Cusco: 6 Reasons to Go
by Rose Chua
6 Reasons to Go to Cusco
It's not all about Machu Picchu
Cusco, a UNESCO World Heritage city, serves as the jump-off point for people going to Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail as it is the city closest to Machu Picchu. Here are 6 reasons to visit this city - and not just because of the infamous Machu Picchu.
1. Beautiful Architecture
Check out the Centro Hístorico de Cusco! It is a beautiful historic site showcasing architectural structures that have evolved as much as Cusco's history has - Spanish colonial buildings built over the base of Ancient Inca palaces.
2. The Blue Doors
Cusco, Peru is a city known for its beautiful blue doors. Although the color does not hold any special meaning, the blue doors have become an ubiquitous architectural trademark for the city.
The matching blue doors all over the city definitely gives off a happy feeling so make sure to take a photo by one of the blue doors!
3. The Cute Lambs and Llamas
Get your coins ready and take a photo with ladies bustling about Cusco with their cute lambs. Also watch out for cute llamas that are native to South America. Or you might be lucky and get the cute animals to photobomb your Machu Picchu photos! (that can be both a good and bad thing, we guess...)
4. Try their Alpaca
Originally from South America, alpacas are a species of camelid and are close cousins of llamas. You'll find alpaca meat in most Peruvian restaurants and its known to have less fat and lower in cholesterol compared to beef. Definitely worth a try as it's such a big part of Peruvian culture. Alpacas are mostly bred for their wool and meat, so it might also be a good idea to grab yourself some good-quality Alpaca wool products. If you ever see a live alpaca, just be careful when coming close - those animals can (and do) spit! And you wouldn't want that. >_<
5. Famous Cathedrals
Some notable churches include the Qurikancha Temple (Church of Santo Domingo), the Cusco Cathedral, and the Iglesia de Santa Clara. Churches form a central part of most historical cities as most have been constructed and treated as the focal point of a bustling community back in the day. It certainly gives a place better context to see the same walls people pay respect and pray to for years.
6. Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu
Located near the ancient city of Machu Picchu and Cusco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas (Urubamba Valley) was a key area of settlement for the Incas because of its climate and fertile plains. It was a center for large scale maize production in the past. It's quite interesting how it continues to supply the city of Cusco with produce from maize, to fruit and vegetables up to this day.
And of course, there's the amazing view of ancient Machu Picchu. No further words necessary.