Once the heart of the Incan empire, the city of Cusco is one of Peru’s most captivating treasures.
Are you a fan of llamas? Silly question, who isn’t? They’re fluffy, their faces are filled with expression and they’re kind of like a camel’s hipster cousin. If you’re nodding as you read then Cusco is the place for you. The Peruvian city has long been a stop-off point for pilgrims heading to Machu Picchu, …
The land of the Incas has a lot to offer, from a rich culture to a stunning nature.
Situated on a sacred Inca site, this 16th-century cathedral took nearly 100 years to build.
Source: Cusco Cathedral
In the footsteps of Incas and conquistadors, Stephen Oryszcuk heads for Peru and finds some startling and exotic sights…
Source: High life in the Andes!
This city in the sky—near Machu Picchu—is becoming one of South America’s hottest destinations, with abundant cultural, historical, and culinary delights…
Cuzco, the center of the former Inca Empire, was voted the best city in Central and South America by Travel + Leisure readers in this year’s World’s
Do you ever get that feeling when you arrive in a place and without knowing it yet or having any tangible reason, you just like it? That’s how Cusco, Peru, felt with its orange buildings, brisk air, and mountainous surroundings.
Cusco, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the perfect jumping off point for some incredible hikes, adventurous activities, and of course, Machu Picchu. Though this Wonder of the World is what draws most people to Cusco, there’s so much more do in and around the city.
Cusco was the capital of the Incan empire in the 13th century, serving as the literal center of power, with four roads leading from Cusco to the four quarters of the empire. Today, Cusco displays a mix of Incan and Spanish architecture and history, as well as serving as the perfect starting point for several day trips and multi-day treks. Choose your own adventure below:
Cusco is considered the historical capital of Peru, thanks in large part to Incan sites of major significance like Sacsayhuamán.
Read more from source: The Best Things to Do in and Around Cusco, Peru
As the famous launching off point for many trips to Machu Picchu, Cuzco often serves as a convenient stop for travelers as they acclimate to Peru’s high altitude. At 11,000 feet, Cuzco is a wonderful place to get your body ready for trekking the Inca Trail or the Sacred Valley, but it’s also a city full of historic and modern charms.
As the oldest city in Peru and perhaps the second oldest city in South America (behind Quito, Ecuador), Cuzco’s mix of Inca and Spanish architecture, burgeoning culinary scene and world-class museums and archaeology sites make it a destination worth exploring.
Visit archeological sites
Saqsaywamán, an UNESCO World Heritage Site thought to have been the historic capital of the Inca Empire, overlooks all of Cuzco. The oldest sections of the site are believed to have been built by the Kilke culture, predating the Inca; the Inca later turned the site into a fortress. Jokingly called “Sexy Woman” by the locals, the site’s walls are made of giant stones with rounded edges that fit together perfectly, without space for even a piece of paper to fit.
Almost everyone has heard of the wonder that is Machu Picchu. And rightfully so, as this is the shining point of any journey to South America. But not many know of Cuzco, 50 miles (80 km) southeast of the Inca citadel in the mountains. Thanks to Marnella, the supplier sponsor of this article, Cuzco, as well as Machu Picchu, will be on your travel radar.
Cuzco is located in the southeastern area of Peru. It sits at 11,200 ft. (3,400 m) above sea level, and is surrounded by lush mountains. Visible from the city is the picturesque Urubamba Valley (also known as the sacred valley) of the Andes mountain range. Steps lead from the city and up into areas where gorgeous ruins reside. Within the city, the colorful markets and traditional dress of the locals are truly a sight to behold.
Because Cuzco was the capital of the Inca Empire from the 13th until the 16th century, when the Spanish conquered the Incans, you’ll find cathedrals of ornate design alongside Inca temples, a mixture sure to appease a sense of eccentric aesthetic and amazement.
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.
*Heads up – this is a huge blog post so you might wanna grab yourself a cuppa tea and raid the pantry for biscuits before you start… 😄
After an amazing day in Machu Picchu, we arrived back into Machupicchu (the village – also known as Aguas Caliente) absolutely knackered and so ravenous! Like so hungry you almost feel delirious as a result of it.
Thankfully, the restaurant at the Inkaterra was serving up a storm for lunch so we stayed there, had lunch, some pisco sours and a whole lotta spa time before going to catch our train back to Cusco.
As the train journey is in the evening/at night, you get probably 1 hour or so of being able to see the beautiful mountains and countryside before journey in the darkness.