Traveling to Cusco can be defined as a cultural and historical rich experience, where ancestral traditions and the evolution of our civilization began hundreds of years ago. Chinchero, for example, is another town within the Sacred Valley of the Incas that have kept their customs alive for generations.
Chinchero is one of the most culturally-diverse towns in the region, the site once was Tupac Yupanqui’s royal state and later a Spanish colony. However, the Andean cultures have prevailed in such a way that not even our modern times can modify them.
Locals in Chinchero are recognized for keeping their traditions deeply-rooted in their hearts, a legacy that not even time can take away from them. Also, the natural and urban scenery here is like no other, where imposing colonial structures are held by the strong foundations of the Inca constructions in these lands.
For those reasons, we encourage you to include it in your travel itinerary. Experience a great part of our culture and history in a place full of magic, natural wonders and ancient monuments. Luckily for you, we have prepared this guide to help you organize your trip according to your interests.
You may not know this but the Cusco region was previously inhabited by powerful communities that took advantage of the fertility of its valleys. Chinchero, for example, was under the control of the Ayamarca, an etny that originated in the beginnings of the Inca culture.
The Ayamarca community was an organized civilization, which fought to maintain their lands for centuries. Actually, this ancient culture suffered constant attacks by the Incas, for nearly two centuries, until they eventually took control over their lands and incorporated the Ayamarca into their growing empire.
Once the Incas conquered the Cusqueñan lands, Tupac Inca Yupanqui chose Chinchero to establish his royal precinct. The 10th Inca ruler ordered the construction of several palaces for him and his ‘Panaca.’
Unfortunately, Manco Inca burned the entire precinct during the colonization era, a strategy that allowed the Incas to flee into the lush Peruvian jungle, where they found refuge for many years.
As you already know, the Spanish conquerors eventually gained control over Cusco and placed several colonies across the region, Chinchero was one of them. The Viceroy Toledo ordered the construction of a church on top of Tupac Yupanqui’s palace in 1572.
The colonial church is one of the historical monuments in Chinchero, it has a baroque and Inca style since its foundations are the remains of said palace. It showcases paintings made by the renowned artist Diego Quispe Tito from the Cusqueñan School.
Although Chinchero might be a very small town it offers a unique experience as soon as you step into its magical streets. Here we have gathered the best things to do in a walking distance before heading out to the Inca Citadel:
1. Chinchero Archeological Site
This Inca site was the designated residence of Tupac Yupanqui. Here he ordered the construction of beautiful palaces though it was later incinerated by Manco Inca to help people escape during colonization to the hidden lands of the jungle.
Nowadays, only a few parts of its structure have remained, being the most preserved construction, the one used as the foundation of a Church that dates back to the XVI century.
2. Local Craft Market
Chinchero is recognized for its top-quality textiles and its cultural expression. The local craft market is situated next to the Archeological Site of Chinchero. Here you’ll find remarkable textiles, backpacks, and alpaca clothing.
Chinchero is located 30 kilometers away from Cusco, right at the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. If you wish to visit this picturesque town, we highly recommend you to do so on a guided tour, that way you won’t miss anything of this special adventure.
Luckily for you, we have a special itinerary where you can visit this and other attractions before boarding the train to Machu Picchu. The Maras & Moray Private Tour will take you on a cultural and historical journey across the Andes in Peru.
Are you ready to experience Cusco at its fullest? Viagens Machu Picchu provides everything so you just have to worry about relaxing and having fun! Get to know our special deals in Peru travel packages while you’re here.