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Top Tours

 
Cusco ChocoMuseo: From Bean to Bar Chocolate Workshop
"Learn how to make your very own chocolate during this interactive tour of the museum and the chocolate workshop. A professional guidewill explain to you how to make chocolate from the bean to the bar. Understand the history behind the famous cocoa beans you will learn the different steps of the chocolate making process and participate to 4 of them: roasting the cocoa beans removing cocoa husk grinding the cocoa nibs on a metate with a mano and refining the cocoa paste in a melangeur.Finally you will prepare and savor delicious hot chocolates as well as creating your own chocolates with your choice of ingredients. You will be able to leave with all of your handmade chocolates unless of course
From $30.00
 
Machu Picchu Full Day Tour by Train
"At 3:55am in the morning you will be picked up from your centrally located hotel in Cusco and driven to the train station at Ollantaytambo. Here you will catch the train that will take you to Machu Picchu. You will take the train at 6:40am to Aguas Calientes arriving around 8am. Your guide will meet you at the train station in Aguas Calientes to take you to the bus up to Machu Picchu. The bus ride is about 30 minutes. You should arrive at Machu Picchu around 8:45am and enter the site.During a guided your bilingual guide will explain all about the historical sanctuary of Machu Picchu and visit all the major sites within the lost city. The guided tour will take around 2:30-3 hours. You can climb the mountain of Huayna Picchu (tickets need to be purcha which is a 1.5 to 2 hours round trip hike. The entrance time is 10am to 11am so if you choose to take this tour your guided tour will be faster in order to finish in time to enter Huayna Picchu.After the Machu Picchu guided tour
From $410.00
 
Half-Day Cusco City Tour
"Cusco is a city that mixes the mysterious indigenous culture of the Incan civilization with modernity. Cusco is considered as the archaeological capital of not only Peru but of all the Americas. It is a city that has to be shown to the entire world with its ruins preserved in their traditional structure. The city was the capital and the heart of the Incan empire during the 14th and 15th centuries and today serves as the most visited tourist city in the country of Peru.The Passengers will be the Cathedral and the Temple of the Sun Korikancha where the Incas used to worship the Sun God. The tour continues outside the city to go through the old constructions Incas of Kenko Tambomachay Puca Pucara and the impressive fortress of Sacsayhuaman strategically built on a hill overlooking Cusco. Famous for its large external walls
From $32.00

Main Square Tips (31)

Walking around Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas is the historic center of the city and, as such, it has witnessed many important events, including Francisco Pizarro's declaration that Spain had conquered Peru and, almost 250 years later, Túpac Amaru's execution for having led the rebellion against the Spanish conquerers. Today, Cusco's main square is a lively urban park surrounded by some of the city's nicest colonial architecture. It is home to several churches, including the small Iglesia del Triunfo, the first Christian church to be built in Cusco, the city's Cathedral, completed in 1664, and the beautiful Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesus, built by the Jesuits in 1576. The fountain at the center of the plaza features a figure simply known as "The Inka", which points towards the hill on which the Inca site of Sacsayhuaman is located.

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Jefie
Jun 02, 2015

Plaza de Armas ~ Cusco's Historic Center

After 4 days of basing ourselves in Huayllabamba, we returned to Cusco, UNESCO World Heritage Site, where our first introduction to this city's historical center was seeing the Plaza de Armas as we were walking through it on our way to lunch at a local restaurant. We found it very inviting with its lovely flowering gardens, criss-crossed walkways, benches and elaborate lighting fixtures, an interesting centrally located fountain, not to mention it being surrounded by an abundance of culturally significant architecture.

Surrounding the Plaza and within short walks of each, the Spanish left a legacy of architecture in the form of the Cusco Cathedral, the Iglesia La Campanía de Jesús, Iglesia del Triunfo, and the colonnaded walkways fronting other buildings, just to name a few. There are any number of shops, restaurants and cafes, and an "iPeru" tourist information office, all of which face directly on the Plaza. Several of the buildings facing the Plaza including churches and other buildings, were constructed with stone plundered from Inca buildings, and then built on the very top of Inca building foundations. The Spanish were clearly trying to flaunt their superiority, but it leaves one to wonder what Cusco and the Plaza de Armas would have looked like if the Spanish had not destroyed the original Incan engineering feats. Still, don't miss the remaining remnants of nearby Incan architecture and stone work -- Hatun Rumiyoc, the 12-sided stone for one -- with the informative Museo Inka, Iglesia Santo Domingo, and Qorikancha all nearby.

