinerary, there are several amazing day trips from Cusco that you could choose from. We recommend the Huchuy Qosqo day hike because it’s easiest to access and requires less travel time.

Huchuy Qosqo Day Hike

Often overlooked in favor of the Sacred Valley’s more famous ruins, Huchuy Qosqo is an Incan archeological site located north of Cusco near the town of Lamay that remains off the beaten track and there are fewer tourists.

The Huchuy Qosqo trek begins near the small town of Chinchero and traverses nearly 10 miles one-way to Lamay, passing by the Huchuy Qosqo ruins along the way. Unlike many hikes in the area, the Huchuy Qosqo trek is only about an hour’s drive from Cusco, making it perfect for a day trip.

Why Should I hike the Huchuy Qosqo Trek

Other Options for Day Four of your Cusco Itinerary

If an all-day hike doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, here are a few other ideas on how to spend your fourth day n Cusco:

  • Take a day trip to a stunning high alpine lake, Laguna Humantay
  • Visit the now Insta-famous Rainbow Mountain
  • Spend another day relaxing and exploring Cusco

Modifications to this Cusco itinerary

If you have fewer than 4 days in Cusco, we’d recommend first taking out day 4. Or if you have only two days, you really only have time for a quick trip to Machu Picchu.

If you have more than 4 days in Cusco, we’d recommend tacking on a day trip to Laguna Humantay, or Rainbow Mountain. You could also build in an extra rest day with more time to explore the city of Cusco after your trip to Machu Picchu.

Cusco Itinerary | FAQs

How many days do I need in Cusco?

Because there are so many amazing things to do near Cusco, you could easily spend 10 days to 2 weeks in Cusco. However, if you have less time, 4 days is enough time to see the highlights. With 4 days in Cusco, you can spend a day exploring the city, visit one of the modern wonders of the world, Machu Picchu, and embark on a day trip into the Andes Mountains.

If you have more than a week to spend in Peru, we recommend you check out our 10-day Peru itinerary, which covers all the highlights of the Sacred Valley.

Should I buy the Cusco Boleto Turistico?

If you’re planning to spend 4 days in Cusco, you will almost certainly want to purchase the Cusco Boleto Turistico, which grants you access to many of the archeological sites in Cusco and the Sacred Valley.

For more details, we’ve put together a complete guide to the Cusco Boleto Turistico with all the information you need to know.

Hiking

Hike from Km 104 to Machu Picchu

If you are pressed for time but still want to visit the famous one of the 7th Wonders of the World. Later, then the hike from KM 104 is perfect for you. You reach Machu Picchu on foot passing through the famous Sun Gate viewpoint. This route is also known as the short Inca Trail. […]

Guide for Paragliding Tour in Cusco - Sam Corporations
Hiking

Guide for Paragliding Tour in Cusco

Paragliding in Cusco provides unrivalled views of the Sacred Valley and is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and adrenaline filled experiences you can have in the region. But before you go ahead and book yourself on a paragliding tour, it is important that you understand some basics about adventures involving paragliding in Cusco. At […]

Peru Travel Agencies, Companies and Direct Tour Operators.
Hiking

Peru Travel Agencies, Companies and Direct Tour Operators.

It’s a given that you will want to choose one of the best Companies for your tour in Peru and Machu Picchu in 2024 or 2025. One with a good reputation, that fits your budget, and that offers the style of tour or trek you really want (simple or luxury, two, three or four-day itineraries, […]

Sam Corporations

Why Choose SAM CORPORATION

Local Peruvian Company

Our company is 100% locally owned. We directly contribute to economic development and environmental sustainability in Peru.

Service Quality

The quality of our service is one of our most important values which demands all our effort, determination, and courage to be successful in what we are doing and the services we provide

Responsible travel

We aim to have a positive impact in all the areas that we visit. Through our training sessions and social projects, we empower women, indigenous communities and children

Small Personalized Groups

Our groups never exceed 10 people, giving you a personalized tour in our small comfortable vans

100% Customised Itinerary

Interested in visiting only specific destinations? No problem, all our packages can be fully customized to suit your budget and schedule. Contact our travel advisors to plan the most comprehensive trip of a lifetime.

Community and Environment

We commit socially and culturally to the community and adapt our business strategies to the preservation of the environment

  • 100% Locally owned and operated.
  • Best Tour guides & trip leaders.
  • Quality-Touch & Personalized service
  • Highest quality, name brand equipment.
  • All Inclusive Tours with no hidden fees.
  • Sustainable Prctice and responsible travel.
  • Safety conscious with first aid training annually.
  • Unique Tours & Trekking routes
  • Customized Tours & Packages forFair and kind travel.
  • Personalized Attention with the Most Dedicated Team
  • Giving back to our local communities
Why Choose SAM CORPORATION

Quality

Why Choose SAM CORPORATION

100% Customised itinerary

Contact our travel advisors to plan the most complete trip of your life.

Easy communication

Simplified ease of communication, text us on WhatsApp, email or call us.

Professional and experienced

Our guides are local and have vast knowledge in Peruvian culture and history.

Local peruvian company

100% local company. Development and environmental sustainability

Small personalized groups

Our groups never exceed 10 people, giving you an unforgettable experience

Memorable trips

Discover an exceptional journey where perfection meets adventure.