Machu Picchu Travel



If you’re planning a trip to Cusco, you surely have heard of the picturesque Pisac town, a small village located a few kilometers away from the so-called Imperial Capital of the Incas. The region holds an extensive cultural expression where Andean mysticism and ancestral traditions are carried out through generations.

Pisac is an unmissable attraction in the Cusqueñan region, especially if you’re planning a tour to the Sacred Valley. The town is recognized for the astonishing Inca ruins situated on top of a nearby mountain, but also for having a unique scenery where nature merges the colonial-Inca architecture of the city.

As you may know, the Incas left a prevailing legacy in these lands, a cultural heritage deeply-rooted in the heart of its inhabitants in such a way that you’ll get to experience it from as soons as you enter the town.

We highly recommend visiting Pisac and the entire Sacred Valley of the Incas, that way you’ll get to know much more about our history and culture. We have prepared this guide to help you organize your itinerary across Peru. Continue reading and learn everything about it!

Pisac: History and Culture

Many travelers find it essential to experience a bit of day-to-day life in the places they visit, which is why the town of Pisac is the perfect destination for those looking to escape the crowds and the tourist-packed attractions in Cusco.

Here you’ll be able to experience a unique cultural expression, where ancestral traditions make their way to a modern world, without losing their real esense. Most locals in Pisac are Quechua speakers, a community that prevailed for centuries and fought to maintain their heritage alive.

Although there is not much information about the town, it is believed to have been a small village during Inca times. However, the nearby ruins are one of the most impressive structures within the Sacred Valley though its purpose is still open to speculation.

Nonetheless, the town itself was built on top of a few Inca structures by the time the Spanish colonizers took control of Cusco. Therefore, Pisac has a mestizo architecture, where andean and pre-Columbian features merge perfectly with the colonial structures.

Pisac has dozens of hotels, some located in the main square, while others are in beautiful natural surroundings. Characterized for being colonial mansions traced back to the XVII and XVIII centuries.

The Legend of Pisac Town

Pisac is surely a magical place and the folklore just adds a mystical sense to these lands. According to the story, there was an Inca princess called Inkill Chumpi who was the legitimate heir of the Pisac territory.

She was destined to marry the man who could build a bridge over the Wilkamayu River (Vilcanota) by himself in just one day. Once the word was spread across the empire, many brave men wanted to participate.

There was one man in particular, called Asto Rimac who owned the wooded lands of the east, but also was the princess’ secret lover, which is why he was chosen to complete the challenge. Inkill Chumpi, worried about the result, implored the spirits of the mountains for help.

The powerful Apus responded to her prayers and agreed to only one condition, that she shall not see the work until it was entirely finished. Minutes before the bridge was completed, the princess heard some strange noises that made her turn and look.

At that moment, the Urubamba river swallowed her lover and she was turned to stone. A figure that can be seen in one of the nearby mountains.

What to See in Pisac?

Pisac might be very small but it surely holds some of the most cultural-diverse and historical attractions in the Sacred Valley. Here’s our top things to do in Pisac:

1. Pisac Archeological Site
Not so far away up a mountain lies an archeological site with outstanding views of the entire Sacred Valley. The ancient structure was built by the Incas with presumably different purposes around the XV century during the reign of Inca Pachacutec.

Like most Inca structures near Cusco, Pisac was built to resemble the shape of a Puna Patridge, a bird endemic to the region. It is one of the most well-preserved Inca ruins in the Sacred Valley although it was damaged and sacked during the colonization process.

The Archeological Site of Pisac is composed of 40 terraces, 20 towers, a cemetery and 5 neighborhoods with different architectural styles, representing the social difference of its inhabitants. Many archeologists believe that the place served as the royal precinct of the Inca Pachacutec, while others believe it was an administrative and ceremonial center.

2. Awana Kancha Museum
If you love alpacas, llamas, and vicuñas as much as we do, then this is the place for you! The Awanacancha Museum has an exhibition of Peruvian textiles and research about the cultural impact of these traditions across the Cusqueñan lands.

It also is an animal shelter, where they house several camelids in a safe environment, looking to promote the preservation of the authentic fauna of the Peruvian highlands.

3. Pisac Artisan Market
It is one of the largests local markets in the whole region. The Pisac Artisan Market comprehends a cultural expression full of diversity, where the most talented artisans sell their handmade pieces, as well as food, vegetables, fruits, and much more.

Renowned communities like the Amaru and Chaihuatiri offer top quality textiles in this market, widely known for their complexity and beautiful patterns. If you’re eager to visit it, make sure to come on Sundays, where more people come down to sell their handicrafts and jewelry pieces.

How to Get to Pisac?

Pisac is located 35 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 Sacred Valley 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.