Places to visit in Cusco
Historic Center of Cusco
San Pedro local market
Located a few blocks from the Plaza de armas of Cusco, it is a must-see destination for visitors who want a direct experience with the local people and their customs. The market of San Pedro offers a variety of local products such as fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, juices, breads, crafts and many interesting things. A place where you can buy and taste delicious and unique fruits such as custard apple, lucuma and bread Chuta.
San Blas neighborhood
Picturesque Cuzqueño neighborhood near the Plaza de Armas of Cusco, known as the neighborhood of artisans, as through its narrow streets and colonial houses painted white with blue balconies you will find many art galleries with replicas of the Cuzco school and imagery of local artists recognized worldwide. In this neighborhood there is also the famous street of Hatun Rumiyoc (large stone) where the Stone of the 12 angles is an example of the great skill of the Inca builders.
Qoricancha Temple of the Sun of the Incas
Once richly adorned with sheets of gold and silver, I house the embalmed bodies of the Inca kings dressed in their most precious jewels. Upon the arrival of the conquerors the Qoricancha was stripped of its riches and some of its enclosures were demolished to build the colonial church of Santo Domingo. But it is still possible to admire its solid stone walls witnessing a glorious past.
Located 2 Kms from the City, they are the remains and foundations of a colossal Inca construction erected during the reign of the Inca sovereign Pachacutec in the 16th century; It was a temple dedicated to the sun god and in its construction worked more than 20 thousand men to erect its walls with blocks of limestone that weigh between 80 to 100 tons, perfectly assembled. Today they are a marvel for the visitor.
Every June 24th is the stage of the Inti Raymi or Fiesta del Sol and in September the Warachicuy festival is staged. (Tests of initiation of adulthood).
Located 3 Kms from the city. It was a sacred shrine of the Inca period, built around a rocky outcrop, in whose entrails is an altar carved in stone for magical religious ceremonies of the time of Tahuantinsuyo.
7 Kms from the city Considered a control center, statistics and supply within the Inca road network.
At 8 km from the city, it would have fulfilled an important religious function linked to water and the regeneration of life. The material used for its construction was limestone with polygonal style rigging.
CHURCHES AND COVENTS
The Cathedral of Cusco
Located in the Plaza de Armas of the city, it is the architectural jewel of the colonial era, erected in the year 1559 to 1669, built on the ancient Inca palace of the Kiswarcancha, keeps inside beautiful artistic works, among them more than 300 canvases belonging to the cuzqueña school of the XVII and XVIII centuries, altars gilded to gold leaf and embossed in silver, beautiful religious images made by talented hands of indigenous people.
A powerful religious order in the colonial era built its church in the South West sector of the plaza de armas during the 17th century. It was erected on the Amarucancha, the palace of the Inca Huayna Cápac grandson of Pachacutec.
Its façade boasts a beautiful Baroque style architecture in andesite rock, inside it keeps valuable works of art such as Canvases, altars and sculpture.
- La Merced
- Santo Domingo
- San Blas
- San Francisco
- Santa Catalina
- San Cristóbal
A remarkable colonial house built in the early seventeenth century belonged to the Spanish admiral Francisco Alderete Maldonado. Hence, it is popularly known as the Casa del Almirante. The museum houses valuable historical documents and exhibits a vast collection of objects from the Pre-Inca period such as: Inca textile, Inca pottery, agricultural tools and Inca music instruments; painting and metal objects of the colonial and republican period
Museum of Pre-Columbian Art
The Pre-Columbian Art Museum (MAP) is dedicated to the exhibition of archaeological artifacts, and examples of pre-Columbian art from all regions of pre-Columbian Peru. The museum is located in the Plaza Nazarenas of Cusco, and has in permanent exhibition some 450 representative artifacts.
Garzilazo House Regional Museum
Property belonging to the illustrious chronicler Inka Garcilaso de la Vega Chimpu Ocllo, born on April 12, 1539, son of Captain Garcilazo de la Vega and Vargas and Princess Ñusta Isabel Chimpu Ocllo, Author of two important works "The Royal Commentaries" and the "Florida of the Inca". The house was built on Inca walls, a unique example of colonial architecture and Renaissance style.
The museum has 14 exhibition halls, with elements ranging from the Pleistocene, Pre-ceramic, Inca and colonial periods. It contains samples of ceramics, metal objects, colonial relics and a large sample of canvases from the Cusqueña School from the early sixteenth century to the eighteenth century, including the first works of flamenco art in Cusco and pieces belonging to Diego Quispe Tito.
Shell House Museum
The house Concha is an old important colonial mansion of Cusco. It was built on the palace of the Inca Túpac Inca Yupanqui, son of Pachacutec.
The house of Marquéz Diego Santiago de Concha y Salvatierra was built on this palace, which consists of 4 courtyards. The walls of the house are decorated with murals of San Cristóbal, the archangel San Miguel Arcángel among others.
