The City of Cusco
“Stand in awe of the Center of the World, the lost city of Machu Picchu and the extraordinary Inca Trails”
The terrain in Cusco is steep, combining fertile inter-Andean valleys with impressive mountains that descend to the rim of the jungle where the temperature rises and the landscape is transformed through a variety of vegetation.
The city of Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incan Empire, was placed on the World Cultural Heritage List by UNESCO in 1983, and is without a doubt one of the most important destinations in Peru. There are Incan buildings waiting for you to discover them among its cobble-stoned streets, ones like the Koricancha and the palace of Inca Roca as well as Andean Baroque structures from the Colonial Period like the Cathedral and the Church of the Company of Christ. In addition, you can visit the picturesque neighborhood of San Blas where the best artisans in the department have set up their workshops. This magical city also has an exciting nightlife with cafes, restaurants, and bars for all tastes. Just ten minutes away from the city, there are the massive walls of the Sacsayhuamán fortress, and a few kilometers from there, you find the archeological sites of Qenko, Pukapukara, and Tambomachay, Incan buildings constructed completely with stone.
There are also the towns of Písac, Maras, Chinchero, and Ollantaytambo, which are spread throughout the Sacred Valley of the Incas, one hour from Cusco. From there, it is possible to catch the train to Machu Picchu. Another way of getting to the citadel is by following one of the Inca Trails, a spectacular network of pathways that snake their way among the snow covered mountains, rivers, and overwhelming countryside. This is one of the best trekking routes in the world, since scattered throughout it, you find remarkable archeological sites and areas rich in unique plant and animal species.
The enigmatic complex of Machu Picchu, the most important and beautiful legacy of the ancient Peruvian, is part of the Historic Sanctuary of the same name, which is also one of the few places in the Americas placed on both the World Cultural and Natural Heritage Lists by UNESCO. It is located high on top of a mountain and complements the exuberant nature that surrounds it, creating a one of a kind place in the world.