Learn more about Cusco, its traditions and its people
26 March 2019
Peru’s people are rightfully proud of our historical heritage. Deep roots in pre-Inca, Spanish and Inca culture make our country a fascinating place to live and to visit.
And we welcome people from around the world to experience Peru’s delights, mysteries and magic, which perhaps are most evident in Cusco, the ancient living capital of the Inca civilization, and its surroundings.
Cusco is a city that reveals hundreds of years of human history, not only in its splendid architecture, but also in its enduring cultural traditions.
In Cusco you turn a corner or wander down an alleyway and you’re likely to see a perfectly constructed Inca palace, a grand baroque-era church, splendid fountains of sparkling water, tranquil parks sheltered by stately trees, and sidewalks and shops framed by old stone columns.
And everywhere, people are moving, interacting and going about their daily lives. There’s so much for visitors’ eyes to feast upon!
The timeless quality of Cusco is reflected in its people and its festivities. Many are dressed in modern styles, others wear brightly colorful traditional clothing.
Traditions and festivities
Celebrations take place at many different times of the year and bring out native dancers, musicians, grand parades, tasty food and street fairs, and solemn processions of Catholic faith.
Our vibrant diversity makes us proud and happy to share Peru’s cultural traditions with visitors.
Cusco’s most important festivity is Inti Raymi, the winter solstice festival of the Inca religion that every June begins at the Inca temple of Coricancha, recreating the ceremony that for hundreds of years has consecrated the sun as the supreme deity of the Inca gods.
Corpus Christi and other Catholic festivities involve sacred effigies of saints in dignified processions. And February’s Carnaval is full of boisterous free-for-all water play.
Entertainment and leisure
In Cusco travelers can enjoy a wide selection of modern amenities and entertainment. Cozy cafes serve delectable desserts and hot drinks, restaurants serve everything from Peruvian home-cooking to international gourmet dining.
Cusco’s pubs and dance venues offer a sophisticated international clientele many options for nighttime fun. And accommodations range from comfortable colonial-style, to cozy boutique hostels, to modern, full-service international hotels.
Adventure and discovery
Cusco is much more than the city described here. It is a large and varied region of breathtaking mountains, small towns, and small farms that spread like colorful quilts over hills and valleys.
The Sacred Valley of the Incas, with major archeological sites of the Inca Empire, and Machu Picchu at its endpoint, is a key destination.
And Mt.Ausangate is an area that nature lovers and adventurous hikers should not miss.
This magnificent mountain in the Vilcanota Range, revered as the sacred guardian that protects Cusco’s people and waters, awaits you for one of the most exciting and scenic trekking experiences in the Andes.
Andean Lodges is the top outfitter in state-of-the-art trekking programs around Ausangate, offering you overnight stays at our cozy ecolodges, unique cultural experiences, and acclimatization programs including hikes on the best trails in Cusco.