Kondor Path Tours

Pisac – History, Location and How to get to Pisac

Pisaq Overview

The architecture of Pisaq is also mestiza built on indigenous remains by the viceroy Francisco de Toledo. Here you can attend a mass in Quechua among indigenous and varayocs or regional mayors. Likewise, we can verify how the Inca agronomists solved planting on the slopes of the hills.

It attracts many tourists to the Inca ruins, that form part along with Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu of the archaeological circuit of Cusco, which makes it the more fantastic source of income for the town, aside from the agriculture of subsistence.

Pisaq does not escape the famous Inca legends. The city presents a statue that has a very particular: it does say that the chief Huaylla Puma had a daughter, called Inquill, to whom he had to marry the man who could build, in only one night, the bridge over the Willcamayu River – “Vilcanota” or “Urubamba” – (a bridge of great importance for the defense of the place). Asto Rímac – a handsome prince – accepted the challenge and requested the princess’s hand despite the arduous task. The authorities arranged everything so that Asto Rímac began the work, while the princess had to climb a hill without turning; otherwise, she and her fiance would turn into stone. Almost at dawn, the prince had culminated in the work, but Inquill, unable to bear any more, turned and became stone to this day.


This sizeable archaeological complex does locate in the district of P’isaq, province of Calca, 33 km. To the east of the city of Cusco.

There is a strange coincidence between the distances that unite P’isaq, Cusco, and Pikillacta. The distance between Cusco and P’isaq is 30 km, which is the same distance if you measure from P’isaq to Pikillacta, and from Cusco to Pikillacta is also 30 km. By uniting these three cities straight line, a perfect equilateral triangle is created, creating multiple speculations around the incredible architectural genius of the Incas.

The beauty of its walls, built with large stone blocks polished with excellent symmetry and unsurpassed stone handling, leaves the visitor perplexed.

At first, amazement is inevitable; then, deep respect arises for the creators of those centuries-old buildings, mute witnesses to the greatness of an empire.

“On the shores of Wilkamayu, the sacred god-river that runs through channels of carved stone dominating its fury, begin the stripes of light and shadow of the famous platforms of P’isaq, the great city of partridges. Built on a ridge of blue rock, almost over the air to see the most beautiful of the valleys of Cusco, “says the Peruvian journalist Alfonsina Barrionuevo of this ancient Inca city.

P’isaq is formed by enclosures that possibly include dwellings, aqueducts, roads, bridges, a cemetery, walls, and significant areas of enormous andenerías.

When Antonio Raimondi, the Italian naturalist and geographer, visited P’isaq, he was astounded by the beauty of its walls. He bore witness to this: “What to admire more in P’isaq, Is the fineness of the carving and the perfect union of the stones, that without any mixture are well assembled, that hardly the fine, straight lines, curves or broken are perceived, as to demonstrate the difficulty of the cut and the skill of the execution. From a distance are doors, streets, stairways, towers, barracks, and rooms, suspended at the top of the Picachos and where the imagination of the most daring builder, I would hardly dare today or even conceive a building. ”

This population has an Inca part and a colonial one. Písac and its central square are fun places full of color and with several handmade articles for sale. This town is known for its astronomical observatory. The architecture of Písac is also mestiza built on indigenous remains by the viceroy Francisco de Toledo. Here you can attend a mass in Quechua among indigenous and varayocs or regional mayors. Likewise, we can verify how the Inca agronomists solved planting on the slopes of the hills.

Pisaq Location

It is located 33 kilometers from the city of Cusco in Peru. Its archaeological site is one of the most important in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. It does locate to the east of the Cordillera de Vilcabamba. As was customary in Inca architecture, What built the cities was based on symbolic animal traits. Pisaq had the shape of a partridge, as its name says.

Important sites in Pisac

  • The wall. It gathers five gates located in the eastern part of the archaeological complex. The only one with a lintel is Amaru Punku, which means “Gate of the Serpents.”
  • The tunnels. Some chinchillas are discovered in the archaeological zone; you can have different directions, one that goes towards the city of Cusco and another to the citadel of Machu Picchu, the latter passing through Ollantaytambo.
  • The Inca bridge. The deposits are six Qolcas with equal dimensions; these possibly have served as deposits of the Incas, where they kept all the products harvested.
  • The Inca cemetery. The Pisaq cemetery is located at the front of the archaeological complex, observing the caves previously the tombs of the nobles of the Incas.
  • The “City” of the Towers. We can also say that Pisac is known as the “City of Towers” because it has more than twenty towers built on the protruding parts of the mountain.
  • The Enchanted Ñusta. It is a rock that has the shape of an Andean woman carrying a child, this rock statue we can find in one of the curves of arriving at Pisaq (in the route Cusco – Pisaq)
  • Tiyanacuy. It is a small district located in the lower part of the city. Here you can find a perfect seat for two people carved on a stone.
  • Calla House. It is a rustic set of buildings with irregular outlines placed on the mountain’s top. It is difficult to access because you have to get around dangerous ravines.
  • Fish. Set of rectangular buildings located southeast of; its walls are considered the most perfect of the Inca civilization. It looks stunning toward the town and the rest of the valley.
  • The Intihuatana. It is one of the most important ceremonial centers in Pisac since it does say that it was an observatory of the movements of the “Sun” God since it served to celebrate religious ceremonies such as the worship of the Sun God sacrificing animals.
  • The Archaeological Park has a Museum of Site where the main pieces found in the primary Pisac deposits are exhibited.
  • The artistic market of Pisaq: In its main square, under centenary trees, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, handicraft fairs are developed, which are very popular for the diverse and colorful textiles and varied decorative ceramics offered there.

On Sundays, in its old temple, the mass in Quechua is celebrated with mayors or Varayoqs of the communities.

Pisaq has a big market for textiles and many other things. The market in Pisaq is much larger than that of Chinchero. The problem is that you pass first through Pisaq, but in Chinchero, you can do better business.

How to get to Pisaq?

You can take a Sacred Valley Tour (Pull) on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday, arriving at the artisan market of Pisaq, which is open on the days mentioned but not go to the ruins of Pisaq. You have to take a private tour any day of the week to get to these. It will take you half an hour to reach the archeological area of Pisaq from the town of Pisaq by bus.

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