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Cuzco city tour with ancient Inca ruins

Release your inner Indiana Jones with this this fascinating and thought-provoking morning tour of Cuzco’s greatest landmarks and the ruins of ancient Inca sites near the city. See the Santo Domingo Monastery and the Coricancha, the Sacsayhuaman and the Cathedral in Cuzco proper and the ritual sites of Kenko and Tambomachay in the outskirts. This five-hour tour offers a glimpse into how great the capital of the Incas was and just how much was lost when it was conquered.

When Cuzco fell to the Spaniards in the 1530s, they began destroying many of the Inca temples and palaces. The greatest temple of all – in the whole empire – was that devoted to the sun, the Coricancham, which conquistadors described as ‘magnificent’, ‘fabulous beyond belief’ and with walls made of ‘gold from top to bottom’. Today it is the location of Santo Domingo Monastery, which was built on the temple’s foundations.

Stop at San Cristobal for a magnificent panoramic view of the city before continuing uphill to the mega fortress of Sacsayhuaman, which was built from large polished rocks and protected the entrance to the city. Continue to the ritual sites of Kenko, where sacrifices are believed to have taken place, and Tambomachay, where water was worshipped. Return to Cuzco for a brief stop at the colonial Plaza Regocijo and the Plaza de Armas to visit the imposing Gothic-Renaissance-style cathedral. It, too, was built on the foundations of an Inca temple though today it is famed for the richness of its Cuzco School paintings of religious scenes, which were painted by native Quechuas in the 17th century. Release your inner Indiana Jones with this this fascinating and thought-provoking morning tour of Cuzco’s greatest landmarks and the ruins of ancient Inca sites near the city. See the Santo Domingo Monastery and the Coricancha, the Sacsayhuaman and the Cathedral in Cuzco proper and the ritual sites of Kenko and Tambomachay in the outskirts. This five-hour tour offers a glimpse into how great the capital of the Incas was and just how much was lost when it was conquered. Meeting/pick-up point: Collection from hotel. Duration: Four to five hours. Start/opening time: Daily at 9am and 2pm. Languages: Spanish and English.