Cuzco geography | Peru geography facts

The Cuzco geography is dominated by its location in a valley between mountains reaching 4000 meters. Cuzco itself is located at approximately 3450 meters above sea level and hence the altitude makes one feel in the fact that one may suffer from some altitude sickness. Apart from some shortness of breath, symptoms can be minor headaches, lack of hunger and even some insomnia. The best remedy is to take it easy the first day of so, drink lots of water and eat light. The local remedy is Mate de Coca, tea made with dried coca leaves. These leaves are a big part of the Peruvian and Bolivian Andean culture.


The north of cuzco geography is marked by the range of the Cordillera Vilcabamba. The highest peak is Nevado Ausangate (6493 m) located south of Cusco. On a clear day the majestic flanks of this “Apu” or sacred mountain can be seen from the higher points in Cuzco. Within the valley itself, the Cuzco geography has several smaller mountains making the valley a large stretched field with a lot of difference in altitude.


To the south the valley goes slightly downwards towards San Sebastian and San Jeronimo. From here you can continue towards Arequipa and Puno. On the north the roads go to the Sacred Valley and Abancay. Another remarkable fact of the Cuzco geography is that on top of the city, the supposed head of the Puma –the ancient layout of the city- Sacsayhuaman is located, the old fortress of Cusco and the stronghold of the city. This site is still well preserved and enhanced by the neighboring presence of a large Jesus statue (Cristo Blanco) on the mountain beside it. In the evening this brightly lit statue can be seen from all over the city.

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