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Peru Travel: Cuzco, Church at Plaza de Armas
Church at Plaza de Armas - © C. Sala / PromPeru

The city of Cuzco (officially named Qosqo) goes way back in history.

According to legend, was founded somewhere around 11th. or 12th. century by the first Inca Manco Capac, following a mandate from Inti (Sun God).He emerged together with mama Ocllo from the sacred waters of Lake Titicaca.

It became the mystical capital of Tawantinsuyo - Inca Empire - an area that stretched for over 3.000.000 square km. in the 15th. century, under the rule of Inca Pachacutec.

It was the greatest Empire of the American continent, embracing Peru, Ecuador, and as far as the Ancashmayo river in Pasto, Colombia, to the Maule river in Chile and Tucuman province in Argentina.

The Spanish foundation came later, in 1534, carried out by Francisco Pizarro.
The city is a wonderful combination of colonial Peru and Inca heritage, a city full of historic monuments, relics, myths and legends.
Just to wander around its main square - Plaza de Armas - will leave you breathless.

It was called Huacaypata - "the place of tears" or "the weeping square"- where important historical events took place throughout centuries...

Peru Travel: Cuzco, Koricancha , Santo Domingo Church
Koricancha / Santo Domingo Church

It used to be flanked by Inca palaces, later replaced by religious architecture built upon its foundations.
In fact, several buildings you can visit today are a good example of this...

This amazing city, located in the southeastern Andes at 3.360 meters above sea level, is surrounded by impressive archaeological remains that you can explore by foot or even horseback riding in most cases.

Please give yourself sometime to explore the region and visit...

  • Puca Pucara
  • Tambo Machai
  • The Sacred Valley, including the market towns of Pisac and Chinchero
  • Inka Trail

Sacred Valley is the name given to the valley of the Urubamba river, specially between Pisac and Ollantaytambo.
This is actually a pretty good option to establish your base camp in order to explore the area.

If you are nature oriented and want to break away from the crowds and busy life of Cuzco, Sacred Valley is the answer.
You will also be closer to Machu Picchu

Cuzco is also a very important entry point to the jungle and two of the world's most fantastic wildlife sanctuaries..

Alternatively, you could continue your journey to Juliaca-Puno region and Lake Titicaca .

In addition, Cuzco is also one of your best spots in Peru for adventure sports...

Peru Travel: Cuzco, Inca stone work
Inca stone work

Cuzco is called the archaeological capital of America.
A truly unique South America travel experience that will remain with you forever...

How to Get There:

By Air:

Flights from Lima to Cuzco (Alejandro Velasco Astete Intl Airport) will take about one hour. Check airports in Peru for more info on this.
You could also fly from Arequipa and Puno.

By Bus:

From Lima to Arequipa following the Pan-American Highway, about 1660 km.
Also through the highlands by Nazca and Abancay.

By Train:

From Arequipa and Puno. See some other train travel options in the region.

Where to Stay:

Find and compare best hotel rates in the city.
Book budget accommodation in Cuzco.


Return from Cuzco to Peru
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