Activities and Events near Cusco
Day 8
SouthWind quote
  The morning is unstructured to allow for personal explorations of Cusco and lunch is on your own. Meeting our local guide at the hotel later, we'll enjoy a complete introductory tour of this fascinating city. Our visits will include such impressive sites as the Coricancha, the Inca's Sun Temple whose flawless stonework is some of the finest we’ll encounter; the main square and cathedral, many of whose stones were taken from nearby Incan palaces; and the Incan walls along Hatunrumiyoc Street which is named for the 12-angled stone that is clearly visible in the remaining walls of what was Inca Roca's palace. Heading up to the surrounding hills, we'll next explore the nearby ruins of Sacsayhuaman, a spectacular hilltop fortress and temple complex with commanding views of the Cusco valley, and Tambo Machay whose ceremonial baths' clear, cool springs continue to flow 500 years after they were built. Afterwards, we'll return to the Hotel Liberator (or similar) and together enjoy a special dinner and folk music show this evening. (CB,D)
email to home from Cusco

Wow in two days we are constantly blown away! We have walked all over the old part of the city. Vendors every where. Very beautiful Colonial buildings. But they pail to the Inca walls that are left. Most of the buildings in the old town are built on top of the old Inca walls. The old City is in the shape of a Puma lying down. The Ruins of Saqsaywahman (sounds like sexywoman) or what is left of them I cannot understand how they were built. The largest stones are over 130 TONS! They are aboslutly perfictly fitted together. Infact they have tried to duplicate this work with todays tools and it is not as good! We have also seem many other ruins in the area. The Incan Impire was HUGE! Too bad others greed brought them to their demise!

Morning on our own exploring the living museum of Cusco. All the ruins in town have Spanish homes built on top. The brick work in beautiful. We visited the Church that was built on Inca Ruins, it collapsed in the 1950 earthquake revealing the Inca ruins. They rebuilt the church, but left the ruins for a museum. Also visited Sacsayhuaman, Tambo Machay, Quango, Puca Pucara all within the area of Cusco. Dinner was at a restaurant in the Plaza de Armas.

Coricancha (Inca's Sun Temple)


Hatunrumiyoc Street

Inca Wall in Cusco

GORP Quote  

Cuzco was alternately the navel of the world, the umbilical life-giver, and the puma, the stealthy predator. The Incan Empire, much like the Roman, consolidated its domain through a network of roads. This immense, 3000 mile network emanated from Cuzco. The city was laid out in a grid, the outline of which was thought to resemble a puma. The head of the puma was the important temple site Sacsayhuamán, a short one hour hike from Cuzco. This site was a fortress with enormous stone walls on a plateau at the edge of Cuzco. Only 20% of the original structure remains, most of it having been carted off to build Spanish Cuzco. That which remains is mostly the stones that the Spanish couldn't haul away -- the huge boulders expertly fitted together. Gazing at these walls, you get a sense of the resolute strength that speaks to the walls function as the bastion of defense for the mighty empire's capital.


Tambo Machay
GORP Quote  
  The three other ruins near Cuzco include Qenko, a ceremonial stone and cave with altars carved into it, Tambo Machay, popularly known as the Incan baths and an important ceremonial site, and Puca Pucara, the "red fort," a minor ruin not often visited but perhaps worthy of a sidetrip if you want to spend some solitary time in an Incan ruin.

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