Cusco or Qosqo in quechua was the capital 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 streets 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 consequences.
This fabulous half day tour takes you around all the most important sites of Cusco. Including visits to Cusco’s Cathedral, the Temple of the Sun (Qoricancha) and the various Inca sites found outside of the city you get to see an incredible mixture of Inca and Spanish-style and in the case of Qoricancha, the two combined. Cusco is truly a fascinating place to visit; providing a blend of the two cultures (Inca and Spanish) the city has a look and feel about it that is completely different to the rest of Peru.
At 1.30pm we will pick you up from your hotel and take you to start the tour. We will visit as part of the tour:
Temple of Sun or Qoricancha
It starts at 1.30 p.m. and finishes at approx 7p.m.
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 visit the archaeological sites 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.
Koricancha and the Convent of Santo Domingo
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 conquistadors took the rest and destroyed the temple to build the convent. Koricancha was also an observatory, where priests kept track of major celestial events. Today it houses an impressive collection of canvas 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 marvelous 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 drink 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.
INCLUDED IN THE TOUR
- Professional tour guide who is fluent in English
- Pick-up from your hotel
- Private transportation to visit all Inca places
- Tourist ticket: 70 soles for the 4 Inca sites (If you are also doing the Sacred Valley tour, it is actually better to purchase the 10-day tourist ticket which is 130 soles total (which gives you access to other sites in the Sacred Valley and some museums and attractions in Cusco and is good for 10 days).
- Please have a look at the “IMPORTANT” chapter.
- Entrance of the Cathedral (25 Soles per person)
- Entrance of Koricancha ( 10 Soles per person)
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO TAKE
- For students: ISIC card ( 50% in the tourist ticket discount for students with an ISIC card)
- Warm jacket
Places to Stay
|NUMBER OF PAXS||1 PERSONS||2 PERSONS||3 PERSONS||10 + PERSONS|
|PRICES PER PERSON||USD 120||USD 70||USD 50||USD 25|
*If you are a group more than 11 people let us know, we can make a special price.
HOTELS IN CUSCO
RESERVATION IN HOTEL :OPTIONAL
We select some hotels in this destination, here you can find some of them, but if you would like other accomodation we have a lot of options for you.
|HOTELS IN CUSCO||CATEGORY||WEBSITE|
|Belmond Palacio Nazarenas||5*||www.belmond.com/es/palacio-nazarenas-cusco/|
|Inkaterra la casona||5*||www.inkaterra.com/en/cusco|
|JW Marriot cusco||5*||www.espanol.marriott.com/hotels/travel/cuzmc-jw-marriott-el-convento-cusco/|
|Libertador Palacio del inka||5*||www.libertador.com.pe/luxury-collection/cusco/informacion-general/|
|Atiq Boutique Hotel||4*||www.atiqhotel.com|
|El mercado tunqui||4*||www.elmercadotunqui.com|
|Casa andina private collections||4*||www.casa-andina.com/hotel-cusco-peru_casa-andina-private-collection|
|Costa del sol Ramada||4*||www.costadelsolperu.com/peru/hotels/cusco/|
|San Agustin Dorado||4*||www.hotelessanagustin.com.pe/es/hoteles/cusco/el-dorado/|
|Tambo del Arriero||3*||www.tambodelarriero.com|
|Boutique San blas||3*||www.casasanblas.com|
|Tierra viva cusco San Blas||3*||www.tierravivahoteles.com/es/tierra-viva-cusco-san-blas|
|Casa Andina Catedral||3*||www.casa-andina.com/classic-cuzco-catedral/|
|Cusco Plaza I Nazarenas||2*||www.cuscoplazahotels.com|