15 Amazing Things To See And Do In Cusco, Peru!

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Cusco, the gateway city for tourists arriving to see Machu Picchu, is an incredible place to visit. What was once the capital of the Inca Empire, today Cusco attracts millions of tourists every year. The whole city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is full of beautiful architecture, unique museums, historic ruins, and bustling plazas. 

At an elevation of 3,300 metres above sea level, Cusco is a great place to spend a couple of days if you need to acclimatise before doing any trekking in the region. Even if you don't have any hiking plans, it's a beautiful city to explore before visiting Machu Picchu. 

Cusco is a city where you will find so many sights and places worth visiting without even trying. However if you like to have a rough guide, here are 15 amazing things to see and do in Cusco!



1. Plaza de Armas 
The main square is a great starting point for exploring the city. You'll probably see lots of rainbow flags being flown here. In Cusco this isn't the international gay pride flag, it's the city's official flag.



2. La Catedral
Located in the main plaza, you simply cannot miss the cathedral. Admission is 25 Peruvian Soles (around £5-£6).



3. Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus
Another impressive church located in the Plaza de Armas.




4. Qorikancha
Every guidebook says if you can visit only one site in Cusco to make it Qorikancha - and I completely agree! It was once the most important temple in the Inca Empire, and today you can still see some incredible Inca ruins.



5. Sascaywaman
On the outskirts of Cusco city centre is Sascaywaman, well remembered by tourists for sounding similar to 'sexy woman'. These ruins are vast but only a proportion still remains today. This is because the Spaniards took the blocks to build their own homes and buildings.




6. Cristo Blanco
Close to the Sascaywaman site is Cristo Blanco, a huge statue of Jesus Christ. From here you can get great views over the city!



7. Santa Clara arch - an amazing piece of architecture to check out!

8. Santa Clara Church - A beautiful church unsurprisingly near the Santa Clara archway.



9. San Pedro Church - If you continue walking past Santa Clara church you can also see St. Peter's church.


10. Plaza Regocijo - It's not just the Plaza de Armas that's a worthwhile square to visit. There are so many other beautiful plazas! For example, the Plaza Regocijo is a quaint little square with many lovely cafes surrounding it.




11. La Merced Church and Convent - A church with a gorgeous entrance!



12. Markets - Cusco is an amazing place to do some souvenir shopping. I would highly recommend visiting the market called Artesanias Llancaqmaki. There are also a handful of markets near the Santa Clara archway that are great as well.



13. San Francisco Church - Trust me when I say that the beautiful churches don't get boring to look at!


14. Inca Museum - Located just off from the main plaza next to the cathedral is a museum that explains all about Inca culture.



15. Casa Concha Museum - This is the perfect museum to visit after you've been to Machu Picchu as it goes into further detail as to how Machu Picchu was discovered and excavated.

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