Today, the historic Plaza brims with life as it plays host to locals and tourists alike, but it seems somewhat of an ironic twist that the Plaza has an infamously, bloody history. The Incas named this plaza "Huacaypata" which some translate as "Place of Tears," "Weeping Square," or "Square of the Warrior," although I've seen other various translations offered as well. The Plaza was used as an important ceremonial ground by the Inca, but it was also the scene of rebellions, marauding Spanish conquistadors, battles and bloody executions, most notably that of the last Inca leader, Túpac Amaru II.

It is interesting to note that the Plaza was originally much larger and was a marsh area. It was divided into "Huacaypata," the place of tears and "Cusipata," the place of happiness, and these two sections were divided by the Saphi River, which today is channeled beneath the Plaza.

Whether you call this square Plaza de Armas or Huacaypata, the Andean culture is still perpetuated by the use of the "Quechua" language of their predecessors, which some consider the lingua franca in this area!

On Day 6 of our itinerary following our walk through the Plaza de Armas, a nearby restaurant where we would have lunch was the next stop on the itinerary, Sara the Organic Cafe and Bistro.

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starship
Jul 07, 2014

Plaza de Armas

The Plaza de Armas, originally ‘Huacaypata’ or Square of the Warrior was the heart of the Inca Empire. It is located in the centre of the capital of the empire - Cusco. Cusco was designed in the shape of the Inca Puma and the square was its heart. It was renamed in 1532 after the Incas were defeated by Francisco Pizzaro.

Originally twice its current size the square was enclosed by the construction of the Cathedral and the church of the Company of Jesus (finished in 1571).

The Plaza offers shady trees and benches and walls to sit on. It is within easy walking distance of most accommodation. It is the venue for most cultural events.

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al2401
Dec 20, 2011

See the Main Square where Tupac was killed

The Main Square of Cusco (also known before as Plaza Armas) was also known during Inca times as Huacaypata, meaning The Warrior’s Square.

On this very square, Pizarro declared Cusco under Spanish rule.

Likewise, Tupac Amaru I who defied the Spaniards was killed here. It’s like you can feel the ground talking to you and telling you what happened here – a long time ago.

Nowadays, this is where the Inti Raymi or the Festival of the Sun is held every June if I am not mistaken. The cathedral and the La Compania Church are excellent backdrops to this nice meeting point.

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jumpingnorman
Feb 19, 2009
 
 
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Plaza de Armas

The Plaza the Armas is the main square of Cusco, as well as one of the most touristy spots. This was already a main square during the Inca empire, and has been the spot of many important events, such as the conquering of the city by Francisco Pizarro, or the death of one of the main leaders of the resistance, Túpac Amaru II.
Nowadays the plaza is surrounded by plenty of cafes, restaurants, shops and tourist information points. Still the most important things to see in the plaza, apart from the great atmosphere are the Cathedral, and the Compañía church.

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Urzu
Jul 28, 2008

PLAZA DE ARMAS AND CATHEDRAL

I had arrived in Cusco at night and because of my earlier robbery in Arequipa, my dear concerned travel agent (for my upcoming Inca's Trail) sent someone to pick me up from the train station and I was whizzed to their office safely.

When I looked up as I got off the taxi, I went like 'WOW!!!' and nearly collapsed from weak knees.

The office was located right at the Plaza de Armas, facing the Cathedral. Cusco Cusco Cusco is already magic... and Cusco's Plaza de Armas and Cathedral at night were just BEYOND MAGIC!! The whole place is lighted up like permanent Christmas decoration. Impressive!!!

The Plaza de Armas used to tbe the heart of the city during the Inca days. It was then known as Huacaypata - the place of tears.

The 17-century baroque Cathedral was built on the site of the Palace of Inca Wiracocha. It has a very impressive solid silver high altar and interesting Andean wood carvings and local version of the Last Supper (complete with cuy and chica). Also, the crucifix of El Senor de los Temblores is revered as a guardian against earthquakes.

