For those looking for an outstanding adventure through Peruvian history, the South Valley of Cusco is certainly the place you’re looking for. It is the best alternative for the Sacred Valley of the Incas, besides, here you’ll get to be part of the evolution of the famous civilization that marked our country.
Since Cusco was the cradle of the Tahuantinsuyo Empire, it enjoys a great cultural and historical value in addition to the exuberant nature of the region.
Likewise, the so-called Imperial City hides even more secrets in its surroundings, which revolve around civilizations that preceded the Inca, and somehow, manage to influence their development.
On this opportunity, you’ll get to visit two Inca archeological sites, an ancestral Wari citadel, and the perfect example of baroque architecture in the outskirts of the city.
Cusco is certainly a magical place with many riddles yet to be solved, would you like to uncover each and every one of them? Keep reading and find out!
Among the different attractions you can visit in and around Cusco, the South Valley Tour gathers the most impressive ones. In addition to history, you’ll also get an exclusive visit through a famous water body enclosured by towering mountains, the Huacarpay Lagoon.
Likewise, the authentic natural scenery of the region will leave you breathless, as well as the cultural expression of the different towns and communities on the way, such as Saylla. Here we have listed the attractions you’ll visit with this excursion:
Tipon is one of the perfect examples of the hydraulic engineering knowledge of the Incas, where most of its aqueducts and water fountains have kept functioning perfectly. Unfortunately, there are no official records that can confirm the real purpose of this construction nor its original name.
Nonetheless, the impressiveness of the site could not be overshadowed by the lack of information since the Incas achieved a fine finish that positioned it as one of the Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
The archeological site consists of wide agricultural terraces irrigated by a network of water channels fed by a natural spring and it covers an extension of 239 hectares. The Tipon Archeological Complex is also part of the Qhapaq Ñan, a trail network commonly known as the Inca Trail, which connected the whole Inca Empire. Get to know more about Tipon with this special travel guide.
2. 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, murals, and colonial art collection.
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.
3. Pikillacta Archeological Site
The Pikillaqta site was built between the VI and IX centuries, just at the peak of the Wari culture. The first archeologists in studying the complex thought that the structure belonged to the Incas, however, the elements used in the construction weren't typical of this civilization.
Further research showed evidence that the Wari were responsible for this ancient citadel due to its similarity with their capital in Ayacucho. Unlike most of the Inca settlements, adobe and non-carved stones were the main materials of the construction, a fact that ruled out the previous theory.
The archeological complex is one of the largest prehispanic places within the Cusco region since it has an extension of 50 ha. Likewise, the Pikillacta citadel is composed of 700 buildings, 200 courts, 508 storages or colcas (some archeologists considered them as rooms), and many other buildings. For more information, please read this exclusive blog.
On this opportunity, you’ll get to experience the best sites within the South Sacred Valley. 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:
07:50h - 08:00h | Pick up at the hotel
One day before the tour, our team will make sure to give you the proper indications for your next adventure. The following day, you’ll be picked up by our private transportation to start the excursion.
08:00h - 09:00h | Cusco to Tipon
Our first stop will be in Tipon, located around 1h away from the city of Cusco.
09:00h - 10:30h | Tipon Archeological Site
Here you’ll get to appreciate one of the most impressive agricultural and engineering examples of the Inca culture. According to historians, Tipon could have been a royal hacienda with ceremonial and agricultural areas.
10:30h - 11:10h | Tipon to Andahuaylillas
After the tour through the famous Inca remains of Tipon, we’ll continue towards Andahuaylillas. The town is recognized for its beautiful colonial architecture.
11:10h - 11:40h | 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.
11:40h - 12:10h | Andahuaylillas to Huacarpay Lagoon
After our adventure in the small town of Andahuaylillas, we’ll continue towards the Huacarpay lagoon, a beautiful natural scenery optimal for bird watching activities.
12:30h - 13:30h | Pikillacta Archeological Site
Later, our next stop will be a pre-Inca structure built by the Wari culture. Here our professional guide will explain the origin and influence of the site on the Inca civilization and how it managed to inspire their construction.
13:30h - 14:15h | Return to Cusco
Once we’ve finished with all the activities, we’ll return to Cusco. Drop off will be at your accommodation.
- If available you can visit another impressive church in the town of Andahuaylillas called the Canincunca Chapel (Entrance fee is not included).
- For those looking to try the Andean chicharron, Saylla is the best location to do so. If you wish to have lunch in one of the most renowned Chicharronerias of the town, let your guide know (Not included in the tour).
- If you want us to include a box lunch for the tour, please inform your travel agent upon booking.
It is worth mentioning that on this private tour we want you to travel in comfort, which is why we don’t want you to feel tied up with the time schedule.
In case you’d like to see more of one of the attractions listed above, you can just tell the guide and they’ll be happy to help you.
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.
To book the South Valley Tour, you just need to contact your travel agent. Our local expert team will make sure to optimize your time and adventure with a tailored-made travel itinerary for you.
Likewise, we care to provide the best experience to each and every one of our passengers, which is why we count with certified drivers, professional guides, and an all-time monitored car fleet with GPS tracking.
- Duration: 6 hours or as requested by the passenger.
- Entrance: Cusco Tourist Ticket, which is included in the travel package.
- Included: Transport, tourist ticket, english speaking guide, water, pick up at the hotel.
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Cusco has many adventures for you and we'd love to show you everything about them! If you're planning the perfect itinerary through this magical region, don't miss this blog about the best 10 day trips from Cusco so you can make the most of your experience.