"CUSCO - PERU" Top 5 Page for this destination Cuzco by ThiagoRamos

Cuzco Travel Guide: 213 reviews and 527 photos

The Archeological Capital of America

The name "Cusco" means "Navel" in Qechua and the city is located 3.400 meters above the sea level (be careful with the altitude sickness and try to rest for a few hours after arriving), in the Sacred Valley, in Peru.

An old inca legend said that Cusco was founded by Manco Capac (the first inca leader according to the legend) in the XI century. However, archeological studies point to a slow and organic occupation of the site around these centuries. Cusco is considered by historians and archeologists the OLDEST INHABITED CITY IN AMERICA and the ARCHEOLOGICAL CAPITAL OF THE CONTINENT.

Cusco was the most important administrative and cultural center of the Inca Empire.

After capturing the inca leader Atahualpa, Francisco Pizarro marched to Cusco and, in 1533, the spanish invaded and conquered the city.

Lima was founded 2 years later, in 1535, and soon became the new administrative center of the new colony, mainly because of its proximity to the Pacific Ocean.

After the spanish conquest, most of the inca buildings were destroyed and their stones and bricks were used to build catholic churches and colonial administrative buildings on the same spots where the inca buildings once stood. Europeans used to do that to show their pretentious superiority.

Although, nowadays, colonial architecture prevails in Cusco and gives the city a special charm and a cozy atmosphere, there are still a few inca ruins standing in the city and even more around it. Both, colonial architecture and inca ruins, make Cusco worth your visit!!!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Colonial architecture, friendly people, history everywhere...
  • Cons:Poor children begging on the streets. It´s heartbreaking.
  • In a nutshell:A colonial gem 3400 meters above the sea level!!!
  • Last visit to Cuzco: Jul 2006
  • Intro Updated Jan 3, 2007
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Reviews (26)

Comments (3)

  • debtravers's Profile Photo
    Mar 19, 2007 at 4:17 PM

    Very informative page and tips! Looking forward to visiting Cuzco one day, hopefully! :))

  • mircaskirca's Profile Photo
    Mar 3, 2007 at 9:36 AM

    Oi Thiago! Your tips and photos of Cuzco bring back lots of good memories... There is so much to explore not only in the city but also in its sourroundings. I liked Mama Africa too :)

  • mad4travel's Profile Photo
    Jan 5, 2007 at 10:23 AM

    Great Photos and Tips. Cuzco is a fab place to hang out. Greetings from the UK!

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