Cusco, also known as the Imperial City, was once the capital of the Inca Empire and serves as a testament to the advanced architectural and engineering skills of the Inca civilization. The city is renowned for its well-preserved Inca ruins, including the Temple of the Sun, the Temple of the Moon, and the impressive fortress of Sacsayhuaman. Sacsayhuaman a fortress built by the Incas and known for its massive stone walls.
Apart from Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the above mentioned places, there are several archaeological centers in and nearby Cusco such as Qenko (a ceremonial center featuring a carved rock altar), Puka Pukara (a military fortress and administrative center) and Tambomachay, a site believed to have been used for religious and ceremonial purposes.
These are some of the most well-known and visited archaeological sites, but there are many other archaeological centers in and around Cusco that are also worth visiting.
Sacsayhuaman is an ancient Incan fortress located in Cusco. The fortress is made up of massive stone walls, some of which are estimated to weigh over 200 tons. The walls are built in a zigzag pattern, which has been designed to make it more difficult for invaders to climb.
One of the main features at Sacsayhuaman is the Temple of the Sun, which is believed to have been used for religious ceremonies. The temple is made up of enormous stone blocks, some of which are decorated with intricate carvings. Admire the remains of several towers and walls once part of the fortress.
The fortress is located just a few kilometers outside of Cusco, and it only takes around 15 minutes by car. You can also walk to the fortress from the city, although it is a steep climb. The fortress is open to visitors daily, and it is best to go early in the morning to avoid crowds. The entrance of Sacsayhuaman is included in the Cusco Visitors Ticket or Boleto Turistico and when you do the Cusco city tour you will visit Sacsayhuaman.
Qenqo is a pre-Columbian archaeological site nearby Cusco. It is believed to have been used for religious and ceremonial purposes by the Incas. It has a large stone altar, underground caves and passageways, and a series of channels and aqueducts.
One of the most notable features of Qenqo is the large stone altar, carved out of a single piece of rock and thought to have been used for animal sacrifices. You can explore the underground caves and passageways used for rituals and ceremonies. Additionally, the site features a series of channels and aqueducts used to transport water to the different parts of the site.
The entrance fee of Qenqo is included in the Cusco Visitors Ticket or Boleto Turistico and when you do the Cusco city tour, a visit to Qenqo is included.
Tambomachay is an Inca ruin located in the Cusco region of Peru. It was a religious and ceremonial site and has many interesting architectural features, such as terraced walls, fountains, and aqueducts. It is also known as the Inca Baths, as it is thought to have been a place where the Incas came to bathe and purify themselves.
Tambomachay has several series of terraced walls, which are thought to have been used for agricultural purposes. Visitors can also see the fountains and aqueducts, which were used to transport water to the different parts of the site.
The entrance fee of Tambomachay is included in the Cusco Visitors Ticket or Boleto Turistico and it’s included in the Cusco city tour. The site is located approximately 8 kilometers from Cusco.
Puca Pucara is believed to have been a military fortress with terraced walls, watchtowers, and staircases. The site is also known for its beautiful views of the surrounding landscape, making it a popular spot for photography.
One of the most notable features of Puca Pucara is the series of terraced walls, which the Incas used for defensive purposes. The watchtowers were used to spot approaching enemies and the staircases to move quickly between different levels of the fortress.
To get to Puca Pucara, take a taxi (or bus) from the city of Cusco. The site is easily accessible and just about 5 kilometers from Cusco. The entrance fee is included in the Cusco Visitors Ticket or Boleto Turistico and when you do the Cusco city tour a visit to Puca Pucara is included.