If we analyze the most popular tourist destinations in Peru, we’ll find that Machu Picchu is way in the lead. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s the only place in the country with a wealth of history.
Cusco, the capital of the ancient Inca Empire, is the city that holds the most memories of this incredible pre-Spanish civilization. Walking around the town, we see that it’s a huge, open-air historical document.
There is an architectural and urban blend of the Incan and Spanish styles in the city’s ancient buildings. This is because the Spanish colonization of the place used the existent edifications as the headquarters of the regional administration.
This doesn’t mean that everything was preserved. The region that contained one of the continent’s largest urban developments was greatly ruined by the colonialist and civilizing project of the Spanish Empire. The little that remained, however, shows all the grandeur of the Incan society.
For visitors, the tip to visit Machu Picchu may seem redundant, because practically all the tourists in the region go there. However, there are other equally important places, such as the Sacred Valley, which also holds incredible architectural landmarks.
In the city of Cusco, it’s also possible to observe one of the greatest collections of colonial Spanish architecture in all of Latin America. Churches, palaces, squares and many other monuments were very well preserved throughout time. It’s not by chance that Cusco is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The city is also lively. It has a good structure of hotels, bars and nightclubs. For tourists who also take the aspect of entertainment seriously, it’s a great place to visit.
Finally, we can classify Cusco as unmissable for those who love to visit historical cities. The mixture of Amerindian and Spanish symbols, of colonizers and colonized, of sacred and profane, of civilized and savage, has a lot to say about our collective roots.