Travel tips you can trust


Why Cuzco
is special

It was the capital of the vast Inca Empire until conquered in the 16th century by the Spanish. Today, Cuzco is known for its massive Inca stone walls, for its Colonial-era architecture, and for being the gateway city to Machu Picchu.

tips and insights

Inca stone walls
in the city

After the Spanish destroyed most of the major Inca temples and other structures, they built their colonial-style buildings on top of the Inca wall foundations. This well-preserved stonework is easily seen in the Historic Center.

Nearby archaeological sites
with Inca stone walls

There are several worth exploring. Those in Sacsayhuaman are the most impressive (see photo above) and stand just outside Cuzco.

When to come

Best period: May to October (dry, sunny season). Worst period: December to March (rainy season). Good but iffy: April, October, and November.

Getting to Cuzco

Most visitors fly in from Lima. The flight takes 55 minutes.

Cuzco to Machu Picchu

You have two basic options. Ride the train (three hours each way). Hike the Inca Trail (about 40 kilometers or 25 miles in length). Click Machu Picchu for my web pages on that wonder.


Know my other
Peru tips and insights

Amazon Rainforest
Chan Chan
Chavin de Huantar
Lake Titicaca
Machu Picchu
Nazca Lines

Wonders of Peru - Top 5 rankings


Cuzco photo by Agencia de Noticias de Acre / CC


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