Cuzco is a popular tourist destination in Peru, which used to be the center of the Incan empire. Royal houses were built here and it was developed by the empire and some of the structures and ruins during this time could still be found here. When it was occupied by the Spaniards in the 16th century, churches and other structures were built. The baroque architecture of this period married the styles and designs of the architectures from the period of the Incan empire. Today, you could see its colorful and interesting history around the city as many of the structures are still standing today. This is mixed with the lively nightlife and other modern establishments built in the modern years. If visiting this city in Peru, here are some of the top things to do to put on your list.
Eat Peruvian Cuisine
Peruvian cuisine is known to be one of the finest around the world. While a roasted guinea pig is one of their specialties, there are so many other dishes to try, especially if you’re not that adventurous when it comes to foods. The food here is generally affordable so you could try great dishes without breaking the bank. Ceviche, lomo saltado and aji de gallina are some of the must tries. Other dishes to add are papa a la Huancaina, choritos a la chalaca, rocoto relleno and causa rellena.
Trek to Machu Picchu
Your visit to Cuzco or Peru wouldn’t be complete without visiting the “lost city of the Incas”, which is Machu Picchu. This is a sacred city of the Incas that they were able to hide from the Spaniards, thus it remained intact even after they conquered the city. Today, it remains to be one of the most visited attractions not just in the city, but around the world. You’ll need a ticket for this, which you could grab from the office of Instituto Nacional de Cultural. From the city, you could take the Inca trail, which is 24 miles. If trekking is not your thing, you could ride a train that would take you to the mountain’s base where Machu Picchu could be found.
Visit Plaza de Armas
This plaza was also built during the period of the Incan empire. It was where ceremonies and festivities were held. Churches and other structures were also built during the Spanish period, making this plaza a perfect place to witness a merge in the architecture of those two periods. It would be like stepping back in the past. There are several eateries where you could quench your thirst or satisfy your hunger during your visit, as well as shops where you could grab a souvenir to take home.
Check Out Cusco Planetarium
Don’t be fooled by the simple appearance of this planetarium. It may seem not much from the outside, but you’re definitely going to have an amazing experience looking at the stars in the clear sky at night using its telescopes. There are also guides and information that you would find helpful. Don’t forget to make a reservation to ensure that you’ll be accommodated.
Other places of interest that you should see on your visit to Cuzco are Inca Museum, Pre-Columbian Art Museum and Sacsayhuamán.
Featured and 1st image by McKay Savage from London, UK [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
2nd image by Allard Schmidt (The Netherlands) (Own work) [Public domain, GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons