Cusco

Cusco Empire of the Incas

Cusco, Empire of the Incas, rightfully owns the title of the historical and archaeological capital of South America. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this city is a stunning open-air museum. Its attractions can be inspected indefinitely, every building here is a historical monument. That is why the tour to Cusco should be on every bucket-list. It is believed that the word Cusco means "the navel of the earth." This etymology is generally accepted: located in the Andes at an altitude of almost 3500 m above sea level, Cusco was the center of the Inca Empire and now is the center of tourism of Peru. And now you get to explore hidden secrets of the mighty culture when you will come to Peru. From here, starting from the central square, the Empire was divided into four parts and here all the imperial roads began. In fact, Cusco was South American Rome, the very center of everything. Nowadays, it is still true, almost all visitors of Peru that plan a trip to Cusco. The great 1950 earthquake destroyed a third of the city´s colonial structures but spared many Inca constructions, and in the last two decades, the city has become an international travelers´ hub.

Although Cusco is no longer an imperial capital but an object of tourist worship, it still fascinates everyone without exception. And even though you may see tourists on the streets more than the local residents, this does not detract from the magic of Peru. The nature of Cusco itself is a tourist attraction for visitors of Peru. The city is located in the Andes along the Huatanay River, and to the north of the city stretches the Cordillera de Vilcabamba mountain chain. The main attractions of Cusco, of course, are associated with the culture of the Incas and their predecessors. All of them are in the vicinity of the city that makes the tour to Cusco even more comfortable because you can explore plenty of sites without having to travel to the outskirt of the city. First, many visitors choose Cusco tours to see Sacsayhuaman, a fortress that rises at an altitude of 3,500 meters in the northwest of Cuzco. Legends say that it was built by Manco Capac - the first Inca. The fortress is surrounded by three parallel walls of huge stone blocks, which were built without the use of any fastening agents. In the center of Sacsayhuaman, there is a stone "throne of the Inca", surrounded by bastions with towers. The size of each tower allowed to cover up to a thousand soldiers. During your trip to Cusco, you will definitely feel the magical atmosphere of one of the greatest civilization in the world.

Another side of the Incas' life is the Tambomachay complex. These are sacred baths of the Incas, which served as a place of worship of water. Ancient canals and walls with windows are located 7 km from Cusco at an altitude of 3,700 m above sea level. According to many studies, this place must have been closed, because it is one of the most sacred and peaceful of the whole structures in the Machu Picchu complex. Many people that came to Peru note the pleasant vibes of the place. During your trip to Cusco make sure to see the traditional Mass in Quechua that can be heard on the Main Square of the town of Pisac in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Here at the top of the mountain chain is the Inca citadel, carved from the rock, which protected the entrance to the valley.

But the cherry on top of the trip to Cusco is the famous holy city of Machu Picchu. This monument is rightfully called one of the most mysterious on the planet. The "Gate of the Sun", Intihuatana, the observatory, the palace of the Moon, the Temple of the Three Windows, the Sacred Area and more than two hundred other buildings, ancient drains and pools, thousands of beautiful terraces – make sure to book enough days of vacation to explore all of this on Machu Picchu tour. Cusco is the very place where the history of Peru comes alive.

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