Welcome to Cusco, the heart of the Inca Empire and a vibrant city full of history, culture, and natural adventures. From Saska Hotel Boutique, we want to make sure you get the most out of your visit to this magical city. That’s why we’ve created this essential guide to help you explore Cusco and discover its most treasured gems.
A Journey Through Time: The Plaza de Armas
The Plaza de Armas is the center of Cusco and the perfect place to start your adventure. Surrounded by historic churches and ancient buildings, this square will transport you to another era. Don’t forget to visit the Cathedral of Cusco and the Church of the Society of Jesus, two architectural jewels that tell the city’s story.
The Qorikancha: The Temple of the Sun
The Qorikancha, or Temple of the Sun, was the spiritual center of the Inca Empire. Although much of the temple was destroyed to build the church of Santo Domingo, the Inca foundations can still be admired. The mix of Inca and Hispanic architecture creates a fascinating contrast you can’t miss.
Sacsayhuamán: A Fortress in the Heights
Just minutes from Cusco, you’ll find Sacsayhuamán, an impressive fortress with huge carved stones that fit perfectly without the use of mortar. This site not only offers a lesson in Inca engineering but also panoramic views of Cusco that will take your breath away.
The San Blas Neighborhood: The Artistic Heart of Cusco
San Blas is known as the artisan’s neighborhood. Walk through its steep streets and be charmed by the art stores, workshops, and small galleries. This neighborhood is also home to the San Blas church, which houses a wood-carved pulpit considered a masterpiece of the colonial era.
San Pedro Market: A Feast for the Senses
To experience the true essence of Cusco, you must visit the San Pedro Market. Here you’ll find everything from exotic fruits and fresh vegetables to colorful textiles and local handicrafts. It’s the perfect place to taste local food and immerse yourself in the day-to-day life of the Cusqueños.
The Ruins of Tambomachay and Pukapukara
Explore the outskirts of Cusco and discover Tambomachay, an archaeological site known as the Bath of the Inca, famous for its channels and water fountains. Nearby, Pukapukara, an ancient red fortress, offers another perspective on Inca engineering and military strategy.
Sacred Valley of the Incas: An Essential Journey
The Sacred Valley is a magical region that houses picturesque villages, vibrant markets, and impressive archaeological sites like Pisac and Ollantaytambo. It’s an excursion that will allow you to experience the cultural and natural richness of the surroundings of Cusco.
Moray and the Maras Salt Mines: Natural and Human Wonders
Don’t miss Moray, an archaeological site with circular terraces that served as an Inca agricultural laboratory. Nearby, the Maras Salt Mines are a spectacular landscape of natural salt pools, still in use since pre-Inca times.
Tips for an Unforgettable Experience
- Acclimatization: Cusco is at a high altitude, so take your time to acclimatize. Drink plenty of water and rest upon arrival.
- Transportation: Exploring on foot is an excellent way to discover Cusco, but for longer distances, taxis are a convenient and economical option.
- Gastronomy: Don’t leave without trying traditional dishes such as cuy, chicha morada, and Andean ceviche.
- Altitude: If you plan to go hiking or visit archaeological sites in the heights, bring snacks and water, and dress in layers for the temperature change.
From Saska Hotel Boutique, we are here to help you plan your perfect adventure in Cusco, offering you a unique experience that combines comfort, culture, and the warmth of our hospitality. Discover Cusco with us and take home memories that will last a lifetime.