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Cusco city is a place with a millenary history, going way back before Inca times; nowadays, much of this history is still available here: architecture, food, culture, religion, politics. On this article we are going to talk about all the wonders you can find.

Cusco and the Incas: Brief History

The Incas, before 1.400 a.C., were a small kingdom that lived in today’s Cusco valley; some centuries before, the Wari empire had ruled all the Andes, but after its fall, the territory became divided in small, independent, regional tribes. The Incas were one of them.

The mighty Pachacutec Statue in Cusco City, you can include it in the City Tour

Pachacutec Statue in Cusco City

However, in 1.438 a.C., a young warrior and prince who had been overlooked by the Inca king Wiracocha for succession, named Pachacutec, defeated the fierce Chankas, a rival tribe that had previously defeated Wiracocha. After victory, Pachacutec (Quechua for “the one who transforms the world”), aware of the Wari saga, began the expansion of his own kingdom, looking for control of natural resources and territory. For instance, Machu Picchu, close to the Peruvian jungle, was built by him, as a luxury retreat and sanctuary.

Together, from the Inca regional kingdom and the Inca empire periods, Cusco city has magnificent constructions! From the former, for example, there is the Inca Roca palace, a wonderful building of massive and skilled stonework which fills an entire block on today’s Cusco downtown, where you can be amazed by huge stones and walls that will make great pictures also. However, it was Inca Pachacutec who conducted a large redesign of Cusco city, giving it the shape of a puma, whose head is the Sacsayhuaman fortress and in its tail is the Coricancha temple. The most famous buildings in Cusco city were ordered by Inca Pachacutec.

The Spanish Colonial Time

In 1.532 a.C., a Spanish army invaded the Andes and finally conquered the Cusco valley; they brought many innovations and changes to the Inca worldview and organization; Cusco city received Spanish influence which can be fully seen today:

  • The Plaza de Armas (Main Square) is of Spanish design; their Main Square is always the place for political authorities, a Cathedral or church and also where all the weapons (armas) for defense were stored; every major city in Peru has its Plaza de Armas, they are a major Spanish legacy.

  • A number of churches and convents, for instance the ones at the Coricancha site and also the Main Square; moreover, several churches around Cusco city are actually built on or integrated with Inca buildings. You will surely marvel at these architectural and historical attractions; they are an amazing blend of two civilizations that clashed but also merged in many ways.

Main Square of Cuzco in the City Tour, just half a day

Enjoy the beauty and calmness of the Plaza de Armas Square

Such blend can be especially seen in the Cusco region; it is really impressive, striking, mainly in Cusco city. At the time of Spanish arrival, it had a population of 150.000, and the Inca empire, a total of around 10 million.

Cusco City Today

Nowadays Cusco city is the dynamic result of the Inca, Spanish and contemporary Western culture; in addition to the quite rich and valuable history from the Inca and Spanish periods, our Republican era has brought urbanism, economic activities and technology. Cusco city today offers also multiple accommodation options, transportation, access to technology, refined food and drink restaurants, shopping and entertainment; the real beauty of it all is that you will be in contact with today’s world but also in a city very calm and connected to nature.

TOUR IN PERU offers daily Cusco City Tours for solo travelers and groups; of course this package can be fully personalized to meet individual or group best convenience, and also it can be adapted to a full private tour and private services, not unusual at all in Cusco city.

This tour is made by bus, and you will visit the following attractions:

  • The Coricancha temple / Santo Domingo convent (integrated by the Spaniards)

  • The Cathedral: located at the Main Square, it is an impressive display of European medieval architecture, which houses valuable religious art works

  • The Sacsayhuaman fortress, located just outside north of Cusco city, it was both a military and religious site for the Incas, so worthy of visiting even today

  • The Qenqo site, which was a very important religious place for the Incas
  • The Tambomachay site, which was another important ceremonial place, devoted to the water deity, key for an economy based on agriculture
Tambomachay is included in the Cuzco City Tour

Tambomachay: One of the inca remains in the Cusco City Tour

But there’s more! After the 5-hour tour, we will go to one of the large markets here in Cusco city, where you will find all products related to the Incas: clothing, pottery, all kinds of wonderful souvenirs. Finally we will transfer you back to the hotel.

Cusco City: a must tour you will never forget! (Check also our helpful article about the best months for a Cusco City Tour). And since it is a half-day-only, this leaves time available to add other great packages to your vacation! Check our website www.tourinperu.com for complete information about all amazing options TOUR IN PERU has to offer.

Contact our professional staff for booking your Cusco city tour and more unforgettable Cusco packages!

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