Cusco Pre-Inca

& Inca Sites

The Region of Cusco was chosen by the first Inca kings to be the capital of their empire; however, this region was also claimed by other civilizations (before or at the sorne time) . For instance, the Wari people conquered Cusco a few hundred years before the Incas settled in the region, while the Chanca people cohabitated in the region with the Incas until the Incas defeated them on the battlefield. Remains of these civilizations and many others before them can be found all over Cusco. Exploring these sites is an incredible experience.

Below is a list of the most important Pre-Inca and Inca sites in the Region of Cusco.

Machu Picchu

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Important: Starting on July 2017 all travelers and tourists entering Machu Picchu must hire the service of a tour guide. This service should be arranged in advance (do not wait until getting to the site to hire one.) Also, it is necessary to purchase 2 entrance tickets if planning to spend all day long in Machu Picchu.

Location: Machu Picchu Mountain, Machu Picchu District, Urubamba Province, Cusco Region

Culture & Time Period: The Citadel of Machu Picchu was built by the Inca civilization under the reign of Inca Pachacutec in the l400s.


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Sacsayhuaman has an extension of 2,296.76 hectares and inside this area, 33 sites can be visited. The entire complex is divided into 6 sectors and the stones are perfectly placed one on top of the other to make up the walls. Some of these stones are as heavy as 125 tons. Unfortunately, nowadays only 203 of the original structures are left due to the fact that over the years the conquerors and locals took the majority of the stones from the walls in order to build their houses and other buildings.

Location: Cusco District, Province, and Region

Culture & Time Period: This site was built by the Inca civilization; construction started with Inca Pachacutec in the mid-l400s.


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It is believed that the archaeological site ol Tipon was built by Inca Huirachoca (aka Viracocha or Wiracocha), a king who ruled around 1400 to 1438. This site was probably built during the early years of his reign to serve as a military fortress, and it is believed that his father, Yahuar Huaca, spent the last years of his life here.


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Occupying an area of 437 square meters, Tambomachay is located near the Puco Pucara Site. The main attraction of this site is its beautifully built water fountains.Some researchers believe that this was a temple toworship the water as well as a lodge/spa where the Inca kingwas able to relax and rest. This site is also known as the "Baños del Inca" (lnca's spa) .

Location: Cusco District, Cusco Province, and Cusco Region


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Qenqo (aka Qenko), located near the Sacsayhuaman Site, occupies an area of about 3,500 squaremeters. Composed of a massive rocky formation carved in several sections with different shapes and representations of Inca deities, the site is believed to hove been used as a ceremonial temple where sacrifices were possibly offered.

Location: Cusco District, Cusco Province, and Cusco Region


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The Pisaq Archaeological Park, located on top of a mountain in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, was originally a small city, which included houses, temples, storage rooms, agricultural terraces, plazas, a cemetery, and similar structures.

Location: Pisaq District, Calca Province, and Cusco Region


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Ollantaytambo Town has traditions dating back a thousand years (Tampus people of Pre-Inca origin). This town conserves the original design implemented by the Incas, who built a fortified citadel with well-developed water channels, terraces for agricultural purposes, mountain storages, temples, plazas, and houses. Despite the constant flow of tourists, the town maintains its roots and traditions.


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Moray is an interesting archaeological site which consists of 12 rings of Andean terraces carved on top of a rnountain, creating a depression. It looks like a perfectly carved artificial crater. Frorn the top of the site to the bottorn of it, ternperature can changed by about 5 Celsius degrees.

Location: Maras District, Urubarnba Province, and Cusco Region.

Maras Salt Flats

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The Salt Flats of Maras are composed of about 3,000 man-made pools in a total area of 2 hectares. Each pool ranges from 2 to 5 square meters and all of these pools produce about 2,000 tons of salt per year. An average of 360 families own these pools, most of them having inherited them.

Location: Maras District, Urubamba Province, and Cusco Region


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Pikillacta is an archaeological site surrounded by many questions and mysteries. It is believed that the site's location was first occupied by early Peruvians, possibly the Marcavalle people. Later on, the Wari Empire took over this land and built a citadel housing a large well-organized population.

Location: Lucre District, Quispicanchi Province, and Cusco Region

Loremp Impsiom

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