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Tres Cruces viewpoint: how to get to the Balcon de Oriente

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Tres Cruces viewpoint: how to get to the Balcon de Oriente

There is nothing more beautiful than seeing the sunrise on the horizon, making every second of your life worthwhile and being able to enjoy this wonderful natural phenomenon that occurs at the "Beautiful Mirador de Tres Cruces de Paucartambo in Cusco".

What is the Tres Cruces de Oro viewpoint?

Tres Cruces de Oro is a natural observatory on top of a mountain from where you can have a panoramic view of the sunrise in the jungle of Cusco: a spectacle that offers an unusual beauty in the world. It is also recognized as the 'most beautiful sunrise in the world'. The mountain where you can see this show is called 'Akhanacu'.

It is also known as the 'Balcony of the East' because the Manu National Park extends from there in the jungle of Peru.

During the months of May, June and July at the Tres Cruces de Oro viewpoint you can see the sunrise from 5 a.m. until 6 a.m. It is a natural spectacle.

In addition, you will be able to observe a jungle landscape below the natural viewpoint and in the sky a great variety of colors and cloudscapes, caused by the sun before rising.

What is the white lightning phenomenon?

In Tres Cruces de Oro the so-called 'White Lightning' happens. This natural phenomenon occurs when the sun appears on the horizon and light passes through the humid atmosphere. The result is a kind of mirage, where the sun is distorted in a very special way.

The effect is that of three suns, one of which jumps from one side to the other. It is known that this strange phenomenon only occurs in two places in the world: Japan and Cusco.

The white ray can be seen best at the winter solstice (June 20, 21 or 22). However, you are not always lucky. If the sky is very cloudy, you will only see the sky.

Location:

The beautiful Mirador de Tres Cruces is located 2 hours and 30 minutes from the province of Paucartambo and 4 hours from the city of Cusco, exactly at the entrance of the Manú National Park. 

'Tres Cruces' viewpoint Paucartambo

Climate:

Being located in one of the provinces of Cusco, it has two well-defined seasons, the rainy season, between the months of November to March, and the dry season, between the months of April to October. 

Altitude:

The "Beautiful Mirador de Tres Cruces de Paucartambo in Cusco", is located at 4,000 m.a.s.l. / 3.28 ft 

Temperature:

The average temperature in the beautiful Mirador de Tres Cruces de Paucartambo in Cusco, in the dry season is 4º C, rises to 13ºC and can drop to -1ºC. 

Best Season:

The best season to witness the sunrise is between the months of May to July, at the dawn of the winter solstice or full moon nights. Many people come to this place on the festivity of the Virgen del Carmen. 

The most recommended season to visit this place is between the months of May, June and July, recommending above all the full moon nights and on dates close to the festivities of the Virgen del Carmen that are celebrated from July 15 to 18. 

Description:

The beautiful Mirador de Tres Cruces de Paucartambo, is one of the only two places in the world that allows you to fly in your imagination, after seeing the sun rise on the horizon. This natural phenomenon called "White Lightning" occurs when light passes through the humid atmosphere and is distorted as if it were passing through a prism. 

The effect that emerges is that of three suns, one of which jumps from one side to the other. This occurs during the sunrises of the winter solstice between the months of June and July. Therefore, it is recommended to reach this place during the dry season. 

Sunrise is the perfect scene for photography lovers, here you can use the long exposure technique, and the wait time, believe me, it will be worth it! 

How to get to the Tres Cruces Viewpoint in Paucartambo?

It all starts in the province of Paucartambo in the Cusco region, along the road that leads to the Manú National Park. From here, you climb to 4,000 meters above sea level to witness the sunrise, known as "Balcony of the East". It should be remembered that it is one of only two places in the world where this phenomenon can be witnessed. 

First Option: Own Account

If you decided to travel on your own, the first thing you should do is take a bus at the Control bus stop in the San Jerónimo district or at Av. Diagonal Angamos in the center of the city of Cusco. Tickets vary between 20 to 25 soles per person. Yes, you travel during the festival of the Virgen del Carmen, it is recommended to leave very early on July 15, to avoid crowds and to settle in with peace of mind. The approximate distance is 109 km and 04 hours of travel. 

Once you have arrived in Paucartambo, you must take another car or collective car to the Abra de Acjanaco, which is 45 km away, where you can enjoy the sunrise.

Second Option: Tour Operator

This second option is definitely the one that best suits you, since the tour operator you hire will be in charge of all the planning of your activities to reach the "Beautiful Mirador de Tres Cruces de Paucartambo in Cusco", many of the operators in their packages include transportation , food and a professional guide. 

Recommendations:

  • Always be aware of personal things
  • Do not forget to bring personal documents
  • Bring warm clothes to wait for sunrise at the Mirador de Tres Cruces in Paucartambo.
  • Bring extra money, preferably in Peruvian soles
  • For the day wear a hat and sunscreen (apply every 2 hours)

More information about the Tres Cruces de Oro viewpoint

The viewpoint is located in a protected area. It is not allowed to uproot plants and disturb the animals that inhabit the place.

In mid-July, Paucartambo celebrates the festivity of the Virgen del Carmen. During this festival, various artistic presentations and gastronomic festivals are held. The whole town is infected with joy.

Many people take advantage of the July festivities of the 'mamacha del Carmen' to get to know the chullpas of Ninamarca. By the way, they meet Three Golden Crosses and the most beautiful sunrise in the world.

Some tours choose to camp near the viewpoint to appreciate the very early sunrise. It is also possible to camp without a tour. The only recommendation is to dress warmly enough and bring the right equipment.

Sunrise at Tres Cruces de Oro lasts from 4:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to 5.30 a.m. Some days may be cloudy preventing viewing. This happens more often during the rainy season (November to March). 

Paucartambo, the Manu and other tourist attractions of Cusco

The Tres Cruces de Oro viewpoint is not the only tourist attraction in the area. You can also visit other sites in Paucartambo and the Manu National Park: 

In Paucartambo – There are several pre-Inca and Inca sites in the area: the Watoqto archaeological complex, the Ninamarca chullpas, the Mauk Allaqta archaeological complex and the Kosñipata petroglyphs.

In Manu – The Manu National Park is located on the border of the departments of Cusco and Madre de Dios. The most important attractions are the Pusharo historical cultural area (cost 50 Peruvian soles) and the Manu River area (cost 150 soles). 

Other beautiful sunrises in Peru

In addition to the Tres Cruces de Oro viewpoint, Peru has other places with beautiful sunrises: 

Lake Titicaca in Puno – Lake Titicaca is the highest lake in the world. The sunrises there are spectacular. The landscape itself is incredible. There are many floating islands where you can appreciate this spectacle.

The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve in Loreto – This incredible place is located in an extensive territory of the Peruvian jungle, in the department of Loreto. There are tours of several days to appreciate the sunrises in this place full of flora and fauna.

Machu Picchu in Cusco – The Wonder of the World is also a perfect setting to appreciate the most beautiful sunrises in the world. Many tourists line up to be among the first people to enter the Inca City at 6 a.m. At that time, the sunrise in Machu Picchu is an incomparable spectacle.

Best Tours in Peru

Many are the routes that take you to Machu Picchu, but none is like the Inca Trail Tours, the most famous pedestrian path in the Americas. After flying from the capital of Perú, Lima, you will arrive in Cusco to walk for four days along a path through forests and dense fog, millenary stone steps and discovering the ruins of ancient fortifications and Inca cities, and all the time enjoying majestic views. 

If you want to visit Machu Picchu, we recommend you to book your Machu Picchu Ticket in advance, so you will enjoy your Vacation in Machu Picchu without any problem. 

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