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In order to book an accommodation in Cusco enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Cusco hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Cusco map to estimate the distance from the main Cusco attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Cusco hotels and see their ratings.

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Hotels of Cusco

A hotel in Cusco is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Cusco hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Cusco are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Cusco hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Cusco hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Cusco have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels in Cusco
An upscale full service hotel facility in Cusco that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Cusco hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels in Cusco
Full service Cusco hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels in Cusco
Boutique hotels of Cusco are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Cusco boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Cusco may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels in Cusco
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Cusco travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Cusco focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels in Cusco
Small to medium-sized Cusco hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Cusco traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Cusco hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs in Cusco
A bed and breakfast in Cusco is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Cusco bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Cusco B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels in Cusco
Cusco hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Cusco hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Cusco
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Cusco hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Cusco lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs in Cusco
Cusco timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Cusco often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Cusco on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels in Cusco
A Cusco motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Cusco for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Cusco motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

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Travelling and vacation in Cusco

.
Cusco
Cuzco (Spanish)
Qusqu / Qosqo (Quechua)
Top: Plaza de Armas, Middle left: Qurikancha, Middle right: Aerial view of Cusco, Bottom left: Saksaywaman, Bottom right: Cathedral of Cusco
Top: Plaza de Armas, Middle left: Qurikancha, Middle right: Aerial view of Cusco, Bottom left: Saksaywaman, Bottom right: Cathedral of Cusco
Flag of Cusco
Flag
Nickname(s): La Ciudad Imperial (The Imperial City)
Districts of Cusco
Districts of Cusco
Cusco is located in Peru
Cusco
Cusco
Location within Peru
Coordinates:  / -13.52500; -71.97222  / -13.52500; -71.97222
Country Peru
Region Cusco
Province Cusco
Founded 1100
Government
• Type City
• Mayor Luis Flórez
Area
• Total 385.1 km (148.7 sq mi)
Elevation 3,399 m (11,152 ft)
Population 2013
• Total 435,114
• Estimate (2015) 427,218
• Density 1,100/km (2,900/sq mi)
Demonym(s) cuzqueño/a
Time zone PET (UTC-5)
• Summer (DST) PET (UTC-5)
Area code(s) 84
Website www.municusco.gob.pe
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Official name City of Cuzco
Type Cultural
Criteria iii, iv
Designated 1983 (7th session)
Reference no. 273
State Party Peru
Region Latin America and the Caribbean

Cuzco (/ˈksk/), often spelled Cusco (Spanish: Cuzco, [ˈkusko]; Quechua: Qusqu or Qosqo, IPA: [ˈqɔsqɔ]), is a city in southeastern Peru, near the Urubamba Valley of the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cusco Region as well as the Cusco Province. In 2013, the city had a population of 435,114. Located on the eastern end of the Knot of Cuzco, its elevation is around 3,400 m (11,200 ft).

The site was the historic capital of the Inca Empire from the 13th until the 16th-century Spanish conquest. In 1983 Cusco was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It has become a major tourist destination, hosting nearly 2 million visitors a year. The Constitution of Peru designates it as the Historical Capital of Peru.

Cusco: Spelling and etymology

The indigenous name of this city is Qusqu. Although the name was used in Quechua, its origin is found in the Aymara language. The word is derived from the phrase qusqu wanka ('Rock of the owl'), related to the city's foundation myth of the Ayar Siblings. According to this legend, Ayar Awqa (Ayar Auca) acquired wings and flew to the site of the future city; there he was transformed into a rock to mark the possession of the land by his ayllu ("lineage").

"Then Ayar Oche stood up, displayed a pair of large wings, and said he should be the one to stay at Guanacaure as an idol in order to speak with their father the Sun. Then they went up on top of the hill. Now at the site where he was to remain as an idol, Ayar Oche raised up in flight toward the heavens so high that they could not see him. He returned and told Ayar Manco that from then on he was to be named Manco Capac. Ayar Oche came from where the Sun was and the Sun had ordered that Ayar Manco take that name and go to the town that they had seen. After this had been stated by the idol, Ayar Oche turned into a stone, just as he was, with his wings. Later Manco Capac went down with Ayar Auca to their settlement...he liked the place now occupied in this city Cuzco. Manco Capac and his companion, with the help of the four women, made a house. Having done this, Manco Capac and his companion, with the four women, planted some land with maize. It is said that they took the maize from the cave, which this lord Manco Capac named Pacaritambo, which means those of origin because...they came out of that cave."

