The birth place of the Inca Civilisation and the capital of its mighty Empire, Cusco was once the most powerful city in the continent – rivalling great cities such as Rome, Athens and Cairo. Ancient chronicles depict a city of extravagant shrines, mighty palaces and gold lined temples. The fate of the city changed forever after the Spanish conquest in the 16th century. Nowadays, local Cusqueñans blend with the eclectic mix of passing tourists in the many cobbled streets around Plaza de Armas. Backpacking hostels through to high-end luxury properties; local eateries through to fine dining restaurants and endless bars and clubs dominate the vibrant and picturesque colonial centre. Cusco is one of South America’s most interesting cities and one of the world’s lesser known historic gems.

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