The city of Cusco is included to the department Cusco and to the province Cusco
Presentation of the destination
Cusco is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a busy town in Peru, as many pass Cusco on the way to Machu Picchu and the other Inca sites in the region. A beautiful city that has colonial architecture and a strong influence of it's rich heritage. A walk down history with Spanish buildings that have been built above Inca Walls. At an altitude of 3,400 meters, this majestic city is the highest in South America. Cusco enjoys a moderate temperature, but the temperatures drop during the night. The summer months are from November to April with temperatures between 45F- 75F. There is not much difference between the summer and winter temperatures in Cusco, it is between 40F – 65F. June and July are cold with the temperatures falling below freezing in the evening. There are heavy rains in the months of December and January, and it can cause flooding. The currency used in Peru is the Nuevo sol.
Points of interests / things to see
Machu Picchu seats majestically at 7,000 feet on the hilltop of Andean Mountain Range, with the Urabamba Valley at it's foothills. This magnificent structure was the creation of the mighty Incas. It was discovered by archaeologists only in 1911 and was declared the "Lost City." Machu Picchu was a mystery for a long time, archaeologists were puzzled as to the importance of this secluded city. After analysis of the data collected, they understood that it was a retreat for the Inca rulers. An amazing architecture, with it segregated into three fields, agriculture, religious and urban. Crops were cultivated on the natural slopes of the hill using aqueducts and terracing methods, there were living quarters for the farmers and teachers below the farms. Importance was given to those in religion and they lived at the crest on the top with a scenic view of the valley below. A magical journey that fills you with emotions, when you climb to the top of the trail and look down at the temples, terraces, fields and baths. Close your eyes and you can feel the Incas in this paradise. Entry fee: The entrance fee is 122 Peruvian Soles, about US$44. Buy the ticket at the Machu Picchu Center in Agua Calientes.Time: 5:15 am. Take the PeruRail.
Choquequirao is a jewel lost in time. This is larger than Machu Picchu, and set against the imposing snow peaked mountains, gushing rivers and lush greenery. Choquequirao is situated at over 9000 feet in the midst of one of the most scenic locations in Peru. It is about 140 km from Cusco and it is believed that this is the location that the last Incas fled to. When the Spanish invaded Cusco, these brave warriers hide at Choquequirao for over 40 years. This was a religious center, and till the end of their days the last of the Incas performed their traditional rituals. A massive structure, the visitor will need one day to see the entire citadel and the grounds. Most of this great structure has been taken over by bush, make your path and you will be astonished at the rare sights awaiting you. A beautiful trek that will take two days from Cachora or Huanipaca. Enjoy the picturesque sights, it is advisable to hire a guide and a mule to help you carry your luggage. Even the fittest find it difficult to trek at these altitudes. Entrance fee: $30 Trek organizers:All track 399, Plateros St. Cusco Telephone: 0051 974214094
The Inca Trail is one of the famous treks in the world, a trek that will change your life forever. The The traditional route is the trail through the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu, a four day grueling adventure that will test your limits and just when you feel you can punish your body no more... the mist lifts and will reveal breathtaking scenery of jade color peaks and terraced ruins of ancient cities. The trip starts from Cusco, it is advisable to acclimatise yourself to the high altitude before starting on this beautiful trek of 43 km. A trek through varied terrain of stone paved pathways, lush forests, jungles and ruins along the way. Trek past the Inca ruins of Llactapata, Runkurakay, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca and Wiñay Wayna before reaching Machu Picchu to view the sunrise on the 4th day of the trek. May to September is the perfect time to trek as it is the dry season, temperatures drop in the night, do be prepared with warm clothes and sleeping bags. Have altitude sickness medication and water purification tablets with a basic first aid kit on hand. Give yourself to nature, have a spiritual journey. Agency: Inca Trail Tour from Gap Adventures, Peru Treks- www.perutreks.com
Cusco Planetarium helps the visitor understand the way the Inca believed the world to be. They never crossed the seas and were assured that the world was their town! They were advanced beyond their times that many of their roads were aligned to the stars! They could predict the seasons according to the constellations and this was closely linked to their religious practises. This visit will prepare you for the trek, as you will be able to identify the constellations like the Black Llama. At the Planetarium, there are two rooms that give an insight into their culture and the cosmos. The Dome Room shows the common constellation in the Southern Sky, visitors can look at the heavens with the powerful telescopes and try to understand the Incas fascination with the skys. The visitor can get an insight into the ancient religious traditions with their focus on the stars, their religious sacrifices or their sowing season were linked to the cosmos. This visit will add depth to your adventures on the Inca Trail and help you appreciate Machu Piccu better. Entry fee: Approximately $30Transportation: All the agencies arrange for a pick up and drop back to your hote.l Timings : Morning show and Evening show
Tambomachay in Quechua means a place of rest. This phenomenal water falls is about 6 km from the city of Cusco. The Incas were religious and this was a sacred site in their religion to honor the deity of water. They had mastered the art of creating channels and aqueducts and this is a great sample of their work. Water flows from two identical water falls and the engineering is so advanced that the water flows at the same speed. Try filling two bottles, they will be full at the same time! Another of an Inca mystery- no one can deduct where this water comes from. According to legend, this was the place the Inca cleansed his body, mind and soul. There is a Bath of Nusta or the Inca Maiden's Bath. There are two aqueducts that lets clean water flow into a small stone pond throughout the year. This is assumed to be the religious pond that the Incas worshiped water. A serene setting that has a calming effect on you. Take a agency tour and the timings are between 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Bus: Take the bus leaving Cusco, and pass over the Rosario Bridge Avenue.
