Cusco City Tour (Half Day)
Enjoy the Ancient Inca Capital of Cusco .This Tour is half a day that includes a visit to the Cathedral
in the main square , the Temple of Sun Koricancha nearby ruins around this city such us The fortress
of Sacsayhuaman, Qenko, Puca Pucara and finally we will visit Tambomachay.
per adult from
What's included :
- Bi-Lingual Guide (English and Spanish)
What's excluded :
- Entrance (Boleto Turistico)
- Food and Beverages
- Entry/Admission - Cusco Cathedral
- Entry/Admission - Qorikancha
- Entry/Admission - Sacsayhuaman
- Entry/Admission - Q'enqo
- Entry/Admission - Tambomachay
- This is a typical itinerary for this product
Stop At: Cusco Cathedral, Portal Belen Plaza de Armas, Cusco 08002 Peru
The Cathedral is built in Gothic-Renaissance style, with evidence of baroque influence in the façade. As you’ll recall, the Incas were enlisted to build the Cathedral for the Spanish, so you can now see much of the religious symbolism incorporated into the church, such as the head of the jaguar carved into the front doors.
The Maria Angola Bell can be found here, a bell that is 2.15 meters high and weighs about 5980 kg. It is only rung on special occasions, but it is claimed that the bell can be heard from more than 20 miles away.
Don’t miss the colonial art found here, with many work from the Cusco school that are known for their decorative combination of 17th-century European devotional painting styles, paired with the colors and iconography of indigenous Andean art. One classic example of this is the repeated portrayal of the Virgin Mary wearing a mountain-shaped skirt with a river decorating the hem, relating her to the sacred Pachamama (Mother Earth).
Make sure to catch a glimpse of The Last Supper by Quechua artist Marcos Zapata. The popular depiction of the last supper has a Cusco flair, with Andean ceremonial food replacing the more-often portrayed dishes upon the table. Look for the roast cuy (guinea pig) on the table, not unlike those you’ll be able to dine on all throughout Cusco.
Here sits the oldest surviving painting in Cusco. It depicts the city during the great earthquake of 1650, in which a precious crucifix called El Senor de los Temblores was prayed before to stop the earthquake. It miraculously did, and you can see the exact crucifix to the right of the door leading into the Church of the Triumph, or during the Holy Monday parade every year in which he travels through the city to be worshipped by the faithful.
Duration: 45 minutes
Stop At: Qorikancha, Avenida El Sol, 3rd block, Cusco Peru
This beautiful temple can be known as Coricancha, Qoricancha, Qorikancha or Koricancha and it was one of the most important and most sacred temples of the Inca empire. Its ruins are located in Santo Domingo Plaza in Cusco. When the Spanish arrived in Cusco they destroyed most of Coricancha, and the Santo Domingo Church was built on the foundations and the remaining walls of the temple, preserving only a small part of its indigenous beauty.
The word “Coricancha” is formed through a combination of two Quechua words: “quri” meaning worked gold in English, and “kancha”, which means temple, or place enclosed by walls. This suggests that the name of the temple roughly translates to “Walls of Gold”.
Coricancha was the center of Cusco, in more ways than just geographical. It was also the religious center, as a sacred place where appreciation was shown for Inti, the Inca Sun God. In fact, it was the only temple that existed only for religious ceremonies and was the most sacred temple of all the Incas. To enter the temple, worshippers needed to have been barefoot, fasting and carrying a heavy load upon their back as a sign of humility to the god.
Many historians have written that once the Spanish arrived in Cusco they were blinded by its grandeur, every wall was covered with a layer of gold, and there were dieties everywhere to celebrate the different gods of the Inca Empire, such as a silver depiction of the Moon Godess. The concentration of the precious metals made the whole area shine. There were animal figures made entirely from gold filling the gardens, the Spaniards had never seen so much gold in one place before. Most of these pieces were sent to the King of Spain as a ‘thank you’ for allowing the expeditions to South America to take place.
The walls of Coricancha are made from indigenous rocks named calcite and andesite, giving the structure the perfect finish that is expected from Inca architecture, and which also means that the structures stand up to not just time, but natural disasters. The temple has survived not one, but three different major earthquakes that have rocked Cusco.
The Inca leader, Huayna Capac, gave special importance to the temple and so ordered all rich citizens to travel there. This led to a concentration of powerful people in Cusco and eventually strengthened the empire and allowed for favourability to the state in revolutionary movements.
Duration: 45 minutes
Stop At: Sacsayhuaman, Cusco 08000 Peru
Sacsayhuamán is one of the most amazing buildings in the world. One thinks that it began to be constructed during the government of Inca Pachacutec in century XV.
It is believed that more than 20 thousand men extracted the stones from the nearby quarries and moved it 20 kilometers to the hill of the city of Cusco.
Today, it is estimated that Sacsayhuaman retains only 40 percent of its old structure. Even so, the site has structures of up to 125 tons of weight.
How the Incas built Sacsayhuaman with structures of an unlikely weight and size for the time? Many questions are still a mystery. There lies the beauty of this archaeological site.
The architecture in Sacsayhuaman has sacred buildings such as residential buildings, towers, shrines, warehouses, roads and aqueducts. That is why, the shape and harmony of the landscape is similar to other sacred Inca places such as Machu Picchu.
