In the very heart of Peru, lies the historical city of Cusco. The centre of the Inca civilization that thrived in the Andes between 1200 and 1535 AD, Cusco connects itself to the Inca in the same way as a child is connected to the mother at the time of birth. No wonder the city is called the navel of earth. For those of you who wish to dig deep into the remains of a civilization, Cusco offers a real treat. The forts, mansions, churches, and museums of the city are proofs of an ancient greatness. Cusco is the nearest departure point for Machu Picchu, which showcases the remains of the Incas. Besides the historical importance and beauty of Cusco and its surrounding region, the scenic beauty of the flora and fauna, the rugged terrain of the snow-capped mountains, and the terraced slopes offer a feast for the eye. Here is where the dense Amazon forests begin amongst the highs and lows of the surrounding hills. The freshness of flowers and leaves here and the mystic aura of the history of the Inca Empire will bind you in a spell which will not be easy to break away from. A meeting point of a blend of a diverse culture, customs, and traditions, Cusco offers the colourful exuberance of handicraft, textile, folklore, and dances. The hospitable and naturally creative people of Cusco not only knit exquisite llama or vicuna wool garments; they also weave a relationship with you. An unmistakable treat for visitors to Cusco are the varied dance forms like Chuchos, Qollas, la Contradanza, and mouth flavouring delicacies like cuy (guinea pig), cordero (lamb), and chicharrones (cracklings). A trip to the historic and culturally rich land of the bygone era of the Incas, Cusco proves to be an enthralling treat. The civilization may have perished ages back, but its remains still speak of the grandeur of the past.
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