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City Tour Cusco Information

May 3, 2024
City Tour Information - 69explorer

Cusco, the empirical city of the Incas and one of the most unique cities in the world brims with history and culture. In the historical city center, there is a story to be told on every street and at every corner. Unless you are planning to spend a lot of time here in the city it can be very difficult to visit all of the attractions in a short period of time. Additionally, there is a deep rich history linked to all of the places of interest, and without a guide you’ll have a difficult time learning about these stories. For these reasons taking a guided tour of the city can be greatly a rewarding experience. If you want to explore the city and learn the intricate history of the Inca taking a city tour of Cusco is a must!

Cusco City Tour Itinerary

Tours can be made up of two different sizes 1-6 people or 7-12 people and usually stary in the morning around 9:00 AM or in the afternoon at 1:00 pm. You can pick whichever time is more convenient for you. Your guide will pick you up in a private van at your hotel at your chosen time. The tour will a start at the most important temple in all of the Inca empire, Qorikancha, meaning temple of gold in Quechua. The tour will continue to various different sites in the city before eventually dropping you off at your hotel. Depending on the group size the tour can vary in duration but, generally takes around 4 to 5 hours.

What to See, Vist and Exlore during the City in Cusco?

Qorikancha

One of the most impressive structures in all of the Inca empire and the most important temple in the entire civilization, Qorikancha is an awe-inspiring stone structure dedicated to the worship of the Incan sun god “Inti”. Meaning Temple of gold in Quechua,Qorikancha was said to have been completely covered in gold plating in the times before the Spanish conquest of Cusco. Sadly, the gold was stripped to pay for the ransom of Sapa Inca Atahualpa and afterward was completely looted and destroyed by the Spanish.

What remained of the temple was used as the foundation for a new Christian Temple that would later be named “The Convent of Santo Domingo”. Today the colonial churchsits on top of Qorikancha. You can enter Qorikancha for a fee of 10 soles per person. Additionally, you can visit the Qorikancha museum which lies underground in the field out in front of Qorikancha. The museum includes findings from the excavation of Qorikancha which has on display many artifacts and even some Incan Mummies.

city tour qorikancha - 69explorer
city tour sacsahuaman

Sacsayhuaman

The largest fortress the Inca ever built; Sacsayhuaman lies just northwest of the center of Cusco. Made from giant monolithic limestone blocks construction started during the rain of Inca Emperor Pachacutec in the 15th century but wasn’t completed until 16th century under Incan Emperor Huayna Cápac. The exact purpose of Sacsayhuaman is still uncertain but it’s theorized military forces may have been trained there in addition to large festivals being held.

Your guide will take you through the complex and share all they know about the mysterious fortress. Be sure to ask all the questions you can think of the guides are passionate about there heritage and history and are always happy to share their culture. After exploring the site your guide will take you in a private van to the next destination.

Q’enqo

An archeological site above Cusco cut from bedrock Q’enqo is an Incan “huaca” and perhaps the most important in the empire. Huacas are holy sites where various ceremonies and rituals would take place. In this particular huaca there’s an underground network of tunnels and an alter carved from the rock. It’s believed in these tunnels mummies were prepared and animal sacrifices such as alpacas and llamas took place. Take a moment to appreciate that you’ll be in the same spot where the Incan Emperors were mummified hundreds of years ago.

The site is separated into two sections “Q’enqo grande” and Q’enqo chico. The Q’enqo grande section is home to one of the most mysterious parts of Q’enqo the Intiwatana stone. Meaning where the sun is tied in Quechua Intiwatana is a large stone that’s believed to have been used to record time and astronomical events. Apart from the basic sundial function exactly what and how the stone was used is still a mystery.

city tour qenqo - 69explorer
city tour puka pukara - 69explorer

Puka Pukara

Located 10 kms north of the city center, Puka Pukara is an Incan archeological ruin that means “red fortress” in Quechua. The exact function of the site is still up for debate but, it’s been widely accepted that Puka Pukara was used for administrative and military purposes. Located in a strategic position on one of the main paths out of Cusco Puka Pukara has 360 views of the area and could have served as a type of lookout point spotting travelers or invaders approaching Cusco.

Although the stone walls are grey in color now years ago the fortress had a pink color. Around sunset it’s said the stone takes on a more pinkish hue. The walls are made from strangely different sized stones and look much different when compared to the precisely constructed structures of other sites in the region. Because of the construction it’s believed that Puka Pukara was built in a hurry.

Tambomachay

Also referred to as the “Bath of the Inca” this archeological Inca site served multiple purposes. Potentially a retreat for the political elite or a sacred site dedicated to the water cult there are many different water features canals and fountains. Because every major holy temple in the Incan empire has some type of water feature it’s possible the function was purely religious.

The water is supplied from two nearby springs which have been diverged and channeled into three main waterfalls or fountains. Tambomachay is a great example of Incan engineering and hydraulic understandings. The site is believed to have been built in the time of Pachacutec in the 15th century and the waters still flow even today.

This will be the last attraction on the tour after you guide will drive you back to your hotel dropping you of right at the front door.

city tour tambomachay - 69explorer

What’s included in the tour?

Not Included

What to bring

The Andean region as a whole is filled with history and rich culture and Cusco has been the center of all this activity for hundreds if not thousands of years. When planning your trip to the Imperial city of the Incas taking a guided tour will provide you with valuable information and history that you would otherwise miss. Get the most out of your vacation by taking a guided city tour and dive deep into the mysterious history of the Inca.