The Mysteries of Machu Picchu
Since its discovery in the early 20th century, Machu Picchu has taken off as a world destination, being named year after year as a best travel destination and one of...
The city of Cusco was the capital of the Inca Empire and the trace of this culture can still be seen in many of its streets. With great architectural skills, the Incas created authentic works of art on a large scale and they used stones of incredible size to erect walls that to this day are still standing on some of the streets of the Imperial City.
With the arrival of the Spaniards, many of the impressive buildings that the Incas had built were destroyed and they construct in their place others with the same characteristics that in the old continent were built.
Thus, Cusco is a great mixture of Inca and colonial architecture and walking through its streets you will learn much more about the history of our country.
Are you planning to travel to Cusco and you want to know what are the essential places you have to visit? We have created a tour for you! Do not miss any details of the Imperial City!
San Pedro Market
We start the day at the San Pedro market, the perfect place to have breakfast and discover the flavors of the Peruvian Andes. Located just a few blocks away from the Plaza de Armas (Main Square), this market has a large number of stalls that offer breakfast to visitors from the early morning.
We recommend you to try the fruit juices, where you can choose from a wide variety of flavors: from bananas and strawberries to exotic papaya and passion fruit. To accompany it, nothing better than a sandwich of avocado or cheese from the mountains.
Plaza de Armas (Main Square)
Once you have a full stomach, it’s time to start with the sightseeing day. To start, we recommend you to visit the Plaza de Armas, where the city of Cusco began in the era of the Inca Sinchi Roca and which became the center of the entire Tahuantinsuyo or Inca Empire.
With the Spanish arrival, this place became the main meeting point of the conquerors. Here they established their residence and they built their mansions, cathedrals, and temples on the remains of the Inca palaces. Afterward, in this same place, the Spanish ordered the execution of Tupac Amaru II.
Currently, in addition, to appreciate the beauty of the Plaza de Armas, we recommend you to visit the Cathedral and the churches of the Sagrada Familia and El Triunfo, which are at its side. In these three places you will find various works of art from the Cusco school.
If you want to enjoy the views of the square, we recommend you to go to some of the coffee shops that are located in the portals that surround the plaza. These have terraces where you can have a good coffee and observe from another point and with more calm this place.
12 Angles Stone
The next point of your visit will be the 12 Angles Stone. Once you finish visiting the Plaza de Armas, look towards the Cathedral. On the right is located the Triunfo street, which you have to follow until you cross Herrajes Street.
At this point, Triunfo Street becomes Hatunrumiyoc Street and here is located the famous 12 Angles Stone. The impressive thing about this stone is its perfect finish and, of course, its 12 angles that fit perfectly and without any mortar with the stones that surround it.
In Inca times, the wall of which this stone is part belonged to the Inca Roca residence, a place that, with the arrival of the conquerors, became the seat of the Archbishop’s Palace in Cusco.
After the visit to the 12 Angles Stone and the first approach to Inca architecture, it is time to discover the great Inca palace of Coricancha. To get to this place, you will have to go down by Herrajes (a street that later changes its name to San Agustin) and continue straight until the end of the street, and then turn right. Just a few more steps and you will run into Coricancha.
This was the religious, political and geographic center of Cusco and its name, which in Quechua means “fenced place containing gold”, is because this construction was completely covered with gold both outside and inside. When the Spanish conquerors arrived and discovered this building, they took away all the gold plates of it and destroyed the temple leaving practically only the base, on which they built the current Convent of San Francisco.
Undoubtedly, Coricancha is one of the places with more history of the entire capital of the Inca Empire and it is the living image of what the conquest meant for the city of Cusco.
San Blas neighborhood
To finish the day of tourism, there is no better destination than the San Blas neighborhood. Undoing the path that brought us to Coricancha, you must continue through Hatunrumiyoc (leaving behind the 12 Angles Stone) until you reach the Cuesta de San Blas, where the neighborhood of the same name begins.
In the shops and workshops of San Blas, you will find the best art of Cuzco. In addition, the neighborhood has a variety of restaurants and, above all, a spectacular viewpoint where you can enjoy the best panoramic view of the Imperial City.
Cusco is one of those cities where you will always have things to visit, these are just the essentials! We wait for you in the capital of the Inca Empire.