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Things to see in Cusco
PLAZA DE ARMAS
In Inca times,this plaza was called the "Huacaypata" (The warrior`s Plaza)
It was an important ceremonial site where the Inti Raymi or Sun Festival was
celebrated each year and is where Francisco Pizarro proclaimed the conquest
of Cusco.With the arrival of the Spaniards the plaza was transformed,Stone
arches were constructed along with many of the buildings that surround it
BARRIO DE SAN BLAS
Located 3 blocks from the Central Plaza
San Blas is one of the most picturesque barrios in Cusco. It is characterized
by its narrow,inclined streets and its beautiful colonial styte homes.It
also know as the Artisan`s neighbourhood.
Arqueological Sites surrounding Cusco
Some of the famous ruins surrounding Cusco, are at a slightly
higher altitude 2 to 7 kilometers northeast of the city of Cusco or 10 minutes by car.
The complex includes 33 archeological sites. We suggest taking a taxi (10 Soles) up to Tambomachay
and walking down to Puca Pucara, Q'enqo, Saqaywaman
and then down to Cusco.
We recommend to buy a tourist ticket for entrance into Cusco's
major attractions. The tickets, which make a great souvenir, are available for
purchase for $10 at the tourist bureau of Garcilaso, travel agents and
at some of the sites. The tickets include the following attractions: Saqsaywaman,
Q'enqo, Pukapukara, Tambomachay, Cathedral, Museo Arte Religioso, San Blas,
Museo de Santa Catalina, Museo Palacio Municipal, Museo Arqueologico Qorikancha,
Museo Historico Regional, Chinchero, Parque Arqueologico de Pisac, Ollantaytambo,
Tipon and Pikillaqta.
Tambomachay is located at the end of a trail a short walk up from the
road 7km from Cusco and 3,700 meters above sea level. Several channels surround
this site and tunnel running water into the ruin's bathers.
Tambomachay is thought to have fulfilled an important religious function
linked to water and the regeneration of the earth. It is believed to have
been built around 1500 AD and was closely related to Pucapucara.It covers
approximately half a hectare.The buildings are made from limestone in a
Open from monday to saturday, 9 am to 5 pm
Puca Pucara, "Red Fortress-Watchtower", is located down the
road) toward Cusco from Tambomachay at a slightly lower altitude. This
is a much smaller ruin and only takes a moment to view. It has a nice
view of the surrounding countryside. This fort served as a checkpoint on
the Inca road.
It's name means "zigzag." Q'enqo was a Huaca, a religious
place. In it's caves you find niches where the lower noble people
had been burried together with their gold.
The best known site is the
Fortress of SacsayhuamÓn,likely a religious construction although some
investigators believe it has a military function,The most important temple of
Hanan Qosqo of Cusco de Arriba was located there,dedicated to Andean
cosmology,to the veneration of the Inti (sun),Quilla (moon), Chaska (stars),
Illapa (lightening), and the other divinities.The construction is herculean
given the size of the megaliths.Some weight between 90 and 128 tons.
the Incans chipped away at the building blocks of this (and may other temples)
with obsidian rock until those building blocks fit perfectly with out any
form of mortar. The blocks, of all sizes looked like puzzle pieces. Many had 10 to 12 different angles which are
so tightly compact you cannot place a penknife in the crevices. And all
this was done by the Incas without the invention of the wheel or iron tools.
At the top of the ruin is a circular structure. If you stand directly
in the center and speak, you can hear the echo of your voice. The Incans
used this technique to help them meditate. Saqsayhuaman is located about
a twenty minute walk down from Puca Pucara, and is the largest and most
famous. Open from monday to saturday, 9 am to 5 pm
Moray is unique in this region. It's located 7km southeast of the village
of Maras. You can go there by car over an unpaved road or by foot starting
in Maras. The climat of Maras is gentle, a little bit like a huge greenhouse
and was therefore used to cultivate plants.
Pisaq is located about a half hour past Tambomachay and it's archaeological
complex is quite stunning and provides a spectacular two hour hike uphill.
These ruins cover an extensive area, are little visited and the walks around
them are spectacular as well.
