Official Name: CUSCO (QOSQO: Center of the world)
Capital of the city: Cusco
Historical capital of South America
The Archaeological Capital of America; it constitutes the biggest tourist attractiveness in Peru, and the most visited one. Cusco was the biggest city and capital of the Inca Empire “Tahuantisuyo” (that reach great part of Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Chile) and then taken by the Spanish conquerors; today it has an architecture that fuses the Inca with the Spanish style. Their town conserves with pride its customs and traditions. It is also the forced step to know the mystic and enigmatic sacred citadel of the Inca Machupicchu that the Spaniards never knew and was discovered by the occidental culture in 1911. Cusco, as well as Machupicchu, for its historical value, and for its beauty is considered Cultural World Heritage Sites
Tour to Machupicchu
The city has a population of 390,000 people according to National Institute of statistic.
GEOGRAPHY AND LOCATION
The city of Cuzco extends throughout the Huatanay river valley. Located on the eastern end of the Knot of Cuzco, its elevation is around 3,300 m (10,800 ft). North to Cuzco is the range of Vilcabamba with 4–6000 m high mountains. The highest peak is Salkantay (6271 m) about 60 km (37.28 mi) northwest of Cuzco.
Cusco was the site of the historic capital of the Inca Empire and was declared a world Heritage in 1983 by Unesco. It is a major tourist destination and receives almost 2 million visitors a year. It is designated as the Historical Capital of Peru by the Constitution of Peru.
WEATHER AND CLIMATE
Between June and October, temperatures can drop to almost about 3º or less at night, but unlike from April to December, there are no heavy rains.
Generally speaking, Cusco’s weather can be cold, but rarely freezing.
The average annual temperature is 12 ºC, ranging from an average morning temperature of 18 ºC and nighttime temperature at around 6 ºC.
Info about cusco
ARCHEOLOGYCAL SITES SURROUNDING CUSCO
The architectonic complex occupies the edge of the northern slope of the city of Cusco. The southern side of the building was enclosed by a polished wall of almost 400 meters long. The eastern and western borders of the temple were delimited by other walls and cultivation terraces. The main front of the building faces the north and is protected by a formidable system of three cultivation terraces. They are supported by zigzagging walls constituted by large stones that amazed their first visitors and which even now surprise us.
Qenqo is a Quechua words which meaning is labyrinth located at 1 kilometer from Sacsayhuaman. It is natural rock formation carved for different purposes especially for astronomic observatory where was celebrate numerous ceremonies.
Puca Pucara means “Red Fort” in Quechua, and comes from the red color of the soil because it contains high percentage of iron. This archeological site is located at 8 km from Cusco city.
The archaeological site of Tambomachay is located at 8 km from Cusco city in the southern Peruvian highlands. It is one of the many holy places designed by our ancestors, well-crafted stonework; beautiful fountains can be appreciated on this area.
The term Sacred Valley of the Incas is used to refer to the valley of the Urubamba River, especially between Pisac and Ollantaytambo.
The Sacred Valley contains some of the most visited archaeological sites in the Cusco: Pisac, Urubamba,Ollantaytambo and Chinchero are important Inca’s remaining and visited usually on a day trip. However, the towns in the Sacred Valley now contain a number of good hotels in different categories, and staying in the Valley rather than in Cusco is an option being taken by an increasing number of visitors. Staying in the Valley is a far quieter option than staying in Cusco, and is preferable for people who prefer to be away from the crowds and closer to nature.
The Agricultural Laboratory of the Incas, Three large natural depressions in which terraced co-centric circles was constructed. Seeds cultivated at this site were likely sent throughout the Incan empire to improve yield in the harsh conditions of the Andes and were probably one of the benefits offered by the Incas for peaceful incorporation of neighboring tribes into the Incan empire. Today the site is a series of co-centric circles on plateaus 400 m above the valley floor (3,200-3,500 m above sea level). The site was designed by the Incas to take advantage of natural depressions below the level plain and model Andean, jungle and semi-tropical environments for the growth of different plant varieties. Pollen studies indicate that soils from each of these regions was imported by the Incas to each of the large circular basins. In the largest of the depressions (150 m) a series of water channels can be seen finding their way to the bottom. Studies have found temperature variations up to 5 degrees Celsius.
