Peru is widely known for its vast diversity, where natural wonders, history, and ancestral cultures have marked our country in a unimaginable way. Most of these attractions are located in the south part of the country, since it was here that the Inca culture originated.
However, the Incas weren’t the only ancient civilization that walked through those lands since there were many cultural identities that left a prevailing legacy that have withstood wars, lootings, and even earthquakes.
Besides holding the most beautiful natural scenery, the whole Andean region is the perfect example of the cultural evolution of our country. Cusco itself presents the outstanding development of the pre-columbian society.
However, continuing further down to Puno, you’ll be immersed in a back-in-time journey since different cultures had made their presence known until the vast lake titicaca. Ruta del Sol takes you through those outstanding sites, starting from the late XVI century whilst going back to the 400 B.C.
Dare to uncover the mysteries of the Peruvian highlands with this authentic route through the most significant colonial, Inca, and pre-Inca settlements of the area. Please continue reading and find out everything about Ruta del Sol’s archeological site.
On the way from Cusco to Puno, you’ll get to experience different settlements belonging to different important times in our country. However, that’s not all you’ll get to see since the beautiful natural scenery of the region will leave you breathless.
You’ll find yourself in a small town called La Raya, located above the 4,000 of elevation, where you’ll get to glance at the towering Chimboya snow-capped mountain. Likewise, Ruta del Sol will take you to an authentic city within the Andean highlands called Sicuani. The adventure continues through several attractions such as:
1. Andahuaylillas: San Pedro Church
Although there is no actual record about the construction of this religious building, it is believed that it was built in the late XVI century. It is one of the most important churches within the region of Cusco due to its impressive baroque-style architecture, thereby, it is considered the Sistine Chapel of America.
The San Pedro Apostol Church gathers a collection of colonial art, including murals used to educate the native Peruvians about the principles of the catholic religion during the colonization era. It also holds several paintings made by the Cusqueñan School.
Apparently, the site was constructed on top of an Inca structure, which is currently unknown since there is no documentation of such. However, the famous church does maintain part of the Inca foundations of the ancient structure.
2. Raqchi: The Wiracocha Temple
The Raqchi Temple is another sacred site of the Inca civilization since according to historians it held a great importance to the Andean cosmovision. It is believed that the site was the worship center of the God that “created the universe,” which is why it is commonly known as the Wiracocha Temple.
However, as most Inca structures, the site was destroyed by the Spanish conquerors to build the colonial Cusco. Nowadays, only a huge wall remains along the foundations of some pillars. The real purpose of the site remains a mystery, though some archeologists say that there was a close relationship between its use as a worship center and the production of ceramic and woven objects.
If you wish to learn more about the impressive structure of Raqchi, we encourage you to read this exclusive blog regarding the theories of the famous archeological site.
3. Archeological Site of Pucara
Also known as Kalisaya, it is a ceremonial and administrative center located a few kilometers from the city of Puno, near the Pucara town. The site is a pre-Inca structure built by the ancient Pucara culture, which dates back to 400 B.C. and 200 B.C.
Unfortunately, there is not much information about the site besides what can be deducted by its architectural style. Likewise, Kalisaya is composed of two sectors, one with predominant ceremonial functions and another with a more rudimental structure, that is believed to have served as a residential area.
In the area were found several sculptures and monoliths that seem to be objects with ceremonial purposes. Apparently, the Pucara civilization used to perform beheading rituals as performed in these art pieces, they also were dedicated to agriculture and other commercial activities. Find out more about it here.
On this opportunity, you’ll get to experience the best sites within Ruta del Sol. We want you to feel comfortable, so we have prepared an exclusive itinerary where you’ll get to visit each site calmly so you can fully appreciate everything.
06:20h - 06:30h | Pick up at the hotel - Transfer to bus terminal
Here is when your adventure starts! Our team will pick you up from the hotel and take you to the bus terminal, where you’ll have a briefing about the activities to cover during the day.
07:15h - 08:15h | Cusco to Andahuaylillas
The first stop of your excursion is in Andahuaylillas, a small town full of history and an impressive colonial architecture present in its streets.
08:15h - 08:45h | San Pedro Church
The San Pedro Church is the main attraction in Andahuaylillas, a beautiful church structured with a unique baroque architecture and beautiful religious paintings and murals.
08:45h - 10:30h | Andahuaylillas to Raqchi
Finishing the tour in San Pedro Church, you’ll be headed to Raqchi, an important Inca settlement a few hours away from Cusco.
10:30h - 11:30h | Raqchi Archeological Site
The so-called Temple of Wiracocha is one of the most impressive structures along the route. It had a significant meaning to the Inca people and occupied a large territory with walls that reached over 10 meters of height.
12:30h - 13:00h | Buffet lunch at Sicuani
After a morning full of history and adventure, you’d surely be hungry! Sicuani is a small town located on the way to Puno, here you’ll have a buffet lunch and a well-deserved rest before heading out to your next stop.
13:00h - 13:45h | La Raya Viewpoint
Now it’s time to appreciate the exuberant nature of the region. La Raya is located at 4,335 meters above sea level and it offers an outstanding view of the valley and the imposing Chimboya snow-capped mountain. Here you’ll also find an authentic artisan market with the best options for souvenirs!
15:00h - 15:45h | Pucara Archeological Site
Following the itinerary, the so-called Kalisaya ruins await to be discovered! The complex was built by the ancient Pucara civilization, which preceded the Incas and still left a mark in the vast Peruvian highlands.
15:45h - 17:15h | Arrival in Puno - Transfer to hotel
After a day of adventure, now it’s time to continue to our last destination. The city of Puno, home of folklore in Peru, will receive you with open arms! Our team will be waiting for you at the bust terminal to take you to your accommodation.
- One day before, our team will give you a briefing about your activities for the tour, including important information on what to wear and what to bring.
- This is a group service for about 40 people.
- The guide will speak in English and Spanish since it is going to be a bilingual group.
- You’ll have onboard service throughout the bust ride, everything is included in your travel package.
Ruta del Sol is certainly one of the best ways to travel from Cusco to Puno, where a combination of history and natural wonders will leave you captivated and totally in love with the Peruvian highlands before reaching the so-called Capital of Folklore.
If you wish to experience this tour at its fullest, we have the perfect adventure for you. Keep in mind that you can organize your trip according to your interests, we are here to help you with any inquiry you may have, including assistance during your travel planning process.
The Ruta del Sol excursion is included in our Classic Peru travel package. However, if you want to include it in your customized travel itinerary, please contact us. Our local expert team will make sure to optimize your time and experience with a tailored-made travel itinerary for you.
- Duration: 11 hours approx.
- Entrance: All entrance fees are included in our travel packages.
- Included: Transport, entrance fees, english speaking guide, pick up at the hotel, buffet lunch.
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