- Juan Díez de Betanzos, Suma y narración de los incas.

The Spanish conquistadors adopted the local name, transliterating it into Spanish phonetics as Cuzco or, less often, Cozco. Cuzco was the standard spelling on official documents and chronicles in colonial times, though Cusco was also used. Cuzco, pronounced as in 16th-century Spanish, seems to have been a close approximation to the Cusco Quechua pronunciation of the name at the time. As both Spanish and Quechuan pronunciation have evolved since then, the Spanish pronunciation of 'z' is no longer close to the Quechuan pronunciation of the consonant represented by 'z' in "Cuzco". In 1976, the city mayor signed an ordinance banning the traditional spelling and ordering the use of a new one, Cusco, in municipality publications. Nineteen years later, on 23 June 1990, the local authorities formalized a new spelling related more closely to Quechan: Qosqo.

In English, both "s" and "z" are accepted, as there is no international, official spelling of the city's name. The city's international airport code is still CUZ, reflecting the earlier spelling.

Cusco: History

Cusco: Killke culture

The Killke people occupied the region from 900 to 1200, prior to the arrival of the Inca in the 13th century. Carbon-14 dating of Saksaywaman, the walled complex outside Cusco, established that Killke constructed the fortress about 1100. The Inca later expanded and occupied the complex in the 13th century. On 13 March 2008, archaeologists discovered the ruins of an ancient temple, roadway and aqueduct system at Saksaywaman. The temple covers some 2,700 square feet (250 square metres) and contains 11 rooms thought to have held idols and mummies, establishing its religious purpose. Together with the results of excavations in 2007, when another temple was found at the edge of the fortress, this indicates a longtime religious as well as military use of the facility.

Cusco: Inca history

Cusco was long an important center of indigenous people. It was the capital of the Inca Empire (13th century-1532). Many believe that the city was planned as an effigy in the shape of a puma, a sacred animal. How Cusco was specifically built, or how its large stones were quarried and transported to the site remain undetermined. Under the Inca, the city had two sectors: the urin and hanan. Each was divided to encompass two of the four provinces, Chinchasuyu (NW), Antisuyu (NE), Kuntisuyu (SW) and Qullasuyu (SE). A road led from each of quarter to the corresponding quarter of the empire.

Each local leader was required to build a house in the city and live part of the year in Cusco, restricted to the quarter that corresponded to the quarter in which he held territory. After the rule of Pachacuti, when an Inca died, his title went to one son and his property was given to a corporation controlled by his other relatives (split inheritance). Each title holder had to build a new house and add new lands to the empire, in order to own land for his family to keep after his death.

According to Inca legend, the city was rebuilt by Sapa Inca Pachacuti, the man who transformed the Kingdom of Cuzco from a sleepy city-state into the vast empire of Tawantinsuyu. Archaeological evidence, however, points to a slower, more organic growth of the city beginning before Pachacuti. The city was constructed according to a definite plan in which two rivers were channeled around the city. Archaeologists have suggested that this city plan was replicated at other sites.

The city fell to the sphere of Huáscar during the Inca Civil War after the death of Huayna Capac in 1527. It was captured by the generals of Atahualpa in April 1532 in the Battle of Quipaipan. Nineteen months later, Spanish explorers invaded the city (see battle of Cuzco) and gained control because of their arms and horses, employing superior military technology.

Cusco: After the Spanish invasion

The first image of Cuzco in Europe. Pedro Cieza de León. Crónica del Perú, 1553.