The museum houses the collection of pieces found in Machu Picchu that were returned by Yale University.
enjoy private tours of the sacred valley and luxury tour to Machu Picchu, a trip that unites the beautiful private tours in the sacred valley y sacred valley and the Inca marvel Machu Picchu. Tours of the sacred valley start from the imperial city in the early morning and then end in either Ollantaytambo or Machu Picchu.
Located 30km from the city, it is the entrance to the famous sacred valley where the Incas erected on the mountain a magnificent citadel composed of agricultural terraces, walls, warehouses, buildings and temples linked by an Inca trail. Built neatly on cliffs and tunnels accompanied by spectacular views of the bottom of the Urubamba Valley. This beautiful citadel was erected in the fifteenth century by order of the ninth Inca king Pachacutec and had to play an important role in the Inca times due to its strategic location and the quality of its architecture in its temples.
In colonial times the Inca citadel was abandoned and its inhabitants descended to live in the current colonial town of Pisac created in the year 1572 by the Spanish regime as part of its policy of creating small towns agglomerated around a Christian church and a square central. Currently in the Plaza de Pisac every Sunday there is a Sunday fair where the indigenous communities of the heights of the sacred valley go down with their respective leaders known as varayocs to carry out their activities of exchange or exchange of their products.
It is located 60 km northwest of the city of Cusco and with a height of 2,850 meters above sea level, this impressive Inca building was erected in the fifteenth century, during the reign of the Inca Pachacutec and shows an incredible architecture in its buildings , like the Temple of the Sun, built with giant blocks of stone perfectly united crowning the mountain, and in the lower part you can see the remains of the ancient Inca citadel, composed of real buildings, cobbled streets and crossed by canals, where the water it still runs like in ancient times.
Located 67 kilometers from the city of Cusco. It is a formidable archaeological complex with circular concentric terraces built in a natural depression, taking the form of a gigantic amphitheater. These terraces formed a large agricultural laboratory, in which the ancient Peruvians experienced and obtained improvements in agricultural production, also has Andean religious significance that inspires a great mysticism, is currently also used as a center of the Ritual of offerings to the Pachamama or Mother land.
Salt mines of Maras
It is located northwest of the town of Maras consisting of more than 3000 small wells with an average area of about 5 m2 per well, during the dry season are filled or watered with salt water that emanates from a natural underground source located at the top of the wells. The process of obtaining it is by evaporation, leaving the salt solidified and, later it is hit and thus granulated; to later be bagged and sent to the market, today this salt is being iodized, which is why its consumption is not harmful. On the contrary, it is a highly recommended salt for health because of its beneficial mineral content for consumption and is known as the Pink Salt of Maras.
This town is located 28 km from Cusco on the paved road to Urubamba. Where are the remains of what was the royal hacienda of Tupac Inca Yupanqui, there is also the colonial temple built on Inca foundations. Its main attraction is its Sunday market, originally dedicated to the exchange of products between the comuneros of the valley and those of the highlands. Currently, the market is a real spectacle of color and movement that causes the fascination of the tourist with its offer of handicrafts and textiles made from the purest pre-Columbian style.
The pre-Inca Citadel of Pikillacta belonged to the Wari Empire and had as its main center the department of Ayacucho covering the area of Cusco. The citadel of Pikillacta was built around 750 AD. and it stands out for the harmonic and symmetrical distribution of its buildings separated by perfectly aligned streets and distributed by sectors, such as its main square, its urban and religious area as well as having a system of well-organized roads. Its architecture is simple with walls are rustic style made with stones set on clay mortar and some of its most important buildings are plastered with plaster and have a considerable height. The name Pikillacta means flea town in the Quechua language and was put into colonial times due to the amount of existing buildings.
The archaeological site of Tipon is located 23 km south of the city of Cusco, in the district of Oropesa, and shows the excellence of the Inca engineers by building their agricultural terraces, beautifully distributed and irrigated by carefully worked water channels, water was brought from the mountain through channels and aqueducts built with great skill, to provide the city with this vital element, there are also some beautifully worked water fountains that probably served as places of worship to water, cult of Mother Earth.
Located 41 km south of the city of Cusco. The colonial temple of Andahuaylillas boasts a wonderful interior decoration of mural art and paintings dedicated to San Pedro and San Pablo all belonging to the Cuzco school of the eighteenth century, also has beautiful golden altars in baroque style dedicated to different saints and virgins. This colonial chapel is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in the Peruvian Andean south, considered by many as the Sistine Chapel of America.
