Cusco the Heart of the Inkas
The sublime combination of Incan and Spanish Colonial architectural styles has forged a city that will both surprise and bewitch anyone who visits it. Once there, you will find excellent hotels, fine restaurants, and a vast supply of unique handicrafts, yet certain aspects (churches, plazas, and districts steeped in tradition) are so beautiful they alone are worth the visit. Cusco is furthermore the launching pad for sightseeing in the Sacred Valley of the Incas and for traveling on two important circuits: the first covers various archeological complexes that are a stone’s throw from the city (Sacsayhuaman, Kenko, Puca Pucara, and Tambomachay) and the other, the so-called Southern Circuit, takes you to charming towns and remarkable Incan sites like Andahuaylillas, Tipon, and Racchi. You won’t want to miss out on any of the excitement.
Cusco is one of those cities where it is possible to find a living past, a history suspended among its walls, temples, and even its people. It is the precise spot from where the Incas began expansion of their empire some 800 years ago as well as their venerated ‘navel of the universe’ or sacred center. Out from it ran roads that united the four suyos (sectors) that were at the same time the four corners of the Incan world. Likewise, it was the seat of power from where emperors decided the fate of a nation as immense and diverse as few can boast, and in its honor, they constructed majestic palaces that have resisted the passage of time.