The first three Spaniards arrived in the city in May 1533, after the Battle of Cajamarca, collecting for Atahualpa's Ransom Room. On 15 November 1533 Francisco Pizarro officially arrived in Cusco. "The capital of the Incas...astonished the Spaniards by the beauty of its edifices, the length and regularity of its streets." The great square was surrounded by several palaces, since "each sovereign built a new palace for himself." "The delicacy of the stone work excelled" that of the Spaniards'. The fortress had three parapets and was composed of "heavy masses of rock." "Through the heart of the capital ran a river...faced with stone." "The most sumptuous edifice in Cuzco...was undoubtedly the great temple dedicated to the Sun...studded with gold plates...surrounded by convents and dormitories for the priests." "The palaces were numerous and the troops lost no time in plundering them of their contents, as well as despoiling the religious edifices," including the royal mummies in the Coricancha.

Pizarro ceremoniously gave Manco Inca the Incan fringe as the new Peruvian leader. Pizarro encouraged some of his men to stay and settle in the city, giving out repartimientos to do so. Alcaldes were established and regidores on 24 March 1534, which included his brothers Gonzalo Pizarro and Juan Pizarro. Pizarro left a garrison of 90 men and then departed for Jauja with Manco Inca.

Pizarro renamed it the "Very noble and great city of Cuzco". Buildings constructed after the Spanish invasion have a mixture of Spanish influence with Inca indigenous architecture, including the Santa Clara and San Blas neighborhoods. The Spanish destroyed many Inca buildings, temples and palaces. They used the remaining walls as bases for the construction of a new city.

Father Vincente de Valverde became the Bishop of Cusco and built his cathedral facing the plaza. He placed a St. Dominic monastery on the ruins of the House of the Sun and a nunnery where the House of the Virgins of the Sun was stood.

The city was retaken from the Spanish during the Siege of Cuzco of 1536 by Manco Inca Yupanqui, a leader of the Sapa Inca. Although the siege lasted 10 months, it was ultimately unsuccessful. Manco's forces were able to reclaim the city for only a few days. He eventually retreated to Vilcabamba, the capital of the newly established small Neo-Inca State, which lasted for another 36 years but he was never able to return to Cuzco. Throughout the conflict and years of the Spanish colonization of the Americas, many Incas died of smallpox.

Cusco stands on layers of cultures, with the Tawantinsuyu (old Inca Empire) built on Killke structures and the Spanish replacing indigenous temples with Catholic churches and palaces with mansions for the invaders.

Cusco was the center for the Spanish colonization and spread of Christianity in the Andean world. It became very prosperous thanks to agriculture, cattle raising and mining, as well as its trade with Spain. The Spanish colonists constructed many churches and convents, as well as a cathedral, university and Archbishopric.

Cristo Blanco in the surrounding mountains of Cusco
Night view of Plaza Regocijo, Cusco
Night view of the Qurikancha and Convento de Santo Domingo

Cusco: Republican era

After Peru declared its independence in 1821, Cusco maintained its importance within Peru's administrative structure. Upon independence, the government created the Department of Cuzco, maintaining authority over territory extending to the Brazilian border. Cusco was made capital of the department; subsequently it became the most important city in the south-eastern Andean region.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the city's urban sprawl spread to the neighboring districts of Santiago and Wanchaq.

In 1911, explorer Hiram Bingham used the city as a base for the expedition in which he rediscovered the ruins of Machu Picchu.

Cusco: Present

A major earthquake on 21 May 1950 caused the destruction of more than one third of the city's structures. The Dominican Priory and Church of Santo Domingo, which were built on top of the impressive Qurikancha (Temple of the Sun), were among the affected colonial era buildings. Inca architecture withstood the earthquake. Many of the old Inca walls were at first thought to have been lost after the earthquake, but the granite retaining walls of the Qurikancha were exposed, as well as those of other ancient structures throughout the city. Restoration work at the Santo Domingo complex exposed the Inca masonry formerly obscured by the superstructure without compromising the integrity of the colonial heritage. Many of the buildings damaged in 1950 had been impacted by an earthquake only nine years previously.

Since the 1990s, tourism has increased. Currently, Cusco is the most important tourist destination in Peru. Under the administration of mayor Daniel Estrada Pérez, a staunch supporter of the Academia Mayor de la Lengua Quechua, between 1983 and 1995 the Quechua name Qosqo was officially adopted for the city.

