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Exploring the History Behind the Pisac Ruins

Exploring the History Behind the Pisac Ruins

The Pisac Ruins are located in the tiny town of Pisac. It is about 1 hour away from Cusco. They are one of the most popular attractions in Peru, only second to Machu Picchu.

Pisac is believed to be coming from the word “Pisaca” which means Partridge. Partridge is a kind of bird, and historians also say that it was named as such because of the agricultural terraces of this ancient Incan complex look similar to that of a Puna Partridge.

Pisac Ruins

What is the history behind the Pisac Ruins?

The Incan complex was built by the Inca Emperor Pachacuti in the 15th century. Records show that there were other establishments before this. This is because pottery and other artefacts were found in this area during excavations.

As for the purpose why the Pisac Incan complex was built, it is a vast complex with many strategical structures. Historians say that it might have been used as a safe place by the Incan royalty in cases of attacks. Also, being used for agricultural and ceremonial purposes.

However, with the Spanish invasions in the early 16th century, Pisac was captured. It was then abandoned to the ruins of what you see today.

You have to hike up from the Pisac town to see the ruins. The first structure you see is the lookout point of this amazing Incan complex. It views the valley at a perfect angle and might have served as a defense point to guard the only path that leads to the rest of the fortress.

Pisac Ruins

The most notable attractions in the Pisac ruins are as follows.

  • Ajachapta Terraces: These terraces are mesmerizing to look at with 40 platforms making the Patridge wing. It is said that the Incas grew all of their crops here. Corn on the lower terraces, potatoes in the middle terraces, and quinoa on the higher terraces.
  • Qoriwayrachina: There are about 20 towers here that were used to watch over the complex. The most popular one being the Qoriwayrachina tower.
  • Tankanamarka: This is known as the highest located cemetery in South America. There are more than 1000 tombs dating back to the Incan era.
  • Intihuatana: This part of the Pisac Incan complex is home to ruins of the beautiful Incan temples and palaces that have been made with stones without even a single gap in between.
  • Q’alla Q’asa: This is the highest point in the Pisac ruins so the views are unbeatable and breathtaking across the entire Cusco region.

Pisac Ruins

The best time to visit is during the dry season which falls between March to November. This is because the cool breezes, plenty of sunshine and clear skies make it easier for you to hike the Pisac ruins.

The best part about this hike is that, unlike other tourist attractions in Peru, on some days you will be the only one exploring the area.

However, there is no single entrance to the Pisac ruins. Instead, you have to buy the Cusco Tourist Ticket which has it included.

Join us on a locally guided Sacred Valley Tour or Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu Tour to get a deeper insight into Pisac. 

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