Former capital city of the Incas, Cusco is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Americas and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ruins of the old Inca city became the foundation for the Spanish architecture you see today, and many of the stone walls that line the streets were built by the Incas. Earthquakes rocked Cusco in 1650, 1950, and 1986, and through each one, the Inca stonework on which later buildings were set survived, while the colonial and other buildings crumbled above. After each earthquake, Cusco rebuilt its churches and historical buildings.
Most tourists who come to Cusco head to Machu Picchu and the other nearby Inca centers, but it’s well worth spending some time exploring the city itself to discover its many attractions. Most are around the Plaza de Armas and surrounding streets, which is where you’ll also find restaurants, hotels, and shopping.