With everything going on in the world, visiting country versus city destinations may be just what the doctor ordered. With fewer people, plenty of fresh, clean air, and incredible vistas, the countryside around Cusco. Here are just a few ways to enjoy your visit to the campo when you are able to make your way to Peru!
On the Trail
There are few places more remote than on a trail in the middle of the Andes. Many of these trails – from the famous Inca Trail to the smaller footpaths through the mountains – were created in the time of the Incas as part of the greater network of roads known as the Qhapaq Ñan, connecting all four corners of the Inca Empire. There are many options to choose from, from multi-day hikes such as the canyon road to Choquequirao or the high-altitude Salkantay Trek to one of many day hikes, including the Sacred Valley hikes through the Patacancha valley or from Chinchero to Urquillos, or the more distant visit to the colored mountains of Palccoyo. No matter which option you choose, these trails will take you through breathtaking scenery along ancient roads… and away from the crowds.
Another option to get away from people while having a great experience would be one of the many adventure activities available. You can mountain bike in the Sacred Valley out far away from anyone, enjoying some of the best scenery Peru has to offer. Or you can get your heart pumping in the rushing waters of the Sacred or South Valley rivers. You could also explore the Sacred Valley leisurely on horseback or with a rush of adrenaline on an ATV. With so many options, it’s hard to choose! Why not try them all?
Farm to Table Experience
One of the most enjoyable ways to enjoy a delicious and safer culinary experience is with a private farm-to-table lunch. You can walk through the organic chakras, or gardens/fields, to see what is growing while enjoying views of the majestic mountains surrounding you. You can then sit down to a meal prepared just for you, made with ingredients from the very chakras you just explored. With every care taken to provide you this healthy, fresh meal, you can enjoy a delicious lunch made with love for you, in the embrace of the Andes mountains.
Visit Less Well Known Sites
When coming to Peru, almost everyone visits Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley sites, with good reason. Machu Picchu is, after all, one of the Wonders of the World. Many other incredible sites are dotting the countryside, a large number of which are not as well known, and therefore not as crowded. You can find some of these sites close to Cusco – one great tour is the South Valley tour, which visits the pre-Inca (Huari) site of Pikillacta and the amazing feat of water engineering that is Tipon, whose irrigation system is still in use today by the residents below! If you’re looking for a multi-day hike that takes you to one of these lesser-visited sites, Choquequirao checks both of these boxes. This 5-day hike takes you to the remote site of Machu Picchu’s little sister, also known as the ‘Cradle of Gold.’ It is a challenging hike, as it takes two days to get to the site, one full day to explore (it’s actually bigger than Machu Picchu!), and then two days for the return hike. It is well worth the effort, though, and because of its remoteness, you will share the experience with very few people.
These are just a few ideas of activities that you can experience in the campo near Cusco, which will get you out of the crowded city and into the peace of the country. While there will be times that you will be in busier areas such as Machu Picchu and Cusco (all with proper measures taken, of course), adding a few of these activities to your trip to your itinerary will not only give you incredible memories to take home with you, but also some peace of mind.