Cusco: Honors

  • In 1933, the Congress of Americanists met in La Plata, Argentina and declared the city as the Archeological Capital of the Americas.
  • In 1978, the 7th Convention of Mayors of Great World Cities met in Milan, Italy and declared Cusco a Cultural Heritage of the World.
  • In 1983, UNESCO, in Paris, France declared the city a World Heritage Site. The Peruvian government declared it the Tourism Capital of Peru and Cultural Heritage of the Nation.
  • In 2007, the New7Wonders Foundation designated Machu Picchu one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, following a worldwide poll.

Cusco: Geography and climate

Cusco extends throughout the Huatanay (or Watanay) river valley. Located on the eastern end of the Knot of Cusco, its elevation is around 3,400 m (11,200 ft). To its north is the Willkapampa mountain range with 4,000–6,000-metre-high (13,000–20,000-foot) mountains. The highest peak is Sallqantay (6,271 metres or 20,574 feet) about 60 kilometres (37 miles) northwest of Cusco.

Cusco has a subtropical highland climate (Köppen Cwb). It is generally dry and temperate, with two defined seasons. The dry season lasts from May to August, with abundant sunshine and occasional nighttime freezes; July is the coolest month with an average of 9.7 °C (49.5 °F). The wet season lasts from December to March, with night frost less common; November averages 13.3 °C (55.9 °F). Although frost and hail are common, the only snowfall ever recorded was in June 1911. Temperatures usually range from 0.2 to 20.9 °C (32.4 to 69.6 °F), but the all-time temperature range is between −8.9 and 30 °C (16.0 and 86.0 °F). Sunshine hours peak in July; the equivalent of January in the northern hemisphere. In contrast, February, the equivalent of August in the northern hemisphere, has the least amount of sunshine.

Cusco was found in 2006 to be the spot on Earth with the highest average ultraviolet light level.

Climate data for Cusco
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 27.8
(82)
27.2
(81)
26.1
(79)
26.1
(79)
28.9
(84)
25.0
(77)
25.0
(77)
25.0
(77)
27.2
(81)
28.9
(84)
27.8
(82)
30.0
(86)
30.0
(86)
Average high °C (°F) 18.8
(65.8)
18.8
(65.8)
19.1
(66.4)
19.7
(67.5)
19.7
(67.5)
19.4
(66.9)
19.2
(66.6)
19.9
(67.8)
20.1
(68.2)
20.9
(69.6)
20.6
(69.1)
20.8
(69.4)
19.75
(67.55)
Average low °C (°F) 6.6
(43.9)
6.6
(43.9)
6.3
(43.3)
5.1
(41.2)
2.7
(36.9)
0.5
(32.9)
0.2
(32.4)
1.7
(35.1)
4.0
(39.2)
5.5
(41.9)
6.0
(42.8)
6.5
(43.7)
4.31
(39.77)
Record low °C (°F) 1.1
(34)
2.2
(36)
1.7
(35.1)
−3.9
(25)
−4.4
(24.1)
−5.0
(23)
−8.9
(16)
−5.0
(23)
−1.1
(30)
−1.1
(30)
−1.1
(30)
0.0
(32)
−8.9
(16)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 145.3
(5.72)
133.7
(5.264)
107.0
(4.213)
43.2
(1.701)
8.7
(0.343)
1.5
(0.059)
4.0
(0.157)
8.6
(0.339)
21.8
(0.858)
39.4
(1.551)
71.9
(2.831)
122.7
(4.831)
707.8
(27.867)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 18 13 11 8 3 2 2 2 7 8 12 16 102
Average relative humidity (%) 64 66 65 61 55 48 47 46 51 51 52 59 55.4
Mean monthly sunshine hours 143 121 170 210 239 228 257 236 195 198 195 158 2,350
Source #1: World Meteorological Organisation (UN), BBC Weather
Source #2: Danish Meteorological Institute (sun and relative humidity), Sistema de Clasificación Bioclimática Mundial (extremes)

Cusco: Tourism

Presently, tourism has been the backbone to the economic growth starting in the early 2000s, bringing in more than 1.2 million tourists a year. In 2002, the income Cusco received from tourism was $837 million USD. In 2009, that number increased to $2.47 billion USD.

