“Welcome to Cusco (The Capital of the Incas)”

Published on: 5 de September de 2021 -

Meaning of Cusco

The troponin of city Cusco was Qosqo, Qusqu in Quechua. The tradition says that means center, belly, belt, and this because according to Inca mythology, the world converged on it below (Uku Pacha) with the visible world (Kay Pacha) and the upper world (Hanan Pacha). Thus the city was and is called the world’s navel, referring to the Universe. However, no modern Quechua language is associated with the above meaning.

On the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors, the name goes into Castilian as Cuzco or Cusco. Both terms have obtained used interchangeably since.

Since 1993 the official name is Cusco, so currently, the official Peruvian cartography appears as such, although commonly used any other way in other Spanish-speaking countries.

Article 49 of the Constitution of Peru of 1993, to establish the country’s historical capital, an official said that the writing is Cusco.

The Municipal Council of Cusco (from June 23, 1990) approved the municipal agreement n ° 078, by which it decided: “Instituting Qosqo name usage, replacing the word Cusco in all documents of the Municipal Government Cusco.


The terrain in Cusco is steep, combining fertile inter-Andean valleys with impressive mountains like Salkantay, Ausangate, Veronica that descend to the rim of the jungle where the temperature rises and the landscape does transform through a variety of vegetation.

Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incan Empire, was placed on the World Cultural Heritage List by Unesco in 1983. Cusco is an essential destination in Peru and South America. Incan sites are waiting for you to discover them among its cobble-stoned Inca streets, ones like the Qoricancha and the Palace of Inca Roca and Andean Baroque structures from the Colonial Period like the Cathedral and the Church of the Company of Christ. In addition, you can visit the picturesque neighborhood of San Blas, where the best artisans in the department have set up their workshops. This magical city also has exciting nightlife with cafes, restaurants, and bars for all tastes. Just 5 minutes by car away from the city, there are the massive walls of the Sacsaywaman temple. A few kilometers from there, you can find the archaeological sites of Qenqo, Puca Pucara, and Tambomachay, Incan buildings constructed entirely with stone.

There are also Pisac, Maras, Chinchero, and Ollantaytambo, which spread throughout the Sacred Valley of the Incas, one hour and a half from Cusco. From there it is possible to catch the train to Machu Picchu Park. Another way of getting to the citadel is by following one of the Traditional Inca Trail Trek, a spectacular network of pathways that snake their way among the snow-covered mountains, rivers, and overwhelming countryside. Hiking is one of the best trekking routes in the world since scattered throughout it, and you find great archaeological sites and areas rich in unique plant and animal species.

Machu Picchu is the most important and beautiful legacy of the ancient Inca culture, is part of the Historic Sanctuary of the same name, which is also one of the few places in the Americas placed on the World Cultural Natural Heritage Lists by UNESCO. It is located high on top of a mountain and complements the exuberant nature that surrounds it, creating a one-of-a-kind place in the world.

Cusco Language(s):

  • Quechua (Andean Language)
  • Castellano (Spanish language)
  • English (A good Percentage)
  • The altitude of Cusco: 3350 Masl – 10,990 Ft.
  • Lowest point: 532 Masl – 1745 Ft. (Pilcopata)
  • Highest point: 6300 Masl – 67,813.2 Ft. (Ausangate)

Climate: In the highlands, there are only two seasons:

  • Dry season: May to October. The days are usually hot and sunny (20-25C / 68 -77F), and the nights are cold, particularly in June and July (0C / 32F or below).
  • Wet season: November to April. (The wettest months are January to March.) Although this is known as the wet season, it does not usually rain all day. The mornings are generally clear and dry, and it is in the afternoons that there are heavy outbursts. In the day, the temperatures usually are around 18C, and at night, around 15C / 41F.

