Cuzco, Peru, fascinating city, Unesco World Heritage Site and the old capital of the Incan Empire

Cuzco, Peru, fascinating city, Unesco World Heritage Site and the old capital of the Incan Empire

Cuzco (also "Cusco", or "Qosqo" in Quechua), located in the Southern Sierras is a fascinating city that was the capital of the Incan Empire. Cuzco is a Unesco World Heritage Site and is one of Peru's most visited cities as it is the largest and most comfortable city from which tourists can begin visits to Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and other Incan sites in the region.

Cusco is a beautiful city with well preserved colonial architecture, evidence of a rich and complex history. The city itself represents the center of indigenous Quechua culture in the Andes, and by merely walking the streets one sees the layers of history. Spanish colonial buildings erected directly atop Inca walls line the square, while the modern tourist nightlife flourishes in their midst.

The city is surrounded by a number of ruins, the most impressive being Sacsayhuaman, the site of the 1536 battle in which dozens of Pizarro's men charged uphill to battle the forces of the Inca.

Nowadays, Cuzco is known for its indigenous population, often seen on the streets in traditional clothing, and its substantial tourist-fueled night life.

More information on Cuzco is available from the official Tourist Office: Directur, Portal Blankets 117 (close to the Plaza de Armas), 222032.