Cusco is the most visited city of Peru by foreign tourists. You are surely asking yourself what you can visit in Cusco.
Cusco was the centre of the Inca culture, so it has a lot of places to know. Besides, as it is located in the Peruvian Andes, it has incredibly beautiful landscapes and the type of geography that allows its visitors to do adventure sports. Cusco still preserves its living culture, the locals are willing to show you more of their way of living, art, work, and more.
In this article I’ll tell you about the most relevant places you should visit in Cusco, later, I’ll write about the places you should visit around the city, experience-based tourism and adventure tourism.
Sit on a bench in the main square to rest and watch people passing by. Then, you can visit the cathedral and the Compañía churches that are at the square, see the wonderful architecture and art that these churches preserve.
If you are already acclimatized to the altitude, walk towards the Triunfo street on the right side of the cathedral until you get to the twelve-angled stone. This stone is a sample of the perfection with which the Incas fit the stones when they built their walls. Know more about the Inca walls HERE.
Some blocks ahead, you’ll arrive at the San Blas square. San Blas is a bohemian and very colourful neighbourhood. Since it is at a high point of the city, the view is unique. I recommend you choose a cafe or restaurant with a balcony to have refreshing drink and relax with a postcard-like landscape view.
All these places can be visited in half a day, always taking it easy to avoid altitude sickness.
Visiting the Korikancha or temple of the Sun is also a must. When the Spaniards arrived to conquer Peru, they built churches over the adoration temples of the Incas during the evangelization process. On the Korikancha temple’s façade we can clearly see the different types of construction. On the lower part, the Inca walls, and on top the Santo Domingo church with colonial architecture.
About 20 minutes from Cusco by car, there are four ceremonial temples with hydraulic engineering systems that are worth visiting.
Sacsayhuaman is an Inca fortress where the Incas carried out worship ceremonies. You’ll be amazed by its architecture and its walls built with five-meter-tall stones.
The Qenqo archaeological complex is a few minutes walking from Sacsayhuaman. This complex was severely destroyed by the Spaniards. It can be deduced by its remains that it was a very important place for the Incas where the sun, moon, mountains and land were worshipped.
Tambomachay was a temple to worship water and where the potentate from the Inca empire could rest. There, you will be able to see the engineering the Incas used to transport water with such precision that it still works.
Lastly, on this route you will find Puca Pucara, a military Inca complex that comprises big walls, terraces and staircases that were part of a fortress to defend the Inca territory.
Needless to say, Cusco city is a place to walk and wander through its streets and alleys. You will find on every corner traces of pre-Hispanic remains, museums that you might find interesting, convents, churches, mansions, etc.
Try and savour its gastronomy prepared with local ingredients such as quinoa, kiwicha, alpaca, guinea pig, several types of potato and different aromatic herbs that give the food a unique and delicious taste.
I’ll be back soon to tell you more about this magical city. On the following LINK you can see some suggested travel packages that you can take to visit the Imperial City of Cusco.
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