"The center of the Empire" Top 5 Page for this destination Cusco by SirRichard

Cusco Travel Guide: 1,065 reviews and 2,293 photos

Cuzco (also known as Cusco) was the capital of the Tahuantinsuyo, what we know as "Inca Empire", though this word Inca means "king", so is used wrong when refering to that culture. This empire was spread from nowadays Colombia to Chile, all along the Andes and reached its peak in the 15th century, just before Spanish "conquerors" arrived in 1531 and extinguished it.

Anyway, if you wanna visit the (let's call it) INCA culture, Cuzco should be your basecamp. From here you can visit the ruins of the Sacre Valley, Machu Picchu and some remains you will find around the town.

Cuzco's heart is the "Plaza de Armas" where you can find the Cathedral and the "Compañía de Jesús" church, among other remarkable buildings. Cuzco's historical center can be visited by foot, but there are many slopes and stairs, so take it easy.

As Cuzco is located at 3.326 meters above the sea level, if you arrive by plane, you must count on 2-3 days to get used to altitude. In those days, you have to take it easy, real slow. Otherwise, you will suffer "soroche", the altitude sickness.
I spent 2 days here before starting the Inca Trail. Had a little headache on those 2 days, but the 3rd day I was in gear again, ready for the trekking! Drinking or chewing coca leaves may help though...

  • Last visit to Cusco: Apr 2005
  • Intro Written May 10, 2005
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Reviews (27)

Comments (6)

  • Jul 7, 2009 at 11:29 PM

    after uzbekistan this is the next destination, if all goes well of course! great page joaquin!

  • roamer61's Profile Photo
    Jul 16, 2007 at 5:07 AM

    Hi Joaquin. Nice little page on Cuzco. I will go there one day when I have $$$$ and also overcome my fears of getting Soroche. :)

  • Thestumps's Profile Photo
    Jul 1, 2007 at 6:17 PM

    Man that sounds awesome. I could go for that pain. About the coca leaves. Do you feel an actual numbness? Do you feel it helps in the altitude?

  • andrea.d's Profile Photo
    Jan 15, 2006 at 10:02 AM

    Wow, great page! I don't think i would be able to handle the altitude though... But with a little coca leaves help? Who knows :)

  • neilward's Profile Photo
    May 12, 2005 at 8:54 AM

    Great pages,lovely photos,nice one

  • Maillekeukeul's Profile Photo
    May 12, 2005 at 1:06 AM

    Nice page... Cusco is probably, with Arequipa, one of the most splendid cities in Peru...

SirRichard

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