Cuzco, located in southeastern Peru, is a city steeped in rich history and culture. As the former capital of the Inca Empire, it was once considered the “navel of the world” and is now a popular destination for travelers looking to explore the country’s past. From ancient ruins to stunning colonial architecture, Cuzco has plenty to offer visitors.
One of the most notable attractions in Cuzco is the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. This UNESCO World Heritage site is located just a short train ride from the city and is considered one of the most impressive examples of Inca architecture. Visitors can hike the Inca Trail, a four-day trek through the Andes, or take a bus to the top of the mountain to explore the ruins.
But Machu Picchu is just one of the many wonders of Cuzco. The city itself is a UNESCO World Heritage site, with a stunning collection of colonial architecture, narrow streets, and bustling markets. The Cathedral of Santo Domingo, located in the city’s main square, is a prime example of this colonial architecture and houses an impressive collection of art and artifacts.
A guide will likely point out a unique rendition of The Last Supper painting during a tour of the Cusco Cathedral in the Plaza. At first glance the biblical scene may appear standard, but upon closer observation, the roasted animal on the
dish placed in the center of the table looks a bit peculiar. Cuy (Spanish for guinea pig) meets Jesus in Marcos Zapata’s Andean interpretation of this religious art piece that finds its home at Plaza de Armas. As a Quechua artist, Mr. Zapata studied at the Cuzco School, a Spanish established art school that taught locals the disciplines of European-inspired artwork during the late 1700s.
Another must-visit destination in Cuzco is the Monastery of Santa Catalina. Often referred to as the “Sistine Chapel of South America,” this stunning 16th-century monastery is a true architectural masterpiece. The walls and ceilings are adorned with frescoes and paintings, and the gardens are a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Overall, Cuzco is a city that truly captures the essence of the Inca Empire and the rich history and culture of Peru. From ancient ruins to colonial architecture, there’s something here for everyone to explore and enjoy.