Historic Center of Cusco
The ancient capital of the Inca empire, Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Walking through the historic center is to walk through a city laid out and designed by the Incas. When the Spanish conquerors took over the city in the 16th century, they preserved its structure, but built churches and palaces on the ruins of the temples and monuments of the Inca city. Today it is the coalition of two architectural styles that make it unique in the world. It is an opportunity to appreciate the architectural and art jewels contained within its centuries-old or ancient walls. The highlights are the Plaza de Armas, the Koricancha the Inca temple of the Sun, churches and monasteries, museums , the San Blas neighborhood and the Indian markets. The main hotels , restaurants, bars and also the commercial and banking area are located within the historic center . (Cusco: The navel of the world in the Quechua language).
the Incas’ Sacred Valley
It is the valley crossed by the Urubamba River, a short distance from the city of Cusco, where the Inca royalty had their best agricultural areas and palaces of rest, and in which various towns were founded that today are the most authentic heritage of times ancestral, such as Písac , Yúcay and Ollantaytambo , where traditions have survived the encounter with Western culture. The valley is flanked by large mountains dominated by terraces, numerous archaeological sites and bucolic landscapes. Also information about Maras and Moray . Rural tourism in Willoc and Patacancha. Hotels in the Sacred Valley of the Incas
Archaeological Sites in Cusco
From the ancient Andean cultures to the Incas, the largest and most powerful empire on the southern continent, Cusco preserves the architectural and artistic vestiges of fascinating cultures. On the outskirts of the city of Cusco there are more than 30 archaeological sites of great importance such as the Sacsayhuamán Archaeological Park , the Písac Archaeological Park, Ollantaytambo , Maras and Moray and to the south of the city of Cusco you will find Tipón , Piquillacta , Rumicolca and Raqchi the temple of Wiracocha, also Choquequirao . The Inca city of Machu Picchu .
In the surroundings of the city there are wonderful landscapes nestled between snow-capped peaks and fertile valleys, native towns such as Chinchero , or Andahuaylillas and its famous chapel, agricultural areas that preserve the Inca terraces and their people in multicolored costumes and beautiful craftsmanship. Also Paucartambo and Tres Cruces .
Sports and Adventure in Cusco
Walking through the Andes through towns with living traditions, Cusco is the ideal place for adventure sports. The Andean geography of Cusco is plagued by a large number of lagoons, snow-capped mountains of more than 6,000 meters, deep canyons, mighty rivers, bucolic valleys and picturesque towns. Cusco has excellent scenarios for mountaineering, trekking, canoeing, rafting, mountain biking, paragliding and hang gliding, balloon flights, bungee jumping, and horseback riding. Highlighting the mountain circuits such as Salkantay, Lares, Ausangate and Choquequirao and the famous Inca Trail to the Inca city of Machu Picchu .
Nature Tourism in Cusco
One of the richest ecological systems in the world such as the Manu National Park and the Historical Sanctuary of Machu Picchu , both Natural Heritage of Humanity, different ecological floors with a great variety of climates and ecosystems that offer unique places for the observation of fauna and flora. Highlights include the diversity of native orchid species, butterflies and bird watching areas that are paradises for nature lovers. In the Abra de Málaga area there are many species of endemic birds.
Art, Folklore and Festivals of Cusco
The fusion of the Inca and the Spanish have left a wide range of art in painting, music, dance, textiles, ceramics, gold and silver jewelry that can be seen in its best form in the artisan markets and in fairs in the squares. of the towns. Cusco celebrates a few hundred festivals a year ( Calendar de Fiestas ). Most of them are carried out in homage to a patron saint and are part of the Christian calendar adopted in colonial times, although they have been mixed with the magical beliefs of ancient forms of worship. The celebrations of Inti Raymi , Holy Week, Carnival, Corpus Christi, Qoyllur Rit’y, and the festival of the Lord of the Tremors have a special meaning for the people of Cuzco, becoming a great folkloric expression of their people. The cuisine of Cusco is heated in a wood-burning oven, baked clay dishes from the highlands that fuse the smells and flavors linked to the land. Meats, tubers, grains and herbs are used in a wide variety of simple but tasty dishes, including Nova-Andean Cuisine.
How to get to Cusco
The traditional ways to get to Cusco are by air, travel by bus or train. Daily flights from Lima , Arequipa , Juliaca ( Puno – Lake Titicaca ), Puerto Maldonado (Tambopata) or Pisco ( Paracas ); by train from Puno or by bus from a large number of cities, and tourist bus services with intermediate stops en route and guided tours.