About Cusco


machupicchuThe city is a bustling, dynamic and friendly place that reverberates with its most important activity, tourism. The name of the city originates from the name of the ancient capital of the Inca Empire. The original Quechua “Qosqo,” meaning navel or center, was transformed into “Cusco” after the Spanish conquest. In June of 1990, by social movement and strong local pride, the City Municipality declared Qosqo as the official name.



The altitude of the city is 3,400 meters above sea level (11,150 feet). As a result, the lower oxygen level may produce altitude sickness, known locally as “soroche” in some people. The main symptoms include a headache, shortness of breath and fatigue. Altitude sickness pills are widely available in local pharmacies. Visitors are strongly recommended to give their bodies to sometime to adjust upon arrival. plaza de cusco de dia
Though many geographical locations with the same latitude have tropical weather, the temperatures in Qosqo are cooler because of its high altitude. The annual average temperatures in the city are between 10.3 – 11.3 Celsius (50.5 – 52. 3 Fahrenheit). There is some uniformity in temperatures between summer (Dec. - Mar.) and winter (June – Sept.), although nighttime is generally colder in winter with temperatures frequently below freezing.  More distinguishing of the climate is the dry and rainy season. The dry season is from May to October and the rainy season is from November to April.
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