When planning a vacation to Peru, Cusco is a must-visit destination. This ancient city, located in the Andean mountains, was once the capital of the Incan Empire and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With a rich history and stunning architecture, Cusco offers something for every traveler. Whether you’re interested in ancient ruins, culture, or outdoor activities, you’ll find it all in Cusco. In this article, we’ll highlight the top 5 tourist attractions in Cusco that should not be missed on your Peru tour.
No visit to Cusco is complete without a trip to Machu Picchu, one of the most iconic and visited tourist attraction in Peru. This 15th-century Incan citadel, located on a mountain ridge, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important archaeological sites in South America. Machu Picchu is a must-see for history buffs and those interested in ancient cultures. The best way to visit Machu Picchu is by taking the train from Cusco or Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes and then taking a bus up to the citadel.
You can also read: How to get to Machu Picchu
Located just outside of Cusco, Sacsayhuaman is a must-see ancient Incan ruin. The complex is made up of massive stone walls and terraces that were used for religious and military purposes. The walls are made up of enormous stones that fit together perfectly, without the use of mortar. The site offers breathtaking views of Cusco and the surrounding mountains.
Qorikancha, also known as the Temple of the Sun, was once the most important temple in the Incan Empire. The temple was dedicated to the sun god Inti and was covered in gold. The Spanish conquistadors destroyed much of the temple when they arrived in the 16th century, but the foundations and walls remain. Today, the site is home to the Santo Domingo Church, built on top of the Incan temple.
Ollantaytambo is an archaeological site located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, near Cusco. It is believed to have been built by the Incas during the late 15th century and was used as a military, religious, and agricultural center.
The site features a massive fortress made of large stones, which served as a strategic defense against potential invaders. It also includes a system of terraces and canals for agriculture, as well as a temple complex with religious and ceremonial buildings.
You may also like: 10 must-do activities in the Sacred Valley of the Incas
Pisaq is an ancient Incan ruin located about 30 minutes outside of Cusco. The site is known for its well-preserved terraces and agricultural systems, as well as its impressive stone work. Pisaq is also home to a colourful local market, where you can find traditional Peruvian textiles, crafts, and souvenirs.
One of the most impressive features of Pisac is its intricate stonework, which uses precisely cut and fitted stones without the use of mortar. The site is also notable for its panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
Today, Pisac is a popular tourist destination and is often visited as part of a larger tour of the Sacred Valley. Visitors can explore the ancient ruins, hike the terraces, and learn about the rich history and culture of the Inca civilization.
Cusco is a city that offers something for everyone, from ancient ruins to vibrant markets and beautiful architecture. When planning your Peru vacation, be sure to include these top 5 tourist attractions in your itinerary. With a rich history and stunning views, Cusco is a destination that should not be missed on your Peru tour.
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