See and hear about the 6 archaeological sites of Cusco – the Cathedral, Koricancha (Temple of the Sun), Sacsayhuaman, Q’enqo, Pucapucara and Tambomachay.
The legend says that Manco Capac and his sister – wife Mama Occlo came out of the Lake Titicaca ordered by the God father to found a city where they could set a rod of gold which was given them from the god. After a long journey, the first two Incas arrived to the Valley of the Huatanay River where they could sank without efforts the rod of gold, the Valley where they finally founded the city of Cuzco is also called now the “world navel” and the cradle of the Incas.
1438, with the arrival of power, Cusco became the most important Andean town, capital of Tahuantinsuyo, the Inca Empire extended from Ecuador to the North of Argentina, Chile and Colombia. Pachacutec and the Inca who followed him were building a beautiful form of Puma city (Cusco), whose head was represented by the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, the palaces and temples, such as the Koricancha, where there were several temples dedicated to the lightning in the Rainbow, the Moon, Sun, walls covered with gold and precious stones. Cusco was surrounded by strategically Inca constructions as Sacsayhuaman Pukapukara, Tambomachay, Qenqo, or the Sacred Valley (Pisac, Ollantaytambo) to Machu Picchu.
March 23, 1534 Francisco Pizarro leads the Spanish Cusco Foundation. The conquistadores re-use great Inca constructions to build their own palaces and churches, such as the Cathedral and the convent of Santo Domingo, built on the Koricancha.
Today, the archaeological capital of South America is a city with more than 500,000 inhabitants, A fusion between an urban environment and pre-Columbian monuments like Sacsayhuaman and Koricancha that served like base for the construction of gems of colonial miscegenation as the Cathedral, the Church and the convent of the Merced.
It is this beautiful city and its region that we offer you to discover.
4 hour tour of the most important sites of Cusco
Daily departures except Sundays for group services. Private Services any day of the week.
Historical tour with english speaking guides
Amazing Inca sites!
- The Cathedral
- Koricancha and the Convent of Santo Domingo
- Puka Pukara
* We can arrange a customised itinerary for you to include the Inca Trail Trek,contact us for more information
The Cathedral was built between 1560 and 1664 out of large slabs of red granite taken from the Inca construction of Sacsayhuaman. It houses important collections of gold and silver work of the colonial period, elaborately engraved wooden altars and a beautiful collection of oil on canvas paintings from the Escuela Cusqueña.
Koricancha and the Convent of Santo Domingo
The convent was built on the spectacular Coricancha ‘site of gold’. This was the most important temple dedicated to the worship of the Sun and whose walls were lined with solid sheets of gold. All that remains now is the fine stonework, the conquistadors took the rest. Coricancha was also an observatory, where priests kept track of major celestial events. Today it houses an impressive collection of canvas paintings from the Escuela Cusqueña.
Sacsayhuaman (which means ‘satisfied falcon’) is one of the most impressive sites built by the Incas. It is generally referred to as a fortress, however it is not certain what its main function was. Current research suggests that it was more likely to be used as a temple, as Inca tombs have been discovered in the area.
The site is a marvellous archaeological feat, even now after it was destroyed, one can only imagine its greatness when it stood in full glory. The stones in the wall are incredible and the largest weighs in at over 300 tonnes.
The Incas envisioned Cusco as having a puma shape – Sacsayhuaman was the head. The magnificent zigzag walls are the major attraction. The grounds surrounding Sacsayhuaman are still used today for the colourful festival of Inti Raymi which is held on the 24th June every year.
The site of Q’enqo (meaning ‘zigzag’ or ‘labyrinth’) contains the most impressive carved rocks in the Cusco area. There are carvings everywhere, although some are a little indistinct: a llama, a condor and snakes have been identified. There are many zigzag channels on top of the rock, probably used for pouring sacrificial chicha (a local wine made from maize). Inside the rock there are a number of caves and passageways and an alter which was used for the sacrifices of llamas.
Puka Pukara translates to ‘the red fortress’. This is a small site and although the name suggests that it was a fortress, it does not appear to have any defensive purpose.
This site was thought to have been used as a Temple to the Water. There are some very impressive aqueducts, canals and cascades carved in stone, designed to channel water flowing from a nearby stream.
Prices City Tour
|Group Service||Private Service|
| Join other travellers on the tour. Departs daily.|
US$ 15 per person
| US$ 135 in total for 2-6 persons|
(7+persons - please equire)
WHAT IS INCLUDED?
- Specialist guide in English or Spanish.
- Tourist ticket (s/70 for 1 day, s/130 for 10 days)
- Entrance fee Qoricancha (s/10)
- Entrance fee Cathedral (s/25)
- Water + snacks
WHAT YOU SHOULD BRING?
- Sun Protection
- Waterproof jacket or poncho
- Camera and film
- Extra money for entrance fees and shopping