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South Valley Cusco: 1/2 Day
This tour combines natural beauty, Inca architecture in Tipon, pre-Incan ruins in Pikillacta, and in Andahuaylillas, a beautiful colonial chapel known as the "Sistine Chapel of America" because of the magnificient frescos on its walls.
At 9.00 a.m. we leave from Cusco in our private transport for a 25 km (15.5 mile) trip to the town of Tipon. Tipon is a large Inca complex with twelve currently cultivated terraces, plus impressive ceremonial baths, fountains, and irrigation channels still serving the agriculture. The terraces here are so extensive that it's believed the site was an experimental farm of the Incas, similar to Moray. It is also theorized that the site was a palace.
Our next stop is Pikillaqta (also spelt Pikillacta) only 32 km (miles) from Cusco. This was a large urban center during the Wari Empire, AD 600-1000. It has over a thousand buildings, some up to four storeys high, including palaces, colcas (food stores), houses and temples, plus playing fields, and long, narrow streets.
This was the largest provincial outpost of the Ayachuco-based Wari (hispanicized as Huari) and the only major pre-Incan site within easy reach of Cusco. Note that the ancient Wari culture is not the same as the modern Wari ethnic and language group and the two appear to have no connection.
After the visit to Pikillaqta, we visit the village of Andahuaylillas. The baroque-style Catholic church here is dedicated to Saint Peter the Apostle and was constructed in the 17th and 18th centuries.
We then begin our return drive to Cusco. Enroute we pass through Saylla, a typical town of the Cusco region where you can enjoy pork rinds, a local favourite. We will be back in Cusco at 3.00 p.m. approximately.
- Private transportation
- Professional guide (fluent in English, Spanish, Quechua, German)
- Tourist Ticket (entrance to the archeological centers)
- Discretionary spending, tips
For tips on what to bring, check our Travel Tips page.