MUSEUM AND TEMPLES
The first cathedral in Cusco was built in 1539 in the “Suntur Wasi”, and was known at the time as the church of victory. Later between 1560 and 1664 a new cathedral was built on the site of “Kiswar Kancha”, the palace of Inca Wiraqocha. It was designed in the shape of a Latin cross. The facade is in the Renaissance style contrasting with the Baroque and Plateresque. The Cathedral is also famous for its splendid interior.
It has excellent examples of colonial goldsmith’s work and woodcarving and a valuable collection of canvases in the style of the so called escuela Cusqueña. On either side of the Cathedral, there are two auxiliary chapels, one for victory and the other for Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
COMPAÑIA DE JESUS TEMPLE
Construction started on this church of the Jesuit order in 1576 at Amarukancha or the Palace of the Inca Huayna Qhapaq. It is considered the best example of colonial Baroque architecture in America. The facade, all of carved stones, is spectacular. In the interior there is a beautiful gold altar, which is built over an underground chapel. The church also possesses a collection of sculptures and paintings, such as the wedding of Saint Ignatius Loyola’s cousin and a Ñusta of Inca stock.
LA MERCED TEMPLE AND CONVENT
Founded in 1536, the outstanding feature of the church and the convent is its tower in the Baroque style. In its interior you can find Baroque Renaissance cloisters. The choir is decorated with chairs in the Baroque Plateresque style and numerous figures and paintings of colonial art. There is a monstrance of gold and beautiful stones that is 1.3 m. high and 22 kg. in weight, with a big pearl in the form of a siren, and it is considered the second biggest in the world.
SANTO DOMINGO CONVENT
The convent was built in the foundations of a monument of great importance for the Inca religion of the sun god, called “Inti”. In the interior are enclosures with walls of fine polished stone. The chronicles affirm that they were covered with sheets of gold and silver, with idols and the representation of the sun. Its only tower is profusely carved in the Baroque style. Its interior possesses an excellent collection of paintings in the style of the Cusqueñas School.
SAN BLAS TEMPLE
The Temple of San Blas was built in the old neighbourhood of “T’oqokachi” in 16th century. In the church you can see extraordinary examples of fine woodcarving in the Spanish churrigueresque style. The pulpit is carved from cedar wood and the main altar is Baroque style.
MUSEO MUNICIPAL DE ARTE CONTEMPORÁNEO: Contemporary Art exhibition
MUSEO HISTORICO REGIONAL: Paintings from the 17th and 18h century
MUSEO DE ARTE POPULAR: Avenida el Sol (Collection of popular art)
SANTA CATALINA MUSEUM AND CONVENT: Santa Catalina Angosta (Collection of religious art)
MONUMENTO PACHACUTEQ: Statue of Pachaquteq leader of Incas time is placed on a cylindrical building at twenty twometers high. Enjoy the view of city from top.
MUSEO INCA DE LA UNIVERSIDAD SAN ANTONIO ABAS DEL CUSCO:Cuesta del Almirante (pre-Hispanic objects, stonework, funeral metallurgy, pottery, textiles and colonial age paintings)
SANTA CATALINA CONVENT AND MUSEUM: Santa Catalina N° 190 (religious art)
LA MERCED CONVENT AND MUSEUM: Plazoleta Espinar – Mantas (Cusco’s Paintings school from 17th and 18th centuries and other religious art objects).
