Other Sites To See During Luxury Tours To Machu Picchu
Posted: Jun 30, 2015
A trip to Machu Picchu is the centerpiece of all luxury tours to Peru. While the ruins of the ancient Incan city are fascinating in their own right, the location of Machu Picchu makes it one of the most memorable destinations anywhere in the world. Machu Picchu is perched atop a mountain ridge overlooking what the local population still calls the Sacred Valley. This mountain citadel is covered with many terraces, and its partially restored ruins gives visitors a glimpse of what life must have been like before Europeans came to the Americas.
A visit to Machu Picchu is just the beginning of things to see and do on luxury tours to Peru. According to IncaLuxury.com, there are many hidden treasures to discover in the area around Machu Picchu. Here is a short list of places that should be on your short list of sites to see while you visit the Land of the Incas.
Sometimes spelled Cuzco, this city of over 400,000 is the original capital of the Inca Empire until the Spanish conquered it in the 16th century. It’s only a few hours away from Machu Picchu by train, and the city makes an excellent starting point for luxury tours to the ruins. The city itself is a spectacle, with many ancient Spanish buildings, along with amazing stonework on display from Pre-Columbian times.
Plaza de Armas
The Plaza de Armas in Cusco is brilliantly illuminated in the evenings, and it’s ringed by notable buildings like the Church of the Society of Jesus, started in 1576 on the destroyed palace of the Inca ruler. The Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus is one of the finest examples of Spanish colonial baroque architecture anywhere in North or South America.
Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin
Also located at the Plaza de Armas, this church, usually called simply Cusco Cathedral, is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In addition to its importance as a place of worship for Catholics, the church also holds many archaeological and artistic relics that are a must-see while in Cusco.
For a taste of Peru that’s off the beaten track, climb the pedestrian streets to the San Blas neighborhood of Cusco. It’s not far from the Plaza de Armas, but it’s a challenging walk because the way is so steep. You’ll enjoy wonderful views of the city when you arrive. Luxury tours shouldn’t miss this delightful area of homes and workshops for local artisans and artists. It’s also filled with charming, informal restaurants and lively bars and nightclubs. The streetscape is an amazing walk back in time, with cobbled streets, tile roofs, and stucco walls with finely fitted masonry peeking out here and there.
Before luxury tours head to see the ruins of Machu Picchu, they often make a stop to see the amazing stonework at Saqsaywaman. The Incas built a stone fortress that overlooks the city of Cusco, and many of the walls are still standing. The walls are made from giant blocks of stone, each intricately fitted to its neighbors, many with seemingly impossible interlocking shapes. Many visitors consider a view of Cusco from the fortress of Saqsaywaman as memorable as visiting Machu Picchu.
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