The main wall of Sacsayhuaman is built in zigzag with giant stones up to 5 meters high and 2.5 meters wide (between 90 and 125 tons of weight).
The south side is bounded by a polished wall approximately 400 meters long. The east and west are limited by other walls and platforms.
According to the Peruvian chronicler Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Sacsayhuaman was the greatest architectural work that the Incas built during its apogee.
Duration: 1 hour
Stop At: Q'enqo, Cusco Peru
The Incan Empire was completely destroyed by European forces in the 16th century. Many of their massive temples, fortresses and cities were left standing, but without any clues as to their purpose. Qenqo Temple, fifteen minutes from Cusco is similarly mysterious and a dark account has formed in the historical vacuum.
In Quechua, Qenqo means labyrinth or zig-zag and the temple is named for the crooked canal cut out of its rock. Although it is clear the canal carried some sort of liquid, researchers have been forced to guess at its purpose, and at what liquid it transported. Hypotheses range from carrying holy water, chicha (corn beer), or blood. All three indicate that Qenqo was used for death rituals, possibly to embalm bodies or detect whether a person lived a good life by the course the liquid followed.
Qenqo is a unique temple in its construction as well, having been entirely carved out of a gigantic monolith. Stretched across a hillside, the temple is carved out of rock and marries the man-made tunnels with natural chambers. One of these chambers features 19 small niches and is set up as an amphitheater. Once again, the purpose of the theater has been lost over time, but most agree the area was used for some type of sacrifice to the sun, moon and star gods who were worshipped at the site.
From the information available, it appears Qenqo Temple was an extremely holy site for the Incas. Their dead were judged and possibly embalmed in Qenqo’s winding tunnels, and blood sacrifices were offered to the heavenly gods. Despite the probable grisly purpose of the temple, its carved tunnels and chambers are an amazing work of ancient architecture, and a trip to Qenqo is sure to turn the wheels of mystery inside every visitor.
Duration: 45 minutes
Stop At: Tambomachay, Cusco Peru
Tambomachay is an Inca archaeological site located just outside Cusco. Its precise function is unknown, but it may have served as a ceremonial site, an Inca spa, or a military outpost—or perhaps a mix of all three.
Tambomachay sits on a hill about 4 miles north of Cusco, at about 12,150 feet (3,700 meters) above sea level. The structure consists of three stepped terraces of precise Inca stonework, with trapezoidal niches built into some of the retaining walls. The whole thing is built over, or into, a natural spring, which continuously feeds a series of small aqueducts, canals, and waterfalls built into the terraces.
The site is also known as El Baño del Inca, or the Bath of the Inca. This refers to one of the long-held theories about the site’s function: that it was a spa of sorts for the Inca ruler, and maybe for the wider Inca nobility. It’s a secluded and tranquil spot, and the constantly flowing water would certainly have provided for all the Inca’s spa-break needs. But there was probably more going on at Tambomachay than just high-altitude bathing.
As is evident at numerous sites throughout the Sacred Valley, water— and the control of water—had a ceremonial function for the Incas. They were able to control the flow of water with great precision, often bringing the water from springs way up in the mountains via stone channels and aqueducts, and finally to fountains and waterfalls at important points within their religious sites.
Considering the presence of precise water features at Tambomachay, and its construction on a natural spring, it’s likely that it served a ceremonial function connected with water. The trapezoidal niches could also have served a ceremonial purpose, perhaps to hold offerings (trapezoidal niches and openings are, however, ubiquitous in Inca architecture, from the finest temples to the most basic walls). It’s possible that all this could have been tied in with the notion of a spa: if the Inca ruler did come here to bathe and cleanse himself, that in itself could have been a ceremonial process.
Other archaeologists, such as Federico Kauffmann Doig, have argued that the primary function of Tambomachay must have been military. Kauffmann Doig pointed to the terraced nature of the site as evidence for this, the terraces being similar to defensive terraces found at other sites. Tambomachay is also located in close proximity to Puka Pukara, about 680 yards to the southeast, which was almost certainly an Inca military site.
As with so many Inca archaeological sites, there’s a strong possibility that Tambomachay served more than one purpose. It could well have been both a military outpost and a ceremonial center, and perhaps even a spa for overworked Inca rulers.
Duration: 45 minutes
Stop At: Puka Pukara, Cusco Peru
Pucara is an archaeological complex located just 7 kilometers far from Cusco 3,850 meters above sea level. Next, to Qenqo and Sacsayhuaman, Puca Pucara is one of the unmissable ruins to visit near the Inca capital of Peru.
Of great walls, overlapping terraces, platforms, and stairways, it is believed that Puca Pucara was part of the defensive set of Cusco and the Inca Empire, however, although its name means "Red Fortress" in Spanish, this has not yet been proven.
The name of Puca Pucara was given mainly by its fortified appearance and by the red color that rocks acquire during sunset.
Duration: 30 minutes
Departure Point :Unnamed Road, Cusco 08002, Peru
Departure Time :1:30 PM
Return Detail :Returns to original departure point
Hotel Pickup :
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- Not wheelchair accessible
- No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
- Most travelers can participate
- This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers
- You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
- All sales are final and incur 100% cancellation penalties.