La Ruta del Sol: stops, schedules and curiosities

chimboya mountain on the itinerary along the ruta del sol

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The Ruta del Sol route offers some of the best views of Peru, being a journey where you can enjoy wonderful landscapes, magical places and much of the ancient history that Peru has.

Today we talk about the itinerary of the Ruta del Sol between Cusco and Puno, and we tell you what are the stops and schedules to make this wonderful route.

What is the Ruta del Sol

The Ruta del Sol in Peru consists of a bus trip through the Andes. Generally, the point of origin is Cusco, although it can also be done in reverse.

It will be a perfect option if you have already done the tour to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, and you are on your way to the excursion by Lake Titicaca, or if you do the tour in the opposite direction.

Departure is at approximately 7:00 a.m. and arrival at 5:00 p.m., passing through places of great tourist interest. As it can be done in one direction or the other, it is a perfect tour to adapt to your Peru itinerary.

views mountain in ruta del sol

Places like the chapel of Andahuaylillas or the archaeological complex of Raqchi are two of the stops you will find on the itinerary to Puno. In addition, you will be able to stop at a restaurant to enjoy regional food.

The service includes an English-Spanish bilingual guide, both during the bus ride and at the stops and visits.

Also offered onboard the bus service of typical drinks of the area both hot and cold such as Mate de Coca, Anise tea or Mate de Manzanilla, and the tasting of the famous Pan de Oropesa, in addition to the buffet lunch at the Restaurant La Pascana.

Itinerary of the Ruta del Sol

ruta del sol itinerary howlanders

Chapel of Andahuaylillas

The first stop is the Chapel of Andahuaylillas, at 3,093 meters above sea level, also called “the Sistine Chapel of America” due to the large number of works of art that decorate its walls. Built in the Seventeenth Century by the religious order of the Jesuits and whose purpose was to evangelize the indigenous peoples.

Its murals in gold leaf and its paintings of the Cusco school make it a unique space, however, in order to preserve these spaces no photos or videos are allowed. The entrance fee to access the church is about 15 soles (4€ approx).

façade with paintings in the andahuaylillas chapel

Raqchi archaeological complex

The next stop is the archaeological complex of Raqchi, at about 3,450 meters above sea level and also known as the Temple of the God Wiracocha.

The archaeological park was built in different periods. It is believed to have been built during the reign of the Inca Wiracocha, the rule of Pachacútec and the last period dominated by the Inca Túpac Yupanqui. This has approximately one thousand hectares and in it we can find constructions such as aqueducts, subway tombs and enclosures of the pre-Inca culture.

archaeological ruins in raqchi

The most remarkable is the Temple to Wiracocha, the largest Inca Temple, the Statue, the Enclosures, the Colcas and finally the Bath of the Inca and the Usno.

The price to access the complex is 15 soles (4 € approx) and it is recommended to wear hats to protect you from the sun.

Sicuani

Although it is not a cultural stop as such, is there anything more traditional than stopping to eat the typical food of this area?

At this third stop, you will eat at the restaurant La Pascana. It is located just outside the town of Sicuani and features a great variety of typical Peruvian national and regional food. Hot drinks are included in the price, however cold drinks are not included.

Paso de la Raya

The trip continues through Paso de la Raya, the border between Cusco and Puno at 4,335 meters above sea level located over the Andres Mountains, where the Amazon River rises.

It is known for its picturesque sloping hillsides and landscapes where you can take pictures. At this stop the temperatures are somewhat lower so it is recommended to wear a coat.

views of a mountain in paso de la raya peru

Pukara Lithic Museum

Before reaching the end of the trip, the last stop will be made to visit the Pukara Lithic Museum at 3,900 meters above sea level.

Here you can find pottery and sculptures of animal figures. Among them you can find the famous sculpture of the Hatunñaqac, which translated from Quechua would be the “supreme slaughterer“. The entrance fee is 10 soles (3€ approx). Inside the museum, it is not allowed to take pictures or record videos.

Finally, after making all the visits scheduled in the tour, we arrive in Puno, the final destination of this great one-day adventure.

Ruta del Sol departure times

For convenience, below in the table, we show you the arrival and departure times and the duration of the visits.

Route of the Sun itinerary from Cusco to Puno

FROM CUSCO TO PUNO

Arrival Departure Duration of the visit
Cusco 7:00 am
Andahuaylillas 8:50 am 9:30 am 40 mins
Raqchi 10:50 am 11:30 am 40 mins
Sicuani 11:45 am 12:30 pm 45 mins
La Raya 1:10 pm 1:20 pm 10 mins
Pukura 2:30 pm 3:00 pm 30 mins
Puno 5:00 pm

Route of the Sun itinerary from Puno to Cusco

FROM PUNO TO CUSCO

Arrival Departure Duration of the visit
Puno 7:00 am
Pukara 9:30 am 10:00 am 30 mins
La Raya 11:10 am 11:20 am 10 mins
Sicuani 12:30 am 1:15 pm 45 mins
Raqchi 1:30 pm 2:10pm 40 mins
Andahuaylillas 3:20 pm 4:00 pm 40 mins
Cusco 5:00 pm

Did you already know about this trip through the Peruvian Andes? What do you think of the Ruta del Sol itinerary? Would you add any more sites to this tour?

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