Sacsayhuaman, Cusco, Peru

For most Cusco is just a stop to Machu Picchu but the Incas didn’t only limit themselves to one architectural pearl. Here is a list of 7 other archeological wonders of the Incas. They are all really close to Cusco and worth seeing.

  1. “Sexy Woman”

That’s how everyone pronounces the otherwise unpronounceable Sacsayhuaman. It’s an immense citadel that was first built by Killke culture and eventually overtaken and up scaled by the Incas. The stones that created it are huge and perfectly fitted. Unfortunately the many that are left on the site are nothing compared to what it was. Spaniards used most of them to build their Cusco. Nowadays Sexy Woman is a UNESCO heritage and a place where a few of the indigenous festivals are held.

  1. Moray

It consists of terraces built into three circles that were used as a kind of agricultural laboratory. Each terrace had a different micro climate where the Incas could test vegetables and the best conditions for them. Truly ingenious. There was a really big difference in temperature between the bottom and the top terraces, namely 15 degrees.

  1. Pisac

Really impressive complex of Inca ruins. It includes temples, baths, fountains and of course plenty of terraces. It’s probably the most crowded of the ruins but still very worth visiting.

  1. Salineras

Thousands of small salt pans created in terraces on the slope of a mountain. Stunning view especially when you think it has been in use for thousands of years and nowadays the locals still use it. It seemed the technic of gathering salt is still the same as in the past… very manual and tiring.

  1. Ollantaytambo

Actually the village itself is quite nice and except for those few moments when organized excursions come, it’s very calm. It’s worth staying a night in there as there is a lot to see around. First of all there is a big religious complex, extended over a slope of a mountain (of course, the Incas didn’t like flat areas). It has incredible walls made of perfectly fitted massive stones just like the ones used in Sexy Woman. The ruins are created in the shape of a llama but to see that you have to go to the other side of the village and climb a mountain. The view there is stunning. Except for that, there are a few of storehouses used by the Incas for their crops.

  1. Tambomachay

It’s a small but charming place with lots of aqueducts, canals and waterfalls. The function of it is still not really known. Some think it was used for guarding the borders of Cusco, others that it was used as a kind of spa of the Incas.

  1. Tipon

Another Inca ruin with terraces but this one has plenty of canals, fountains and baths and almost all of it is still working. It probably was a spa for the most important Incas. And what a spa. With quite a view!

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