COMPLEJO ARQUEOLĎGICO DE TIPĎN
Location:25 Km southeast of the city of Cusco (approximately 45 minutes by
According to legend.Tip˛n is one of the royal gardens thar Wiracocha
commissioned.It includes 12 terraces flanked by perfectly polished
stonewalls and enormous terraces,canals and ornamental water falls that
together Tourist Pass is required. Open from monday to saturday, 9 am to 5 pm
Machu Picchu, one of the most awesome sights in the world, remains
a mysterious site, never revealed to the conquering Spaniards and virtually
forgotten until the early part of this century when it was discovered by
Hiram Bingham in 1911. To get there, you will need to rise before dawn
and take a breathtaking switchback train ride for several hours and then
a bus to reach the site.
It is easy to find a tour agency once you are in Cusco. Most are located
off the Plaza de Armas. We recommend NOT to purchase your tour
outside Cusco, because it will cost you more. It is possible to get to Machu Picchu
MUSEOS EN CUSCO
Cusco has two important museums that are worth spending and afternoon or
morning visiting aside from the attractions included in the tourist Ticket.
Cuesta del Almirante 103
A mere one block from the main square,the Plaza de Armas.The
museum offers pre-hispanic objects and others with indigenus features,but
dated after the spanish conquest. Open from monday to saturday, 8 am to 5 pm
Entrance is 5 soles. TelŔfono.-(084) 237380
Museum of Popular Art - MAP
Plaza Nazarenas 231
Located two blocks from the Plaza de Armas show us a representation of
an Incan tomb includes authentic mummies.The quality and variety of the
pieces make it worthwhile.
Open from monday to sunday, 9 am to 5 pm. Entrance is 10 soles. TelŔfono.-(084) 237380
Museum of Religious Art
Churches in Cusco
CATEDRAL DE LA CIUDAD DE CUSCO
Hours morning: mon - tue - wed - fr - sat
10.00 - 11.30
Hours afternoon: daily
14.00 - 17.30
Sunday: until 17.00
Costs 10.00 soles
The Cathedral was built in two stages,Initially the Chapel of the Triumph
was built over the ancient Suntur Wasi (House of God) temple,later the omate
Cathedral was built over the Inca Wiracocha`s Palace.The Cathedral`s facade
and the interior are dominated by the Renaissance style.The interior is rich
in cedar and alder carvings and both the pulpit and the choir stalls are
COMPAĐ╠A DE JES┘S
Location: Main Square
Hours: Mon - Sat 11.00 12.00 and 15.00 - 16.00
The original church was built in 1571 on the old Amarucancha,the Inca Huayna
Capac`s Palace.The building was badly damaged by an earthquake in 1650 and
was finally rebuilt toward 1688.The original facade and nave qre excellent
examples of Andean Baroque.The doorway a "retable" style,is adorned with
several mid sized towers and its stonewalls have been carefully
worked.Inside the temple ,the three-part altar and the Salomonic-style
columns stand out,along with the carved wooden pulput and ornate retables.
Location: San Blas square
Hours: Mon - Sat 8.00 - 18.00 / Sun . Holiday 14.00 - 18.00
Built during Colonial times,the Church has a baroque pulpit that is a master
work in wood carving.
Cost: S/.5.00 soles
CONVENTO DE LA MERCED
Location: Calle Mantas no street number
Hours: Mon.- Sat. 8.00 - 12.00 and 14.00 - 17.00
Cost: 5 soles
The baroque-style Church was built between 1657 and 1680.The sacristy guards
its most precious treasure,an impressive shrine with gold and precios gems.
CONVENTO DE SANTO DOMINGO / KORICANCHA
Location:Intersection Av El Sol and Santo Domingo street
Hours: Mon. - Sat 8.30 - 17.00 / Sun - Holiday 14.00 - 17.00
Costs: S/. 6.00 soles / Students S/. 3.00 soles
According to chroniclers,the Koricancha was one of the most astonishing
buildings in Incan Cusco.Inside,the walls were entirely covered with gold
sheets as it was the principal temple devoted to the sun god.
The convent has a very valuable collection of paintings from the XVII y
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