Cusco -or Cuzco- is a city that has inspired adventurers and travelers for generations. The city was originally the capital of the vast Incan empire, the largest in the pre-Columbian Americas. As such, Cusco boasts well preserved colonial architecture as well as Incan ruins, ranging from foundations of modern constructions to impressive fortresses. This mix is also evident in the city life, offering ancient markets and indigenous populations to luxury hotels and a very active nightlife.
The Incas regarded Cusco as the “center of the universe”, and although times have changed, the city is still the key to understanding the Incan legacy and knowledge. Museums and churches are everywhere in the city, several of them built atop Incan walls left intact purposely to withstand earthquakes. Roads and train tracks that start here lead millions of tourists every year to the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, and beyond. The cuisine is unique to the region, balancing local ingredients (including some 3,000 varieties of potatoes!) and modern techniques. And the language reflects the old and new combining Spanish with local Quechua.
Why learn Spanish in Cusco?
Fabulous array of architectural and artistic styles turns the whole city into an open-air museum.
Base to visit several places everyone should see once in a lifetime, including Machu Picchu.
Well-developed infrastructure and easy connections catering to millions of tourists every year.
Super varied cuisine combining international foods and Incan-time delicacies.
Language Schools in Cusco:
Linguaschools Cusco has an amazing location in the middle the historic center of Cusco, a dedicated travel agency, and student residences in the same building, offering an unbeatable immersion experience.
Best time to go is May to October.
Because of Cusco’s elevation (3,400 m or 11,200 ft), altitude sickness can be eased by drinking coca tea, the traditional native remedy, or coca candy.
Although many Incan traditions were lost in time, during the Inti Raymi reenactment many of their historical figures like priests, emperors and soldiers are brought back to life.
Millions of visitors from around the world come to Cusco as the stop before getting to Machu Picchu.
Cusco offers a unique blend of Incan and Colonial Spanish architecture that is as fabulous as it is preserved and varied, making it a stunning juxtaposition of layers while millions of locals and tourists wander around.
Head over to the city’s markets to see the true -and amazing- colors of Cusqueños, such as the San Pedro market, for an enthralling feast for the senses.
The week building up to June 24th marks the Incan festival Inti Raymi, or Festival of the Sun, celebrating the winter solstice, when folk dancers, traditional music and feasts fill the streets and Inca ruins around the city.
Easter is a time to celebrate in Cusco, mixing fireworks and a statue of Christ being paraded around town while hundreds of street food vendors feed thousands of locals and tourists.
August 1st marks Pachamama Day, the start of a month of celebrations honoring Mother Earth. All over the Andes and in Cusco in particular, tributes are given to thank Pachamama including spilling a little alcohol before drinking the rest.
Alpaca steak is an absolute must and definitely something you will never find back at home. And for special occasions, the cuy (guinea pig) is a truly Andean delicacy.
Pisac, a small town outside of Cusco, has one of the best Sunday morning markets in the Sacred Valley, where you can buy anything from tons of corn to fine tapestries.
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