Cusco Travel Guide: Places to Visit
Cusco is one of the most beautiful cities in Peru. Cusco is both the sacred capital of the Incas and the spectacular finale of the fabled Inca Trail and is perhaps best known as the gateway to Machu Picchu. With its stunning colonial architecture, bustling marketplace, and traditional and neo-Andean restaurants, Cusco has a lot to offer. Moreover, it would be best if you didn’t miss out on the delicious cuisines offered in one of the many Cusco hotels.
Listed below are some of the places you ought to visit when in Cusco
1. Plaza de Armas
Cusco’s Plaza de Armas will take your breath away. Its colonial architecture structures demonstrate the influence of the Spanish conquerors in the city. This magnificent Peruvian square combines history with beauty. Therefore, Plaza de Armas is one of the main tourist attractions in Cusco today. It serves as a square for different religious temples, accompanied by magnificent portals with colonial arches. These religious temples include; the cathedral, the Church of the Society of Jesus and, the Chapel of Triumph. Additionally, on lucky days you may experience traditional music and dances from the pre-Hispanic era.
2. Museo Inka
Museo Inka is the greatest museum in Cusco for Inka fans, and it’s situated in the beautiful 16th-century Spanish Admiral’s House, which is worth seeing on its own. The Inkas are the subject of these collections, covering everything from their rise through the conquest and its influence on Peruvian culture. Pottery, textiles, metal and goldwork, ornaments, mummies, and skulls depicting an early medical procedure known as trepanning are on display.
3. Museo de Arte Precolombino
The Pre-Columbian Art Museum houses around 450 items from the Larco Museum in Lima’s storage chambers, too large to display. Jewelry, pottery, goldwork, weavings, silverwork, and other Nasca, Moche, Huari, Paracas, Chim, Chancay, and Inca civilizations, dating from 1250 BC to AD 1532, are on exhibit (with English signs).
4. San Pedro market
If you want to experience a taste of the local life, then the San Pedro market is the best place to visit. Local fruits and vegetables are arranged in colorful heaps, and there is a full area dedicated to ready-to-eat goods, where you can obtain a quick lunch at any time of day. Also, mornings are the best time to visit to experience the real hustle and bustle as people get their meals for the day.
The huge walled complex of Sacsayhuaman is Cusco’s most important ruin, and it’s near enough to stroll there to the historic center. Moreover, Sacsayhuaman is considered to be important for both military and religious reasons.
Cusco was shaped like a puma, with Sacsayhuaman as its head. The fangs of the puma are formed by three zigzagging defensive barriers that stretch for about 300 meters.
This ruin is fascinating not just because of its enormous size but also because of the size of the stones used to construct it and the complexity of the masonry.
6. Santo Domingo and Coricancha
Santo Domingo’s cathedral is built on the remnants of Coricancha’s famed Inca monument, the Templo del Sol, or Temple of the Sun. Gold statues and decorations adorned the inside, and a huge golden disc reflected the sun, bathing the temple in a dazzling glow. However, the conquistadors took all of this away as soon as they arrived in Cusco, and the majority of the gold was melted down. Thus, the magnificent Inca masonry that forms the foundation of the cathedral of Santo Domingo is all that remains now of the once-great Coricancha.