Most of Cusco's attractions lie within the area of the historic center, commonly known as Plaza de Armas or Central Plaza. So you can visit many of them at one go.
The first Cusco cathedral was built on the foundation of the palace of the Inca Virachocha, a beautiful religious and artistic monument. Construction of this cathedral began in 1550; and ended a century later in1669. It is considered to be one of the most splendid Spanish colonial churches in the Americas. The cathedral posses some 400 canvasses of the distinguished Escuela Cusquena (Art school of Cusco the most important in America) that were painted from the 16th to 18th centuries.
The cathedral's centerpieces are it's massive solid-silver alter, and the enormous 1659 Maria Angola bell, the largest in South America, which hangs in one of the towers and can be heard from miles away. The main alter which weights more than 401 kilograms(884lbs) and is decorated with silver plates, was donated by a Spanish Bishop-features the patron saint of Cusco. To the right of the alter is Marcos Zapata painting of the Last Supper; with local specialty cuy (guinea pig) as the main dish. Capilla del Triunfo and Jesus, Maria Y Jose are the two adjacent churches to this cathedral.
It is open to the public from Monday to Wedbesday and from Friday to Saterday from 10:00 to 11:30 and everyday from 14:00 to 17:30.You can enter with the tourist ticket.
Capilla del Triunfo
The Capilla del Triunfo (The first Christian church in Cusco) is next door, to the right of the main church. It holds a painting of Alouso Cortes de monroy of the devastating earthquake of 1650. To the right of the entrance to capilla is a alter adorned by locally famous "El Nigrito" (Lord of earth quakes), A brown skinned figure of Christ on the cross known as the protector of Cusco.
Jesus, Maria Y Jose
On the left side of the cathedral there is a church "Jesus Maria y Jose" church that was constructed afterwards(1733-1735). It has a rich front and other silver pieces donated by the Marquis of Valleumbroso in 1745.There are several canvases of Antonio Sinchi Roca and the portrait of the viceroy Gabriel de Arregui is placed on the high choir.
Iglesia de La Compania
Also located at the main square, built on the foundation of the Inca Huayna Capac's palace in the late 17th century. The "company" referred to here is the Society of Jesus. It possesses a central nave with 6 lateral underground chapels with many labyrinths and secret passages in which remarkable characters of the conquest and Spanish colony were buried. The church possesses several important works of art, including a picture of Saint Ignatius de Loyola, by the local painter Marcos zapata, and the Cristo de Burgos crucifixion by the main alter.
You can visit this wonderful church from Monday to Saturday between 11:00 and 16:00.Admission is free.
It can be said that ,"La Merced" is the most beautiful temple of Cusco, founded in 1536.This temple is dedicated to the "Virgen de la Mercedes" (Virgin of the Mercedes). The convent saves beautiful paintings and sculptures of the art school of Cusco (Ecsuela Cusquena). Their most valuable treasure is a piece of gold, weighing 22kg and measuring 1.3 meters high, that contains 2 enormous pearls and 65 smaller pieces, 1582 diamonds, in addition to emeralds, rubies and topazes. It is located on the Mantas street, close to main square.
"La Merced" is open for public visit from Monday to Saturday from 8:30 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 17:00 with a minimal admission fee.
Convento de Santa Catalina de Siena
Santa Catalina is still an active convent, It was reconstructed in 1653 and the church dates from 1669 with high and low choirs and a museum with religious art. The convent was built on the site of the Acllawasi, the house of some 3,000 chosen women dedicated to teaching, weaving Inca ceremonial robes, and service to the sun.
It is open for public visit from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to17:00 and Saturday from 9:00 to 16:00 with the tourist ticket.