1 Day City Tour of Cusco & Nearby Ruins Exploring The Peruvian Cultural Capital

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Take a delightful dive into the history and culture of the ever-evolving Peru on our one-day city tour of the country’s cultural capital. Breathe in the soul of this country and explore its heritage with our team of experienced and skilled guides. Why should you take Cusco city tour and what do we have to offer? Find out here!

The Navel of the World

The ancient city of Cusco may be known as the host of tourists in the Andes given all the Inca Trail hiking treks in the region lead from this city. It has evolved into a cosmopolitan city over the last few decades while giving people avenues to access the majestic lost city of Machu Picchu or to explore the enchanting Sacred Valley. However, that is not all. Cusco, today the cultural capital of Peru, is the oldest continually inhabited city of the American continents. It was the heart of the formidable Inca Empire and home to the Andean heritage, the architectural and cultural history of the Inca civilization, a reflection of the colonial past of this country and a symbol of Peru’s evolution.

Cusco preserves the blend of the centuries-old culture and the modern diversification in its raw and the most inspiring form. Its cobblestone streets, its native delicacies, archaic spiritual sanctuaries, architectural marvels and its diverse culture create a peculiar vibe and offer an experience that no other city in the world does. Cusco was called the “Navel of the World” and a day spent in this city lets one understand why.

Itinerary

We offer a 1-day city tour of Cusco and nearby ruins which takes you through all the important landmarks of the city in a few hours. All the archaeological sites in and around this city are close by, therefore, there is less distance to cover and more exploring to do. We offer two different packages. You can either choose the morning tour or the afternoon one.

Our Cusco city tour takes you to the following sites (in the order as given):

  • Cusco’s Cathedral or the Qoricancha temple
  • Saqsaywaman
  • Quenqo
  • Puka Pukara
  • Tambomachay

Description

Our guided tour of Cusco city and nearby ruins begins from your hotel. We will pick you up at the prescribed time and move towards our first destination, either the Qoricancha temple or the Cusco Cathedral. You can choose between the two sites, the Qoricancha temple being the most preferred one.

The Qoricancha temple of Cusco is an ancient spiritual temple built to worship the revered Sun God by the Incas. This large temple houses many deities in separate courts. Surrounded by beautiful gardens, the Qoricancha temple or the Sun Temple, is a grand site which pays tribute to the spiritual heritage and presents a beautiful model of the Incan architecture and design.

The alternatives site is the Cathedral, the most magnificent Catholic Church in the whole of Peru and perhaps South America itself. It was built on the site of the Wiracocha Inca Palace after the imperial capital fell to the Spanish invaders.  This Cathedral houses some of the most amazing woodwork and Cusquenian school of art, it is five centuries old and stands tall in its glory till date.

Our second stop on the Cusco city tour will be the Saqsaywaman fortress. This amazing structure was built centuries ago using the Inca engineering techniques of construction. It hosts three distinct platforms each of which is built using limestone stones. Sizes and shapes of the stones vary from one part of the structure to another. This fortress is a classic display of Incan skill in the stonework. This site is located 2 kilometres away from Cusco mainland.

From the Saqsaywaman fortress, we head towards the site of Qenqo which is just one kilometre from the grand fortress. This site served as the ceremonial cult centre for the Incas It is known for is spacious and magnificent amphitheatre. This amphitheatre is only half its original height now, however, it is quite a sight. A century ago, or perhaps even earlier, Incan mummies from all nineteen trapezoidal niches could be found in this ancient complex.

Our next stop shall be the Red Fortress is the Puca Pucara complex. The fortress gets its name from the shade of red tinting its walls. The stones used to build this structure contained a lot of iron, therefore, the whole structure is reddish in color. The Inca civilization possessed superior engineering skills and was well ahead of their time in making labs and farms. Puca Pucara is said to have been built as a dairy farm and watch post for Tambo Machay. The aqueducts, fountains and several enclosures housed in this complex simply show how amazing the Inca engineers and craftsmen were.

cusco city and nearby ruins

From Puca Pucara, we continue our journey towards the last destination before returning to the city square. Tambo Machay is the last site we explore on our 1-day city tour of Cusco. Tambo Machay is also known as the “water cult” and rightly so. It is a stone structure around the most enchanting waterfalls near Cusco. There are several aqueducts which must have served as water carriers back when the city of Cusco was the capital of the Inca Empire. There is a tower standing tall in front of the original structure. It is believed to have been the primary guard post for this important site.

What Do We Offer?

Our 1-day tour of Cusco city and nearby ruins is a complete package including everything you would want. It includes:

  • Tour guides versed in both English and Spanish
  • A small group personalized service
  • Transport with pick and drop

Please note that we will not offer any snacks or pay for entrance tickets at the archaeological sites. It is advised to bring your sun hat and water. If you are visiting in the wet season (November-March), bring a raincoat or umbrella. It is highly recommended to use sunscreen because the Andean sun can be harsh at such an elevation (Cusco sits 3,400 meters above sea level).

We will provide complete logistical support and make sure that you have a great experience exploring the history and culture of the city if Cusco.

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