Cusco

Cusco

Cusco was the former capital of the Inca Empire (founded AD 1100). The city today is a fascinating mix of Inca and colonial Spanish architecture and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983. Almost every central street has remnants of Inca walls, arches and doorways that serve as the foundation for the colonial and modern buildings. Narrow alleys of whitewashed houses with sky-blue and bottle-green shutters open out onto elegant squares with stone-hewn fountains and elegant restaurants and posadas (inns). Colorful murals depicting historical scenes can be seen on countless walls, and indigenous women with braids and embroidered shawls set up makeshift stalls selling woven blankets and handmade crafts and jewelry. The elegant Plaza de Armas, or main square, is lined with arcades and houses with ornately carved wooden balconies and terracotta tiled roofs.

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Cusco