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Shamans Market - Cuzco, Peru
Cusco often spelled Cuzco (or Qosq’o in the Quechua language) is a city in southeastern Peru, near the Urubamba Valley of the Andes mountain range, its elevation is around 3,400 m (11,200 ft).
This Andean city is the uneasy bearer of many grand titles. It is the historic capital of the Inca empire, and is now the undisputed archaeological capital of the Americas, as well as the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1983 by UNESCO. Few travelers to Peru will skip visiting this premier South American destination, which is also the gateway to Machu Picchu.
Legend tells that in the 12th century, the first inca, Manco Capac, was charged by Inti, the ancestral sun god, to find the navel of the earth (qosq’o in the Quechua language) –the spot where he could plunge a golden rod into the ground until it disappeared. When at last Manco discovered such a spot, he founded the city that was to become the thriving capital of the Americas’ greatest empire.
Lake Titicaca is a sacred place for the Inca civilization, as Incan mythology says the first Inca king, Manco Capac, was born here. According to myth, this is the place where the world was created from, when the god Viracocha came out of the lake and created the sun, the stars and the first people.