Need a break from the big city? View 42-hour itineraries from 13 cities.More
At the center of Cusco is the colonial Plaza de Armas, slightly sloped, with streets heading downhill, most prominently the Avenida El Sol, leading to the more modern sections of the city. Heading uphill takes you to the city's older neighborhoods, notably the artisan quarter of San Blas and its web of pedestrian-only walkways. If you look up and to the left, you'll see that towering over the lot is the archaeological site of Sacsayhuamán, which sits just to the left of the Christo Blanco. This white Christ statue is most clearly seen at night when it's lighted by floodlights.
The Urubamba mountain range on the north side and Cusco and environs on the south side watch over the river basin known as the Sacred Valley. Transportation to the Sacred Valley is straightforward, with roads fanning out from Urubamba, the valley's small hub city, and back to Cusco.