Cusco: Main sights

Ruins of Saksaywaman

The indigenous Killke culture built the walled complex of Saksaywaman about 1100. The Killke built a major temple near Saksaywaman, as well as an aqueduct (Pukyus) and roadway connecting prehistoric structures. Saksaywaman was expanded by the Inca.

The Spanish explorer Pizarro sacked much of the Inca city in 1535. Remains of the palace of the Incas, Qurikancha (the Temple of the Sun) and the Temple of the Virgins of the Sun still stand. Inca buildings and foundations in some cases proved to be stronger than the foundations built in present-day Peru. Among the most noteworthy Spanish colonial buildings of the city is the Cathedral of Santo Domingo, Cusco.

The major nearby Inca sites are Pachacuti's presumed winter home, Machu Picchu, which can be reached on foot by the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu or by train; and the "fortress" at Ullantaytampu.

Qurikancha, Convento de Santo Domingo and Intipanpa

Less-visited ruins include: Inka Wasi, the highest of all Inca sites at 3,980 m (13,060 ft); Willkapampa, the capital of the Inca after the capture of Cusco; the sculpture garden at Ñusta Hisp'ana (aka Chuqip'allta, Yuraq Rumi); Tipón with working water channels in wide terraces; as well as Willkaraqay, Patallaqta, Chuqik'iraw, Moray, Vitos and many others.

The surrounding area, located in the Watanay Valley, is strong in gold mining and agriculture, including corn, barley, quinoa, tea and coffee.

Cusco's main stadium Estadio Garcilaso de la Vega was one of seven stadiums used when Peru hosted South America's continental soccer championship, the Copa América, in 2004. The stadium is home to one of the country's most successful soccer clubs, Cienciano.

The city is served by Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport.

Arc of Barrio de Santa Ana, Cusco

Cusco: Architectural heritage

View of the city from Saksaywaman. Roofs of Colonial architecture.

Because of its antiquity and importance, the city center retains many buildings, plazas, streets and churches of pre-Columbian times and colonial buildings, which led to its declaration as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983. Among the main sights of the city are:

Cusco: Barrio de San Blas

This neighborhood houses artisans, workshops and craft shops. It is one of the most picturesque sites in the city. Its streets are steep and narrow with old houses built by the Spanish over important Inca foundations. It has an attractive square and the oldest parish church in Cusco, built in 1563, which has a carved wooden pulpit considered the epitome of Colonial era woodwork in Cusco.

The Quechua name of this neighborhood is Tuq'ukachi, which means the opening of the salt.

Cusco: Hatun Rumiyuq

This street is the most visited by tourists. On the street Hatun Rumiyoq ("the one with the big stone") was the palace of Inca Roca, which was converted to the Archbishop's residence.

Along this street that runs from the Plaza de Armas to the Barrio de San Blas, one can see the Stone of Twelve Angles, which is viewed as marvel of ancient stonework and has become emblematic of the city's history.

Cusco: Convent and Church of la Merced

Calle Mantas to the right is the belltower of the Iglesia y Convento de La Merced

Its foundation dates from 1536. The first complex was destroyed by the earthquake of 1650. Its rebuilding was completed in 1675.

Its cloisters of Baroque Renaissance style, choir stalls, colonial paintings and wood carvings are highlights, now a popular museum.

Also on view is an elaborate monstrance made of gold and gemstones that weighs 22 kg (49 lb) and is 130 cm (51.18 in) in height.

Cusco: Cathedral

The first cathedral built in Cusco is the Iglesia del Triunfo, built in 1539 on the foundations of the Palace of Viracocha Inca. Today, this church is an auxiliary chapel of the Cathedral.

The main basilica cathedral of the city was built between 1560 and 1664. The main material used was stone, which was extracted from nearby quarries, although some blocks of red granite were taken from the fortress of Saksaywaman.

This great cathedral presents late-Gothic, Baroque and plateresque interiors and has one of the most outstanding examples of colonial goldwork. Its carved wooden altars are also important.

