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Cusco

HIGHLIGHTS

Santo Domingo Cathedral: CuscoÕs baroque cathedral, built on a former Inca palace, dominates the townÕs main square and it is filled with a huge range of paintings from Cusco School, elegant carved choir stalls, and a gold-covered Renaissance altar.

Qoricancha and Santo Domingo: Qoricancha, the Inca Sun Temple, once covered with thick plates of solid gold, was the most important temple in the Inca Empire. After demolish it, the Spanish built a Dominican church on its ruins. Sacsayhuamán: This is a walled complex built on the northern outskirt of the city of Cusco. It is made by polished dry stone walls, fashioned from stone blocks weighing hundreds of tons. It is the maximum expression of the IncasÕ military strength.

Qenko: Located a kilometer far from Sacsayhuaman, it was a ceremonial center, maybe used for the worship of the land. In the central part there is a giant monolith, probably from an animal that was the main deity, surrounded by niches where offerings were placed. Puca Pucara: Its name means “red fortress” due to the color of the rocks at the twilight. It was probably a wayside along the Inca roads.

Tambomachay: Located 9 km northeast of Cusco, it is known as the Inca Bath, maybe used for religious functions. It has also been considered temple dedicated to the worship of water, due to the form of its water sources.

San Blas (The Stone of twelve angles): The Stone of twelve angles is considered unique in the world. It is a stone embedded in an Inca wall, carved in a way that has twelve angles to make it easy to accurately fit with the other neighboring stones forming the wall.

Main Square: During the development of the Great Inca State or Tahuntinsuyo in pre-hispanic era it was a sacred place where ceremonies took place. The square has been the place of several important events, in fact Francisco Pizarro proclaimed the conquest of Cusco there and it was also the scene of the death of Tupac Amaru II, the indigenous leader of the resistence. With the arrival of the Spanish conquerors, the square was transformed with stone arches and new buildings that surround it today, such as the Cathedral, La Capilla de la Sagrada Familia, La Capilla del Triunfo, the Church of the Society of Jesus.

WEATHER

Cusco has subtropical highland climate; the weather is generally variable and there are two seasons: the dry season from April to October and the wet season from November to March. Rain, heat and cold happen; there is no way to predict it unless you ask the Inca Gods. Early in the morning it is generally really cold. As the day goes by, the sun comes out and most of the time it gets really hot. Later in the afternoon, it can get windy and very cold again. During the day, temperatures are generally between 37.4°F and 78.8°F.

WHERE TO EAT

Le Soleil: Le Soleil is the first French gourmet restaurant in the city of Cusco. It proposes true French flavors and wines. Here you can enjoy rillettes, confit de canard, crème brulee. It offers a unique menu with dishes prepared only with fresh products available according to what the Chef finds in the local market. The restaurant is also available for private events such as weddings and cocktails.
Address: Calle San Agustin 275

Pacha Papa: Located in the traditional San Blas neighborhood, this restaurant serves well-prepared Peruvian traditional dishes. It features a rustic and charming open courtyard with wooden tables. You will taste traditional products such as potatoes, buttered corns in herbs, aji de gallina and trout. Address: Plaza San Blas 120 Granja Heidi: This café and restaurant serves healthy and natural food, some of them provided by the ownerÕs small farm. Soups and salads are highly recommended.
Address: Cuesta San Blas 525, 2nd Floor

El Incanto: This restaurant, located in the heart of the city, serves Italian-Peruvian fushion dishes in a contemporary and minimal setting. The restaurant has a wide range of dishes on the menu: pizzas, pastas and main dishes. Address: Santa Catalina Angosta135, 1st Floor, Plaza de Armas
Cicciolina: This restaurant with Mediterranean influence is divided in three different areas. The “Bodega” (a store) where you can find the most exclusive ingredients you can find in Cusco such as prosciuttos and fine cheeses and jams. A tapas Bar, where you can enjoy a wine and appetizer in a very relaxed place. The restaurant itself is not formal, actually is a relaxed and familiar place, however the white tablecloths and candlelight give a warm mood.
Address: Triunfo 393, Floor. Piso Cusco.

Chicha: This restaurant, located in the heart of Cusco, serves traditional Andean dishes in a charming atmosphere. The menu, designed by the popular Peruvian Chef Gaston Acurio, offers a wide range of starters, main dishes and delicious desserts. Try to book early your table, since the restaurant is very popular.
Address: Calle Plaza Regocijo 261, 2nd Floor

Map Café: The MAP Café is located at the Museum de Arte Precolombino (Museum of Pre-Inca art) in Cuzco. Specializing in Novoandino cuisine and presenting the use of native ingredients and rescued recipes with innovative dishes. The MAP is a new museum with an Impressive private collection of pre-Colombian pieces. The restaurant offers great sophisticated Peruvian-cuisine.
Address: Plazoleta Nazarenas, Museo de Arte PrecolombinoInka

Grill: This two level space restaurant is located right on CuscoÕs main square. It serves Andean traditional dishes, but you can also find salads, pasta and pizza options. Location is very convenient, since it is within easy walking distance from many hotels, and the atmosphere is traditional and warm. The restaurant also offers a fully stocked bar. Address: Portal de Panes 115, Plaza de ArmasLimo: The restaurant is located on the second level of a colonial building on CuscoÕs main square. Limo offers the perfect balance between great food and elegant and modern atmosphere. The menu bounces around from contemporary Peruvian to Japanese, often blending the two in unusual ways.
Address: Portal de Carnes 236, 2nd Floor, Plaza de Armas

SHOPPING

Indian Market: It is a cheerful and colorful corner of Cusco, full of typical handicrafts made by the hands of local artisans. Perfect to buy souvenirs and local products.

Barrio San Blas: The Stone of twelve angles is considered unique in the world. It is a stone embedded in an Inca wall, carved in a way that has twelve angles to make it easy to accurately fit with the other neighboring stones forming the wall.

Tienda Kuna: The store evokes at every corner the Andean ancestral legacy because it has a real Inca wall. The store also features a cafe in which, as part of the service, the customer can enjoy a coffee or tea.

Artesanía Mendivil: His inspirations are often religious. He has achieved international fame for his figures of the Christmas mystery, Mary, Joseph, the wise men, saints, virgins and musketeers, who always have a long neck and a serene countenance.