CUSCO & SACRED VALLEY
The navel of the world
Located in the Peruvian Andes, at 3400m/11155f above sea level, the city of Cusco was redesigned and remodelled in the 15th century after a pre-Inca occupation process of over 3000 years becoming the capital of the Tawantinsuyu Inca Empire under the rule of Inca, Pachacutec. When the Spaniards conquered Cusco in the 16th century, they preserved the basic structure but built beautiful Baroque churches and palaces over the ruins of the Inca city.
Declared a World Cultural and Natural Heritage Site in 1983 by UNESCO, a visit to Cusco tumbles you back into the cosmic realm of ancient Andean culture, even today it is possible to find traces of pre-Hispanic cultural elements in every corner of the Andes, traditions as wild fiestas and carnivals, where the syncretism of pagan tradition meets Catholic ritual, bold colorful textiles and costumes, that keep vivid the past, and languages as Quechua that refuses to disappear in the heights. Cusco is now a truly amazing city, filled to the brim with Inca and Spanish history, stunning churches, artisanal markets and shops, museums of Inca and Spanish culture, local Peruvian markets and amazing restaurants and bars. Exploring Cusco is the highlight of any visit to Peru with so many ways to explore, from the very active to a more relaxed and conventional way.
Cusco is also the start point for many different activities, such as visiting the Sacred Valley of the Incas, taking the train to Machu Picchu, an unmissable highlight to any trip to Peru, trekking itineraries, biking or rafting and if you’re a history buff, you’re in heaven.