Just landed in Cusco? Our Cusco City Tour with an experienced local guide will give you the best introduction of the city, its culture and history.
Cusco, the captivating ancient capital of the Incan empire is the gateway to the world wonder, Machu Picchu. It is the best place to experience the blend of two culture and architecture (Inca and Spanish). This tour is a must-do when visiting Cusco and is usually one of the first ports of call for all visiting tourists. From the bustling San Pedro Market to historical sites, Cusco has a look and feel about it that is completely different to the rest of Peru
We have dedicated English speaking local guides who are born and raised in Cusco. Cusco City Tour takes you around the most important sites. It starts at the Cathedral of Cusco, then to The temple of Sun (Qoricancha). City Tour of Cusco also takes you to the four sites on the outside of Cusco. You will get to see an incredible mixture of Inca and Spanish-style architecture.
Cathedral of Cusco is an iconic building in the city. The site where the cathedral stands was once an Inca palace. It was built during the rule of Emperor Viracocha. To mark the Spanish conquest in Cusco, they demolished the palace and built the cathedral on its remains.
It was built in 1560 and took a 100 years to complete. The Incas however, integrated some of their religious symbols in the cathedral. For instance, the main doors of Cathedral has carved head of Puma. Puma was a sacred animals to Incas, infact it is believed that the city of Cusco and Lake Titicaca are in a form of Puma.
Qorikanca, (Koricancha) was one of the holiest site of Incas. To Incas, the was the temple of the sun. It once housed plenty of gold and silver. Infact the patio, outside the temple was full of statues made entirely of gold.
In 1533, the Spanish conquistadors kidnapped the last emperor of Incas, Atahualpa and demanded a ransom. Most of the gold were stripped and were paid for his release. The Spanish rulers however murdered the emperor on receiving the ransom.
Incas golden temple was later demolished and the Spanish built the Cathedral of Santo Domingo. They retained its foundations though. Now, in modern world, Qoricancha portrays the blend of western and indigenous architectures. This is one of the sites where the Spanish incorporated Inca stonework into the structure of a colonial building.
Sacsayhuaman is a prominent landmark of Incas just off the city of Cusco. Built on top of a hill, overlooking the centre of Cusco City, the archeological complex depicts an advancement of Inca engineering. The Incas, built the fortress using stones, each weighing more than 100 tons. These zig-zag stones are joined without using mortar.
Q’enqo or Kenko is one the prime holy places of Incas. The Incas used this site primarily to do sacrifices and to mummify the corpses.
Tambomachay was more like a spa resort to the elite families of Incas. There are a series of water canals through which water from the nearby hot spring flow. Infact, even today the water channel continue to work.
Puca Pucara or Puka Pukara which in Quechua means the red fort, is a giant rock. At dusk, with the reflection of sun, the colour of the rock changes to red colour, after which it is named. During the Incan civilisation, Puca Pucara served as a military outpost guarding the approaches.
We highly recommend this half day tour as an ideal way to spend your time acclimatising. We offer both group and private tour service.
Cusco Hotel Transfer
At 0130 PM, we will start the Cusco City Tour at Plaza De Armas. Our first stop will be at the Cathedral of Cusco. Our local expert will give you a detailed tour explaining the significance of each sites and murals.
Following the tour, we will walk to the temple of Qoriqancha (Temple of the sun). Here, you will appreciate the beauty of the Incan architecture and at also witness the impact of the Catholic influence. It was here, the Spanish colonists built the Church of Santo Domingo. The church stands on the remains of the temple. This is one of the numerous sites where the Spanish incorporated Inca stonework into the structure of a colonial building.
From the temple of Qoriqancha, we will drive to the four archaeological sites around the city. Sacsayhuaman, known for its stone work. Each stone weighs more than 100 tons. Here you will have an opportunity to know the history and culture. You will also discover the meaning and importance of this iconic place. Then, just five minutes away from Sacsayhuaman, we will reach Qenqo. After this, we will visit the archaeological sites of Puka Pukara (Red Fort) and Tambomachay (Temple of Water).
We will be dropping you off at Plaza Regocijo, where the tour ends.
I could highly recommend this tour if you are visiting Cusco the first time. The place is covered with many historic sites and this tour covers them all. The guide as a local explained so many useful things and gave some tips too.
Jesus took me in an excellent, informative and super organized city tour through the history of Inca and subsequent Spanish rule.
Tayra Tours were very accommodating and gave a good introduction to Cusco city and its history. This helped me a lot on the following trips to Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. I highly recommend doing this trip while you are still acclimatising on your first days in Cusco
Visited all the main sites of Cusco and on its outskirts on this guided half day tour which I found to be very informative and extremely well organised. The guide, as a local had good knowledge and spoke good English. Totally worth it.
Having Richard as my guide was quite fortune. He is a local and was very knowledgable and explained many things in detail. This helped me a lot in the following trips to Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu.