Cusco, Peru: Vacations and Travel Info
Sitting at nearly 11,000 feet above sea level, Cusco is one of South America's most extraordinary tourist destinations. The most visited city in Peru was also one of the first to be populated on the continent, making it the birthplace of countless pre-Columbian civilizations and the ancient capital of the Incan Empire.
There's something simply magical about Cusco: maybe it's due to the small cobblestone streets, the old colonial buildings set on indigenous foundations, or the warm, moving people. This charming city, declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO, attracts thousands of visitors each year from all over the world.
Like most colonial cities, Cusco has a well-laid-out downtown area, including a colorful main square encircled by breathtaking colonial buildings in addition to numerous churches and small squares in the surrounding areas. Towards the outskirts of downtown, the buildings give way to rustic, picturesque facades and cobblestone streets, originally designed for herding llama and other animals that couldn't fit into an automobile.
The city's indigenous population, native Quechua language (which can be heard in any local conversation), delicious traditional cuisine, colonial atmosphere and mysterious ambiance have all remained entirely intact over the centuries.
As a World Heritage Site, the city offers visitors an attractive combination of historic sites and convenient tourism services, including restaurants, bars, cafes, dancing hotspots and shops selling local artisanry. With hundreds of ruins and archaeological sites in the surrounding areas, combined with lots of shopping, nightlife, entertainment, cultural activities and sporting events, the city of Cusco has something for every vacationer. Whether you're looking for culture, history, adventure or fun, you're sure to find it in Cusco.
Hotels in Cusco
Drawing in thousands of visitors annually, the city offers a large number of accommodation options in different categories and for every budget. You'll come across just as many small hostels and three-star hotels as exclusive boutique hotels and luxurious properties. In any of these establishments, you'll experience a stay full of fun and relaxation whatever your style or budget may be.
As the city with the best services and infrastructure in the area, Cusco is considered the gateway to the mythical, sacred Inca city of Machu Picchu, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and Peru's main tourist attraction. From the city of Cusco, there are many different ways to access Machu Picchu, including by bus, by train, and even on foot so that you can take in the amazing panoramic views while being in direct contact with nature. Whatever your means of transportation, Cusco tends to be the perfect starting point to get to Machu Picchu. The city allows you to enjoy the many other surrounding attractions and Inca ruins, including Valle Sagrado (Sacred Valley), which is home to diverse populations and archaeological sites.
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