Cuzco is an historically fascinating city that hasn't yet been gobbled up by modern high-rises and metal infrastructure. Home to a multitude of ancient treasures, Cuzco was once the capital of the Incan empire, later conquered and partly destroyed by the Spanish. As a consequence, the city hosts a fabulous mix of Hispanic influences alongside ancient Incan foundations.
We recommend you visit the Qoricancha, or Sun Temple, once the central worship site for the Incas. Although many of the temple’s walls and chambers remain, a great deal has been crushed beneath the relics of a Spanish church. Much of Cuzco is like this – an intertwining jumble of Incan versus Spanish remnants. Of course, it's the Incan ruins that hold the biggest pulling power. Thousands of visitors descend on the city every month to walk the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, while other ruins (such as Moray and Pisa, the latter involving a one-hour trek to a mountaintop temple) are also very popular. However, visitors should be aware that Cuzco sits at 11,000 feet above sea level and as such, decreased oxygen levels may result in altitude sickness. Rather than ascending further, why not stay in town and visit The Plaza de Armas, which was traditionally Cuzco’s main centre and is still the city’s largest square – well worth a meander, with stops at various restaurants, bars and coffee shops. For family fun, visit the Chocomuseo and book yourselves onto a chocolate-making workshop or cacao farm tour; this museum and factory makes for a tasty alternative to Incan exploration.