Cuzco is a city in southeastern Peru, near the Urubamba valley (Sacred Valley) of the Andes mountain range. Cuzco was the capital of Inca Empire. Many believe that the city was planned to be shaped like a Puma. The city had two sectors: the urin and hanan, which were further divided to each encompass two of the four provinces, Chinchaysuyo (NW), Antisuyo (NE), Contisuyo (SW), and Collasuyo (SE). A road led from each of these quarters to the corresponding quarter of the empire. Each local leader was required to build a house in the city and live part of the year in Cuzco, but only in the quarter of Cuzco that corresponded to the quarter of the empire he had territory in. According to Inca legend, the city was built by sapac Inca Pachachacuti, the man who transformed the Kingdom of Cuzco from a sleepy city-state into the vastempire of Tahuantinsuyo. But archaeological evidence points to a slower, more organic growth of the city beginning before Pachacuti. There was however a city plan and two rivers were channeled around the city. The first Spaniards arrived in the city on November 15th, 1533. Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, officially discovered Cuzco on March 23th, 1534, naming it the Very noble and great city of Cuzco. The many buildings constructed after the Spanish conquest are of Spanish influence with a mix of Inca architecture, including the Santa Clara and San Blas barrios. The Spanish undertook the construction of a new city on the foundations of the old Inca city, replacing temples with churches and palaces with mansions for the conquerors. During the colony, the city of Cuzco was very prosperous thanks to the agriculture, cattle rising, mining as well as the trade with Spain. This allowed the construction of many churches and convents, and even a Cathedral, university and an Archbishopric. Often, Spanish buildings were juxtaposed atop the massive stone walls built by the Inca.
With your guide, your group will tour the churches and Cathedral around the Plaza de Armas, and visit the Temple of the Sun (Qoricancha); then drive to and tour the nearby ruins of Sacsayhuaman, Qenko, Tambomachay and Pucapucara.
Itinerary in Brief
Half day guided tour of Cusco and nearby ruins from 9:00 am or 1:00pm
The Main Cathedral
Qoricancha ( Templo of the sun )
Plaza de Armas or Main Square
Inca and Spanish colonial architecture
Sacsayhuaman and nearby ruins
Cuzco is a city in southeastern Peru, near
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