Cusco is a fascinating city and great and easy to explore as all roads lead to (or away from ) the Plaza de Armas. Taxis are cheap - you must negotiate the price beforehand - and plentiful.
For a good day out take a taxi to a high point e.g. San Cristobal or San Blas and wander down hill visiting shops and art galleries and museums. There are also plenty of places to eat along the way or make a point of eating on Plaza de Armas. Make sure to look in door ways in the walls - you will be surprised at what you may find!
Arm yourself with your Boleto Turistico, a camera, water, sunscreen and a hat - and comfy shoes and off you go.
The Inglesia de la Compania appears to be the main church in the square at first view. It was originally intended to the be Cusco's most ornate church. However the bishop would not let the Jesuits allow their church to surpass the majesty of the Cusco's Cathedral just across the square. So today the outside looks very ornate, the inside is quite beautiful also, but the main Cathedral is the most ornate and beautiful inside.
Along the Inca walls you will find different shapes made out of the stones, of course always placed perfectly next to each other. Not far from the 12 angle stone you can find the puma, one of the symbols in the Inca mythology.
Sundays are parade days at the main square in Cuzco. Young ones and older ones all line up after the Army make its salute to the flag. Groups of scholars, women, work places, unions join all and parade in their costume around the square. A great opportunity to take pictures of the locals without anybody disapproving or asking for money.
These narrow streets are a source of endless fascination. It is so fun to walk around the town and discover all there is in Cusco ... colorful costumes, beuatiful, smiling faces, tiny shops and -- best of all -- some of the most remarkable Incan reasures to be seen.
A walking tour will take you past Inca walls with giant granite blocks that look like the pieces of a giant jigsaw puzzle. Check out the hand-cut angles in the 12-angled stone (see this tip) and find the outlines of the puma stone. Observing the walls will give you a chance to brush up on your knowledge of Andean history.
Keep in mind that the Incas built these massive walls without mortar or cement of any kind and with no knowledge of the wheel or horses, and that they constructed one of the world's greatest empires, reaching from one end of South America to another, without a written language and with runners who relayed messages to rulers!
Dominated by the magnificent Cathedral, this graceful square is considered the heart of Cusco and is characterized by covered walkways, colonial arcades and houses containing numerous shops, restaurants and travel agencies.
Cusco was once the capital of the vast Inca empire and the navel of the world. Remnants of that power are everywhere, just keep a keen eye out. While the Spanish buil their colonial capital on top of the Inca city, they often used the walls and foundations of their predecessors.
Walking aimlessly is always fun in a new city. We discovered some of the picturesque, narrow, cobblestone avenues (often steep) where you wouldn't think driving a car through would be possible (but is - and sometimes at remarkable speeds!). It is interesting to explore areas other than the tourist center, for example, we saw a market where locals would purchase their food, the wealthier residential as well as more impoverished, usually mountainside dwellings. Strolling the Cusco streets is very enjoyable as once you are out of the main square, you are bothered much less frequently by peddlers.
Just hanging around in Cusco, walking form there to here and form here to there is nice activity! :-D
There are lots of small shops or churches around, so you might see some very nice places not mentioned in your guide!
On the way from the centre to San Blas you may see the famous 12-edged stome. That stone and it's surrounding stones reflect the skill of Inca architecture. You cannot press your piece of hair between the stones, and there is not used any glue material.
You must save some time to walk trought the streets of Cusco. All houses are half Incas and half Spanish. That is why all wals are made of this amazing stones placed perfectly without any glue in between. Streets go up and down and the view is amazing.
Plase dont go back home without a sunny afternoon walk in Cusco.
Here you will taste great food with very cheep prices. You will also get to know peruvian day to day life.
You will meet loooooooots of friendly people.
I am also from Southamerica and I know lots of places and people in this continent. Peruvians are the most hardworking and polite people I met.
When you are walking around Cusco, be prepared to be bombarded by people trying to sell you anything from postcards, to elaborate Inca trail packages and all things in between. This photo was one of children in traditional clothing wandering the streets. They all say "photo...take my photo" and then ask for a small propina (tip) usually spare change (1 sol or 2)
This series of stones is said to form the shape of a puma. I had read of it but kind of forgot about it. As we were walking around Cusco, one of the young postcard boys came up to us and asked us if we had seen it yet. We said "No" and he said "It's very near here, I'll show you the way!" He then took us there and told us all about it and showed us the outline of the puma( which is kind of hard to make out unless someone shows it to you) Well, of course we happily had to buy some of his postcards. I thought this nice little postcard salesman/ tour guide had a pretty smart idea. There are many,many young boys selling postcards allover Cusco and even if you are looking to purchase postcards, you really can't buy from all of them. So he was pretty clever and we were glad we met him. Otherwise, we may have never seen the stone.
You will see some of these walls on the streets of Cusco.They were built with huge boulders carved to fit together perfectly without mortar. On some of the streets, these sturdy walls are the foundations for some of the buildings the Spaniards built.