Cusco has a magic that enchants everyone. Its cobblestone streets, its archaeological remains, its people and an immense list of wonders that it offers its visitors. This led the imperial city to be chosen as one of the best destinations in the world in the annual Travelers Choice Awards of the tourist website TripAdvisor, prevailing against Sydney (Australia) and Tel Aviv (Israel). The Inca City ranked 23rd in the list, where the users highlighted, through the web, the excellent hotel service, the varied menu of the restaurants and the endless attractions they could find. It should be noted that the first place was for London (England), followed by Paris (France), Rome (Italy), Crete (Greece) and other exotic destinations of the world.
Why Cusco? Cusco is the zero kilometer of any adventure to the Sacred Valley and Machu Pichu, the main historical inca remains that are the "first trip" through Latin America, of those who have been looking at the map for some time, measuring their strength and asking themselves, do I encourage myself? If you decided to escape from the maddening city your trip to Cusco will connect you with more harmonious ways of life, with communities that live as their ancestors, with salt flats the size of a sea, with ruins of empires whose wisdom keeps circling nearby. When the Incas founded their capital, they considered it the navel of the world, the center of their empire, the Tahuantisuyo, and from there they began their conquests. The whole city seems to be traveling through the feet and energy of those who visit it.
- Main Square: was the zero kilometer of the Inca Empire, from here the roads to the four suyoso regions of the Empire. It was the site of the martyrdom of Tupac Amaru.
- Cathedra lof Cusco: you can see a local version of the Last Supper in which Jesus Christ is facing a tremendous dish of guinea pig. Its foundations are Incas and belonged to the ancient temple of Viracocha. To see the interior of the churches, the ideal is to visit them on Sundays until 9 in the morning, since they are in mass and do not charge entrance.
- Qoricancha: the most venerable of the temples of the Inca sun. Its hybrid architecture - a Christian example on foundations of a pre-existing Inca temple - summarizes the history of Peru. The inner enclosure of the temple, dedicated to the adoration of Inti, solar deity, shone with golden figures of animals and characteristic plants like the vicuña and the corn in real size. Much of that treasure was transported in caravans of llamas to Cajamarca, as payment for the ransom of Atahualpa demanded by Pizarro, and the rest was the victim of looting. When the Convent of Santo Domingo was built on it in 1530, numerous elements of the original Inca temple were left exposed, such as a sixty-meter wall outside.
- San Blas neighborhood: colonial and steep, with many traditional craft shops. It is very known because here life the most ancient families that traditionally are cusquenian artisans generation per generation.
- Sacred Valley Inca Ruins: When traveling to Cusco and then touring the Sacred Valley, you will have the impression that you are in the real Inca Empire. This corridor of gorges and pampas furrowed by mighty rivers, organically intertwines with archaeological ruins among which vicuñas and llamas graze. Its peasantry is part of the heritage, as the scattered communities pay homage to farming techniques that once supplied the largest empire in South America. Attention: it is necessary to buy the tourist ticket to access many of the archaeological sites.
When is the best time to travel to Cusco?
The best time to travel to Cusco is from April to November (dry season). It refreshes a lot at night (so take a coat) But the days are sunny and clear, and the thermometer can climb up to 22 degrees. To take into account: June to August is high season and prices go up a bit.
The most important festivals are: Inti Raymi: the Sun Feast (June 24) and Qoylluriti (May to June, variable)
From December to March it rains a lot and there are usually , which can close for that reason. A couple of times that has ended badly, with tents carried by the current.
Did you know that the city of Cusco has received several honorary titles and international awards? Here some of them!!!:
- Cusco, first city and first vote of all the cities and towns of Nueva Castilla: Awarded in Madrid by Real Cédula de Carlos V, on April 24, 1540
- The very distinguished, very noble, loyal and faithful city of Cusco, the most important and head the kingdoms of Peru: Awarded in Madrid by Real Cédula de Carlos V on July 19, 1540.
- Cusco, Archaeological Capital of America: Awarded at the XXV International Congress of Americanists held in La Plata, Argentina in 1933. This title was endorsed by the Congress of the Republic of Peru through Law No. 7688 of January 23, 1933.
- Cusco, cultural heritage of the world: Awarded by the Seventh Convention of Mayors of the Great Cities of the World, meeting in Milan, Italy on April 19, 1978.
- Cusco, Cultural Patrimony of the Humanity: Awarded by UNESCO in Paris, France on December 9, 1983.
- Cusco, Cultural Patrimony of the Nation: Granted by Law No. 23765 of December 30, 1983. This same Law denominates in its 3rd article the City of Cusco as Tourist Capital of Peru.
- Cusco, Historical capital of Peru: Awarded by Article 49 of the Political Constitution of Peru of 1993.
- Cusco, Historical Capital of Latin America: Awarded by the Latin American Congress of Aldermen and Councilors, in the city of Cusco, in the month of November 2001.
- Cusco, American Capital of Culture: Awarded by the American Capital Organization of Culture in 2007.
- Cusco, Wonder of the World: Awarded on July 7, 2007 in ceremony held in Lisbon - Portugal.
Know more of the magical city of Cusco:
What currency do I have?
The ideal is to take dollars and exchange them to PERUVIAN SOLES (S /.) The local currency. Its change with the dollar (February 2019) is 3.30 Soles per dollar. If you enter Peru by Panamerican from Chile, you can change at the terminals of the Tacna terminal. If you need to change more in Cusco, there are exchange houses in the Main Square and along El Sol Avenue. There are also ATMs. Changing dollars in Peru is legal and free. Some of these agents also change traveler's checks.
There are plenty of hostels and inns of all categories. The majority of Hotels are located on the center of the city.
- A cheap hostel in Cusco is the Intro Hostel. It operates in an old house 300 years old, and offers breakfast, free Wi-Fi and even have their own bar with pool tables. It has very good comments for your attention and kindness. Prices are around 9 USD
- Another highly recommended is the Ecopackers (Santa Teresa 375, 150 meters from the Main Square) with a huge colonial garden full of tables, where a restaurant with vegetarian options, and where you can stay all night drinking beer, if you paint, because it has its own bar. It has free wifi, and very good atmosphere. Prices are around 10-18 USD per night depending on how many people are sharing the room.
- If what you are looking for is a party, the best party-hostel in Cusco is the Kokopelli Hostel (San Andrés 260), with its own Pisco-bar and disco. They usually organize events and live music almost every day, so it is the place to meet people in that climate, and the female audience highlights that among the ammenities there is a hair dryer. The common areas of the hostel are decorated with works by local artists. Prices idem up.
- Explicitly prescribed for digital nomads, the Milhouse Hostel (Quera 270) has many quiet nooks and crannies in its two central courtyards, with sofas and hammocks, as well as a bar where the vice comes to life when you close the computer (the digital nomads also do after office, which conste). The dorms are around 18-20 dollars, there are rooms with private bath for approx 50 'USD.
As you can see, youwill have many options too in Cusco, here just a few list.
- Interesting Info: Tripadvisor Awards 2020 Also consider the Hotels category, and know? Hotel Belmond Palacio Nazarenas ranked on 8 of 25 best hotels worldwide