PALACIO DEL ARSOBIZPO MUSEUM: Calle Los Herrajes (religious art)
QORICANCHA MUSEUM: Av. El Sol (Pre-Hispanic objects from different areas of Cusco)
IMPORTANT: BOLETO TURISTICO
There are three different kinds of ticket:
A full ticket (valid for ten days and for all sites), 130 soles;student ticket (ISIC student card required as proof), 70 soles;
The ticket gives access to the following sites in Cuzco: Santa Cataline Monastery, Museo Municipal de Arte Contemporáneo, Museo Historico Regional, Museo del Sitio del Qoricancha, Museo de Arte Popular, Centro Qosqo de Arte Nativo Danzas Folklórico, and Monumento Pachacuteq. And around Cuzco: Sacsayhuamán, Qénqo, Pukapukara, Tambomachay, Chinchero and the ruins of Pisac, Ollantaytambo,Moray, Tipón and Pikillacta
A partial ticket, (only valid for one day and a limited number of sites)
The sights are divided into three circuits. Each circuit can be purchased separately or all together as a General Ticket
Circuit I: S/70 (soles) Good for one day
Sacsayhuaman,Qenqo,Puca pucara, Tambomachay archeological sites remaining.
Circuit II: S/70 (soles) Good for two days
Museum of Contemporary Art,Museum of Regional History, Museum of Popular Art, Museum at Qoriqancha, Pachacuteq, Native Music and Dance show at Qosqo Center of Native Art, Tipon, Piquillaqta.
Circuit III: S/70 (soles) Good for two days
Pisaq, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero, Moray archeological sites remaining.
Cost of the general ticket is S/130 (or S/70 for students) and is good for ten days. Basically, if you’re planning on visiting the sites of the Sacred Valley, you’re better off buying the general ticket. The cost of just the ruins circuits is the same as the cost of the general ticket, but you have ten days to do everything instead of three.
Tickets can be purchased on Avenida el Sol in a government office (OFEC).
CUSCO FESTIVALS AND EVENTS 2012
El Senor de los Temblores: Late March to early April, a colorful procession held on the Monday prior to Easter, remembering the historic Peruvian earthquake of 1650
Cruz Velacuy: (festival of the Cross) early May, a Catholic event where religious crosses are carried around the city and its nearby communities
Cerveza Cusqueña festival: May and June, one of the leading music festivals in South America, lasting three days and attracting many noteworthy artists
Corpus Christi: May and June, religious events and processions around main square and cathedral
Qoylloriti: Early June (traditional Inca’s pilgrims walking from Cusco to Ausangate snow mountain finding a great temple for around fifty miles.
Inti Raymi (Festival of the Sun): June 24th celebrated by the whole city and featuring a re-enactment of Saqsaywaman’s Inca winter solstice festival, street dancing and much pageantry, around the Koricancha Temple and the Plaza de Armas
National Independence Days – July 28th and 29th, held in Cusco and throughout Peru
Cusco Touristic Month – Many different events is celebrated (traditional dancing, typical food, etc)
Todos Santos (All Saints Day) – November 1st, a religious event and national Peruvian holiday
Dia de los Muertos (All Souls Day) – November 2nd, family celebration, being particularly lively around the Andes
Typical food is not offered any where restaurant they must be tasted at typical restaurants
Made with fresh lamb, cezina, chickpeas, boiled potatoes, carrots, corn, cabbage and rice
Chicken soup with rice, potatoes, egg, parsley and boiled cassava.
ROASTED GUINEA PIG (Cuy)
Cuy oven baked with potatoes and tamales.
Creamed beans, peeled potatoes and beans, served with rice and sweet potatoes.
Ground corn beaten to a fluffy delight
Prepared with ground corn, can be sweet and salty
Red pepper soup served with chunks of white pork meat and a hot pepper served with bread
A mixture of guinea pig meat, cooked chicken, torroja, cau cau (fish eggs), yuyucha (sea weed), sausage and roasted corn
Everything is cooked on hot stones, lamb, potatoes and beans, served with cooked corn, diced cheese and chili
CORN WITH CHEESE
Fresh Corn cooked together with fresh cheese and hot sauce. This dish is delicious
Pork fried onion salad and mint with boiled potatoes and fresh corn
Stuffed hot pepper soufflé with fresh boiled corn and boiled potatoes