Temple of Huaro
Located 41 km from the city of Cusco, you can find the church of San Juan Bautista de Huaro, possibly built in the 17th century and finished in the 18th century. Inside, its altar is carved in wood and gilded with golden leaf in style. Renaissance, and the magnificent murals painted by the indigenous artist Tadeo Escalante that show the representations of hell, the sky, where it shows an impeccable originality, is where hell appears with its representations of devilish beings that torment the sinners who fall to the underworld on his way to death. And also the representations of death represented as a skeleton and its scythe and at its feet the symbols of power such as the crown, the papal tiara where it reminds us that everything in life is vanity, there is also the representation of glory where the same painter was self portrayed. These murals were instruments used to evangelize the natives and keep them faithful in the new Christian doctrine.
The Chapel of Canincunca
It is a small chapel built at the beginning of the seventeenth century, in devotion to the virgin of Purificada, very widespread in the Peruvian Andean south, has murals that decorate its interior walls and friezes with beautiful textile motifs.
Machupicchu Inca Citadel
This wonderful architectural work built by the ancient Peruvians in the fifteenth century, is located in the eastern Andes of Peru that descend into the Amazon rainforest, at 2400 meters, and remained hidden for more than 4 centuries covered by the dense vegetation of the high forest until its scientific discovery by the Explorer Hiram Bingham in the year of 1911. Since then it receives visitors from all over the world, attracted by its magic and history.
There are different ways or alternatives to travel to the Inca citadel. The most recommended is a private tour to Machu Picchu, highly recommended for those traveling with their family or friends; another well-known alternative is the walk along the Inca Trail. But the most convenient alternative is the tourist package to the Inca citadel, which includes the tour of the sacred valley towards Machu Picchu.
Huaynapicchu (Young Mountain)
The Huayna Picchu mountain (with an altitude of 2,667 meters above sea level) located north of the Inca citadel houses important archaeological remains related to the entire archaeological site. You have access to La Cima from where you have an impressive view of the surroundings surrounding Machu Picchu, but it is also very popular for being the backdrop of most panoramic photographs of the Inca citadel.
It has two entry times from the same citadel of Machupicchu, at 7:00 am and 10:00 am both have 200 daily spaces, it is highly recommended to make an advance reservation.
Machupicchu Mountain (Old Mountain)
Located to the south of the Inca citadel, at 3082 meters above sea level, it is another natural viewpoint that can be accessed through a regularly steep path composed of bleachers and small paths. From the top you have a truly spectacular view of the Urubamba canyon that surrounds Machu Picchu, it is even possible to see part of the Inca trail that goes directly to the citadel, and of course the snowy Salkantay among other guardian mountains of the Sacred City.
Aguas Termales De Aguas Calientes
They are groundwater that sprout from the rocks at different temperatures, its composition rich in minerals makes it have beneficial effects for health, ideal for those who wish to take a relaxing bath after a hard walk.
EXCURSIONS and WALKS
The territory of the Inca Empire was united by a great network of Paths, which crossed valleys, mountains, and deserts. These were finely worked, in most of the beautifully paved walkways.
One of them is eInca Traill road that connects the city of Cusco with Machu Picchu, it starts from km 82 of the railway line in the town of Ollantaytambo, besides being surrounded by an impressive mountain landscape in its 43km in length presents beautiful Inca constructions like temples, altars, houses, agricultural terraces among others. This Inca Trail together with the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu are within the reserve park of Machupicchu for the variety of flora and fauna that presents.
For those who wish to visit
The classic route is open from March to January. February remains closed for maintenance. The Peruvian government regulates the entrance to the Inca Trail allowing only 500 people per day including support staff as guides, cooks and porters which reduces the number of visitors to only 200. We recommend making your reservation well in advance.
Hike to Salkantay
Salkantay or Wild Snowy with an altitude of 6271 masl, is one of the impressive Apus of the Andean region, this mountain is visited on the second day of the Salkantay - Machu Picchu route, which is also part of the extensive network of Inca roads that are still in use by local passers-by. Without a doubt this is one of the best ways to get to Machu Picchu after the traditional Inca Trail. The journey lasts 5 days where nature offers spectacular views of snowy mountains such as the Salkantay, and valleys that descend towards the jungle edge with its dense forests and rivers full of life. The year 2007 the National Geographic Adventure magazine considers the Sakantay route among the 25 best walks in the world.
Hike to Lares
Lares is an unmissable route for adventurers who want a more direct contact with the local people and their customs. The tour crosses the Peruvian Andes offering spectacular landscapes of mountains, lakes and Andean valleys inhabited by indigenous peoples settled there for hundreds of years, showing all their cultural richness inherited from their ancestors.
The Lares trek to Machu Picchu today is considered one of the best adventures for visitors, a cultural walk where you get in direct contact with the Andean culture, its customs and daily life style.
This Inca road has as one of its starting points in Tambomachay a sacred shrine, the road follows beautiful Andean trails covered with immense pajonales, also crosses small canyons with spectacular views of the Sacred Valley of the Incas and its snow-capped mountains such as Pitusiray and Sawasiray, that frame the beauty of this place.