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Cusco, the former capital of Incas is the gateway to the world wonder, Machu Picchu and the historic Sacred Valley of Incas. Located at 3399 metres above sea level, this colonial city has a lot to offer to its visitors. There are plenty of Inca ruins within the city and on the outskirts. There are some notable sites which depicts a perfect blend of Incan and colonial architecture. Qorikancha temple is one of the significant sites to see this.
Cusco City was developed during the rule of the ninth Sapa of Inca empire, Pachacutec. He was also responsible for building both Machu Picchu and Choquequirao. When the Spanish rulers took over the throne, they demolished most of these Incan sites and built churches. In some cases, they retained the basement.
Our half day Cusco City Tour offers a good orientation to Inca civilization. It starts at the cathedral of Cusco. This was once an Incan royal palace. You will then be visiting the Qorikancha Temple. Upon Spanish invasion, the temple was demolished and a temple of Santo Domingo was built.
You will then be visiting the four iconic ruins on the outskirt of Cusco City. They are, Sacsayhuaman, Q’enqo, Tambomachay and Puca Pucara. Each of these sites played a significant role in the life of Incas which our local tour guide will explain you during the tour.
We offer both group and private tour on this half day Cusco city tour.
We will be starting the Cusco City Tour at the Cathedral of Cusco. Cusco Cathedral was built on the remains of an Inca palace. Here we will be visiting the altars and impressive paintings inside the cathedral.
Just a few blocks away from Cusco Cathedral is the Sun Temple or Qorikancha. This was one of the most sacred sites of Incas. The patio here once had numerous statues made of gold. Our guide will walk you through the temple and explain how the Spanish rule changed the structures of the revered temple of Incas.
We will then drive you in our private transport to Sacsayhuaman. The massive Inca fortress is perched on a hill top overlooking Cusco city. It was built by Pachacutec. The sites have massive stones each weighing over 100 tons. The Incas did not use mortars instead they cut these stones finely and have joined them.
We will then visit the archeological complex of Q’enqo. It was a prominent site during Inca civilization The Incas did scarifications and mummifications here.
Tambomachay was a spa to the Incan political elite. There are several canals here which are linked with a nearby natural hot springs. Although the site was built decades ago, these canals are still in use.
We will then visit Puca Pucara. The name in Quechua means Red Fort. The Incas safe guarded Cusco from here. It derived its name from the colour of the rock which was used to build the site. At dusk, with the reflection of sun, the rock transforms to red colour.
After visiting Puca Pucara, we will drive you back to Cusco City.