Cusco Travel Guide


Cusco is the oldest continually inhabited city in South America, it is located high in the Andes towards the south-east of the country. It was once the capital of the mighty Incan empire and is now the best place in the Americas for the exploration of archeological sites. Later in it’s history the Spanish moved in and it became a wealthy and prosperous city for the Spanish due to the surrounding agriculture, silver mining and trading links with the home country.

A walk through the streets of Cusco is an exploration of it’s past, Spanish Colonial buildings stand on top of ancient Incan walls and the cobbled streets lead visitors past many buildings of Spanish design heavily influences by Incan traditions. A major earthquake in 1950 exposed ancient walls which survived the quake while many colonial buildings were destroyed. Eventually it was decided that the walls should be preserved in preference to the restoration of some of the Colonial buildings.

These days the city is a tourist Mecca and there are dozens of hotels, bars, restaurants and other facilities catering to the throngs who come every year. However, there are plenty of indigenous locals keeping traditions alive through song, art and craft and the very streets themselves are treasures. Many of the ancient artefacts have been retained and are now on display at museums or stored away for safe keeping.

One of the main attractions of Cusco is it is the nearest comfortable place to stay in order to travel to Machu Picchu, the famed lost city of the Inca’s and one of the continents premier attractions. Besides this jewell there are plenty of other impressive sites in the area as well including Sacsayhuam├ín (pronounced like ‘Sexy woman’), Qenko, Pukapukara and Pukapukara all of which are worth a look. If you are pressed for time it is possible to do them all in a day with the help of a local guide.

Cusco is also a hub to travel to other South American destinations, including La Paz and Lake Titicaca.


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