Points of Interest
Within the city of Cusco, the main attractions are:
The Plaza de Armas, Called Huacaypata in Inca times, is surrounded by colonial buildings and stone portals, on the northeastern side is the Cathedral, on the southeast side of the church of the Jesuit
The Cathedral, impressive architectural achievement, built in the Viracocha´s Inca palace; it has one of the greatest representations of colonial art, not only painting from “Cusqueña School” but carving and silverware.
La Campania de Jesus Church; built in the palace Inca Huayna Capac, it´s an impressive display of Baroque art.
Church and Convent of La Merced, you would visit the monastery and museum with pictures of Cusco paintings and the Custody of Solid Gold 1.2 m in height, as well as the church.
Church and Monastery of Santa Catalina, it has a collection of cusqueña school´s paintings and a collection of cloths and embroidery. It has a baroque side chapel with amazing frescoes.
Qorikancha or Santo Domingo Church, It was the main Sun Temple of the Inca Empire, and in the colony owned by the Dominicans, currently has an extraordinary combination of colonial and Inca architecture. You can observe the best representation of Inca masonry in the country.
San Blas Church, famous for its pulpit made from a single trunk and regarded as the best example of wood carving in colonial America.
Inca Museum, located in a beautiful colonial house, visitors will find the largest vestiges collection of the Inca culture.
Regional Historical Museum, located at the House of mestizo chronicler Garcilaso de la Vega, exhibits a collection in chronological order from pre-ceramic to the Inca period.
Pre-Columbian Art Museum, located in a colonial Spanish building with an Inca’s ceremonial yard. It exhibits a selected and mixed collection of archeological objects that belongs to several ancient cultures from Peru.
Religious Art Museum, located in Inca Roca´s Palace, which was converted in the Archbishop´s Palace, it has an art religious collection, which illustrates the interaction between the native people and the Spanish settlers.
Casa Concha Museum, located in a colonial house which belonged to the Concha family, of the Spanish aristocracy. It shows part of the archeological collection founded by Hiram Bingham in Machupicchu.
Around Cusco you can find:
On the outskirts of the of Cusco city, you can find the Inca ruins of Sacsayhuaman, Kenko, Tambomachay and Pukapukara, which can be visited in just one day with a service guide or a taxi.
Sacred Valley.- Located in the Urubamba Valley, a place where you can find the Inca citadels of Pisaq and Ollantaytambo, the Andean town of Chinchero, Moray platforms as well as colonial villages, local markets and other Inca remains, and also grows the best corn in Peru.
- Pisaq, located 37 km from Cusco offers a colonial village by the river, which is the largest craft and tourism market in the region and with the Inca ruins located at the top of the mountain. The ruins are known for their extraordinary Inca terraces and tombs.
- Ollantaytambo, charming Andean town surrounded by the Inca ruins of Ollanta. It is the best living example of Inca urban planning, as the village retains its original Inca layout.
Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary
- The Inca citadel of Machu Picchu is the most important archaeological site in America, selected as one of the seven new world wonders, known only by the local Quechua people and made known to the Western world by the American historian Hiram Bingham in 1911.
- It is believed that Machu Picchu was built during the government of Inca Pachacutec, and it has worked as a religious, administrative and political center, linking the Amazon to the Andes. Clearly, the sacredness that is Machupicchu, not only for its geographical location (as part of the Inca Sacred Geography), but the architectural features of the city in relation to the movement of the sun, and the amount of energy received, facts found by the archaeologists residents (Astete, among others.) and other researchers, as Brian Bauer.