Access Routes:

By land: Lima – Arequipa – Cusco: 1650 km / 1025 miles (26 hours by car)

-Lima – Nazca – Puquio – Abancay – Cusco: 1131 km / 703 miles (20 hours by car)

-Puno – Cusco: 389 km / 242 miles (7 hours by car)

By air: Daily flights to Cusco from Lima (1 hour) and Arequipa (30 minutes)
By train: Regular service from Puno: 384 km / 239 miles (10 hours)


Banks: Many banks on the main street (Av. Del Sol) have ATMs from which you can withdraw cash with Visa or MasterCard. Many hotels, agencies, and restaurants accept payment with Visa, MasterCard, or American Express.

Money Exchange: The current exchange rate for an American dollar is S/. 2.56 (Soles), and they’re a lot of places where you can change your money dollars into soles.

Please note: that dollars need to be in perfect condition to be accepted.

You can also change Euros or English pounds although the rates are not very good. Therefore it is worth changing your money into dollars before coming to Peru.

Hotels: Cusco accommodation to suit every purse, from budget Hostels to five-star hotels. In peak season, we recommend booking ahead (we can suggest Hotels according to your requirements and make the necessary reservations).

Peruvian Food: There are plenty of locals and tourist Restaurants that offer a wide variety of Andean food, from the delicious grilled guinea pig (local delicacy – Cuy). Ceviche (raw fish marinated in lemon), Chicken grilled in a fire-wood oven served with chips (Peruvian fast food) to pizza and pasta Restaurants.

Popular drinks:

  • Coca tea (tea made from the coca leaf) “Delicious.”
  • Inca Kola (soft drink made with lemongrass – only found in Peru)
  • Pisco Sour (a mix of Pisco, egg whites, lemon, sugar, cinnamon, and ice)
  • Chicha (an alcoholic drink made from corn). (Andean / Inca beer)

Shopping: Many hand-made textiles do found here; popular buys are alpaca, llama, or high-quality vicuna wool fabrics. There are also beautiful ceramic works and gold and silver jewelry on sale.

Craft Markets:

  • Craft Market: Corner of Av. Tullumayo and Av. Pachakuteq, Cusco
  • San Blas Art Market (San Blas neighborhood). Opening hours: Sat. 9:00 A.M. / 6:00 P.M.
  • Pisac Market: District of Pisac. Opening hours: Sun., Tues., and Thurs. 8:00 A.M. / 6:00 P.M.
  • Chinchero Market: District of Chinchero. Opening hours: Sun., Tues., and Thurs. 8:00 A.M. / 6:00 P.M.
  • Postal: Av. El Sol 800, Cusco. Telephone: (084) 22-4212 – 24-8352. Attention: Mon. / Sat. 7:30 A.M. / 7:30 P.M. and Sun. 7:30 A.M. / 2:00 P.M.

Distances from Cusco to the Cusqueñian Provinces:

  • Acomayo (Cusco – Acomayo) 104, 5 km (65 miles) / 03 hours
  • Anta (Cusco – Anta) 26 km (16 miles) / 30 minutes.
  • Calca (Cusco – Calca) 50 km (31 miles) / 01 hour and 15 minutes.
  • Yanaoca (Cusco – Canas) 165 km (103 miles) / 03 hours.
  • Sicuani (Cusco – Canchis) 138 km (86 miles) / 02 hours.
  • Santo Tomás (Cusco – Chumbivilcas) 240 km (149 miles) / 10 hours
  • Yauri (Cusco – Espinar) 241 km (150 miles) / 7 hours.
  • Quillabamba (Cusco – Convención) 210 km (130 miles) / 06 hours.
  • Paruro (Cusco – Paruro) 64 km (40 miles) / 2 hours.
  • Paucartambo (Cusco – Paucartambo) 109 km (68 miles) / 03 hours.
  • Urcos (Cusco – Quispicanchi) 46 km (29 miles) / 40 minutes.
  • Urubamba (Cusco – Urubamba) 78 km (48 miles) / 01 hour and 25 minutes.
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