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Cusco

Cusco lies in a valley in the eastern Andes 3500 meters above sea level, 950 kilometers south-east of Lima.

Most of the inhabitants are of indian origin, and Cusco was founded by the first inca, Manco Capac, acording to the myths.

But many things indicates that the city must be much older. In the old times Cusco was the capital and haedquarter for the great inca-empire, and the biggest city of Peru. The city still maintain its inca - feature.


Cusco has a huge number of tourists visiting the city, and it has a lot to offer the visitors. The tourists never det enough of this fascinating place, and the most common thing they say when they leave is:"i wish i had a month more in Cusco". One of the things that fascinates the tourist is the inca-architecture, with huge rocks put together in a structured way, and you cannot even put a needle between them. In downtown Cusco most buildings are a combination between inca-architecture and spanish colonial architecture.


Don´t miss the university-building, founded in 1692, the fabulous cathedral buildt in 1559 and finished in 1564, with a precious decoration, and other impressive churches like La Merced. Korikancha (the temple of the Sun) or Convento de Santo Domingo , like the spaniards named it, is incaruins with a spanish colonial church buildt upon it.

Here the incas kept their great fortune of gold before the spanish stole it. Nowadays there are no gold, but the remains of a great inca temple is a masterpiece of beauti ful stone-construciton that would be difficult to make even with todays technology.

In the archeological museum you can see interesting articles of metal and gold, jewels, stones, textiles and mummies from an ancient time. And don´t miss out the museum of the inca.

In the areas ar ound Cusco there are many interesting ruins from the inca-time, like Sacsayhuaman , Quenco, Puca Pucara and Tambo Machay. Cusco in the inca-time was constructed in the shape of a Puma seen from abouve. Koricancha (Temple of the sun) was the heart of the Puma and Sacsayhuaman was the head.

Sacsayhuaman was a military fort on a height outside Cusco, made of massive rocks in the characteristic inca way, and the biggest stone is more than 5 meters tall.

This was used to defend Cusco from outside enemies, and for religious ceremonies.

Valle Sagrado, or the Sacred Valley of the incas, is also a very interesting attraction.This beautiful fertile valley goes all the way from Cusco to Machu Picchu, along with the river Urubamba surronded by a impressive mountain-landscape. On the way there are many interesting inca-r uins, like Pisaq y Ollantaytambo.

Another attraciton is the market in Pisaq which is one of the biggest indian handcraft markets in Peru.

One of the most popular excursion in the area around Cusco is the Inca-trail.

This is a part of the many roads the incas made for their infrastucture in their empire, and the trek goes from a kilmometer 84 in the Sacred Valley up in the montains and finish in Machu Picchu.


The trek is a four days adventure where diferent incaruins appear on the way. You can also go on a trek for two days starting at kilometer 104. The trek is limited and can only take 500 people per day and it´s very important to make a reservation with anticipation. But the most important attraction outside Cusco is definately Machu Picchu, and we dedicate this spectacular monument it´s own chapter.

Other interesting activi ties around Cusco is mountainbiking, bungie -jumping, and other extreme-sports. Cusco is a very interesting, is a must for any tourist. There are hardly any tourist going to Peru not visiting Cusco, so all we can say is: VISIT CUSCO .

 
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