HISTORY OF CUSCO

Cusco has thousands of years of history and the historical circumstance of its foundation has not yet been precisely determined. Cusco was the center of the Inca Empire, which was the most extensive and important in America. The Inca Empire was formed explosively in less than 100 years. It was mostly work of 2 Incas: Pachacuteq (who started the expansion) and Tupac Yupanqui (who continued the expansion). This interpretation has replaced the hypothesis that the Inca empire was formed almost peacefully, gradually and over several centuries. At the time of its maximum extension the empire comprised great part of Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, in addition it had incorporated some provinces of Argentina and Chile. At the beginning of the XVI century the Incas were reaching the ecological borders of their empire, reaching the sea and the jungle, territories that they never dominated.

The center of the entire empire was Cusco, the history say that there are several translations of its name as “navel” or “center”, for other etymologies means sad; When the Incas arrived in Cusco they found some houses made of straw and mud, the Cusco that the Incas built and was found by the Spaniards, was a city of temples and palaces made of stone. For the empire, the Cusco not only had administrative functions but also religious because it was the center of the world, a place for  the communication between the Gods and the people. The center of Cusco was destined for the Inca nobility in their temples were the best in the Empire. In Cusco only the most important members of their social organization could live.

Between the years 1524 and 1528 Francisco Pizarro in partnership with Diego de Almagro and Hernando de Luque; it determines the conquest of the Incas and begins its expedition, arriving first to Guayaquil (Ecuador) where it confirms the wealth of the Inca Empire. The year 1531 Pizarro in the company of its partners founded San Miguel in the current department of Tumbes in Peru; naively the Inca of that time “Atahuallpa” invited Pizarro to Cajamarca where he would welcome his empire, but he was betrayed and captured by the Spaniards. It is said that already imprisoned Atahuallpa ordered to assassinate his brother Huascar in a rivalry for power, and that in exchange for that crime and to free him the Inca would give the conquerors a room full of gold. The Spaniards accepted the offer but they never freed him, they killed him and that is how the end of the Incas began.

There were many revolutionary movements in Cusco, one of the most important was of “Tupac Amaru II”, who failed in his attempt of freedom and was dismembered in the square of Cusco, after witnessing the death of his wife and children. Shortly after independence proclaimed by General José de San Martín in 1821 the department of Cusco was founded on March 23, 1822.

REGION CREATION

The department of Cusco was created by the election regulation on April 26, 1822 on the basis of the territories of the ancient independence of Cusco, during the government of the protectorate of General José de San Martin

LOCATION

It is located southeast of Peru, with an altitude of 3,399 (m.a.s.l) and an area of 71,981.97 km2. It is located in the south eastern region of the Peruvian territory. It is bordered by the following departments: On the north Ucayali and Junín, on the east Madre de Dios and Puno, on the south Puno and Arequipa, on the west with Apurímac.

WEATHER

The climate is mild in the Andean valleys, cold and dry in the Andean plateaus, glacial in the Andean peaks and warm in the valleys of the jungle. In Cusco from May to July the weather is very cold especially at night and early morning, from July to December the climate is mild and from December to February there are frequent rains

TERRITORY

The most characteristic of its territory is the presence of the eastern and central mountain ranges of the Andes. All the rivers of the department are part of the Amazon river. The historic center of the city of Cusco has traditional streets where you can see the Spanish influence on the Inca Empire.

CUSCO IN THE PRESENT

Cusco is a cosmopolitan city, a growing city, surrounded by archaeological vestiges of the Inca culture and the Colonial era, where cultures from all over the world interact. It is a small city but with much activity both in the day and at night. Cusco is generally a safe city especially in the day, but it is better not to get too far from the center

The streets in the center of the city are traditional and mostly have a Quechua name, the streets change their name in short distances, the main trade centers are in the city center and it is possible to get away from the urban area traveling by car 5 minutes. The city grows mainly towards the south so modern Cusco develops in that sector. Cusco has only 1 airport and is 10 minutes from the city center as well as its bus terminal that is 5 minutes from downtown. The main means of transport are public service buses, which cover different routes depending on the company, there are also taxis that usually have aestablished rates.

The gastronomy in Cusco is exquisite and varied, in the city center there are restaurants from all over the world and the typical Cusqueña food is very well known. The typical dishes of the region are: Chiri Uchu (cold food), Lechón cusqueño, Chicharrón, Adobo of Cuzco and Cuy al horno.

The main economic activity of Cusco is tourism and mining, Cusco is a territory with a lot of raw material, but not is an industrial city. The people in Cusco are very friendly.