The city developed a distinctive style of painting known as the "Cuzco School" and the cathedral houses a major collection of local artists of the time. The cathedral is known for a Cusco School painting of the Last Supper depicting Jesus and the twelve apostles feasting on guinea pig, a traditional Andean delicacy.

The cathedral is the seat of the Archdiocese of Cuzco.

Cusco: Plaza de Armas cusco

Plaza de Armas of the city of Cuzco, Peru, at night
Plaza de Armas of Cusco

Known as the "Square of the warrior" in the Inca era, this plaza has been the scene of several important events, such as the proclamation by Francisco Pizarro in the conquest of Cuzco.

Similarly, the Plaza de Armas was the scene of the death of Túpac Amaru II, considered the indigenous leader of the resistance.

The Spanish built stone arcades around the plaza which endure to this day. The main cathedral and the Church of La Compañía both open directly onto the plaza.

Cusco: Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús

Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús

This church (Church of the Society of Jesus), whose construction was initiated by the Jesuits in 1576 on the foundations of the Amarucancha or the palace of the Inca ruler Wayna Qhapaq, is considered one of the best examples of colonial baroque style in the Americas.

Its façade is carved in stone and its main altar is made of carved wood covered with gold leaf. It was built over an underground chapel and has a valuable collection of colonial paintings of the Cusco School.

Cusco: Qurikancha and Convent of Santo Domingo

The Qurikancha ("golden place") was the most important sanctuary dedicated to the Sun God (Inti) at the time of the Inca Empire.According to ancient chronicles written by Garcilaso de la Vega (chronicler), Qurikancha was said to have featured a large solid golden disc that was studded with precious stones and represented the Inca Sun God – Inti. Spanish chroniclers describe the Sacred Garden in front of the temple as a garden of golden plants with leaves of beaten gold, stems of silver, solid gold corn-cobs and 20 life-size llamas and their herders all in solid gold.

The temple was destroyed by its Spanish invaders who, as they plundered, were determined to rid the city of its wealth, idolaters and shrines. Nowadays, only a curved outer wall and partial ruins of the inner temple remain at the site.

With this structure as a foundation, colonists built the Convent of Santo Domingo (St. Dominic) in the Renaissance style. The building, with one baroque tower, exceeds the height of many other buildings in this city.

Inside is a large collection of paintings from the Cuzco School.

Cusco: Museums

Cusco has the following important museums:

  • Museo de Arte Precolombino (Peru)
  • Casa Concha Museum (Machu Picchu Museum)
  • Museo Inka
  • Museo Histórico Regional de Cuzco
  • Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cuzco or Center of the Traditional Textiles of Cusco in English
  • Museum of Sacred, Magical and Medicinal Plants (Museo de plantas sagradas, mágicas y medicinales)
  • ChocoMuseo (The Cacao and Chocolate Museum)

There are also some museums located at churches.

Cusco: Population

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1500 300,000 -
1614 5,000 −98.3%
1761 6,600 +32.0%
1812 6,900 +4.5%
1820 9,000 +30.4%
1827 15,000 +66.7%
1850 16,000 +6.7%
1861 15,000 −6.2%
1877 17,000 +13.3%
1890 18,900 +11.2%
1896 20,000 +5.8%
1900 25,000 +25.0%
1908 33,900 +35.6%
1920 30,500 −10.0%
1925 32,000 +4.9%
1927 33,000 +3.1%
1931 35,900 +8.8%
1940 40,600 +13.1%
1945 45,600 +12.3%
1951 50,000 +9.6%
1953 54,000 +8.0%
1961 80,100 +48.3%
1969 115,300 +43.9%
1981 180,227 +56.3%
1993 250,270 +38.9%
1997 275,318 +10.0%
2000 295,530 +7.3%
2005 375,066 +26.9%
2006 382,577 +2.0%
2007 390,059 +2.0%
2008 397,526 +1.9%
2009 405,000 +1.9%
2010 412,495 +1.9%
2011 420,030 +1.8%
2012 427,580 +1.8%
2013 435,114 +1.8%
2015 434,654 −0.1%

The city had a population of about 434,114 people in 2013 and 434,654 people in 2015 according to INEI.

