Cusco is a stop for anyone heading to Macchu Picchu, and this is where I spent a few days before and after going there. It’s an absolutely beautiful place to visit. It’s great to get lost in among narrow streets, you have to be mindful of altitude. It’s takes time to get acclimatized, but once you do, it fun to explore it. There are large numbers of restaurants, hotels and shops which are geared toward foreign tourists.
Cusco, also known as the Imperial City, is a city in southeastern Peru that was once the capital of the mighty Inca Empire. Located in the Andes mountains, it is a popular tourist destination due to its rich history and cultural heritage.
The city of Cusco was founded by the Incas in the 12th century and was the center of their empire. The Incas were skilled architects and engineers, and they built many impressive structures in the city, including the Temple of the Sun, the palace of the Inca rulers, and the fortress of Sacsayhuaman.
One of the most famous landmarks in Cusco is the Cathedral of Santo Domingo, which was built on the site of the Temple of the Sun. The cathedral is a beautiful example of Spanish colonial architecture, with its ornate carvings and gilded altars.
Despite its rich history, Cusco has faced many challenges over the years. In the 16th century, the city was conquered by the Spanish, who brought with them their own culture and religion. This led to the destruction of many of the Inca temples and the construction of new buildings in the Spanish style.
Cusco also suffered from a series of earthquakes in the 19th and 20th centuries, which damaged many of its historic buildings. However, the city has been rebuilt and restored, and many of its historic landmarks have been preserved. Today, Cusco is a vibrant city that is home to a mix of cultures. It is a popular destination for tourists, who come to see its historic landmarks and learn about its rich history. The city is also known for its vibrant nightlife and delicious cuisine, which blends elements of both Inca and Spanish traditions.
One of the best ways to explore Cusco is to take a walking tour of the city. This will allow you to see the city’s historic landmarks, as well as its more modern areas. Some of the must-see sights in Cusco include the Plaza de Armas, the San Blas neighbourhood, and the San Pedro Market. The Plaza de Armas is the main square in Cusco, and it is surrounded by some of the city’s most important buildings, including the Cathedral of Santo Domingo and the Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús. The square is a popular gathering place for locals and tourists alike, and it is a great place to people-watch and take in the sights and sounds of the city.
The San Blas neighbourhood is located just north of the Plaza de Armas and is known for its cobbled streets and colourful buildings. It is a picturesque area that is home to many art galleries and workshops. The San Pedro Market is another must-see in Cusco, as it is the largest market in the city and offers a wide variety of fresh produce and local crafts. In addition to its historic landmarks and vibrant culture, Cusco is also known for its natural beauty. The city is surrounded by the Andes mountains, which offer many opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking and mountain biking. The nearby Sacred Valley is also worth a visit, as it is home to many beautiful villages and archaeological sites.
One of the most popular attractions near Cusco is Machu Picchu, the famous Inca citadel that is located about 50 miles from the city. The site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. To get to Machu Picchu, you can take a train from Cusco or hike the Inca Trail, which is a popular trek that takes several days to complete. I took a train there and my health was not allowing me to hike the Inca Trail. There were a few people from my group who did it, regretting it later. It’s not for everyone and you need to be in a very physical condition.
Thanks for visiting and reading. Please do not steal images from the website. All images are watermarked and copyrighted. Feel free to engage by leaving a comment below. Until next time.
PS. There are a lot more photographs from Cusco in Peru, so if you are interested I put together a little silent photo slideshow below:
Here are 10 lesser-known facts about Cusco, Peru:
- Cusco was the capital of the Inca Empire, which ruled over much of South America before the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century.
- The city was originally known as Qosqo in the Quechua language, which means “navel of the world.”
- Cusco is located in the Andes mountains at an altitude of 3,399 meters (11,152 feet) above sea level, making it one of the highest cities in the world.
- The city has a rich history and is home to many important archaeological sites, including the nearby Machu Picchu.
- The central plaza of Cusco, called the Plaza de Armas, was the site of many important events in Inca and colonial history, including the coronation of the last Inca emperor, Atahualpa.
- Cusco is home to many impressive examples of Inca stonework, which were constructed without the use of mortar and have withstood centuries of earthquakes and other natural disasters.
- The city is also known for its vibrant markets, where visitors can buy local handicrafts, textiles, and other goods.
- Cusco is home to many festivals and celebrations throughout the year, including the Inti Raymi festival in June, which celebrates the winter solstice and honours the Inca sun god, Inti.
- The city is a popular destination for adventure tourism, with opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and river rafting in the surrounding area.
- Cusco is also home to a number of excellent restaurants, serving traditional Peruvian cuisine as well as international dishes, and is known for its coffee and chocolate.