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swesn
Jan 02, 2008

Plaza de Armas de Cusco or the Main Square

Cusco was the capital of the Inca Empire and the area where the Plaza de Armas is located was an important ceremonial place. It was called "Huacaypata" which means the place of weeping or meeting in Quechua. This is where the festival of the sun was held every year. The festivalof the sun is also called the Inti Raymi. The sun is a very important god to the Incas and on June 24th is the festival to worshop the sun.
Adriana used the Plaza de Armas as a focal point by which to get around by. If we needed to go somewhere we looked to see how far from the Plaza de Armas it was and make our way from there. On a map everything looked alittle further or spread out than it actually was.

You will find people here all day and night. There are restaurants, disco, and other places to hang out here. One night Adriana and I sat on the steps of the Cathedral and people watched and talked for hours. The weather was alittle cold but it was a clear night and there were alot of people around. There are also alot of security and police around this area as well.

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malianrob
Nov 07, 2007

A little touristy but not too touristy

The main plaza in the middle of Cuzco is unique and beautiful with gigantic Churches (sadly supported on top of ancient Incan ruins), shopping areas, restaurants, local flair is everywhere. The city center is nice, a far cry from the surrounding areas of the city where many people live in the most extreme poverty imaginable. Of course if you go a little further to the country side it becomes a beautiful and safe area again.

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VolsUT
Nov 25, 2006
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AKtravelers

"Cusco and the Sacred Valley"
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Jim_Eliason

"Cusco"
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chrissyalex

"Cusco"
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SirRichard

"The center of the Empire"
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richiecdisc

"The "special" shine in Cusco"
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Hang out at Plaza de Armas

It is where you will congregate first when you come to Cuzco. This is where you will come for your meals, to book your tours, to board your tour buses, visit the many different cathedrals or museums, check out your e-mails from an internet cafe. It is the main place for tourists and for locals. Locals know tourists come here, so they take the opportunity to sell what they have. Tourists know locals come here, so they have their camera ready for action.

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bicycle_girl
Nov 04, 2006

Churches, Shops, History

The area around the main square is quite unique filled with Churches, Shops and History. I walked without stopping or sitting for about six hours and then only stopped for about 30 minuets before walking another four hours. I only had one day in Cuzco and thoufht I should make the most of it.

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VolsUT
Jun 30, 2006

Plaza de Armas

The Plaza de Armas is called Huacaypata by the Quechuas, which means cry or moan. This name originated in the expressions of reverence and submission with which the religious or military ceremonies were carried out here. The plaza, lined by arcades and carved wooden balconies, and framed by the Andes, is the focal point of Cusco. In fact, after Machu Picchu, it is one of the most familiar sights in Peru! You will cross it, relax on the benches in its center, and pass under the porticoes that line the square with shops, restaurants, travel agencies, and bars innumerable times during your stay in Cusco. The plaza -- which was twice its present size in Inca days -- has two of Cusco's most famous cathedrals, as well as the remains of original Inca walls, thought to be the foundation of the Inca Pachacútec's palace. Colonial arcades and the remains of ancient Inca temples and churches surround the plaza.

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kucha
Jun 08, 2006

Roaming around the square.

The square is a great place to get your bearings. All around the edges are restaurants. and gift shops. The mountains surrounding add the special drama. We had lots of fun choosing a different restaurant everynight....for as little as $15.00 two people can have a wonderful meal and a hot cup of coca tea!!

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easterntrekker
Oct 18, 2005

Things to Do Near Cusco

Things to Do

Sacsayhuaman

The ruins are still pretty much in a natural state although preservation work has begun. The fortress was built by the Inkas in the 1300's on the site of earlier occupations. it commands a view over...
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Things to Do

Qoriqancha - Santo Domingo Convent

This church and convent are built on top of the Inca temple of Coricancha although much of the original temple was preserved inside the church. This was done as a means of stamping out the local...
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Things to Do

Hatun Rumiyoc - Twelve-Angle Stone

As they walk up Hatun Rumiyoc Street, visitors might not realize that they are walking on one of the original Inca roads of Cusco. The narrow street is now lined with attractive shops one one side,...
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Streets of Cusco

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...
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The Cathedral

A definite must see. It towers over and dominates the Plaza De Armas. Inside you get a feel for what happened to all the Inca gold and silver. The altars inside are fantastic! Made of silver and gold....
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San Blas

A much simpler Adobe Church set in a beautiful plaza. what it lacks for ornateness on the outside is made up for in the wonderful wood carved alter on the inside. The church sits in a little local...
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