The entire area of Cuzco bears an exceptional wealth of Inca constructions, being the most interesting and accessible those lying north of city. Here stands the massive-fortress of Sacsayhuaman, only 4 Km. from downtown Cuzco. Made of large boulders, including one weighing 125 tons, arranged in a zig-zag shape in three platforms which presently serves as the great scenario for the legendary Inti Raymi Festival. (Festival of the Sun) held every year on June 24.

Following the road leading to the northeast you arrive to Quenco (zig-zag) another great example of skillful Inca masonry work consisting of a large limestone slab covered with carvings, thought to have been used for ritual sacrifices. A mysterious cave with large niches, and an amphitheater facing north with 19 niches are part of the complex.

Tambo Machay, consisting of a beautiful ceremonial bath, popularly called "bath of the Inka", formed by four leveled walls linked by stairs and adorned with crystalline waterfalls.

Puca Pucara meaning red fort, in some lights the rocks look red. This tambo posthouse served to lodge travelers and store goods.


The Vilcanota /Urubamba river valley is a beautiful place to visit.

Start at Pisac, just 30 Km. from Cuzco. A typical Andean town which on Sundays is filled with locals in their colorful traditional costumes, trading goods after a traditional mass and procession. This market is also open on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On the hilltop is located an archeological complex, a strategic Inka stronghold with fine stone work and superb views of agricultural terraces and the valley.

Yucay, 48 Km. from Cuzco, a very picturesque village with some fine Inca masonry in one of the squares. Behind the village to the north you will find the finest surviving Inca agricultural system in the Cusco region which is still in use.

Urubamba, 78 Km. from Cuzco, is an attractive town that lies in the center of the valley and can be used as a base to explore the Sacred Valley.

Chinchero, 28 Km. from Cuzco, the town's unusual architecture is the result of Spanish- Inca fusion. The small church built in the late 16th century, houses several colonial paintings; and the colorful Sunday market is said to be the most authentic in the region. The Inca ruins consist of terracing and a massive Inca wall at the main square with ten large trapezoids niches.

Ollantaytambo, 97 Km. from Cisco, located at one end of the Sacred Valley. The town has preserved the actual Inca layout, the fortress was constructed as another strategic outpost for defensive purpose as well as a religious center. The enormous step terraces protecting the fortress are spectacular. The bastion's walls were built with huge blocks of granite skillfully carved and were the site of a major battle during Manco Capac's Inca rebellion against the conquistadors.

Machu Picchu Itineraries Hike the Inca Trail
About Cuzco Places to see outside Cuzco
About Machu Picchu Amazon Riverboat Expedition & Machu Picchu Combo