Travel to the Imperial City of the Incas
The department of Cusco combines fertile inter-Andean valleys with extraordinary mountains that descend to the rim of the jungle, where the landscape contains diverse vegetation and the temperature rises.
UNESCO added the city of Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incan Empire, to its World Cultural Heritage list in 1983. Cusco is definitely one of the most important destinations of Perú. Amongst the cobble stone streets, you will stumble upon many ancient, Incan buildings including Koricancha and the palace of Inca Roca, as well the Cathedral and the Church of the Company of Christ with their Andean Baroque structures from the Colonial period. The picturesque neighborhood of San Blas is one of the most traditional neighborhoods of the city, where you can see the workshops of the best artisans of the department. This magical city also has an exciting nightlife with restaurants, cafes, and bars for all tastes. The Fortress of Sacsayhuaman is just ten minutes away from the city, and a just a few minutes journey from there, you can visit the archeological sites of Qenko, Pukapukara, and Tambomacahy, which are all Incan buildings constructed completely with stone.
Just an hour outside of the city of Cusco, you can visit the towns of Pisac, Maras, Chinchero and Ollantaytambo, which are spread throughout the Sacred Valley of the Incas. From the Sacred Valley it is possible take a train to Machupicchu or you can follow one of the Inca Trails, a spectacular network of pathways that snake their way among the snow covered mountains, rivers, and overwhelming countryside, to get to the citadel of Machupicchu. The Inca Trail is one of the best trekking routes in the world; you will find extraordinary archeological sites and areas rich in endemic species of plants and animals.
The most important and beautiful legacy of the ancient Peruvians is the mysterious complex of Machupicchu which is part of the Historic Sanctuary of Machupicchu. This Sanctuary is also one of the few places in the Americas placed on both the World Cultural and Natural Heritage Lists by UNESCO. With its spectacular location on the top of a mountain, complemented by the exuberant surrounding nature, Machupicchu is one of the most unique and special places in the world.
Capital: Cusco (3399 mt asl(above sea level) / 11.156 ft asl)
Altitude: Lowest point: 532 mt asl / 1745 ft asl (Pilcopata)
Highest point: 4801 mt asl / 15.751 ft asl (Suyckutambo)
The city has a semi-dry and cold climate. The annual average maximum temperature is 19.6ºC (67.3ºF) and the minimum is 4.2ºC (39.6ºF). The rainy season starts in November and ends in March, this is when the mountains are covered in green. Between June and July is the cold season (heladas) with occasional snowfalls.
By land: Lima – Arequipa – Cusco: 1650 km / 1025 miles (26 hours by car)
Lima – Nasca – Puquio – Abancay – Cusco: 1131 km / 703 miles (20 hours by car)
Puno – Cusco: 389 km / 242 miles (7 hours by car)
By air: Daily flights to Cusco from Lima (1 hour) and from Arequipa (30 minutes)
By train: Regular service from Puno: 384 km / 239 miles (10 hours)
|DISTANCES FROM THE CITY OF CUSCO|
Acomayo (Province of Acomayo) 104,5 km (65 miles) / 3 hours
Anta (Province of Anta) 26 km (16 miles) / 30 minutes
Calca (Province of Calca) 50 km (31 miles) / 1 hour and 15 minutes
Yanaoca (Province of Canas) 165 km (103 miles) / 3 hours
Sicuani (Province of Canchis) 138 km (86 miles) / 2 hours
Santo Tomás (Province of Chumbivilcas) 240 km (149 miles) / 10 hours
Yauri (Province of Espinar) 241 km (150 miles) / 7 hours
Quillabamba (Province of La Convención) 210 km (130 miles) / 6 hours
Paruro (Province of Paruro) 64 km (40 miles) / 2 hours
Paucartambo (Province of Paucartambo) 109 km (68 miles) / 3 hours
Urcos (Province of Quispicanchi) 46 km (29 miles) / 40 minutes
Urubamba (Province of Urubamba) 78 km (48 miles) / 1 hour and 25 minutes