Financial Center of the City, Av. de la Cultura, Cusco
Population by district
City district Extension
km²
Population
2007 census(hab)
Housing
(2007)
Density
(hab/km²)
Elevation
amsl
Cuzco 116.22 km² 108,798* 28,476 936.1 3,399 amsl
San Jerónimo 103.34 km² 28,856* 8,942 279.2 3,244 amsl
San Sebastián 89.44 km² 85,472* 18,109 955.6 3,244 amsl
Santiago 69.72 km² 66,277* 21,168 950.6 3,400 amsl
Wanchaq 6.38 km² 54,524* 14,690 8,546.1 3,366 amsl
Total 385.1 km² 358,052* 91,385 929.76 -
*Census data conducted by INEI

Cusco: Cuisine

As capital to the Inca Empire, Cusco was an important agricultural region. It was a natural reserve for thousands of native Peruvian species, including around 3,000 varieties of potato cultivated by the people. Fusion and neo-Andean restaurants developed in Cusco, in which the cuisine is prepared with modern techniques and incorporates a blend of traditional Andean and international ingredients.

Cusco: Industry

  • Cusqueña brewery

Cusco: International relations

Cusco: Twin towns and sister cities

Cusco is twinned with:

  • State of Palestine Bethlehem, Palestine
  • Bolivia La Paz, Bolivia
  • Philippines Baguio, Philippines
  • Uzbekistan Samarkand, Uzbekistan
  • Mexico Mexico City, Mexico
  • Japan Kyoto, Japan
  • United States Jersey City, New Jersey, United States
  • Peru Lima, Peru
  • France Chartres, France
  • North Korea Kaesong, North Korea
  • Greece Athens, Greece
  • Russia Moscow, Russia
  • Cuba La Habana, Cuba
  • Honduras Copán, Honduras
  • China Xi'an, China
  • Bolivia Potosí, Bolivia
  • Ecuador Cuenca, Ecuador
  • Brazil Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • United States Madison, Wisconsin, United States
  • Turkey Istanbul, Turkey
Tempe, Arizona,United States

Cusco: Partnerships

  • Poland Kraków in Poland

Cusco: In modern culture

  • In the film The Emperor's New Groove and its spin-off animated television series The Emperor's New School, the main protagonist is "Kuzco", the young, often immature fictional emperor of the Incas.
  • "Cuzco" was the name of a song on E.S. Posthumus' 2001 album Unearthed. Each song on the album was named after an ancient city.
  • The Anthony Horowitz novel Evil Star takes place partly in Cusco.
  • BBC radio 1 DJ John Peel died in Cusco on a working holiday in 2004.

Cusco: See also

  • Governorate of New Castile
  • Inca religion in Cusco
  • Inca road system
  • Iperu, tourist information and assistance
  • List of archaeoastronomical sites sorted by country
  • PeruRail
  • Pikillaqta
  • Santurantikuy
  • Tampukancha, Inca religious site
  • Tourism in Peru
  • Wanakawri

