Cusco is the most visited tourist destination in Peru. Qosqo, in the Quechua language means "navel of the world" and was the city of the Incas before the arrival of the Spaniards, in 1533. Due to its cultural and historical greatness, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983. Also known as the "Rome of America" â€‹â€‹for its architectural heritage, the Peruvian city is a place of ancestral traditions and customs that coexist with indigenous, viceregal and modern culture. Considered the capital of the Inca Empire, it means the navel of the world because from there it was managed to handle the imposing Tawantinsuyo that extended by a vast geographic territory. Today in that same city we can still witness fascinating rites like the Inti Raymi or visit one of the most imposing citadels ever built, Machu Picchu, a wonder of the world hidden in the middle of the Andes. Among its most famous archaeological treasures in the world is the mentioned Ruin Machupichu ("Old Mountain", in Quechua), which is one of the 7 wonders of the world since 2007, and UNESCO heritage since 2003. Considered the Lost City of the Incas , the sacred place receives an average of 3300 tourists daily.
The Inca empire had a clearly established hierarchy. The Inca was the highest authority and his orders were absolute. His main wife, the Colla, and his son, the Auqui, were considered royalty and under them was the nobility composed of relatives and people who provided important services to the Inca. The Ayllu, or group of families, was the basic social unit and was composed of the people in general (Hatun Runa), groups of people who were moved from their original villages to fulfill different obligations (Mitmaqkuna), the Inca's servants (Yanakuna) and the prisoners of war (Pinas).
The Incas were important architects. Their structures have captivated many by the symmetry of their constructions and the use of colossal stones with multiple angles that fit perfectly without using any type of glue. Constructions such as the fortress of Sacsayhuaman or Machu Picchu, one of the wonders of the world, continue to generate questions about how the Incas did to bring stones of these dimensions to remote places and built structures in such a solid way that they have managed to resist the time.
The Incas did not have a writing system but depended on the oral tradition and the khipus, instruments made up of strings of different colors that through knots, codified the necessary information. The Khipukamayoq, the specialists in these tasks resided in different districts and recorded, interpreted and memorized the necessary information for the different authorities including data such as food availability, population, births, deaths, among others.
The traffic in the Empire was mainly by land and in that sense the Incas paid particular attention to developing an imposing network of roads that crossed all types of terrains in different elevations and included tambos, or inns, designed to rest and replenish supplies to the Travellers. The chasquis, the famous messengers who traveled these routes through a system of relays, were in charge of transporting messages with total speed. For example, the chasquis could travel the Capac Ñan, the most important road in the network that started in Quito, ended in Argentina and had an extension of 5200 kilometers, in between 10-15 days. They could also transport fresh fish from the coast in less than 24 hours.
Finally, beyond history, walking through the streets of Cusco, monuments, buildings and temples of the historic center is like going back in time to enjoy the beauty of each one of the pre-Columbian and colonial constructions: The neighborhood of San Blas, the Cathedral, the Church of the Company of Jesus, the Santa Catalina Monastery, the Convent of La Merced, the Convent of Santo Domingo or Coricancha, the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, the Church of San Blas, the Church of San Francisco, the Museum Inca, the chapel of the most holy sacrament, the monastery of Santa Clara, the chapel of San Antonio, the temple of San Pedro and other colonial churches that attract the attention of tourists and crown Cusco as the navel of the world.