All about the main square of Cusco

The heart of the Inca Empire awaits you!

Main square of Cusco: Taking a stroll around the ancient Plaza de Armas (main square) of Cusco is a must when you visit Cusco. From the impressive façade of the cathedral, passing through its surrounding colonial portals, to being able to purchase some souvenirs. This sacred place still serves as a meeting point for different cultures and nationalities.

Furthermore, this magnificent main square is a historic place, as important as the entire city of Cusco. So, if you want to learn about all the rich history of Cusco, you can be part of our private traditional city tour or the full-day city tour. By the way, if you want to explore the narrow streets, you can get our private walking tour service. Or if you want to visit Cusco and Pisac, we have the ‘ancient Inca sites’ service.

Moreover, Cusco Transport can take you, from your hotel, to your destination all around Cusco, and make you appreciate all this privileged culture through our ‘private transportation in Cusco‘ service. So, go shopping safely with us, as well as walk within some traditional neighborhoods on your own, while our luxury transportation service will be at your disposal.

Now, it’s time to immerse yourself in the magnificent legacy of the ‘Plaza de Armas’ of Cusco.

Current Overview

Today, we can appreciate many economic activities around this main square, especially travel agencies, restaurants, bars, cafes, jewelry shops, textile shops, and many other places as well. You can even visit some nearby museums.

Furthermore, you could admire the colonial portals around the main square. Each block of the portals has a different name, and the facilities over these portals are built of mud brick, which feature wide balconies. Additionally, there are no tall buildings or modern constructions around because Cusco is designated as a ‘Cultural Heritage of Humanity.’

As you can see, there are several options to enjoy your days in Cusco, and Cusco Transport can take you to these places.

Activities to do

According to many travel magazines, Cusco is a dream place, thanks to its colonial and Incan features. So, you can walk through Inca walls and streets, taking many unique photos of the Cusco Cathedral, built in 1668, or you can take some pictures of ‘the sacred family’ convent, which has one of the most beautiful temple façades in the Americas.

You can also stroll through the portals, remembering the name of each one because all portal names are based on the goods that were sold beneath them. An interesting example is the block where KFC is located, which has been called the ‘Meat Portal’ since ancient times because beneath these portals, people used to sell pork or alpaca meat, beef, and other types of meat.

Moreover, you might see and touch some Inca constructions that were finely polished, leading archaeologists and historians to suggest that these buildings were likely palaces of various Incas. For instance, if you walk through the ‘Portal de Panes’ (Bread Portal), you will see in the middle of this block a section of stone wall that possibly belonged to the main Inca Huayna Capac.

Additionally, you can enjoy delicious meals at the restaurants around the Plaza de Armas. It’s not just about the meals; you can also have some drinks at nearby bars, which offer unforgettable atmospheres, including colonial balconies. Don’t worry about transportation back to your hotel. Count on us for that!

Besides, we can take you to some souvenir shops, or your preferred one. Take your time to choose the best souvenirs for your family and friends, while we wait for you to transfer back to your hotel safely and at a good price.

Brief History

This beautiful main square has been a meeting point for different cultures for a long time, actually, before the settlement of human beings in these areas, the surrounding land was a marsh. After the arrival of the Incas, they began to cover this marsh with sand, which was brought from the Peruvian beaches.

This fact may sound like a story, but during the excavations in 1995, carried out by the Ministry of Culture, they found particles of white sand under the central water fountain of the Plaza de Armas, and they even found some artistic pieces made of gold and silver, which represent llamas.

Because if we read the chronicles and history books, we can notice that, during the Inca period, this geographic space was known as ‘hawkaypata’ (hawkay = to enjoy, pata = above), in English, we could translate it as ‘(the place of enjoyment)’. Because, in this area, the most important ceremonies of the Inca calendar took place.

During the colonial and republican periods, this main square was used for the murder of many native people. Also, in 1781, Tupac Amaru II was killed by the Spanish crown because he began the revolution to achieve independence but could not succeed. Due to these sad events, people began to call it ‘wak’aypata’ (the place to cry).


main square of Cusco Short History of the City of Cusco Todo sobre la plaza principal de Cusco

Now, you have a better perspective of this famous Plaza de Armas of Cusco, and it’s time to plan your vacation in Cusco and Peru. So, Cusco Transport can help you with that, just contact us. And if you are already in the city of Cusco, count on us to offer you our ‘transfer in Cusco’ or ‘shuttle car in Cusco’ service.