While Cusco and Machu Picchu are must see destinations for a first trip to Peru you need to know more about the greatest city of Cusco which is your mandatory stop before traveling to Machu Picchu. Cusco’s richest history baptized it in different ways (Qusqu o Qosqo) in quechua and then it was necessary to translate its name in Spanish. This mysterious sacred city was considered the capital of the Tahuantinsuyo Empire with countless historical and architectural legacy. It is surrounded by greenish valleys and impressive tourist attractions, with its culture, tradition and faith, is also known as the navel of the world because it was the political and territorial center of the Inca Empire. The Department of Cusco shows us a stunning geographical variety from mountain ranges even rivers like Urubamba.
The ancient Inca Capital is said to have been founded around AD 1100, and since then it has developed into a major commercial and tourism centre of 2750,00 inhabitants most of whom are Quechua speakers. The city council has designated Qosqo (Cusco in Quechua) as the offcial dialect.
Is located in the Andes mountain range at 3,399 m above sea level, it was declared the Historical Capital of Peru. It was compared with other places like Choquequirao, Sacsayhuaman, Qenko, Tambomachay, Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu because it is an architectural jewel because of the way the Incas built it using stones. The city served as a political, religious and administrative center.
The department of Cusco also has different tourist attactions like Sacred Valley, considered the best corn production center; Barrio de San Blas, also known as “El Barrio de los artesanos”, Paucartambo, town in which Andean culture is still alive among others.
Today colonial churches, monasteries and convents and extensive precolombian ruins are interspersed with countless hotels, bars and restaurants that cater the hundreds of thousands of visitors. Almost every central street has remains of Inca walls, arches and doorways; the perfect Inca stones work now serves as the foundations for more modern dwellings. This stonework is tapered upwards (battered): every wall has a perfect line of inclination towards the centre, from bottom to top.The curved stonework of the temple of the Sun, for example, is probably unique in the world.
Cusco is considered one of the most ancient cities of the continent. The name Qosqo in Quechua means "The earth's navel" There are many myths about the creation of the city. However, it is know that the city existed before the Inca empire (5000 BC). the Spanish foundation of the city took place in 1534. Later it was the seat of the first Bishop of the South America and the center of a great cultural activity. In Cusco, had one of the most outstanding art school of the worls: the Escuela Cusqueña. The basic characteristicof the city is its perfect blend of the urban with the pre-colombian monuments. Among the most outstanding places, is the Qoricancha temple, which is located near the Main square. This was the center of the cult to the Sun God or Inti. On top of this temple, the Spanish built the Santo Domingo convent. The Cathedral and La Merced Churches are some of the Spanish legacy.
Lots of history blended in one city, you will see walls made of stone, handicrafts stores, the 12 angle stone and its perfection, the Cathedral and other interesting places to visit.
Walking along the streets of the city, there are wonderful places to visit like the craftsmen village known as San Blas. Its temple is a magnificent piece of Colonial art. In and out of Cusco there are wonderful things to see, for example, in the center of the city are the Sacsayhuaman ruins or the complex of Ollantaytambo and the towns of Pisaq and Calca. And of course Machu Picchu a splendid city. There are also religious festivities that you can enjoy such as the Procession of Corpus Christi or the Inti Raymi. Come to Cusco. Nothing you have ever done is even close to a visit to Cusco. Visit us and experience its magic, you won’t regret it.