UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Attractions & Activities In Cusco & The Sacred Valley
Peru brims with history and culture, so it comes as no surprise that UNESCO has designated no fewer than 11 Peruvian attractions as World Heritage Sites. Chief among them is Cusco, which despite its reputation as a gateway to Machu Picchu, more than qualifies as a must-see spot in its own right. The Incas called it the “navel of the world” and chose it as the location of their ancient capital, and it is the captivating remnants of their presence along with the later Baroque churches and colonial-style buildings of the Spanish, that give Cusco its unique edge.
Exploring Cusco’s cobblestone streets and fountain-dotted plazas is a treat. Inca ruins and altars are hidden in plain sight, often in otherwise innocuous residential neighborhoods. Indigenous cultures also have a big presence here. Traditionally dressed residents can be seen hauling heavy loads in patterned slings (locals call them mantas) or guiding donkeys and alpacas up the stone steps. And despite the evidence of encroaching modernity, Cusco manages to hold onto an air of ancient mystery.
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