The Main square of Cusco

The main square of Cusco is the most beautiful in all of Peru, and the most historic, surrounded by two magestic cathedrals.

Cusco’s main square, known as the Plaza de Armas, is recognized as one of the most beautiful squares in Peru. In Incan times it was known as Huacaypata (place of weeping) because rituals were performed here a few times a year involving the mummies of various Inca leaders. In addition, this square was known by the name of Wakapata or also Haucaypata (warrior’s square) because significant military ceremonies were held here.

The main square of Cusco has always maintained its energy as a telluric and magnetic place. Pachakuteq, the most influential Incan leader, drew the city in the shape of a puma, and the main square was said to be the heart of this magnificent creature. With the arrival of the Spanish, many of the symbols were changed. Incan temples were demolished to build churches, as is the case for the Cathedral, the Society of Jesus and many other palaces that became convents, monasteries and colonial houses.

plaza-de-armas-Cusco free walking tour

The Main Square of Cusco Today

Today the main square exhibits a mixture of different styles and architectures. For example, you can still see many original Inca walls, various colonial mansions, and churches with a Baroque-Renaissance style. In addition, visitors can find many restaurants with beautiful balconies, shops with Incan masonry, cafes and restobars within colonial houses, and much more.

Sunday Activities in the Main Square

Every Sunday in this square, the ritual hoisting of the national flag and the flag of Cusco (rainbow flag) takes place. For travelers, there is often great confusion between the Cusco flag and the LGTB flag (gay pride flag). It is helpful to note that they are not the same, and that in our free tours, we will explain the difference. Participants in the flag hoisting ceremony include members of the Peruvian army, city authorities such as the regional governor, the mayor, aldermen, etc. On special occasions, a number of public and private institutions also participate in the civic parade, showing their best dances, customs, and colorful costumes.

Visit the Cathedral and the Society of Jesus in the Main Square

An entrance ticket is required in order to visit most churches and museums such as the Cathedral and the Society of Jesus. However, it is possible to visit the famous churches for FREE by attending Mass, which is held every day in the morning. At the Cathedral, the Catholic ceremony and ritual are held in two languages – the first Mass in Quechua and the second Mass in Spanish.

Visit the Plaza de Armas with our Free Walking Tour Cusco and other attractions in the city

Our free walking tour begins in the Plaza de Armas of Cusco. Here we will show you the most iconic monuments such as the Cathedral, the Company of Jesus, the water fountain, the symbolic tomb of Tupac Amaru II (revolutionary leader against the Spanish Crown), the university auditorium and many other attractions.

We offer 3 different free tours every day:

  • FREE TOUR CUSCO  “HISTORICAL”        10:30 am
  • FREE TOUR CUSCO  “VIEWPOINTS”       03:00 pm
plaza-de-armas-Cusco free walking tour
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