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Peru | Cusco | Sacred Valley | Urubamba

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Things to see in Cusco

Historic Squares

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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 today.
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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.
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PLAZA NAZARENAS


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Arqueological Sites surrounding Cusco

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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

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 polygonal style. Open from monday to saturday, 9 am to 5 pm

Puca Pucara

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.

Q'enqo

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.

Saqsayhuaman

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. You'll notice 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



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Moray

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

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 car) 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

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 independently.

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. missing

INCA MUSEUM

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
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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

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Museum of Religious Art



Churches in Cusco

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CATEDRAL DE LA CIUDAD DE CUSCO

Location:Main square 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 breathtaking.

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COMPAĐ╠A DE JES┘S

Location: Main Square Hours: Mon - Sat 11.00 12.00 and 15.00 - 16.00 Cost: free 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.

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SAN BLAS

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

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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.
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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 XVIII centuries.
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