Site #9: Plaza de Armas.
When you think of Cusco, you think of the Plaza de Armas. Two sides of the square host towering Spanish cathedrals; built out of stones from ancient Inca temples, there is something mysterious and intriguing about these buildings. The rest of the square features arches, walkways, and restaurants.
Known as the “Square of the Warrior” during Inca times, this plaza is no stranger to significant historical events. Francisco Pizarro claimed the Inca Empire for Spain from this very site. Tupac Amaru II, leader of the Inca resistance, was tied to four horses and quartered right in front of the main cathedral of the plaza. Now, it is mostly enjoyed by visitors from all over the world, who admire the combination of Spanish and Inca architecture.
During your time in Cusco, the plaza will be an obvious destination. Enjoy the view from one of the many restaurants. Admire the view from one of the numerous benches that line the plaza. Tour the cathedrals, if you so desire; they come at a price around s./20 (~$7).
Make sure to give yourself time to admire the plaza during the daytime and at least once during the night. The orange-ish lights that line the mountains of Cusco, the Cristo Blanco, and the mysterious cathedrals create an amazing environment that can only be truly experienced in person.