Cuzco is easily the most exciting region in Peru, and all too many visitors overlook the less well-known attractions which surround it. Quite rightly, most people choose to spend at least three days in the immediate vicinity of the city, and nearly everyone visits Machu Picchu and the other sites in the Sacred Valley - at least another two or three days gone. But with more time there are an infinite number of villages and sites left to stimulate the energetic traveller.
Chinchero, an old colonial settlement resting on Inca foundations which boasts a spectacular market, is only a few hours west, overlooking the Sacred Valley. To the south are the superb ruins of Tipon, Pikillacta, Rumicolca and Raqchi, the rustic and legendary village of Urcos as well as an admirable trekking base at Sicuani. Towards the jungle is the fiesta village of Paucartambo, while nearby Tres Cruces offers perhaps the most incredible sunrise and maybe one of the greatest panorama in the world - from the high Andes, east across the lowland Amazon basin. And even if you aren't bothered about seeing Lake Titicaca, the rail journey to Puno is one of the most soul-stirring train rides imaginable.