In addition to serving as a gateway to nearby attractions like Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail, Cusco offers travelers a host of culturally enticing museums, cathedrals, and markets that make this city an excellent addition to any itinerary. For outdoor enthusiasts, the Cusco area offers a number of spectacular trekking opportunities. And for those who want to stretch their legs a bit, but aren’t up for a week-long adventure over mountainous terrain the nearby Inca ruins of Sacsayhuamán, Q’enqo, Puca Pucara, Tambo Machay, Tipón, and Pikillacta and Rumicolca make excellent day trips.

Today, Cusco is known for its inviting and intriguing blend of Spanish and Inca culture. The Quechua people, the present-day ancestors of the Incas, are also a foundation for the city and bring the charm, humility, and beauty that keep tourism booming in Cusco.

Because the city is a popular destination along the Gringo Trail, it has a variety of hotels and restaurants to accommodate any traveler’s tastes, from five star world class hotels to hostels the most miserly of backpackers will find affordable. It is an extremely visitor-friendly city, with tour agencies on every block and extremely helpful locals. Most of the major Cusco activities are within walking distance of one another, and can be covered in about half a day, though you may want to devote a little more time to browse the various shops and markets you may encounter along the way.

Some Cusco highlights include:

The thriving artistic community of San Blas is one of the oldest and most picturesque neighborhoods in Cusco. While you’re in the neighborhood, you may want to head over to Iglesia San Blas, home to one of the most exquisite examples of woodcarving in the world.

The recent restoration of the massive stone Cusco Cathedral reveals incredible stonework and magnificent paintings.

The Qoricancha Templo del Sol and Santo Domingo was once an extraordinary display of Inca masonry and wealth. The temple of the sun was the main astronomical observatory and is worth the observation.

Some museums to check out are the Museo Histórico Regional, Museo Inka and the Museo de Arte y Monsterio de Santa Catalina for a start.

Gulliver Travel Peru – experience Cusco, the navel of the Inca Empire Gulliver Travel. Based in Cusco and with over 20 years of experience leading treks in the Andes, Gulliver is an excellent choice for organizing your trip to Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley and all of the Inca Empire.

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