Standing on the ruins of ancient Inca temples and palaces, the colourful city of Cuzco is a captivating blend of traditional Andean culture, architectural wonders dating from the time of the Incas to the colonial era, and a majestic setting in a highland valley. As well as offering exclusive access to Machu Picchu, Cuzco has a long list of attractions from the charming Plaza de Armas and imposing Catedral to the masterful stonework ruins of the Koricancha Inca complex. The UNESCO-listed fortress of Sacsayhuaman commands an incredible view across Cuzco and is the most impressive of the historical sites dotted across the surrounding hills. The formation of large polished dry-stone boulders is thought to represent the head of a puma and inside the walls are a number of towers and important temples.
South of Cuzco are the impressive Tipón ruins, a complex of Inca temples and aqueducts with amazingly preserved agricultural terraces, watered by channels lined with stone. Hidden in a natural valley shelf, the ruins are practically deserted with no habitation in sight. Perfect as a day trip, on the return journey to Cuzco stop at the traditional village of Saylla and try chicharrones, a delicious local pork dish. Nowhere better will you find such a dish and with barely a tourist in sight, it’s a chance to see the real Peru. Back in town a range of restaurants, from the cheap and cheerful to the more gourmet establishments, serve a delectable variety of traditional Peruvian dishes including Luna Areja where you can grab a Chicha beer and hang with the locals over a plate of homely Andean food.
To get you started with planning your holiday to Cuzco, we have showcased below some popular itineraries requested by our clients which we hope will inspire your visit to South America