Cusco or Qosqo in quechua was the caqpital of the inca empire called Tawantinsuyo. The “navel of the world” is also considered as the archeological capital of south america and a cultural legacy of Humanity. With no doubt, Cusco is the touristic destination most important of Peru, thanks to Machu Picchu. The sreets of the city are a resume of the country´s history. One can observe the different stages of the evolution from ancient times until the Conquest and its consecuences. Cusco is also the cradle of Machu Picchu, magic and secret citadel until recently. One of the seven Wonders of the world and the more refined great Work of inca genius. At last Cusco, in addition to the numerous archeological sites to visit, is one of the most auspicious places to do amazing treks, discover superb landscapes by bike, do some rafting and much more…
Departures from monday to friday: 1.30pm – 6.30pm and on sundays: 2pm – 7pm
In the afternoon, we will pick you up at your hotel and we will then proceed to visit the Imperial City. It is a living example of the mix of andean and spanish culture. We start the tour by the Cathedral located in the main square. Then we continue by visiting the Santo Domingo Convent built over the Koricancha that was the ancient Inca Palace and the main worship center of the Sun God. You will have time to enjoy these beautiful sights, after which we continue by visiting the archaeological site of Sacsayhuaman with its impressive inca architecture which dominates the city. Finally we end the visit by the vestiges of Q´enqo, Pucapucara and Tambomachay, located in the north east of the city before returning to your hotel in Cusco in early evening.
The Cathedral was built between 1560 and 1664 out of large slabs of red granite taken from the Inca construction of Sacsayhuaman. It houses important collections of gold and silver work of the colonial period, elaborately engraved wooden altars and a beautiful collection of oil on canvas paintings from the Escuela Cusqueña.
The convent was built on the spectacular Coricancha ‘enclosure of gold’. This was the most important temple dedicated to the worship of the Sun and the walls of which were lined with solid sheets of gold. All that remains now is the fine stonework, the conquerors took the rest and destroyed the temple to buid the convent. Coricancha was also an observatory, where priests kept track of major celestial events. Today it houses an impressive collection of paintings from the Escuela Cusqueña.
Sacsayhuaman (which means ‘satisfied falcon’) is one of the most impressive sites built by the Incas. It is generally referred to as a fortress; however it is not certain what its main function was. Current research suggests that it was more likely to be used as a temple, as Inca tombs have been discovered in the area.
The site is a marvellous archeological feat; even now after it was destroyed; one can only imagine its greatness when it stood in full glory. The stones in the wall are incredible and the largest one weights 128 tons.
The Incas envisioned Cusco as having a puma shape and Sacsayhuaman was the head. The magnificent zigzag walls are the major attraction. The grounds surrounding Sacsayhuaman are still used today for the colorful festival of Inti Raymi which is held to celebrate the winter´s solstice on the 24th of June.
The site of Q’enqo (meaning ‘maze’ in quechua) contains the most impressive carved rocks in the Cusco area. There are carvings everywhere although some are a little indistinct: a llama, a condor and snakes have been identified. There are many zigzag channels on top of the natural rock, probably used for pouring sacrificial chicha (a local liqor made from corn). Below the rock, there are a number of caves and passageways and an altar which was used for the sacrifices of lamas and mummifications.
Puka Pukara is translated to ‘the red fortress’ in quechua. This is a small site and although the name suggests that it was a fortress, it does not appear to have had any defensive purpose. Probably it used to be an administrative center. The interesting point is the way the Incas built the walls over the rocks.
The name means “place of rest” in quechua. It used to be the royal hacienda of the Inca Yupanqui when he went to hunt in the surroundings. This site was also thought to have been used as a Temple to the Water. There are some interesting aqueducts, canals and cascades sculpted out of stone, designed to channel water flowing from a nearby stream.
You need to purchase the Boleto Turistico at the first site you enter. Please have a look at the “IMPORTANT” chapter.
is a ticket which allows the access to different places of the city. This is the best way to visit all the touristic sites of the region and the Sacred Valley. Most of the main archeological sites are not accessible for free neither separately.
The general ticket allows you enter 16 archeological and cultural sites in Cusco and the Sacred Valley. The price of this ticket is 130 soles (40$) and is valid for 10 days. This is the cheapest and convenient mean if you plan to see different places in a few days. The cost for students under 26 (with the presentation of a valid ISIC card) and for children under 13 (with the presentation of an identity card) is 70 soles (20$).
The partial ticket costs 70 soles (20$) and is valid for 1 to 2 days according to the option that you choose. You can make one of the 3 following tours:
Note : The entrance ticket to the main archeological sites like Sacsaywaman, Pisac, Ollantaytambo,Chinchero,Tipón and Moray cannot be sold individually; you must buy the Boleto turístico to visit them. You can get it in Avenida el Sol 103, Galerias Turísticas, Of.101 nearby IPeru office or in one of the sites indicated in the Boleto Turistico.
Important: This ticket doesn´t include: