Cuzco and Surrounding Area
Accommodations, sightseeing, maps and pictures of Cuzco
Inti Raymi, the Festival of the Sun, is the annual recreation of an important Inca ceremony and brings multitudes of visitors to Cuzco, Peru for a week of festivities culminating in the day long, elaborately costumed parade and celebrations at the nearby fortess of Sacsayhuaman.
The Urubamba river runs through the mountains east of Cuzco, carving a fertile river valley that fed local populations from before the Inca Empire to the present time. Along the hills overlooking the river, the Incas built fortresses to protect the river wealth, not knowing they created fascinating places for modern day visitors to tour.
"The "Parque Arqueológico de Sacsayhuamán" is located near to Cusco city. It embraces 3,000 hectares approximately, where a rich Andean flora is found and with abundant fauna, highlighting the presence of llamas, kestrels and hawks. It also embraces the following extraordinary archaeological Incas monuments, as Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Puca Puacara and Tambomachay."
"Situated in the Peruvian Andes, Cuzco developed, under the Inca ruler Pachacutec, into a complex urban centre with distinct religious and administrative functions. It was surrounded by clearly delineated areas for agricultural, artisan and industrial production..."
Map of central Cuzco shows the cathedral and other churches, the Plaza de Armas and surrounding streets.
Brief history and photos.
Courtesy of Multimap.
Two day tour.
Brief historical background.
"Cuzco is the most visited tourist destination in Peru, and the wealthy attractiveness in the city and its areas around, as well as "Ciudad Perdida de los Incas" (Lost City of the Incas), Machu Picchu, transforms it into one of the main tourist attractiveness of the world, offering an excellent quality of tourist services."
Description and photos.
Photos and comments about Cuzco and Pisac.
Annual weather averages.
Historical weather data.
Travelogue and photos.
Photos of some of the main temples, churches and palaces in Cuzco and the surrounding area, plus Machu Picchu, Urubamba river and Cuzco province.
Photos and commentary by Steve Underwood.
"Cuzco was developed, under the Inca Pachacutec, into a complex urban centre with distinct religious and administrative functions. It was surrounded by clearly delineated areas for agricultural, artisan and industrial production. When the Spaniards conquered it in the 16th century, they preserved the basic structure but built Baroque churches and palaces over the ruins of the Inca city."
"Cuzco, La Capital Arqueológica de América fue la ciudad principal del Imperio del Tahuantinsuyo, siendo considerada por los Incas como el "Ombligo del Mundo". Hoy es el primer centro turístico del Perú y ha sido proclamada por la UNESCO como Patrimonio Cultural de la Humanidad."
Spend Christmas in Cuzco.
Several tours in Cuzco.
Machu Picchu and Cuzco plus other regions of Peru.
"This sprightly newcomer might well steal the spotlight from the Hotel Monasterio, long the top luxury option in Macchu Picchu's gateway town. Cusco's architectural heritage of Incan stone walls topped with colonial white stucco is echoed in this sixteenth-century building on a square steps from the main plaza. With just 11 suites, La Casona has the intimacy of a private home." Conde Nast review
Trips to the Inca trail to Machupicchu (2, 3, 4 and 5 days), Salkantay, Auzangate, Vilcabamba, Choquequirao and Q´eros; Rafting and Horse riding.
"Every year, on July 16th, a small town in Cuzco named Paucartambo keeps the attention of the tourists and the Peruvians... This village is not visited by many tourists, they only pass through it on their way to the Manu National Park, but they never stop there. Nevertheless, during a week on July, it is worth to stop and not only take a look, also stay there for a couple of days."
"Sacsayhuamán is one of the most amazing Incan constructions for tourists. Its Quechua name means "satisfied falcon", it was the falcon that guarded the capital of the empire, since it was possible to overlook Cusco from the hill in where it was erected."
"Sacsayhuaman (Saqsaywaman) -- This site is located north of the city of Cusco, at an altitude of about 3555 meters above sea level, between the districts of Cusco and San Sebastian, both of them within in the province and department of Cusco. The archaeological park covers an area of 3094 Hectares and contains more than 200 archaeological sites."
Learn the language and see the sites.