Cusco (also "Cuzco," or "Qosqo" in Quechua), located in southern Peru, is a fascinating city that was once the capital of the Incan Empire. Cuzco is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of Peru's most important and popular tourist destinations.
The original Inca city, said to have been founded in the 11th century, was sacked by Pizarro in 1535. There are still remains of the Palace of the Incas, the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Virgins of the Sun. In fact, there are Incan ruins scattered all around Cusco, notably the nearby "fortresses" of Ollantaytambo and Sacsayhuaman (just below the gigantic statue of Christ that hovers over Cusco) and the world-famous Machu Picchu, reachable by train or foot from the city.
Cusco's vibrant Plaza de Armas combines historic architecture (i.e., the cathedral) with vibrant dining and nightlife, and is one of the safer areas of the city at night. Cusco is a major tourist draw, but is not yet over-commercialized and still retains a unique cultural flair at an unbeatable price.