Cusco is a beautiful city shaped by a mix of Inca and Catholic beliefs. It is close to the Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu.
Until the arrival of the Spanish in 1532, Cusco was the centre of the Inca Empire and is the oldest continuously inhabited city on the continent, whose legacy as the hub of the empire is readily apparent. Many of the city streets are lined with Inca-built stone walls and crowded with the Quechua-speaking descendants of the Incas. Throughout the city, the blend of Inca and Catholic traditions and beliefs is seen in the ornate colonial cathedrals and churches, built atop ancient Inca foundations, whilst the mighty remains of Sacsayhuaman stand watch over the city, waiting to be explored.
Cusco is also the gateway to the surrounding Inca heartland, the nearby Sacred Valley is a short drive away, whilst the lost Inca citadel of Machu Picchu can be reached via the luxury Hiram Bingham train. From April 2017 you can now travel between Cusco and the 'White City' of Arequipa, via Lake Titicaca and the Colca Canyon, on the Belmond Andean Explorer, Latin America's first luxury sleeper train.
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