Sacsayhuaman: The Stone Giants Guardians

When you think of Peru, it’s natural for the iconic Machu Picchu to come to mind. However, there is another equally captivating and historic place that deserves your attention: Sacsayhuaman. This ancient Inca fortress, located in the mountains northeast of Cusco, is an archaeological gem that will leave you amazed. If you’re planning a trip to Peru, you can’t overlook the experience of visiting Sacsayhuaman, and the best way to do it is with private transfers. Below, we’ll explain why this place is a must-stop on your itinerary.

Sacsayhuaman

Sacsayhuaman is an archaeological site located at 3700 meters above sea level, just 2 kilometers from the main square of Cusco. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by imposing Inca walls that protected various sanctuaries for centuries. These walls not only bear witness to the architectural mastery of the Incas but also to their skill in construction that defies the passage of time.

The most impressive features of Sacsayhuaman are its zigzag walls and the three bases that once supported Inca towers. In addition to the walls, you will have the opportunity to explore an ancient water pool, possibly used for astronomical observations. From this location, panoramic views of the beautiful Cusco valley unfold, allowing you to grasp the majesty of the Andean geography.

Archaeological site of Sacsayhuamán

History of Sacsayhuaman

Sacsayhuaman, whose name originates from the Quechua language and translates as ‘Satisfied Falcons,‘ is an imposing stone construction erected by the Incas in the 15th century. Although its exact purpose remains a mystery, it is believed to have served as a defensive fortress or a place of worship.

The most impressive aspect of Sacsayhuaman is the enormous stones used in its construction. Some of these stones weigh several tons and fit together perfectly without the use of mortar, an astonishing architectural achievement for the time.

Sacsayhuamán Maravilla Arquitectónica Fortaleza de Saqsaywaman in Cusco

What to see in Sacsayhuaman

The impressive walls

The walls of Sacsayhuaman are undoubtedly the highlight. Its massive stone blocks fit so precisely that not even a sheet of paper can be inserted between them. You can walk along these walls and enjoy panoramic views of Cusco.

Sacsayhuaman ruins

The Qenqo altar

Very close to Sacsayhuaman, you will find the archaeological complex of Qenqo, where the Incas performed religious ceremonies. Explore the rock-carved galleries and discover the history sculpted on its walls

Complejo Arqueológico Q'enqo

Tambomachay

This site is dedicated to the worship of water and features impressive fountains and water channels. It is a mystical place that will make you feel the Incas’ connection with nature.

Tambomachay ruins

The remains of Puca Pucara

Another nearby site worth visiting. It is believed to have served as a sort of checkpoint on the way to Cusco.

Puca Pucara

Activities in Sacsayhuaman

Sacsayhuaman offers a variety of activities for visitors. One experience you can’t miss is photographing the Queuña trees (polylepis), native to Cusco. Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to capture the grandeur of the zigzag walls and the white Christ that decorates the landscape, creating an unforgettable scene.

For history and astronomy enthusiasts, climbing the rocky stairs will lead you to a natural formation of limestone known as “hatun tiyana” (the grand seat). These structures were used by Andean priests to study the movement of the stars, which was crucial for creating the agricultural calendar and planning festivities.

Furthermore, if you opt for our “private transfers” service, you’ll have the chance to make stops at local craft centers. There, you can not only admire and purchase crafts but also feed llamas, alpacas, vicuñas, and guanacos. Additionally, you can visit textile centers where authentic garments and handmade decorative items are produced, perfect as souvenirs for your loved ones.

Transportation to Sacsayhuamán

Discover the grandeur of Sacsayhuamán through private transportation with Cusco Transport & Tours, elevating your experience with exceptional elegance and comfort. With well-maintained vehicles and expert drivers, the company provides personalized attention and a rich historical perspective, ensuring a worry-free exploration of the Inca fortress.

The flexible schedules of Cusco Transport & Tours allow you to customize your itinerary, while exclusive additional services, such as private guides, add a special touch to your adventure. The straightforward booking with the company guarantees a seamless journey from the center of Cusco to Sacsayhuamán, backed by professionals committed to delivering a unique experience.

Frequently Asked Questions about Sacsayhuamán

What is Sacsayhuamán?

Sacsayhuamán is an ancient Inca fortress constructed with large stone blocks. It is believed to have served both as a military fortification and had ceremonial purposes.

Where is Sacsayhuamán located?

Sacsayhuamán is located 2 km from the center of Cusco, Peru.

What is Sacsayhuamán, and why is it famous?

Sacsayhuamán is an ancient Inca fortress located near Cusco, Peru. It is famous for its impressive stone structures and its historical and cultural significance.

What is the archaeoastronomical significance of Sacsayhuamán?

The archaeoastronomical importance of Sacsayhuamán lies in its potential connections to astronomical events and celestial cycles. It is suggested that its design could have been aligned with solstices, equinoxes, constellations, and lunar cycles, possibly serving to mark ceremonial and agricultural periods. However, these interpretations are ongoing theories, as the lack of Inca written records requires some speculation on the part of researchers.

How much does the entrance to Sacsayhuamán cost?

To enter Sacsayhuamán, you will need to purchase a Partial Tourist Ticket for Cusco. The ticket costs S/.70 (approximately $18 USD) and is valid for 2 days. Additionally, the ticket also includes entry to the archaeological sites of Qenqo, Puka Pukara, and Tambomachay.

If you plan to visit other archaeological sites, either in the Sacred Valley or the South Valley, excluding Machu Picchu, we recommend purchasing the General Tourist Ticket for Cusco (BTC), which is valid for two days. This ticket also allows you to visit some museums in downtown Cusco.

What should I bring when visiting Sacsayhuamán?

It is recommended to bring comfortable shoes, water, sunscreen, a hat, and, during cooler months, a warm jacket.

What are some tips for visiting Sacsayhuamán?
  • Start your visit early in the morning to avoid the crowds and to enjoy the cooler temperatures.
  • Take your time and explore the ruins at your own pace.
  • Be sure to visit the main plaza, the zigzag walls, and the Three Towers.
  • If you’re feeling energetic, you can hike to the top of the hill for stunning views of Cusco.
  • There are several restaurants and cafes near the entrance to Sacsayhuamán where you can grab a bite to eat or a drink before or after your visit.
GET IN TOUCH