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Cusco, the Belly Button of the World

Cusco - Catedral

Highlights

In the early afternoon we will set out to discover the ancient Incan capital city. 
This fabulous tour of the City of Cusco takes you to the most important sites in the city. The tour includes the Cusco Cathedral, the Temple of the Sun (Qoricancha),  
Tambomachay, Pucapucara, Q’enqo and Sacsaywaman. 
These are the most important Incan sites close to Cusco witch we highly recommend!

Itinerary

Most of the country, including all coastal areas, enjoys a so-called Mediterranean climate, almost identical to much of California. Summers are hot and dry with a 7-month period of near-constant sunshine generally from April until November.

Cathedral & Qoricancha and the Convent of Santo Domingo

Qoricancha - CuscoYour guide will pick you up from your hotel lobby at 1:00 pm to begin your tour. From here, we will transport you to Cusco’s Plaza de Armas, where you will visit the famous Cathedral which is home to a grand collection of paintings from the 17th century Cusco School of Fine Arts. Next you will continue (on foot)  from the Plaza de Armas to the Qoricancha and the Convent of Santo Domingo.The convent was built on the spectacular Qoricancha, which translates to ‘enclosure of gold’.This was a temple dedicated to the worship of the sun and during Incan times, All that remains now is the fine stonework as the Spanish conquistadors dismantled the temple to build the convent and other buildings in Cusco.

Tambomachay

Tambomachay - Cusco
From the Q’oricancha we will transport you with our private van to the city outskirts to the archeological site of Tambomachay! meaning “place of rest” in Quechua as it used to be the royal hacienda and a water temple of the Inca Yupanqui.  Here you will see some fascinating aqueduct, channels and fountains built out of stone, designed to channel water flowing from a nearby stream.

Pukapukara

pukapukara-cusco-peruFollowing Tambomachay we will continue our journey to the sight of Puka Pukara which means ‘the red fortress in Quechua. The interesting point here is the way the Incas built the walls over the natural bedrock.  This is a small site is made of large walls, terraces, and staircases and was part of the defense of Cusco in particular and the Inca Empire in general. Although the name suggests that it was a fortress, it does not appear to have had any defensive purpose. It was most likely used as an administrative center and the resting place for Chaskis who were message carriers from town to town.

Q’enqo

qenqo-cusco-peru
The site of Q’enqo, which means ‘maze’ in Quechua, is one of the largest Huacas (holy places) in the region of Cusco. Many Huacas were based on naturally occurring rock formations and were believed to be a place where sacrifices and mummification took place. There are carvings of indigenes animals of the region as lamas, condors, pumas, and snakes! There are many channels sculpted into the natural rock, probably used for pouring chicha (a local drink made from corn) as an offering. Below the site, there are a number of caves and passageways.

Sacsaywaman

saqsaywaman-peruThe last and most important site on this journey is definitely Sacsaywaman. This famous site is generally referred to as a fortress. However, it is not certain what its main function was before the Spanish arrived. Current studies suggest that it was more likely used as a temple, as Inca tombs have been discovered in the area! The name most likely comes from the Quechua language, Waman which means falcon or variable hawk witch lives in this area!

The longest of the three walls is about 400 meters. They are about 6 meters tall. The estimated volume of stone is over 6,000 cubic meters. Estimates for the weight of the largest andesite block vary from 128 tonnes to almost 200 tonnes fitted together tightly without mortar.

The site is at an altitude of (3,701mts/ 2,142ft) and the grounds surrounding Sacsayhuaman are still used today for the colorful festival of Inti Raymi, which is held to celebrate the winter’s solstice on the 24th of June each year.   

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Important Information

Price Includes

  • Professional Guides
  • All of our guides studied English and tourism at national university’s in Cusco. 
  • They all grew up in this region and have a true passion to teach others about their heritage. They are fun, professional and will ensure you are safe and happy while on the tour!
  • Transportation / We use our own private, clean vehicles for all of our tours so that you are comfortable while visiting the beautiful sights on the city limits.

Price Excludes

  • Entrance Tickets / Tourist Ticket: 70 soles (or 130 soles if you are also doing the Sacred Valley) / + Cathedral: 25 soles, Qoricancha / Temple of the Sun: 15 soles
  • Meals / There are no meals included during this tour.

We recommend bringing the next items to the tour

  •  jacket
  • Sun Hat and Sun protection
  • Water
  • Money for, souvenirs, lunch, and tips (recommended in soles)
  • Money in soles to purchase the entrance tickets