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Introduction to Cusco’s history and culture through this half-day City Tours Cusco with our local guide is the best way to start your trip to the ancient capital of the Incas. Cusco City, which once served as the capital of Incas, showcases the remnants of Incan architecture at every turn.
Often Cusco is considered a jump-off point to the Sacred Valley of Incas, Machu Picchu, and Rainbow Mountain. On this half-day Cusco Tour, our local guide will reveal that reputation simply underscores its acclaim.
The Incas named the city “Qosqo” which means the navel of the world. As both geographically and administratively, Cusco was the center of the Inca empire.
This is one of our signature tours. On this half-day City Tours Cusco, we aim to uncover some of the lesser-known mysteries of sites in and around the city of Cusco.
Accompanied by a local expert, you will be visiting sites like the Cusco Cathedral, Incas Temple of the Sun (Qorikancha) – Temple of Santo Domingo within the city. We will then give you a guided tour of the archaeological sites like the Sacsayhuaman, Q’enqo, Puca Pucara (Puka Pukara), and Tambomachay.
It is ideal to do the half-day city tour of Cusco on your first day in the city before your Sacred Valley tour or before you visit Machu Picchu. Not only it would help you acclimatize to the higher altitude but also will give you an orientation to the history and culture of the Incas.
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Cusco Hotel Transfer
The half day city tour Cusco begins with a visit to the Cathedral of Cusco which dominates the main square, Plaza de Armas. The site where the cathedral stands today, was once the Royal Palace of Incas. On conquering Cusco, the Spanish conquistadors demolished the palace and built the cathedral on its remains.
To Incas, Qorikancha was the most sacred site. As they worshipped the nature entities, this temple was dedicated to their supreme God – Inti (Sun). Legends say that the patio of the temple was once full of statues made entirely of Gold.
When the Spanish conquerors kidnapped the Incan emperor, Atahualpa, they demanded a ransom for his release. Most of the gold was melted and was paid as ransom for his release. The conquistadors however, much to the colonial form, killed him on receiving the ransom.
This is one of the unmissable sights in Cusco. This stunning stone fortress is built on a hilltop overlooking the main square of Cusco city. This is one of the places where you can see the advancement of Incan engineering. They did not use any mortars to join these stones that weigh over a ton each.
They accurately carved the edges of the stones to fit each other. Infact is it so precise that you cannot even slide a paper between them. It is however still a mystery how the Incas transported these heavy stones here.
Nestled quite off the beaten track, Q’enqo was used by Incas as a site to do sacrifices. Also, it is in Qenqo they did the mummification of corpses.
Another renowned archaeological site, Tambomachay served as a spa to the political elite of Incas. There are channels here from where natural spring water from the nearby hot springs flow even today.
The name in Quechua means red fort. It was named by Incas after the colour of the rock that becomes reddish at sunset.
Incan military used this site to safeguard their capital city, Cusco.
The tour was great! The tour guide was on time, knowledgeable about all of the sites we visited, allowed ample time for pictures, and answered any and all questions. At the end of the tour, he was kind enough to recommend restaurants that were unlikely to cause travelers tummy issues and a great coffee shop! A wonderful afternoon in Cusco!