My trip and recommendations for traveling to Cusco
The first day I got there, while waiting for the moment of my horrible tour of the Sacred Valley, despite having plenty of time, I would have time to walk through the market at a good time. The truth is that I always love to visit the markets, as you can read many times. If I was already delighted in Arequipa, the one in Cusco also seemed very interesting because once again we must remember that Peru is a huge country and, therefore, the products from one market to another change significantly. That morning he took the opportunity to have breakfast inside, a place that still retains a lot of authenticity.
After my return from the Sacred Valley and my brief stop at the salt marshes of Maras and Moray , I began touring the center of Cusco . With the tourist voucher that had been sold to me during the tour, I could visit several museums in the city, so I decided to make the most of it. My first stop would be at the ancient Temple of the Sun and nowadays Coricancha Museum attached to the Convent of Santo Domingo . In the Coricancha museum , small but quite entertaining, we find a complete exhibition about the life and customs of the Incas. Then, I would lose myself in its cobbled streets and that is that Cusco lends itself to it. Havecountless lovely corners . At times I remembered my dear Santiago . I discovered that even at night it is a really cozy city. The lighting and the atmosphere of its streets at night falls in love.
As essential, we can not fail to include its cathedral , its main square but then it has many houses with beautiful balconies, churches, convents …
My hostel was close to the Pachacútec monument , an emblem in Peru . I took the opportunity to visit this monument dedicated to his life and work that extends over several floors until reaching the top of a huge statue that seems to protect Cusco . The views that can be seen from there are interesting. A step away from there I would be lucky to find the craft market , the perfect place to buy any type of souvenirs.
What to see in Cusco: My Essentials
For me, the big surprise of Cusco! I had never heard of these ruins and, despite having visited Machu Picchu , they also left me alone. This ceremonial fortress is 2 km outside of Cusco so you will have to take a bus there (just ask) or a taxi. This city began to be built in the s. XV and shows the great power of the Inca people at that time. The walls are made of large and heavy blocks of stone that, like Machu Picchu, miraculously fit perfectly. Doors, cisterns and even a huge temple with stands are still preserved. Amazing!
The historic center of Cusco
The center of Cusco, like Santiago de Compostela , travels with extreme ease and is made to get lost in it. Hide a lot of secrets and corners that can only be savored with tranquility. The enormous historical heritage of its streets and cobblestone gives it an unparalleled charm both day and night. Cusco has a beautiful Plaza de Armas , a World Heritage Site, which was already a nerve center during the Inca empire. In the center a fountain with Pachacutec is there to remind us despite a strongly colonial accent. In this square are the church of the Society of Jesus and the Cathedral of Cuscoof great eauty. Not far from there is also the Church of Santo Blas , one of the oldest temples in the city. Another of the most prominent buildings is the impressive Basilica Minor de la Merced . Another place that you can not miss is the curious Hatun Rumiyoc street where the base of ancient Inca constructions have been reused. One of the most special is the Stone of 12 angles due to its extreme complexity.
The Coricancha Museum and the Church of Santo Domingo
Little is left unfortunately of the Inca ruins of Coricancha. It is believed that there was the most important political and religious temple in Cusco. After the looting of the conquerors and several earthquakes today we can barely get a vague idea of the place. Inside, a small museum has been set up to understand the importance of that site. Attached to the museum is the Church of Santo Domingo, s. XVII
The Pachacutec Monument
Pachacutec was one of the most important rulers of the Inca empire. In the monument tower we can see an extensive exhibition on the subject as well as incredible 360 degree views over the entire city of Cusco.
The Central Market of San Pedro and the Handicraft Market
The markets are a perfect place to relax but watch out for pickpockets in the Central Market of San Pedro who visit more and more tourists every day. If you are looking for authentic souvenirs, I recommend you go to the Craft Market of Cusco located on Avenida Sol where I will find perfect gifts at a much fairer price than in the city center.