Cusco: References

  1. Perú: Población estimada al 30 de junio y tasa de crecimiento de las ciudades capitales, por departamento, 2011 y 2015. Perú: Estimaciones y proyecciones de población total por sexo de las principales ciudades, 2012–2015 (Report). Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática. March 2012. Retrieved 2015-06-03.
  2. "Constitución del Perъ de 1993". Pdba.georgetown.edu. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  3. Cerrón-Palomino, Rodolfo (2007). "Cuzco: La piedra donde se posó la lechuza. Historia de un nombre.". Andina. Lima. 44: 143–174. ISSN 0259-9600.
  4. Betanzos, J., 1996, Narrative of the Incas, Austin: University of Texas Press, Buy book ISBN 978-0292755598
  5. Carrión Ordóñez, Enrique (1990). "Cuzco, con Z". Histórica. Lima. XVII: 267–270.
  6. Cerrón-, Rodolfo. "Cuzco: la piedra donde se posó la lechuza. Historia de un nombre". Lexis. Año 2006, número XXX, volumen 1, pp.151–52. Consulta: 24 de mayo de 2011. <http://revistas.pucp.edu.pe/lexis/sites/revistas.pucp.edu.pe.lexis/files/images/Lexis-XXX-1-2006-5-Cerron-Palomino.pdf>
  7. "Cusco – Cusco and around Guide". roughguides.com.
  8. "The World Factbook - Central Intelligence Agency". cia.gov.
  9. "City of Cuzco – UNESCO World Heritage Centre". Whc.unesco.org. 21 August 2007. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  10. "Cuzco Travel Information and Travel Guide – Peru". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  11. Kelly Hearn, "Ancient Temple Discovered Among Inca Ruins", National Geographic News, 31 March 2008, accessed 12 January 2010
  12. "NEWS - Comcast.net". Comcast.net<!. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  13. "The history of Cusco". cusco.net<!. Retrieved 25 July 2009.
  14. de Gamboa, P.S., 2015, History of the Incas, Lexington, Buy book ISBN 9781463688653
  15. Prescott, W.H., 2011, The History of the Conquest of Peru, Digireads.com Publishing, Buy book ISBN 9781420941142
  16. Pizzaro, P., 1571, Relation of the Discovery and Conquest of the Kingdoms of Peru, Vol. 1–2, New York: Cortes Society, RareBooksClub.com, Buy book ISBN 9781235937859
  17. "Koricancha Temple and Santo Domingo Convent – Cusco, Peru". Sacred-destinations.com. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  18. "The Cusco, Peru, Earthquake of May 21, 1950 – ERICKSEN et al. 44 (2): 97 – Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America". Bssa.geoscienceworld.org. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  19. "Opera House snubbed as new Wonders unveiled". abc.net.au. 8 July 2007.
  20. "Map Of The Andes". zoom-maps.com.
  21. Liley, J. Ben and McKenzie, Richard L. (April 2006) "Where on Earth has the highest UV?" UV Radiation and its Effects: an update NIWA Science, Hamilton, NZ;
  22. "World Weather Information Service – Cuzco". UN. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
  23. "Average Conditions Cusco, Peru". BBC Weather. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
  24. Cappelen, John; Jensen, Jens. "Peru – Cuzco (pg 209)" (PDF). Climate Data for Selected Stations (1931–1960) (in Danish). Danish Meteorological Institute. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 April 2013. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
  25. "Peru – Cuzco" (in Spanish). Centro de Investigaciones Fitosociológicas. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
  26. PERU: New cusco airport will help boost tourism. (2010, Aug 10). Oxford Analytica Daily Brief Service Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/741070699
  27. "Photo map of the sites in Upper Puncuyoc – Inca Wasi, cave group, reflection pond and abandoned pegs". bylandwaterandair.com. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  28. "The Inca City of Cusco: A Fascinating Look at the Most Important City in the Inca Empire". totallylatinamerica.com. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
  29. Museums in Cusco theonlyperuguide.com
  30. Museum of Sacred, Magical and Medicinal Plants, Cusco
  31. Cacao and Chocolate Museum, Cusco
  32. "Political Division, Population, Language, Religion, Orography – Cusco – Peru – Cuzco". Cusco-peru.org. Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  33. "Cusco Culture – ISA". Studiesabroad.com. Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  34. Censo 2005 INEI Archived 23 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  35. "Cusco, Peru Bans GM Products To Protect Diversity Of Native Potatoes". scidev.net. Retrieved 21 Feb 2012.
  36. "Restaurantes". archive.org. 20 November 2007. Archived from the original on 20 November 2007.
  37. "Ciudades Hermanas (Sister Cities)" (in Spanish). Municipalidad del Cusco. Archived from the original on 3 August 2009. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
  38. "::Bethlehem Municipality::". bethlehem-city.org. Archived from the original on 24 July 2010. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
  39. "Kraków – Miasta Partnerskie" [Kraków -Partnership Cities]. Miejska Platforma Internetowa Magiczny Kraków (in Polish). Archived from the original on 2013-07-02. Retrieved 2013-08-10.

Cusco travel guide from Wikivoyage

  • Cusco official website
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