Why Peru visitors must check out Cusco

24th Jun 2013

The south-east Peru destination of Cusco was the historic capital of the ancient Inca Empire and is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It's little wonder that its regional government expects to draw more than two-million tourists on city breaks by the end of 2013.

René Concha Lezama, vice president of the Cusco region, told Andina press agency that the Inti Raymi festival and Machu Picchu, one of the world's most easily recognisable cultural sites, alone attract more than 300,000 visitors annually.

Inti Raymi is one of the most celebrated festivals and events in Peru. It dates back to Inca times and involves music, exotic costumes and the sharing of food.

Commonly known as the "Lost City of the Incas", the hallowed spiritual haven of Machu Picchu is probably the Inca civilisation's most iconic site, nestling above The Sacred Valley, a fascinating favourite among tourists on trekking holidays.

Figures published earlier this month showed the Cusco region, perched near the Urubamba Valley of the Andes mountain range, has already welcomed nearly 1.2 million visitors from within Peru and abroad.

The numbers reflect the recent upgrade to the region's infrastructure.

Lezama added: "With an improved infrastructure, an increase in the number of hotel rooms, and an upgrade to the airport, we expect to see an increase in tourism over the next few years."

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