With three thousand years of human settlement, Cusco has long been regarded as the center of Andean culture. Believed to be founded in the 11 th and 12 th century AC by the Inca Manco Cápac, Cusco is called the Sacred City or Q'osqo, meaning “Navel of the World” or “Swampy Area” in the native language Quechua. Cusco was the location of the central government during the Inka Empire, also called TAWANTINSUYO, which stretched from Northwest Argentina to Ecuador and Colombia .
The Incas built the city of Cusco in the heart of the Andes mountains at an elevation of 3,460 msl (~11,000 feet). The heart of the Inca Empire is located between the Apurimac river, the Ausangate Snow Rocky Mountains and the impressive Vilcabamba “Cordillera”.
The Incan society was an incredible example of social and political organization with great knowledge in medicine, agriculture, architecture and hydro-engineering. Rivers Such as the Huatanay and Tullumayu were channeled. A big swamp was drained and over this area great buildings and royal palaces were constructed with perfectly matched big stone boulders.
On March 23th of 1534, Francisco Pizarro founded a Spanish city over the base and ruins of the Inca city. Today the imperial city remains as a typical example of syncretism, a fusion of two different cultures having inherited magnificent architectural monuments as well as invaluable pieces of art.
Peruvian constitutional laws of 1993 designated Cusco as the CAPITAL OF THE INKA EMPIRE.
One of the main links to Cusco's magnificent past is the lost city of Machupicchu , a sacred place never found by Spanish conquistadores. It is the main destination of thousands and thousands of tourists that visit “THE ARCHEOLOGICAL CAPITAL OF AMERICA” every year.
How to get to Cusco ?
Airline: scheduled flights from Lima (1 hour) and Arequipa (30 minutes) to Cusco .
Lima – Arequipa – Cusco : 1,650km (20 hours)
Lima – Nazca – Puquio – Abancay – Cusco: 1,131km (18 hours).
Puno – Cusco : 389km (6 hours).
Train: Puno – Cusco : 389km (10 hours)
What to do?
Cusco has both the geography and climate appropriate for adventure sports. Lakes, rivers, mountains and trails lend themselves to river rafting, hang gliding, mountain biking, trekking, motocross, etc.
Cusco enjoys an incredible variety of stores and artesian markets. Visitors can purchase souvenirs, textiles, clothing made of wool, alpaca, vicuña cotton. Learn more about Craftsmen's market.
Bars and discos stay open all night long for your enjoyment of music and dance. You will find a variety of local as well as international drinks. You will also enjoy live music and shows with local, national and international artists.
Our restaurants offer a variety of entrees, haute-cuisine as well as typical Peruvian dishes such as ceviche, lomo saltado, anticuchos and cuy Cusquenian style. In addition you can enjoy a selection of international fare.