Discover the beautiful city of Cuzco, Peru
The word Cuzco is derived from the Quechua word for navel. It has been suggested that the name means "navel (center) of the world" as this would be an appropriate description of the city. Located in the South East region of the Peruvian Andes, Cuzco is only 10 miles away from the Urubamba or Sacred Valley. It was from here that the great Inca's spread out and created an empire unlike any other in the ancient world. As a result it is also here that the most Inca ruins can be found. Cuzco boasts a wide variety of ancient treasures and therefore also the largest amount of tourists in the country. The city itself has an old feel to it providing the perfect starting point for your trip back in time.
Modern Cuzco is a strange mixture of past and present. Everywhere you will find traces of the ancient Peruvian capital that once existed here. Historical remnants are preserved with pride and the greatness of this ancient people that were once called the "sons of the sun" is evident - even today - in the sheer magnificence of these slowly fading ruins. As you make your way around the city and surrounding countryside, you will discover the myths and legends surrounding the ancient civilization of the Incas. You will likely feel a chill down your spine as you explore monuments such as the Korikancha (Temple of the Sun), the Amaru Cancha (Fench of the Serpent) the Ajlla Wasi and the Kiswar Kancha. These great Incan monuments can be spotted in the midst of the half old, half new city that surrounds it today. The Plaza de Armas was once the exact center of the Incan Empire. You will also find newer old buildings such as the Church and Convent of La Merced which is an odd mix of Spanish and Indian building styles.
After the arrival of the Spanish, the face of Incan civilization was greatly altered. However, many of the more rural communities managed to cling to their traditions and a lot of the ancient buildings and temples survived further development. Not to far from Cuzco you will find Machu Picchu, the Ollantaytambo compound and the Fortress of Sacsayhuaman which are brilliant examples of Incan architecture. You might also choose to visit Pisaq, Yucay and Calca which are towns where many ancient traditions are still practiced enthusiastically.
No matter who you are, you can be sure that the thick air of mystery, intrigue and legend that surrounds Cuzco will enliven your imagination and make your trip well worth the effort. All you need to is book your ticket to experience the unique home and capital of the 'sons of the sun'.