Cuzco Travel – An Unforgettable Experience
Wish to visit a place which wears an ancient aura of a rich empire and stands majestically under the open blue skies with pleasant and welcoming climate, so as to take away all your boredom and fill you again with energy? Visit Cuzco! Though today’s Cuzco is full of all modern amenities, it is reputed to be the historic capital of the Inca Empire and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in southeastern Peru, close to Urubamba Valley in the Andes Mountain range, the city is today the capital of Cuzco region and also of the Cuzco Province of Peru. It is placed on the eastern tip of the Knot of Cuzco and its elevation is about 3,400 meters (11,200 feet); no wonder, it has an atmosphere you will love! And you will definitely love to have more information about the city, won’t you?
Besides being a perfect base for the tours to Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley and other Inca sites, what attracts a huge tourist population towards Cuzco is a well maintained colonial architecture, its indigenous Quechua culture and an air which takes you to a quaint past. Merely taking a stroll on the streets of this ancient city is a sheer joy and makes you realize its rich history, and at the same time a vibrant nightlife which thrives amid the colonial buildings, keeps you attached to this world, giving you a nostalgic feeling. This blend of ancientness and modernity is the strength of Cuzco.
Among the numerous ruins that surround Cuzco, Saksaywaman is the most striking. It is the site of the battle fought in 1536 between dozens of Pizarro’s men and the forces of Inca. The site is located on a steep hill, at a height of 3,701 meters. Needless to say that you get a breathtaking view of the valley from here. The remains of pottery found here proves that the earliest settlement on the hilltop dates back at least to a millennium.
Being a historical city, Cuzco has numerous museums to satisfy your curiosity about its past. Some must-visit among them are Museo Municipal de Arte Contemporaneo, Museo Historico Regional, Museo del Centro de Textiles Tradicionalesde Cusco, Museo del Sitiodel Qoricancha, Museo de Arte Popular and so on.
Qoricancha, the Sun Temple, was the main site of worship for the Incas. This too was harshly devastated by foreign invaders who built their church, Santo Domingo, over the ruins. However, most of the bottom part is quite well preserved and makes you linger there for hours. The site contains striking heritage, both of the Incas and Catholic, and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding. Qoricancha is also the starting site of the annual procession of Inti Raymi, the Sun Festival, which commemorates the Inca tradition of celebration of the winter solstice. To understand all the details of the architecture and heritage, a guided tour is the best.
Plaza de Armas
This is the site of many important historic events and also known as the “Square of the Warrior” in the Inca era. It was also the scene of death of Tupac Amaru II, the indigenous leader of the resistance. Walking around the plaza is sheer pleasure because of its many shops, churches, bars and restaurants.
San Pedro Market
To experience a full blown market, San Pedro Market is a must-visit. It is colorful and vibrant. Though you cannot purchase handicrafts or any interesting items here, because it is a market for Peruvians, mere strolling here is enjoyable.
Hatun Rumiyuq is the most popular street amongst tourists. It runs from the Plaza de Armas towards the Barrio de San Blas, and there is the Stone of Twelve Angels – a marvel of ancient sculpture. The street was the site of the palace of Inca Roca, which was transformed into the Archbishop’s residence.
The most famous icon of Inca civilization, Machu Picchu, is a 15th century Inca site placed at 2,430 meters (7,970 feet) of altitude. It is located on a mountain ridge over the Sacred Valley, which is 80 km northwest from Cuzco. The city is often known as the “Lost City of the Incas” and is believed to be an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti.
The Sacred Valley or the Urubamba Valley is a valley in the Andes and is the host to Machu Picchu. It covers the heartland of the Inca Empire. It was formed by the River Urubamba or the Sacred River, which is fed by a number of rivers which plunge through the adjacent valleys and gorges, and hosts several archeological ruins and villages.
These are only a few attractions of Cuzco. In addition, there are many interesting things to do like take a massage, visit Cuzco’s great coffee shops at Plaza de San Francisco, play Sapo – a traditional Peruvian bar game, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, paragliding, and much more.
So, this vacation plan a holiday to Cuzco and you will have an unforgettable experience.