Best reasons to visit Cusco, Capital of the Inca Empire
When travelers dream of Peru, Machu Picchu often steals the spotlight, overshadowing the remarkable city of Cusco. Yet, let me reveal a well-kept secret: Cusco is a hidden gem that beckons exploration. Nestled in the breathtaking Andes Mountains, this city boasts enchanting architecture, a majestic cathedral, the captivating Plaza De Armas, and a haven for local handicrafts and woolen textiles. Cusco, with its labyrinthine streets and charming churches, invites wanderers to lose themselves amidst ornate wooden balconies and serendipitous plazas.
Stroll along the cobblestone streets of Cusco to realize immediately why this is the archeological capital of South America. Pre-Columbian and Colonial architecture blend together in this city filled with rich history from the time when Cusco was the capital city of the Inca empire. Spaniards built the 16th-century palaces and churches on top of the city ruins.
Discovering Cusco: Where Inca Heritage Meets Spanish Splendor
Nestled amidst the Peruvian Andes, Cusco, the ancient heart of the Inca Civilization, awaits your exploration. The city’s main square, cobbled streets, and terracotta-tiled roofs evoke the ambiance of bygone European villages. Its architecture, an extraordinary fusion of Inca and Spanish influences, is truly one-of-a-kind. Yet, Cusco has much more to offer than its unique architectural tapestry. In collaboration with Machu Travel Peru, we present a glimpse into the myriad reasons to visit this captivating city.
Cusco unfolds not only as a repository of Inca ruins but also as a sanctuary of colonial plazas and vibrant markets, perfect for souvenir hunting. Venture beyond the city’s core, and you’ll uncover enthralling trekking routes and captivating archaeological sites.
How to get there
As with most places in South America, it is best to book your airplane ticket in advance to get good prices! I personally recommend using Expedia to find the best rates.
If you have only a few days to visit Cusco and Machu Picchu, then the best option is to fly from Lima to Cusco. This is not the cheapest option, but it will only take you one hour. The second option is to take a bus, or to rent a car both of them will save you some bucks, but it will take more than 20 hours.
What to do
Booking a tour to explore Cusco may not be yet an idea for you.
Why do I recommend you consider it? Because it will ease communication barriers, allow you to gain inside knowledge, and avoid the hassles of planning and logistics. You will be sure about where you are going and what you are doing, seeing and learning. Here is the link with some tours you might like.
Where to stay
Highlights of Cusco
Best Things to Do in Cusco
- Plaza de Armas
- Machu Picchu
- Church of Santo Domingo
What to eat
What to bring:
In addition to rain gear and warm clothes, bring something to drink and sunscreen. Remember the sun is stronger around the equator.
You can stroll down the cozy streets in Cusco and feel that you are indeed in what was the capital of the Inca – Empire. Admire indigenous people dressed in traditional clothing, streets preserving Inca and Spanish architecture, and more.
In Conclusion: Unveiling the Essence of Cusco
As our exploration has revealed, the allure of Cusco is undeniable, with its distinctive character and myriad attractions. However, our words only scratch the surface of this incredible city. To truly grasp its magnificence, you must experience it firsthand.
The city offers many bars and restaurants all over its downtown area. The exterior is very well-kept, giving you that feeling that only a small city in the middle of the Andes can give you.
What were your impressions of this charming city?
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If you are like me, you will probably want to know all about places to visit and enjoy the delicious gastronomy of Peru, so I highly recommend taking a look at the Lonely Planet Peru travel guide for more information, tips and inspiration!
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