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Cuzco city tour with ancient Inca sites

Unearth the riches of the Inca Empire with this fascinating and thought-provoking afternoon 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 Plaza de Armas 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 Coricancha, 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. Head 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 as a sacred element. Return to Cuzco for a brief stop at the breathtaking Plaza de Armas, dominated by the imposing Gothic-Renaissance-style cathedral. It, too, was built on the foundations of an Inca temple though today it is famed throughout Peru for the richness of its Cuzco School paintings of religious scenes, which were painted by native Quechuas in the 17th century. Unearth the riches of the Inca Empire with this fascinating and thought-provoking afternoon 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 Plaza de Armas 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: Five hours. Start/opening time: Daily at 1pm. End/closing time: 6pm. Languages: Spanish and English.