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“Inca launch pad” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Centro Historico de Cusco

Centro Historico de Cusco
Cusco 084, Peru
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Day Trip to the Sacred Valley: Chinchero, Maras...
Ranked #1 of 89 Attractions in Cusco
Type: Ancient Ruins, Scenic/ Historic Walking Areas, Cultural
Attraction details
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
“Inca launch pad”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2014

Cusco is a wonderful place to begin explorian Andean countryside, culture and cuisine! The MAP Museum was wonderful.

Visited May 2014
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Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
“Cusco Historic Centre”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2014

Easy to walk around, lots to see & learn about the capital for the Incas; Cusco busy with celebrations, so there is fireworks on a regular basic

Visited May 2014
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Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
1,521 reviews 1,521 reviews
1,333 attraction reviews
Reviews in 241 cities Reviews in 241 cities
742 helpful votes 742 helpful votes
“Beautiful heritage listed city”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2014

The central part of Cusco is a highlight to any trip to Peru. It truly deserves its world heritage status. Not many cities in the world can claim to be built so seamlessly on top of a former civilisation. Inca stonework can be seen in countless side streets. It survives earthquakes a lot better than modern structures. Focal point is the plaza de armas, surrounded by a beautiful ensemble of colonial churches and exclusive shops and restaurants. Minimal advertising and no gaudy colours here. You'd hardly notice the MacDonalds tucked away in the corner.

Visited December 2013
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“A combination of the very old, merely old and modern”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2014

At first glance, the centre of Cusco looks a little ramshackle - but then much of the centre is a UNESCO world heritage site and presumably can't be renovated. So if you can ignore the bustling traffic, it doesn't take too much of a leap to imagine you're seeing the place much as it was when the conquistadores were in charge. What kept surprising me, initially, was how many Incan buildings still remain - or at least, the first couple of meters of their exterior walls, subsequently built on and extended by the Spanish. But then, it's easy to think of the Inca empire as ancient, while really it's just old, ending a mere 500 years ago. If this seems like a long time, consider that the Incans were contemporaneous with King Henry VIII in England and only just pre-dated Shakespeare. So on second thoughts, it shouldn't be surprising that the original Cusco was a sizeable and substantial settlement, constructed of those wonderful Incan stone buildings, and that many of these buildings survive, albeit in modified form. Today the tourist centre of Cusco is the Plaza de Armas, a large square next to the cathedral, and almost everything of interest to the casual tourist within the city itself is located within no more than 10 minutes walk of this spot. However there is much more to the historic centre than just the Plaza. Narrow streets in all directions lead past the remains of Incan / colonial dwellings, and you'll find many beautiful little courtyards hiding, Spanish-style, behind unobtrusive doorways. From nearby Sacsayhuaman, looking down onto the town from the top of a hill, the courtyard and square nature of the old town is clearly visible, and the orange / red tiling on the roofs gives almost a Roman impression. Of course, Cusco's historic centre isn't really a single attraction - almost everything worth seeing here will have its own separate Tripadvisor entry, and you would be well-advised to seek these out too. There's a surprising amount to see and do packed into a small space, particularly if your interest encompasses history, religion, museums, gastronomy, and shopping. With regards to the latter, most of the old buildings in the centre, at least at ground level, have now been converted into shops. Kuna and Sol Alpaca are probably the two most reputable places for good quality alpaca clothing, with a number of outlets on or near the Plaza de Armas. Avoid buying from the sellers wandering the Plaza itself unless you have a particular desire to wear acrylic. Allow at least 4 days to see everything including the nearby ruins of the temple complex at Sacsayhuaman, which you will need transport (or an organised tour) to get to. Some attractions require you to buy the all-in-one Cusco tourist ticket, while for others you can simply pay on the door. If you need local help organising tours or guides I highly recommend Amazonas Explorer.

Visited May 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
El Dorado Hills, CA
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Reviews in 65 cities Reviews in 65 cities
227 helpful votes 227 helpful votes
“People Watching”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2014

Really quite a lovely square. Explore the range of shops and have a bite to eat or an ice cream. Sit for while on a bench and people watch. The light in the late afternoon can bathe the square in a golden light and we were able to capture some beautiful shots.

Visited May 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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