Planetarium Cusco#6 in Best Things To Do in Cusco
Located next to Sacsayhuamán, the Cusco Planetarium offers travelers a unique experience in the hills surrounding the city. While it may not be much to look at (the small planetarium is housed in a plain adobe building) recent visitors give almost unanimous praise for the informative guides and idyllic setting.
The facility not only allows visitors to gaze at the stars in a small observatory, it seeks to be a cultural interpretation center for Incan astronomy and offers a personalized experience that you can rarely find at other planetariums around the world. Since the operation has limited size, you must request a spot in advance for the 2-mile shuttle ride from Plaza de Armas.
The shuttle leaves downtown Cusco at about 5:40 p.m. and returns to the city around 7:30 p.m. The schedule is also subject to change – another reason advanced reservations are a smart idea. The cost per person is 50 soles (about $15), but discounts are available for larger groups. For more information to plan your trip, consult the planetarium's website.
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#1 Plaza de Armas
The history of the Plaza de Armas stretches back all the way to the Inca Empire when it was called Huacaypata or Aucaypata. The massive square (originally twice its current size) was built as a venue for festivals and ceremonies in ancient times.
According to legend, this plaza once marked the exact center of the Inca Empire, earning Cusco the nickname "the navel of the world." After Spanish conquistadors conquered the city in the early 1500s, they erected two churches on the either sides of the square – Iglesia de La Compañía de Jesús and La Catedral – where the former Incan palace once stood.
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