To begin a tour through Cusco, it is necessary to start from the main square, called Aucaypata, which in Quechua means 'Warrior's Square'. Flanked by old, two-story high stone arches, it shelters the cathedral and the church of Company Of Jesus Christ as well as ancient mansions. The cathedral was raised in 1560 and is an impressive stone monument that unites an interesting mixture of Baroque, Gothic, and Renaissance styles. Inside, canvases from the Cusco School and one of the richest collections of colonial jewelry are conserved. On one side is the small Chapel of the Triumph, built in 1733, and on the other is the Church of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. These three constructions were erected over the remains of Inca Wiracocha's palace, el Quishuarcancha.
If there is something a traveler can dedicate themselves to in Cusco, it would be to visit its temples since these offer him a profound understanding of the history of the city. One can find there, in the Church of the Company in the main square, a notable example of Andean Baroque, established on the foundations of the Amarucancha or the palace of Huayna Cápac. The church of La Merced (Our Lady of Mercy) on Mantas Street close to the main square possesses on of the best cloisters in America, where the remains of the Almagro brothers, conquerors of the Empire, are buried. The church of Santo Domingo, which displaced the Korikancha, is where it is possible to see how the mighty, Incan stone pedestals helped to support the base of the church. This is just a small sampling of the enormous possibilities that Cusco offers in its architectural and cultural dimensions. Other routes might take the traveler to the Archbishop's Palace or the Museum of Religious Art on Hatun Rumiyoc Street, where the stone of twelve angles is found. The museum offers a collection of Cusco art from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The Garcilaso de la Vega House, which now houses the Regional Historical Museum and was the paternal house of the Inca Garcilaso, also possesses a wide variety of pre-Hispanic and colonial art.
To wander Cusco is to find a little piece of history in every corner with a small part of the identity from the Andean populations that lived between the cross and the stone of their ancestors in each one. It is a city that struggles to be modern yet still lies under the spell of its own past.
The surroundings of Cusco: Cusco is the center of an uncountable number of destinations that allows the traveler to pass into the magical world of Peruvian culture. Only two kilometers to the north of the city is found the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, a megalithic military-religious structure raised on the top of a hill that looks down upon the city. Very close are the ruins of Qenko and Puca Pucara at just four and six kilometers respectively by paved highway. The former was the center of the earth worship, composed of curious natural formations of calyx stone and subterranean galleries, while Puca Pucara was a stronghold that formed part of the city's defense system. The Tambomachay aqueducts, or Inca Baths, just seven kilometers from the city, are a collection of water falls used to give homage to the waters. Lastly, it is possible to reach Pikillaqta, "City of Fleas", an administrative center for the Wari culture that consists of more than 700 structures that can attain a height of up to twelve meters.