The city of Cuzco which sprawls high up in the Peruvian Andes is not just a launching pad for Machu Picchu but also one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the country.
The former capital of the Inca Empire, the magnificent city of Cuzco has many majestic houses, temples, colonial buildings and a super happening city square where you will often find many festivals and local gatherings.
Keep reading today’s post to find out the top things to see and do in the backpacking hotspot of Peru.
1. Walking in the Plaza de Armas
A stroll in the cultural capital center of Cuzco would offer you a spectacular view of the colonial architecture and you can always drop in one of the many cafes or bars which line the streets whenever you need to rest.
2. A visit to San Pedro Market
One of the liveliest markets of the city, the San Pedro markets with its colorful veggies, fruit and meat stalls would offer you plenty of Instagram friendly moments. If you are looking forward to a cheap lunch then make sure to head to the tamale and empanada sellers or the little eateries serving a 2-course meal at a really cheap price.
3. The Cathedral of Santo Domingo
Just a stone’s throw away from the Plaza de Armas you will find the Cathedral of Santo Domingo which is the very first cathedral of this city. This cathedral which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site also comes with many Catholic artifacts and one of the finest collection of artworks representing the Cusco school of art.
4. The Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus
Undoubtedly one of the most exquisite baroque church in the continent, the Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus is a stunning cathedral which was built by the Jesuits to outdo the grandeur of the Catholic church just next door.
5. Discover Cusco’s nightlife
Cusco which is the party capital of Peru would provide the visitors with plenty of clubbing opportunities in some of the most vibrant nightclubs in South America. There are loads of backpacker friendly accommodations in and around the plaza while the clubs in the vicinity are known to blast all sorts of music from electronic to salsa to hip-hop.
6. A trip to Sacsayhuaman
The Inca site of Sacsayhuaman which is just an hour’s walk from the city center would offer you a glimpse of incredible Inca stonework along with a brilliant view of the city. Sacsayhuaman which was the ground for a bloody war between the Spanish colonists and the Incas can be a nice warm-up for before you head to Machu Picchu and the ruins of the Sacred Valley.
7. San Blas District
The artisan neighborhood of San Blas which is located very close to the main square is famous for its beautiful buildings, quaint shops, and fantastic eateries. Make sure to visit the Pantastico bakery to sample some of the tastiest snacks in the city.
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