Side Trips from Cusco: Cusco may be endearingly beautiful and you have to discover every site on there .Yet just outside the city lies one of Peru’s most spectacular and serene regions. Filled with Andean mountains, tiny hamlets, and ancient Inca Ruins. Cusco is the magical place in Peru.
In a half-day trip you can visit some of Peru’s greatest historical areas and monuments, such as Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Puka Pukara or Tambomachay!
Towering high above Cusco, the ruins of Sacsayhuaman are a constant reminder of the city’s Inca roots. You may have to stretch your imagination to visualize how it was during Inca times. Spanish conquering use this site as a convenient source of building material , but there are still plenty remains to marvel ourselves. Until now we wonder how Huge stone blocks be carved and maneuvered into position, and the masterful asonry is awe-inspiring. Also you will enjoy the spectacular views over the city, they are just as eye-catching.
Incas design Cusco in the shape of a puma, so Saqsayhuaman represents its ferocious head! Perhaps the most important Inca monument after Machu Picchu, is Sacsayhuaman for its military complex use. From its strategic position high above Cusco, it was excellently to protect and defend the city, and its zigzag walls and cross fire parapets allow inca warriors to protect and attack from two sides.
Construction of the side began in 1440s, during the reign of the Inca Pachacutec. It’s though that 20,000 workers construct Sacsayhuaman, cutting the astonishingly massive limestone, diorite, and andesite blocks. The largest is 361 tons, rolling them to the site, and assembling them in traditionalInca style to achieve a perfect fit without mortar.
Today only the outer walls remain of the original fortress city, which the Spanish tore down after the rebellion and then ransacked for years as a source of construction materials for their new city down the hill, a practice that continued until the mid-20th century.
Now, Sacasayhuaman is the main inca remain. Traditional Inti Raymi takes place every June 24. The most famous festival of the Sun in Cusco, commemorating the winter solstice.
It may be a fairly serene location these days. Qenqo, which means “zigzag” was once the site of one of the Incas most intrugingand potentially macabre rituals.
Qenqo is a large rockconstruction where annually incas prepare a ritual. There priest stand on the top pouring chicha or llama blood into a ceremonial pipe, allowing it to make its way down the channel.
If the blood flow left, it means poor fertility for the coming season, but if the liquid continue the length of the pipe, it will be a bountiful harvest.
Today you won’t see any blood, but the carved channels still exist and you can climb to the top to see how they zigzag their way down.
Little is known of the archaeological ruins of Puka Pukara , a pink stone site guarding the road to the Sacred Valley. Some archaeologists believe the complex was a fort, the name “red fort”, but others claim it serve as a hunting lodge and storage place used by the Inca nobility.
Current theory holds that this center, likely built during the reign of the Inca Pachacutec, served all those functions. Near Tambomachay, this enigmatic spot provides spectacular views over the Sacred Valley. Pull up a rock and ponder the mistery yourself.
Ancient foundation are at this tranquil and secluted spot. Commonly known as “Inca’s bath”. The name actually means “cavern lodge” and the site is a three tiered huaca built of elaborate stoneworkover a natural spring, which was used for ritual showers.
Interpretations differ, but the site was likely a place where incas worship the water, considered a source of life. The huaca is almost certain to have been the scene of sacred ablutions and purifying ceremonies for Inca rulers and royal women.
In a culture that worship to the sun, dark , among others, Salapunco denotes an intriguing change. A collection of small caves that onceheld Inca mummies, Salapunco was a place to worship to Moon. Inside each of the caves were altars and walls decorated with puma and snake motifs, the Inca symbols for earth and the underworld, respectively. The largest cavern saw elaborate full moon ceremonies in Inca Times. The position of the entrance allows the interior to receive light from the moon once a month. Just amazing!
Southeastern Urubamba Valley:
The Urubamba river runs northwest and southeast from Cusco. The northwest sector of the river basin is romantically named ” Sacred Valley of the Incas” and attracts the puma’s share of visitors. But along the highway that runs southwast of Cusco to Sicuani are a number of remains that locals call ” Valle Sur”. There you can visit:
Are you ready for this Adventure? Discover the magic of Cusco and also its surroundings!