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City Tour Cusco Half Day

Overview

HALF DAY

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Travel Pack:
City Tour Cusco Half Day
Activity Levels

easy

Tour type: Cultural
Ideal For: Adventure Seekers, Couples, Families, Nature Lovers and Intrepid People
Group Tour

USD 15 Per Person

Private Tour

USD 70 Per Person

Our city tour of Cusco includes a visit to the City's Highlights, located in and around Cusco. We start off by visiting the huge "Inca Ceremonial Center of Sacsayhuaman." This enormous structure overlooks the city of Cusco. Its construction is amazing, with huge rocks perfectly aligned. It is said that it took over 10,000 workers and 50 years to build it. The origin of the temple of Sacsayhuaman is still unknown today. The archaeologist attributed its construction to the period of the Inca Pachacutec (in the Inca language Pachacutec means either Cataclysm or He who transforms the world), the man essentially credited with founding the Inca Empire. We will visit another important Inca site known as "Qenqo". This is a place with subterranean passages with carved stone channels in a zigzag pattern. In its inner part there is a carved stone table where it is said to be where the Incas mummified their dead. Next, we will make a short visit to the archaeological Inca site of "Tambomachay", a temple dedicated to the God of Water. After these visits, we will return to Cusco, where we will visit one of the most sacred Inca buildings, "The Temple of Koricancha". Koricancha was the most important temple of the Inca Empire. According to archaeologists it housed over 1000 priests and attendants. Within its walls, religious ceremonies were constant and offerings to the Gods and the Inca's mummies were made each day. Finally we will visit the beautiful "Cathedral" of Cusco. This enormous Cathedral was built in the XVI. It contained nearly 400 colonial paintings, including many from the Cusco School, which was prominent in the 17th century. Among them a painting of the Last Supper by Marcos Zapata, showing Christ and the apostles eating guinea pig (Guinea-pig was the one of the main courses at sacred feasts in Inca times). After our city tour our local guide will drop you off at your hotel.


Highlights

  • City Tour is a half Day instead of the classic full Day. This will let you learn more about our history!
  • Since this is a private service if you would like to stay in one place for more time, or depart earlier is doable. (Always consider your guide suggestions)
  • Everything is about you and we want you to enjoy your Cusco City Tour Experience!

Itinerary

Cathedral of Cusco
The Cathedral was built between 1560 and 1664 out of large slabs of red granite taken from the Inca construction of Sacsayhuaman. It houses important collections of gold and silver work of the colonial period, elaborately engraved wooden altars and a beautiful collection of oil on canvas paintings from the Escuela Cusqueña.

Koricancha and the Convent of Santo Domingo
The convent was built on the spectacular Coricancha ‘site of gold’. This was the most important temple dedicated to the worship of the Sun and whose walls were lined with solid sheets of gold. All that remains now is the fine stonework, the conquistadors took the rest. Coricancha was also an observatory, where priests kept track of major celestial events. Today it houses an impressive collection of canvas paintings from the Escuela Cusqueña.

Sacsayhuaman
Sacsayhuaman (which means ‘satisfied falcon’) is one of the most impressive sites built by the Incas. It is generally referred to as a fortress, however it is not certain what its main function was. Current research suggests that it was more likely to be used as a temple, as Inca tombs have been discovered in the area.
The site is a marvellous archaeological feat, even now after it was destroyed, one can only imagine its greatness when it stood in full glory. The stones in the wall are incredible and the largest weighs in at over 300 tonnes. The Incas envisioned Cusco as having a puma shape - Sacsayhuaman was the head. The magnificent zigzag walls are the major attraction. The grounds surrounding Sacsayhuaman are still used today for the colourful festival of Inti Raymi which is held on the 24th June every year.

Q'enqo
The site of Q'enqo (meaning ‘zigzag’ or ‘labyrinth’) contains the most impressive carved rocks in the Cusco area. There are carvings everywhere, although some are a little indistinct: a llama, a condor and snakes have been identified. There are many zigzag channels on top of the rock, probably used for pouring sacrificial chicha (a local wine made from maize). Inside the rock there are a number of caves and passageways and an alter which was used for the sacrifices of llamas.

Puka Pukara
Puka Pukara translates to ‘the red fortress’. This is a small site and although the name suggests that it was a fortress, it does not appear to have any defensive purpose.

Tambomachay
This site was thought to have been used as a Temple to the Water. There are some very impressive aqueducts, canals and cascades carved in stone, designed to channel water flowing from a nearby stream.

Included

Whats Included?

  • A professional guide, Bi-lingual Staff. (English, Spanish).
  • Tourist Bus transportation
  • Transfers

Whats Not Included?

  • Entrance fees - You need to purchase the Boleto de Turistico at the first site you enter (Soles 130 per person; valid for 10 days and allows you entrance into 16 various sites around Cusco and the Sacred Valley)
  • The Cathedral (Soles 25 per person)
  • Koricancha (Soles 10 per person)
  • Gratuities/tips.