Cusco is the Imperial City of the Incas, where the historic center is just as Inca as it is colonial Spanish. The city has been continually inhabited for over 3,000 years, which makes the place heaven for archeologists and an endless headache for developers. Any road resurfacing, minor construction or remodel requires a thorough archeological study.
The city layout was designed by the Inca Manco Capac in about 1200 CE though it was significantly expanded by Pachacutec starting in 1438. It was designed in the shape of a puma, with the archeological site of Sacsayhuaman as the puma’s head. Since then the city has undergone continuous expansion. The metropolitan area has almost half a million people. Over 80% of the economy is based on tourism.