The city of Cuzco or Cusco, is the capital of the department with the same name and one of the main tourist destinations of Peru. The city is known for being the former capital of the glorious empire of the Incas and for being one of the most important cities in the Viceroyalty of Peru during the colonial era. It has a population of approximately 510,000 inhabitants. In 1983, the city was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

the imperial city

According to the legends, the city was founded by Manco Capac, with his consort Mama Ocllo, founders of the Inca dominion. With the arrival of the Inca Pachacutec, the city would become a spiritual and political center. Some historians attribute to Pachacútec the original design of the Inca capital.

After the Spanish conquest the city, after being sacked and founded under the Spanish style again lose its status as capital, which would yield to the City of Kings, better known as Lima. The Spanish destroyed many of the Inca constructions, and on the walls that remained standing, built their own buildings. As a result, Cuzco is a city where the Inca magnificence coexists with the beauty and elegance of colonial buildings.

Privileged with a beautiful climate and an impressive blue sky, the city of Cuzco has beautiful attractions include La Plaza de Armas, Cusco Cathedral, the church of the Company, among others. Within the city limits we can find the imposing sanctuary of Coricancha, specially built to worship the sun god at the time of the Inca Empire. On its walls the convent of Santo Domingo, a beautiful Renaissance style building is erected. The stone of the twelve angles, located on the street Hatun Rumiyuq, is one of the symbols of the city. During the month of June, the city holds the grand celebration of Corpus Christi.

Cuzco has a variety of hotels of varying quality. In the imperial city, you can find from luxury five-star hotels to comfortable accommodations for backpackers. Also, visitors will find fine restaurants where you can taste the best of local and international food, and buy beautiful handmade souvenirs to comfortable prices.

Velasco Astete International Airport receives flights from some parts of Peru and the world, and is the second most widely used air terminal in Peru, only behind Lima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport. Annually receives approximately 1 million visitors. The city also has a railway that connects Cuzco with the cities of Puno and Arequipa.