Travel - Hot Spots - Cusco
Cusco(also spelled Cuzco, and in the native Quechua language as Qusqu IPA: ['qos.qo]) is a city in southeastern Peru, near the Urubamba Valley (Sacred Valley) of the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cusco Region as well as the Cusco Province. The city has a population of about 300,000, triple the population it contained just 20 years ago. The altitude of the city, located on the eastern end of the Knot of Cusco, is around 3,500 m (11,500 feet). The historic capital of the sun-worshiping Inca empire, it was found in 2006 to be the spot on Earth with the highest ultraviolet light level.
Cusco is located in Huatanay River Valley, in the southeasts Andes of Peru, in the jurisdiction of province and region Cusco, its high is 3,399 m.s.n.m. (11151,44 feet above the level sea), it’s located at 13º30’45’’ south latitude and at 71º58’33’’ west longitude from Greenwich Meridian.
At north it borders on the jungle of Junín and Ucayali departments; at south, in the southwest area, it borders on Arequipa and Puno; at east, it borders on a huge part of the Amazonie and the jungle flats of Madre de Dios; and at west, it is united to Apurimac Mountains and Ayacucho Jungle.
When in Peru it’s 12:00, in Santiago and Caracas it’s 13:00; in Río de Janeiro and Buenos Aires it’s 14:00, at New York it’s 12:00 and in Tokyo it’s 02:00 of the following day.
The Peruvian hour is similar to the EST hour (Eastern Standard Time) in the United States and it’s located at 5 hours from GMT (Greenwich Meridian Time).
Cusco is approximately over 3,399 m.s.n.m. (11151,44 feet above the level sea) high, is for this reason that Cusco is considered one of the highest cities in all the world.
The weather on April to October is very comfortable, warm and dry. The temperature in this season goes from 5.0º to 20º Celsius.
This rainy season starts on November and it lasts until May; at the beginnings of this season, the rain is light and as the season continues the rain becomes more intense during the months of January through March.
There isn’t too much uniformity between summer and winter. Normally in winter is cold at night and during the first hours in the morning the temperature raises until the noon. At sunny days the temperature reaches 20ºC.
Cusco, it’s under the influence of macro-climate of huge air masses that come from the southeast jungle, as well as the Peruvian-Bolivian table winds are colder and drier, just like the winds that come from Patagonia, going into the southeast area and in general, makes climate events to huge scale. In the other hand, the local winds that are made in its valleys and in its plains, have the function of distributing heat and humidity along the day.
The average temperature fluctuates between 10.3ºC and 13ºC (between 50.54º and 52.34º Fahrenheit); but these temperatures fluctuate according the zone.
Contact the Tourism Police in the following locations:
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Intiraymi- The “Inti Raymi” or Sun party; was the biggest festivity and the most important one, it was very spectacular and magnificent, that was made in the times of the empire of the Tahuantinsuyo, which the religion was based in worshiping the Sun.
Coylluriti- The fest starts in the day of “La Santisima Trinidad” when more than 10,000 followers go up the mountain. The temperature is -4ºC in the trek all of the followers are accompanied by a band, fireworks and the symbolic market of Alacitas.
Huanca- Every year, on September 14, thousands of devotees from Cusco, Peru and even from places such as Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina and Chile, go to the Santuary of Huanca to receive the blessing of the Lord. From Cusco, it takes about 4-6 hours of walking to get to “el Señor de Huanca”.
Paucartambo- During the day the groups of dancers go around the whole town, everything turns colorful and very musical, the people that came to watch all of this become entangle with all the bands and mixing themselves between the community into a magic celebration.
Semana Santa- Holy week is commemoration that is celebrated in the entire catholic world in memory of the resurrection and death of Christ. In Cusco, this celebration is associated with the Lord of the Tremors, protector of the city.
Corpus Christi- Fifteen saints and virgins from the different districts come together in the Cathedral to salute the body of Christ, which is kept in a fabulous box made out of solid gold that weighs 26 kilos and 1.20 meters high.
Santuranticuy- Santuranticuy, that means “sale of saints” is a market where many artist come to sell their product, like many different statues to make the holidays more vibrant for Christmas, they sale the birth of Christ “nacimientos”.
Señor de los Temblores- Since 1650 when, according to the believers, a statue of the “Cristo de la buena Suerte” stopped an earthquake that was shaking the city of Cusco, the locals now worship the statue of the “Taitacha Temblors”.
The original Inca city, said to have been founded in the eleventh century, was sacked by Pizarro in 1535. There are still remains, however, of the palace of the Incas, the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Virgins of the Sun. There are still Inca building remains and foundations, which have been in some cases been proved to be stronger than the foundations built in the present day Peru.Among the most noteworthy buildings of the city is the cathedral of Santo Domingo.
The major nearby Inca sites are Pachacuti's presumed winter home, Machu Picchu, which can be reached on foot by a Inca trail or by train; the "fortress" at Ollantaytambo and the "fortress" of Sacsayhuaman.
Other less visited ruins include Inca Wasi, the highest of all Inca sites at 3,980 m (13,134 feet), Old Vilcabamba the capital of the Inca after the capture of Cusco, the sculpture garden at Chulquipalta (aka Chuquipalta, Ñusta España, The White Rock, Yurak Rumi), as well as Huillca Raccay, Patallacta, Choquequirao, Moray and many others.
The surrounding area, located in the Huatanay Valley, is strong in agriculture, including corn, barley, quinoa, tea and coffee and gold mining.
Thanks to remodelling, Cusco's main stadium, Estadio Garcilaso de la Vega, attracted many more tourists during South America's continental soccer championship, the Copa América 2004 held in Peru. The stadium is home to one of the country's most successful soccer clubs, Cienciano. Cusco's local team has made a name for itself in the world of club soccer, as it has won several international competitions in South America. However, it has yet to achieve such success in its home country. Nonetheless, it is still considered to be one of the best teams in Peru. The team is greatly supported throughout Cusco and a match to the people of Cusco is quite important. Men that don't have a television will stand in the street and watch the game on televisions in shop windows. The tickets are very popular and involve big queues. The city is served by Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport.
Recommended destinations in Cusco - Peru
A trip to the Sacred Valley includes visiting many towns such as Pisaq, Yucay, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo and Chinchero. In every town there are fascinating pre-hispanic archaeological ruins.
An amazing Inca citadel located at 120 km of Cusco is considered to be one of the greatest marvels created by the man itself.
WHERE TO GO?
It is possible to take a guided tour of Cusco which includes all principal points of interest in the city centre; such as the historic Plaza de Armas of, where you can find the Cathedral and the Jesuit Church, the temple of Qoricancha and the convent of Santo Domingo, Hatun Rumiyoc street, where you can find the famous Inca stone with 12 corners and the famous neighbourhood of San Blas, where you can find the workshops and stores of Cusco's most renowned artisans.
Many churches of the city conserve the finest examples of colonial goldsmith work as well as a valuable collection of canvases from Cusqueña school. Among the more prominent churches are the Cathedral, the Jesuit church, the church and convent of La Merced, the convent of Santa Domingo and the church of San Blas.
Near the city you can admire many beautiful Inca ruins, such as Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Puca Pucara, Tambomachay and Tipon. Many of these are thought to have been dedicated to religious worship and agricultural experiment.
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