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Piquillacta (Pikillaqta)
Piquillacta (Pikillaqta)

Piquillacta (Pikillaqta)

20 km East of Cusco, Piquillacta, Peru

The Basics

Spread out over 8,320 acres (3,367 hectares), the Piquillacta archeological park also contains the ruins of Rumicolca, a towering gateway marking the southern frontier of the Wari empire. In the early 15th century, the conquering Inca converted it into a customs checkpoint, regulating the movement of goods and people into the Cusco Valley.

Explore Piquillacta as part of a tour that includes nearby attractions:xa0 the famous market, Inca ruins, and Potato Park in Pisaq; the elaborate Inca terraces of Tipon; or San Pedro de Andahuaylillas, the “Sistine Chapel of the Americas,” featuring remarkable polychrome murals.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Piquillacta is a nice day trip from Cusco and is the ideal spot for lovers of archeology.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, as you will be walking on uneven stone pathways.
  • Because of the high altitude, be sure to stay hydrated and take it slow.
  • Tours operate in all weather conditions. Dress appropriately, with sweaters for colder months and a rain poncho for the rainy season, generally January through April.
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How to Get There

Piquillacta is about 12 miles (20 kilometres) east of Cusco in the Sacred Valley of the Inca.xa0 If not going as a part of a tour, hire a taxi in Cusco and expect about a 30-minute trip. Buses leave from Av. De La Cultura in Cusco; find ones going in the direction of Urcos.

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When to Get There

Piquillacta is open daily from early morning to the evening. Come to the area in June for Festival of the Sun (Inti Raymi) celebrated with vibrantly-costumed Inca folk dancers. Easter Week (Semana Santa) is one of the most festive times to visit, and in December, Peru’s biggest crafts fair (Santuranticuy) hosts hundreds of artists displaying their work in Cusco’s Plaza de Armas.

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Wildcard

Pisaq Potato Park High up in the mountains, six Quechua communities farm some 1,300 varieties of potatoes, without the aid of machines or chemicals. Visit this unique working farm/park for a hands-on tour to learn traditional Inca agricultural methods, discover medicinal plants, take a cooking class using a variety of potatoes, or journey to the beautiful Kinsaqocha lagoon.

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