Circuito Sur

The least popular tour and the least visited sites in the Valle Sagrado are on the Circuito Sur. It’s unfortunate because these ruins are equally as spectacular as the others in the valley. The tour runs from 9am to 2:30pm and covers three different sites. You’ll likely have a much smaller group and the ruins to yourself on this tour. It cost S/35 and can be booked at any tour office in Cusco.

Hidden away in the mountains is Tipón, our first stop. Tipón is one of the more visually appealing ruins I visited. Admission is covered in the Boleto Turístico.

Tipón, Peru

Tipón

Tipón, Peru

Tipón

Tipón, Peru

Tipón

It was an Inca town with an important irrigation system that is wonderfully intact today. The source is an underground spring from the mountains.

Irrigation system at Tipón, Peru

Irrigation system

The small water channels flow along the terraces down each level.

Irrigation system at Tipón, Peru

Irrigation system

Irrigation system at Tipón, Peru

Irrigation system

Irrigation system at Tipón, Peru

Irrigation system

The remains of a royal bath sit along one of the terraces. Inca rulers and their wives used to bathe there in privacy.

Royal bath at Tipón, Peru

Royal bath

There are also a few structures at the site but they aren’t nearly as interesting or impressive as the irrigation system.

Tipón, Peru

Tipón

Next, we stopped at Pikillaqta. This Pre-Inca city was founded around 850 by the Wari culture. It was a walled city supporting about 12,000 inhabitants. Admission is covered in the Boleto Turístico.

Pikillaqta, Peru

Pikillaqta

Pikillaqta, Peru

Pikillaqta

The walls were sometimes three levels high. The entrances to all homes and buildings were located within the walls.

Pikillaqta, Peru

Pikillaqta

Pikillaqta, Peru

Pikillaqta

The site was occupied until about 1100 when it was abruptly abandoned. It was incomplete at that time, and archaeologists believe that residents set fire to the town as they left. One section of the site is covered and shows that the walls were covered with white plaster.

Pikillaqta, Peru

Pikillaqta

Pikillaqta, Peru

Pikillaqta

Just a short drive from Pikillaqta was the pleasant town of Andahuaylillas. This small town in the mountains has the Templo de San Pedro Apóstol, one of the most spectacular churches in Peru. Admission is extra, but a CD-ROM of photos is given. Photos are prohibited inside.

Templo de San Pedro Apóstol in Andahuaylillas, Peru

Templo de San Pedro Apóstol

The interior is one of the most beautiful churches I have seen and is well worth a visit. It’s nicknamed the “Sistine Chapel of the Americas”.

Templo de San Pedro Apóstol in Andahuaylillas, Peru

Templo de San Pedro Apóstol

Templo de San Pedro Apóstol in Andahuaylillas, Peru

Templo de San Pedro Apóstol

The church sits on a large plaza. There are a few historical buildings around the plaza.

Plaza in Andahuaylillas, Peru

Plaza

Plaza in Andahuaylillas, Peru

Plaza

Craft market in Andahuaylillas, Peru

Craft market

Andahuaylillas has a few historical buildings in town that are well marked. It’s a small place and wandering through the streets doesn’t take long.

Capilla Posa in Andahuaylillas, Peru

Capilla Posa

Casa de los Medallones in Andahuaylillas, Peru

Casa de los Medallones

A street in Andahuaylillas, Peru

A street in Andahuaylillas

Our final stop before heading back to Cusco was a bakery in Oropesa. This town is famous for bread.

%d bloggers like this: