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Cusco travel

There is no simple way to explain the majesty of the imperial city. This captivating department gathers history, modernity and adventure with a mystique that wraps from the Cusquenian plaza de armas to the most distant attractions of the region. Fill up with energy in Moray, discover the impressive architecture of Ollantaytambo and Pisac and feel a little closer to the sky in the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. And not only that: the "navel of the world" is also full of contemporary art, an effervescent nightlife and adrenaline-filled activities in the sacred valley.

At present, people from all over the world, from all cultures, religions and socioeconomic levels are mixed in the main square of Cusco.Cusco is one of the most cosmopolitan and interesting cities in South America and is considered a World Heritage Site. Here we show you some places that you can not miss in your Cusco travel.

 

Cusco Travel

City of Cusco

  • Plaza de Armas of the City of Cusco: In times of the Incas it was called Haukaypata, Quechua word meaning "Place of the warrior". It was an important ceremonial place where the Inti Raymi Peru or Sun Gate was celebrated every year.
  • Cathedral of the City of Cusco: In the facade and interior dominates the Renaissance style, with an interior decoration very rich in carvings in cedar and alder. Also, it conserves an important collection of paintings of the Cusco school and objects of embossed silver. (Visiting hours: Monday to Sunday 10:00 - 18:00 and holidays 10:00 - 18:00 h.)
  • Temple of the Company of Jesus: The original temple was built in 1571 on the grounds of the old Amarucancha, palace of the Inca Huayna Cápac. After the earthquake of 1650 it had to be rebuilt around 1688. (Visiting hours: Monday to Friday from 9:00 - 17:15 / Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 - 11:00 and from 1:00 - 5:15 p.m.)
  • San Blas Neighborhood: It is characterized by its narrow and steep streets, and its beautiful colonial style houses. It is known as the "Barrio de los Artesanos" because here you can see many museums, workshops, craft shops, as well as presentations of typical dances and live music on weekends.
  • Temple of San Blas: Founded in 1560 during the Colony, it conserves a Baroque pulpit that constitutes a masterpiece of work and carving of wood, attributed to the indigenous artist Juan Tomas Tuyru Túpac. (Visiting hours: Monday to Sunday and holidays 8:00 - 18:00 h)
  • Temple and Convent of La Merced: The temple, of Baroque style, was built between 1657 and 1680. The sacristy keeps its most precious treasure: an impressive custody in gold and precious stones of 1.3 m high and 22 kg of weight, crowned by a large pearl in the shape of a mermaid. It is considered the second largest in the world. (Hours of operation: Monday to Saturday from 08:00 h to 12:00 h and from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.)
  • Temple and Convent of Santo Domingo / Qorikancha: According to the chroniclers, the Qorikancha was one of the most impressive buildings of the Inca Cusco: it shielded in its interior whole walls covered with sheets of gold because it was the main temple of the Sun God. (Visiting hours : Monday to Saturday 08:30 - 17:30 h / Sundays and holidays: 14:00 - 17:00 h.)
  • Museum and Convent of Santa Catalina: Its architecture corresponds to the last stages of the Renaissance and is characterized by its arches of Roman style. It has exhibitions of painting, textiles, wood carvings and colonial altarpieces. (Visiting hours: Monday to Saturday from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm / Sunday from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.)
  • Archiepiscopal Palace: The Archiepiscopal Palace is a virreinal construction of Arab influence, which was built on the bases of the palace of Inca Roca. It is currently the headquarters of the Museum of Religious Art. (Visiting hours: Monday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.).
  • Stone of the Twelve Angles: Hatunrumiyoc Street highlights the "Stone of the Twelve Angles", famous for the perfect work and assembly of its corners. Inka Museum: It houses an important archaeological collection of the Inca culture, as well as the cultures that preceded it in the territory of the Tahuantinsuyo empire. Includes pieces of ceramics, gold, textiles and mummies. (Visiting hours: Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm / Saturdays and holidays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.)
  • House of the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega: The Inca Garcilaso de la Vega was the son of the Spanish captain Garcilaso de la Vega y Vargas and the Cuzco princess Chimpu Ocllo. The house is currently the headquarters of the Regional Historical Museum. (Visiting hours: Monday to Sunday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.)
  • Museum of Pre-Columbian Art: The house that houses the museum was the home of the conqueror Alonso Díaz in 1580, as well as Count Cabrera in 1850. It gathers, in its 11 rooms, 450 works dating from 1250 BC. C. to 1532 d. C. (Visiting hours: Monday to Sunday and holidays from 8:00 - 22:00 h.)
  • Machu Picchu Museum of Casa Concha: Machu Picchu Museum exhibits more than 360 pieces that were returned by the University of Yale to Peru in 2013, as ceramic vessels, funerary contexts, objects of stonework and metal. All these pieces were found during the exploration works of Hiram Bingham. (Visiting Hours: Monday to Friday from 8:00 - 5:00 p.m. / Saturdays and holidays from 9:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.)
  • Museum of Contemporary Art: Here are exhibited paintings, ceramics, sculptures and other works of art belonging to renowned national and foreign artists of contemporary art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. (Visiting hours: Monday to Saturday from 9:00 - 18:00 h.)
  • Museum of Popular Art: Popular art pieces of the region are exhibited. The museum, founded in 1937, has numerous pieces of imagery, ceramics, crafts, carvings in wood and stone. It also presents an extensive collection of dolls. (Visiting hours: Monday to Sunday from 9:00 - 18:00 h.)
  • Monument to the Inca Pachacuteq: Lithic construction with cylindrical base, on which rests the bronze sculpture with a total height of 33.90 meters. The monument is an observatory of the modern city of Cusco. It is located in the Pachacuteq oval s / n. (Visiting hours: Monday to Saturday from 9:00 - 7:00 p.m. and Sundays from 8:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.)
  • Qosqo Center for Native Art: The Qosqo Center presents daily folkloric music and dance performances from various provinces, districts and communities of Cusco. As well as a museum of typical costumes and musical instruments. (Visiting hours: Monday to Sunday from 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.)

Archaeological Complex of Sacsayhuaman

The complex covers 33 archaeological sites. The best known is Saqsayhuaman, it is presumed that its construction was of a religious nature, but because of its location and style it was considered by the Spaniards and chroniclers as a military building.

 

Qenko Archaeological Complex

Qenko or Labyrinth is considered a sacred place. It is presumed that ceremonies were performed in honor of the Sun, the Moon and the stars. On the outside there is a semicircular amphitheater with trapezoidal niches and a monolith that simulates a puma, which measures six meters.

 

Pukara Pukara Archaeological Complex

The complex has numerous enclosures, interior plazas, aqueducts, watchtowers and roads. It would have served as a tambo or place of rest and lodging. According to it is counted, every time that the Inca was arranged to visit Tambomachay, was accompanied by a great retinue that was staying in Puka Pukara. By their appearance they call it a fortress.

 

Archaeological Complex of Tambomachay

Tambomachay would have fulfilled an important religious function linked to water and to the regeneration of the earth. The place has an extension of approximately half a hectare and the material used for its construction was limestone with polygonal style rigging.

 

Archaeological Complex of Raqchi

It is considered by the chroniclers as one of the most audacious Inca constructions. It dates from the 15th century. Stresses the Wiracocha Temple, with 100 m long and 20 m wide. It is composed of adobe walls supported on foundations of volcanic stone.

The complex also includes an area of housing for the Inca nobility and dozens of circular deposits for the storage of food.

 

South Valley

  • Oropesa town: Oropesa is traditionally known as the Land of Bread. In the place there are numerous homemade ovens dedicated to the production of a tasty giant bread called chuta.
  • Town of Huasao: In this town you can also find Huasadal de Huasao, where you can see the flora and fauna of the area, as well as characters from blockbuster movies such as Guardians of the Galaxy and The Lord of the Rings.
  • Archaeological Center of Pikillaqta: Pre-Inca city whose apogee is estimated between the years 800 and 1 100 d. C., in the period corresponding to the development of the Huari regional confederation. It constituted the entrance door to the Sacred City of the Incas. It has large straight streets and long blocks of rectangular buildings.
  • Tipon Archaeological Complex: According to the legends, Tipón is one of the royal gardens that Wiracocha ordered to build. It consists of twelve terraces flanked by perfectly polished stone walls and huge terraces, canals and ornamental waterfalls that, with the flora of the place, offer an impressive landscape.
  • Humedal de Lucre - Huacarpay: It is one of the most important ecosystems of Cusco. Due to its great biological diversity, resident, migratory and occasional birds are appreciated. This wetland provides a large amount of food and shelter to various species of endangered and endemic birds. It has been possible to identify more than 120 species of birds during most of the year.
  • Iglesia de Santiago Apóstol: The church of Santiago Apóstol is a beautiful stone construction where you can find an extraordinary mural known as "The Baptism of Christ".

Sacred Valley of the Incas

Archaeological Park of Pisac: It is constituted by groups of archaeological remains among which stand platforms, aqueducts, roads associated with walls and portals, channeled water channels, cemeteries and bridges.

Chinchero Archeological Center: This site presents exceptional lithic expressions due to the monumentality and development of its architecture. It was built by Tupac Inca Yupanqui in 1480. Archaeological Ensemble of Ollantaytambo: It was built during the Inca period as a fortified area that includes a temple, platforms and an urban sector. Two sectors can be distinguished: one denominated "Araqama Ayllu", zone linked to the cult and the religion; and the second "Qosqo Ayllu", a group dedicated to housing.

Archaeological Ensemble of Moray: Moray was an important agricultural research center for the domestication, acclimatization and hybridization of wild species, which were adapted for human consumption. It is believed that each terrace reproduces the climatic conditions of different ecological zones, where 60% of vegetable species, three thousand varieties of potatoes, corn, etc. were produced.

Salineras de Maras: They are salt mines whose exploitation is as old as the Tahuantinsuyo. The inhabitants channel the saline water that emanates from the ground - from a water hole called Qoripujio - to pools where, due to the effects of the sun, it evaporates, leaving on the surface the salt that is then treated for sale in the local market.

 

Viewpoint of Condors of Chonta

Discover the Condor Sight Cusco, a privileged place to contemplate the magical flight of the Andean condor, the most representative bird of the region. The condor symbolized strength, intelligence and exaltation or exaltation. It was an animal respected by all those who lived in the Andes, since it not only brought good and bad presages

 

Q'eswachaca Bridge

One of the most precious gifts that the Inca has given us is this suspension bridge that lies on the Apurímac River. Made from straw brava or ichu icho, this wonder is renewed year after year through a ritual executed by the communities of Winch'iri, Chaupibanda, Ccollana Quehue and Perccaro. Therefore, do not miss the opportunity to cross its 28 meters long which will make you live the adrenaline to the maximum in this beautiful Inca construction.

 

Historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is a thousand-year-old Inca citadel nestled in a mountain. In Machu Picchu - Peru there are temples, platforms and water channels. Its construction was built with large blocks of stone joined together, without the use of amalgam. Machu Picchu - Peru was declared a Historical and Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco in 1981 when it was recognized as an important political, religious and administrative center of the Inca period.

Its name translated into Spanish means Old Mountain. It has also been called the '' Lost City of the Incas '' because it was a mystery until it was discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911.

 

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

This incredible Inca Trail Peru treks is part of the Qhapaq Ñan network. For that reason, to travel the Inca Trail Peru treks is to observe the seasons of the year in a few days: from a moderate cold to an extreme cold, from a warm temperature to an intense heat.

The Inca Trail Peru treks departs from Cusco is a challenge for the adventurers, and as a reward for their effort is to reach Machu Picchu in a magical sunrise, when the sun's rays come down from the mountains to reveal the harmony between man and nature. The Inca Trail Peru treks is one of the most important trekking routes in South America. In the route there are numerous streams and courses of waters of glacial origin. Among the twelve archaeological monuments that can be seen include: Qoriwachayrachina, Patallaqta, Runkuraqay, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca, Intipunku, Intipata and Wiñayhuayna.

 

Choquequirao Archaeological Complex

Choquequirao, Peru could be one of the lost citadels in the valley of Vilcabamba Peru, where the Incas took refuge from 1536. The complex consists of nine stone architectural groups, with hundreds of platforms, rooms and irrigation systems The buildings are distributed around an esplanade or main square.

 

Rainbow Mountain range of Palccoyo

This mountain range is the first sister of the now famous Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain but with better accessibility. Its more than nine thousand natural hectares have a color similar to the rainbow, which gives it a cheerful and at the same time mystical atmosphere. In addition, in your journey you will appreciate a forest of stones, ideal for nature lovers. This attractiveness is relatively new and many people of the region did not know it, since before it was covered by snow, which did not allow to see its coloration. However, because of global warming, the snow has disappeared and now it is possible to appreciate the range of colors that are in Palcoyo.

 

Humantay Lagoon

If your thing is to enjoy nature and trekking, this place is ideal. Humantay, is a snow-covered mountain that is part of the Andean mountain range and gives rise to the formation of this splendid lagoon that, due to its unique turquoise color, generates the interest of foreign and national visitors. The walk to the place will make you feel a sense of peace and tranquility thanks to its natural beauty that you will run into.

With a mystical air, the lagoon is visited by shamans and tourists from all over the world to leave offerings to the Pachamama, deity that represents mother Earth in the Inca culture. Through the placement of stones (apachetas), an offering is offered to the Pachamama thanking him for having successfully arrived at the lagoon, as well as for asking him to accompany them on their journey.

According to the inhabitants, the Humantay mountain is the youngest son of the Apu Salkantay, and they would be in charge of rationalizing and distributing the water that comes down from its snows to the populations that live at the foot of these impressive snowcapped mountains.

 

Ausangate Mountain

It is ideal for the practice of adventure sports, especially for those who like trekking and glacier climbing. This high Andean area is surrounded by turquoise lagoons like the Sibinicocha: a water mirror of 8 km.

The sunsets and sunrises in the vicinity of the Ausangate circuit are wonderful natural spectacles.

 

Manu National Park

The National Park has been recognized as a core area of the Biosphere Reserve in 1977 and in 1978 as a Natural World Heritage Site.

This National Park is a natural and protected area for sighting birds such as the Orinoco goose, the golden-headed quetzal, the white-throated jacamar, the Andean toucan, the gallito de las rocas (national bird of Peru), among others.

The Manu Peru amazon also protects 10% of the plant species in the world. A single hectare of the forest in the Manu Peru amazon can house more than 220 species of trees, 1 000 species of birds, 1 200 butterflies and 200 mammals. It is probably the protected park with the greatest biological diversity in the world.

In this area, not only the fauna and flora or its beautiful landscapes are of interest. In its surroundings live populations grouped in more than 30 peasant communities that maintain Quechua as their mother tongue.

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