Have you ever heard about Piquillacta? This archaeological site is one of the oldest in Cusco. It is a citadel built by the Wari culture almost 15 centuries ago. Today, it is one of the best tourist options after knowing Machu Picchu.
What is Piquillacta?
Piquillacta was a city and administrative center of the Huari culture, one of the most important before the Incas. Its construction began at the end of the 6th century. After several centuries it was gradually abandoned until the ninth century, during the appearance of the Incas.
The Wari structures are different from the Incas. These are made of stone and adobe and are not carved with Inca perfection. However, they are characterized by urban harmony with walls up to 12 meters high.
It is believed that Piquillacta was inhabited by a population of more than 10 thousand inhabitants. In addition, there are up to 700 buildings and 500 stores (colcas). A small percentage still survive and remain in the current archaeological site.
What does Piquillacta mean?
Piquillacta is a Quechua word that means ‘Village of the Fleas’ or ‘Small Town’. It is presumed that the Spaniards gave it that name although the reasons are unknown.
Piquillacta is located in the South Valley, 47 kilometers from the city of Cusco. Currently, it belongs to the district of Lucre, in the province of Quispicanchi.
Piquillacta has a temperate and warm climate. The average temperature is 12 ° C. During the year, there are two seasons. In the dry season (April to October), the days are sunny and the nights are cold. The rainy season (from November to March) is characterized by the greater frequency of fluvial rainfall.
The Piquillacta Archaeological Park covers an approximate area of 50 hectares. The main ruins in the Wari compound are the following:
Tours to the South Valley of Cusco
The most usual way of knowing Piquillacta is with the tour to the South Valley of Cusco. This service lasts 1 day and covers the main attractions of southern Cusco as Piquillacta, the archaeological site of Tipón as well as the colonial temple of Andahuaylillas, known as the Sistine Chapel of America.
The approximate price of the tour is 32 U $ D and includes transportation (round trip), admission to tourist attractions, lunch and the guided service.
The Tourist Ticket of Cusco is a set of tickets to the main tourist attractions of Cusco, the Sacred Valley and the South Valley.
The General Tourist Ticket includes the entrance to Piquillacta with up to 16 attractions such as Sacsayhuaman, Ollantaytambo, Coricancha, Tipón, the Museum of Popular Art and other sites. This ticket costs 40 dollars.
The Partial Tourist Ticket only allows entry to a few tourist attractions such as Piquillacta, Tipón, Coricancha and the museums of the city of Cusco. The cost is 21 dollars.
Visiting Piquillacta on your own is easy. You only have to travel by car on the Cusco – Puno highway. When you arrive at the archaeological site, you must show the General or Partial Tourist Ticket.
Follow the steps below to get to Piquillacta ::
When is the best time to visit Piquillacta?
The months of April to October are the most recommended to visit Piquillacta. During those days, the sun shines more and the rains occur very infrequently. That time is known as the dry season. The temperatures oscillate between 22 ° C. and 3 ° C.
What are the opening hours for Piquillacta?
The Piquillacta Archaeological Site is open to tourism from Monday to Sunday from 7 am to 6 pm.
During the dry season (from April to October):
During the rainy season (November to March):
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