Sacsayhuaman sits on a steep hill that is above Cusco in altitude. This was an important city during the Incas time. The view from higher above make this complex resemble the head of a puma and Cusco is the body. This is a fortress which served as the residence for the nobles. There were mansions, temples and squares for religious ceremonies. The Spanish, after conquering Cusco, demolished the buildings and used these stones for constructing churches. Take a walk through the complex and it's sheer magnitude and workmanship will amaze you. The walls have perfectly aligned stones that weighed over 100 tons. Taxi: about $4 Entry fee: about $48
Cocoa beans has been in existence from the time of the Mayas, 1000 years ago. The leaf of the cocoa plant was considered sacred by the people of this land. Peru is one among the largest exporters of the cacao beans. In the small chocolate museum in Cusco, you can learn about the different processes in making chocolate and you can indulge in them! There are workshops for those who wish to learn to make chocolates and a trip to the cocoa plantations. Address: Plaza Regocijo Calle Garcilaso, 210- 2nd floor Cusco Working Hours: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm Telephone: +51 084 24 47 65
Koricancha means courtyard of Gold and this beautiful Temple of the Sun is a treasure trove of history. This temple was dedicated to the sun. A glittering palace with gold embedded panels lining it's walls, solid gold altars, decorative sun disc and life sized gold figures. They displayed their mummified nobles. The Spanish ransacked the entire complex. They stole all the gold and they even took stones from the walls for construction of the Dominican Convent of Santo Domingo. The temple is in ruins, but one can imagine, how majestic it would have been in ancient times. Address: Plaza Intipampa, Cusco, Peru. The museum is open every day.
San Pedro Market is burstling with energy. A market where one can experience the traditional sights and smells of Cusco. It is brimming with goods. Enjoy the electricity in the air, recharge your enery with a glass of freshly squeezed juice for under a $1. The dried, seasoned, colorful ears of corn that are a healthy snack. Check out the huge loaves of bread and the sticky sweet pastries. Admire the oddly shaped potatoes. The air is filled with unknown medicinal herbs. Taste the exotic boiled quail eggs and the delicacy of Peru- roasted cuy or guinea pig! An enlightening experience, and do remember to bargain.
Vacation rentals in Cusco (Cusco)
How to get there ?
The Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ) is 5 km from the center of Cusco. Taxis: When exiting the arrival area, you will find many cars waiting outside. These taxis charge double the normal rate. Walk past them and you will receive more offers for S/25-30, you will get cheaper fares as you walk down. The lowest that you can expect to pay is S/15-25. Be safe, never enter a cab unless you have fixed the rate and only hire a cab with the Radio Taxi sign up. Private Cars: The Cusco Transport offers personal assistance to take you to the center of Cusco. They have SUV, mini vans and cars. The drivers speak english. Cusco Transport Santa Lucia B-402/ Urb. Los Pinos Distrito Wanchaq-Cusco. Telephone: 974214123 Getting around Cusco Walking is the best way to get around Cusco. The colorful cobbled pedestrian only streets are beautiful. There are taxis and the rates are fixed. Check for the black and gold sticker on the side door. The fare is between S/3-5 Buses are the cheaper option to visit the tourist spots. You may take the bus to places like the Sacred Valley, Urbamaba or Pisac. They depart from the center of town. Trains: The Backpacker, Vistadome and the Hiram Bingham are reliable trains that are run by Perurail.
Hotels in Cusco (Cusco)