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article imageInca ruins in close proximity of Cuzco, Peru Special

By Joseph Boltrukiewicz     Dec 1, 2015 in Travel
Cuzco - The old capital of the Incas, iconic city of Cuzco, heralded as the archeological capital of the world, has a lot of archeological surprises in close proximity of the city. It’s easy to see them all in half a day tour available in many tourist outlets.
Four locations of Sacsayhuaman, Q’engo, Puka-Pukara, and Tambomachay are all within 5-10 kms of Cuzco. These sites are less known to tourists focused on the city of Cuzco itself. All of the sites are worth visiting during guided tours for very affordable prices. To enter all these sites it is possible after purchasing a Boleto Turistico del Cuzco with entry to numerous Inca sites, museums and other tourist attractions in and around Cuzco.
Sacred site of Sacsayhuaman above the old capital city of the Inka people  Cuzco  Peru.
Sacred site of Sacsayhuaman above the old capital city of the Inka people, Cuzco, Peru.
Sacsayhuaman (Quechua language, “contented falcon”) are immense looking remains of Inca ruins with three layers of defense walls the stones of which fit one to another with razor sharp precision. Supposedly built around 1430 and 1510 during the rule of the Incas Tupac Yupanki and Wayna Chapaq, it was torn down by the Spanish from 1537 to 1561 and converted into a quarry from where the conquistadors used material to build the Cuzco’s cathedral and other necessary for them facilities. Sacsayhuaman site was the centre of Inca rebellion and resistance, quashed by the Spanish conquistadors who had to use quite a few tricks to conquer Manco Inca and his people.
The immense walls of sacred site of Sacsayhuaman fortress above Cuzco  Peru.
The immense walls of sacred site of Sacsayhuaman fortress above Cuzco, Peru.
There are four clearly defined stone structures on the site. The Fortress, a zigzag structure is built with stones as heavy as 70 tonnes, dominate the northern part of the site. This part faces the second section called the Chuquipampa Square (Esplanade). The Sachuna Hill with its fortified towers is clearly separated from the main walls and is located on the opposite side of the central plaza where every year in June 24th the huge Inca festival of Inti Raymi takes place.
The walls of religious site of Q enqo near the Inca capital city of Cuzco  Peru.
The walls of religious site of Q'enqo near the Inca capital city of Cuzco, Peru.
Q’enqo (Labyrinth) – archeological site of religious worship to fertility. It’s built as an amphitheatre with almost a 6 metres tall central monolith (defaced by the Spanish) and galleries with vestiges of pottery. The top of the rocky compound has a set of staircases carved with chacana motif (Inca typical cross-like shape) and seats with a water channel in changing shape, first representing a snake, then a head of a cat and finally a bird. These three played big role in Inca spiritual symbolism. The site is the smallest from all the four sites around Cuzco.
Puka-Pukara sacred Inka people site by the road to Pisac and local Quechua people selling folk art  ...
Puka-Pukara sacred Inka people site by the road to Pisac and local Quechua people selling folk art, near Cuzco, Peru.
Puka-Pukara (Red Fortress) – served as food depot and military headquarters from which it was possible to overlook the next site of Tambomachay located within one kilometre from there. The compound has solid walls which underline its military character. In the central part of the site there is a smaller building with a few rooms, probably for the military officials. In the outside of the walls there are terraces with water channels, aqueducts, and roads that served as agricultural lots to cultivate crops.
Fountains and aqueducts of Inca people sacred site of Tambomachay with crystal clear water by the ro...
Fountains and aqueducts of Inca people sacred site of Tambomachay with crystal clear water by the road to Pisac, near Cuzco, Peru.
Tambomachay (Resort) – a site frequented by the Inca officials due to the presence of very well developed and preserved aqueducts and other water facilities which have a continuous flow of water all year round. The middle of the site is dominated by a ritual fountain with crystal clear water that served the purposes of both potable and recreational water in which the Inca emperors were bathing. In Inca culture water was worshipped as indispensable life element. From the hill opposite to the bathtubs, a nearby Puka Pukara site is visible. The Incas communicated and kept eye contact between these two places.
Fountains and aqueducts of Inca people sacred site of Tambomachay with crystal clear water by the ro...
Fountains and aqueducts of Inca people sacred site of Tambomachay with crystal clear water by the road to Pisac, near Cuzco, Peru.
More about Inca, Cuzco, Peru, Sacred sites
 
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