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Pisac Archaeological Complex

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The Pisac Archaeological Complex is one of the major population centers of the Incas in the Sacred Valley and was probably built as a "royal estate" by the Inca Pachacutec. It consists of terraces and ceremonial and domestic structures. It has an impressive "Intihuatana".

Pisac Archaeological Complex

The Pisac Archaeological Complex is located approximately 18 kilometers northeast of Cusco, 33 kilometers by road, near the town of the same name. This is one of the major population centers of the Incas in the Sacred Valley. It was probably built as a "royal estate" by the Inca Pachacutec. Although this was not strictly speaking a fortress, it played an important defensive role thanks to its privileged strategic location. In particular against the Antis, a people of the jungle subdued decades earlier by the Inca Capac Yupanqui. The complex is located on top of a hill and has a spectacular view over the valley of Urubamba and the town of Pisac, located on its banks. It is surrounded by two rivers, Kitamayu on the west and Chongo on the east. As it was the custom, the Incas built the city on a pattern representing an animal, in this case, a partridge ("p'isaqa" in Quechua).

Pisac is composed of terraces and domestic and ceremonial structures. It is divided in several sectors : the terraces, "Qanchisraqay", the "Tanqanamarka" Inca cemetery, "Kialla Q'asa", "Tianayoc", "Intihuatana", "Pisaqa", the deposits or "qolqas", the city walls and the "Amaru Punku" door.

In Pisac, there are 16 agricultural sectors with advanced platforms systems (also named "terraces"). They have some of the most impressive and beautiful walls, made ​​of huge and perfectly polished blocks. The most impressive terraces are located north of the complex. The terraces located east of the resort and those located at less altitude, southwest of the complex near the town of Pisac are also remarkable.

The "Qanchisraqay" sector (also called "Kanturaqay") is located near the northern main entrance, at the top of the resort, out of the fortified city. It consists of numerous buildings of mud and rough stone called "pirca". There are also buildings called "kanchas" that served as rooms for people cultivating the nearby platforms. There are also some remains of aqueducts and fountains. This sector is ideally placed to monitor the movements of people in the valley located under the complex.

The path continues in direction of the valley and passes on top of spectacular terraces. On the opposite side of the hill, separated by the Kitamayu creek, you can see the "Tanqanamarka" Inca cemetery. It is a true necropolis measuring about 100 meters high and several kilometers wide. According to estimates, it must have contained about 10000 tombs, mainly plundered by Spanish conquistadors. Indeed, the Incas, believing in reincarnation, buried their dead with all their belongings (jewelry, metals, precious stones, etc.) for their new life. Today, you can still observe the tombs holes in the hill.

Following the path to the "intihuatana" sector, comes the "Kialla Q'asa" sector, consisting of a series of rustic constructions with irregular forms. They may have housed permanent workers who cultivated the land around the complex.

After passing through a tunnel, you will reach "Tianayoc", located at the top of the "Intihuatana" sacred area and that consists of buildings arranged around a small square. "Intihuatana" is the most important sector of the complex. It consists of buildings made of finely carved rectangular stones. In most of them, you can see typical Inca niches. The most important is a building shaped like the letter D surrounding a huge rock carved in a special way. This "altar" is also known as "Intihuatana". It may have served to hold religious ceremonies and for astronomical observations. Under the "Intihuatana" sector you can find six "qolqas"or Inca deposits.

The "Pisaqa" sector is a set of rectangular buildings distributed to form an arch. The walls of these buildings are amazingly perfect. There is also a construction similar to a viewpoint from where you will have a perfect view over the valley and the town of Pisac.

Going back to the point of beginning of the visit, but on the eastern side of the hill, you can see remains of the city walls, which had five gates. The only gate that still has its lintel is called "Amaru Punku" or "Gate of the Serpents".

Pisac is sometimes called the "city of towers". There are over twenty of them built in the leading edge of the mountain, but it is difficult to establish with certainty which role they played.
Site map
Map of Pisac
Complete list of tours
To see all the agencies with tours to the Pisac Archaeological Complex, you can click here.
The Pisac Archaeological Complex is located 18 km northeast of Cusco, 33 km by road (+/- 30 min).

District : Pisac
Province : Calca
Department : Cusco

Coordinates : -13.41440, -71.84400
3300 m
Opening days : Daily
Hours : 7:00am to 6:00pm

Approximate visit duration : 2 to 3 hours

Guided tours : Yes (local guide or travel agency)
Visits Languages ​​: Spanish and English (possible additional languages ​​with travel agency)
Admission fees
Entrance with Tourist Ticket ("Boleto Turístico") only. Tourist Tickets can be purchased at COSITUC. They can also be purchased at most tourist sites. You can only pay the Tourist Ticket at archaeological sites in cash and in Soles (no payment cards accepted).

With Integral Cusco Tourist Ticket ("Boleto Turístico del Cusco Integral") :
Valid for Chinchero, Moray, Ollantaytambo, Pikillacta, Pisac, Pukapukara, Q'enko, Sacsayhuaman, Tambomachay, Tipon, Qosqo Native Art Center, Monument to the Inca Pachacutec, Museum of Contemporary Art, Folk Art Museum, Qoricancha Site Museum (not the complex), Regional History Museum.

Foreign adult: S/. 130.00
Foreign student: S/. 70.00
National adult: S/. 70.00
National student: S/. 40.00

With Partial Cusco Tourist Ticket - Circuit III ("Boleto Turístico del Cusco Parcial - Circuito III") :
Valid for Chinchero, Moray, Ollantaytambo, Pisac.

Foreign adult: S/. 70.00
Foreign student: S/. 70.00
National adult: S/. 40.00
National student: S/. 40.00

Payment cards accepted : None
How to get there ?
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There are two ways to get from Cusco to Pisac :

1) By "colectivo" : Information to be completed

2) By taxi : Information to be completed
COSITUC is the authority responsible for the sale of the Cusco Tourist Ticket. It provides information on tourist sites in the region of Cusco.
Additional information
Photos allowed : Yes
Wheelchair access : No
Nearby tourist attractions
Sacsayhuaman Archeological ComplexSacsayhuaman Archeological Complex
Sacsayhuaman is an impressive complex of Inca constructions built with enormous monolithic stones. It is one of the most mysterious constructions in the whole continent.
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Cathedral of CuscoCathedral of Cusco
To be published very soon ...

Koricancha or "Temple of the Sun" was one of the most important temples of the Inca empire. After the conquest of Cusco, the Spaniards built the first Dominican convent of Peru on its walls, the Convent of Santo Domingo.
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To see all the tourist attractions of the department of Cusco, you can click here.
Nearby cities
The Pisac Archaeological Complex is located in the town of Pisac.

Nearby cities :
Cusco : 33 km (by road)
Urubamba : 42 km (by road)
Abancay : 222 km (by road)

Major cities :
Puno : 437 km (by road)
Arequipa : 554 km (by road)
: 1106 km (by road)
The Pisac Archaeological Complex is located in the department of Cusco.

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