Cusco Journals

Cusco City - On the Trail of the Incas

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A September 2006 trip to Cusco by Shady Ady

Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Park Photo, Cusco, Peru More Photos
Quote: A look at some of the Inca ruins and sites of interest located in and around the glorious city of Cusco.

Q'enqo

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Attraction

Q'enqo Photo, Cusco, Peru
Quote:
Towards the East of Sacsaywaman and included in most of the city tours of Cusco is the small, but rather fascinating Inca ruins of Q’Enqo (also spelt Q’Enko). Q’Enqo is a Quechua word that means ‘labyrinth’, ‘twisted’ or ‘zig-zag’ and is said to be one of the 365 adoratories that should have existed in the Qosqo Valley.The Q’Enqo Inca ruins consist of a small outcrop of limestone riddled with extraordinary symbolic carvings, niches, steps, and channels. As the site is thought to have been used for ritual sacrifices and ceremonies, the channels probably carried away the blood of llamas, and possibly also young virgins, who were also sacrificed by the Incas. I found it very strange to hear that ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 21, 2006

Q'enqo
10 minutes outside Cusco towards Pisaq
Cusco, Peru

Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Park

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Attraction | "Sacsayhuaman"

Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Park Photo, Cusco, Peru
Quote:
Sacsayhuaman, or as it is also known, Saqsaywaman, meaning ‘satisfied falcon’ is probably the most impressive of all the Inca ruins immediately surrounding the city of Cusco and can easily be reached as part of a day trip from the city, taking in some of the other Inca ruins in the area. Plus being perched overlooking the Inca capital, it gives amazing views of the urban sprawl below.As with many of the Inca ruins witnessed today, many historians argue over the true meaning and use of Sacsayhuaman. Some say it was built in order to put it ahead of the city’s Sun Temple and therefore it has enormous religious presence. Others say it was strategically positioned as a war-like fortress to fight a...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 21, 2006

Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Park
Located On A Steep Hill That Overlooks Cusco
Cusco, Peru

Tambomachay

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Attraction

Tambomachay Photo, Cusco, Peru
Quote:
Opposite the Inca ruins of Puka-Pukara, one can find the more impressive ruins of Tambo-Machay. Tambo-Machay is located 300 metres from the main road, several kilometres from Cusco on the road to Pisaq. If you have just arrived in to Cusco, the 300m walk from the main road can be quite demanding. Tambo-Machay, when translated into English literally means 'lodge resting place' and it is thought these ruins were once an exclusive relaxing and retirement palace for the more well-off and prosperous members of the Inca culture.Today the ruins consist of a beautifully wrought, ceremonial stone bath channelling water down through the different stone levels. It amazes me that even 500 years after the ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 24, 2006

Tambomachay
7 kilómetros de Cusco
Cusco, Peru

Puka Pukara

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Attraction

Puka Pukara Photo, Cusco, Peru
Quote:
Puka Pukara is one of five Inca archaeological sites that you take in during the Cusco city tour. Although I probably wouldn't make the effort to see this on an individual trip, as part of the tour, it makes for another excellent glimpse of the ancient Inca culture.Puka Pukara (or 'Puca Pucara') is found several kilometres outside of Cusco on the road to Pisaq at an altitude of 3,750 metres (12,300 feet). More or less directly opposite it are the Inca ruins of Tambo Machay. Its name comes from Quechua and means 'red fortress' when translated. A simple reason for this name is that in some lights, especially at dawn and dusk, the ruins have a strange red glow. This can be attributed to the high ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 24, 2006

Puka Pukara
15 minutes outside Cusco towards Pisaq
Cusco, Peru

Koricancha-Temple of the Sun, Cathedral of Santo Domingo (Cusco Cathedral)

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Attraction | "Temple of the Sun"

Quote:
A trip to Cusco is not complete without visiting the Temple of the Sun, once the most important temple of the Incas. ‘Coricancha’ (meaning ‘Golden Courtyard’) was covered in gold and silver sculptures during its heyday representing llamas, corn, babies, and the sun, all of which were melted down by the Spanish when they captured Cusco. Those that weren't melted down were given to pay the ransom for the captured Inca ruler Atahualpa. Unfortunately this proved to be blood money as Atahualpa was later murdered.The Temple of the Sun was built during the reign of Inca Pachacutec and served predominantly as an astronomical observatory and repository for the realms treasure of gold and silver. When y...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 7, 2007

Koricancha-Temple of the Sun, Cathedral of Santo Domingo (Cusco Cathedral)
Plaza De Armas
Cusco, Peru

Quote:
Cusco Cathedral is the focal point of Plaza de Armas, and once inside you’re surrounded by a magnitude of wealth and beauty. The baroque-style cathedral is built on the foundations of the palace of the Inca Wirachocha. Started in 1539 it wasn’t declared finished until 1664. Its Renaissance style design, constituted by a Latin-cross base, contains the best colonial goldsmith and woodcarving supposedly in the whole of Peru, as well as a valuable collection of paintings from the Escuela Cusqueña. Many of its stone blocks were brought from the neighbouring fortress of Sacsayhuaman. Once inside, the first thing that struck me was the richness of alters and chapels. The main altar is made of silver ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 7, 2007

Koricancha-Temple of the Sun, Cathedral of Santo Domingo (Cusco Cathedral)
Plaza De Armas
Cusco, Peru