City Tour including nearby ruins

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Kez on June 5, 2002

This is a great tour for an overview of the sights within and near Cusco. It operates from 2-6 p.m.

Try to book when Jorge, the tour guide studying to be an archeologist, is working. He is an absolute treasure trove of information.

First of all we went to the Cathedral; after some waiting and much knocking on the door using the big old brass knocker the door was finally opened. You enter through the door over which a skull and cross bones is engraved. Jorge explained that this was the last room that held the condemned prisoners before they were taken to their deaths. Continuing into the actual church, he explained how the Spanish religious beliefs and the local beliefs were intertwined. For example, the use of mirrors on the walls interspersed with the religious paintings. These were used not only for the curse of vanity but also as the Indigenous people believed if that if they could see their image they had committed a sin and therefore had to do penance. There was also a painting of The Last Supper. But where the face of Judas was meant to be the artist, without permission, had substituted the face of Pisarro. Of course the poor artist paid the ultimate price and was subsequently executed.

Next stop Koricancha (or Qorikancha), with its Inca walls and cubicles, complete with niches for offerings and sacrificial altar.

Next, out of town to Sacsayhuaman or Sexy Woman as it is called; it was fantastic with all those gigantic stones.

On to Qenqo with its cave that you walk down into. Then on past Pukapukara and to Tambomachay with its wonderous aquaducts and terraces with ceremonial niches. We found the way the Incas had designed their walls was very sophisticated; they always used sets of three (their sacred number), in their interlocking design of stones, whilst allowing for expansion,contraction, earthquakes or whatever else was thrown at them.

For just 20 soles this tour offers superb value and if you are lucky enough to score the same guide it is a real afternoon of discovery! All entry fees are covered on the Tourist ticket for $10 except for entry into Koricancha. This is an extra 4 soles.

Exploring Cusco
Cusco, Peru
Cusco, Peru, 00 51
0051 84 273693

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