Cusco (also Cuzco, Qosqo, or Qusqu) is a
city in southeastern Peru, near the Urubamba Valley (Sacred Valley) of
the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cusco Region as well
as the Cusco Province. The city has a population of about 300,000,
triple the population it contained just 20 years ago. The altitude of
the city is around 3,500m (11,500 feet). The historic capital of the sun-worshipping
Inca empire, it has been found in 2006 to be the spot on Earth with the
highest UV level.
Other nearby Inca sites are Pachacuti's presumed winter home Machu
Picchu which can be reached by a lightly maintained
Inca trail, or the
train, the "fortress" at Ollantaytambo, and the "fortress" of
Sacsayhuaman which is approximately two kilometers from
less visited ruins include Inca Wasi, the highest of all Inca sites at
3,980 m (13,134 feet), Old Vilcabamba the capital of the Inca after the
capture of Cuzco, the sculpture garden at Chulquipalta (aka Chuquipalta,
Ņusta Espaņa, The White Rock, Yurak Rumi), as well as Huillca Raccay,
Patallacta, Choquequirao, Moray, and many others.
The surrounding area, located in the Huatanay Valley, is strong in
agriculture, including corn, barley, quinoa, tea and coffee, and gold
Thanks to remodeling, Cusco's main stadium, Estadio Garcilaso de la
Vega, attracted many more tourists during South America's continental
soccer championship, the Copa America 2004 held in Peru.
The city is served by Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport.