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5 things to see at the world-famous Pisac Inca site and Pisac market.

5 things to see at the world-famous Pisac Inca site and Pisac market.

13 February 2020

In Cusco’s Sacred Valley of the Incas, about an hour’s ride from downtown Cusco (about 30 km. away), is the archeological complex of Pisac (also spelled Pisaq), one of the most important and amazing sites that dates from the time of the Inca Empire. It sits perched high above the valley on a mountain directly above the modern-day town of Pisac. Both the Inca site and the town itself are definitely not to be missed by any visitor Cusco.

Here are five things that you’ll find on your visit to Pisac:

1) The Inca site of Pisac features some of the very finest examples of Inca architecture. Build before 1440 A.D., the large site is spectacular, with enormous concentric terraces and several sectors of buildings that spread from the mysterious Necropolis at the top, down through sectors of perfectly constructed buildings and stone temples that spread across the huge mountain ridge. A sun dial or “sun hitching post” and many waterworks adorn the main areas. It takes a few hours to take it all in, and the views from above of the Vilcabamba Range and the Vilcanota River below are absolutely breathtaking. If you have enough time, you can see it all and walk along footpaths all the way down to the town, but that takes a few hours. 

2) The large Pisac Market, known around the world for its wide diversity of handcrafts is located in the heart of the town, at the main square and beyond. The most expert and renowned Andean craftspeople of the Cusco region sell their wares at the market. You’ll find the finest tapestries, ceramics, metal jewelry, alpaca clothing, traditional musical instruments and much more at the hundreds of outdoor stands in the town’s main square. The is now open daily and every day offers great shopping. Many stores along the plaza and the side streets are also filled with beautiful handicrafts. There is so much to choose from, and bargaining for the best prices is certainly allowed and common practice. 

3) Other parts of the Pisac market display a wide variety of Inca foods, everything from the large-kernel choclo, delicious Andean corn, to an incredible variety of potatoes, habas or fava beans, hot peppers, Andean cheeses, and drinks such as chicha morada, a purple corn refreshment and excellent Cusco coffee. A favorite destination of all visitors are the large traditional adobe ovens found at three or four semi-hidden spots around town, where you can enjoy freshly-baked savory empanadas (turnovers) filled with cheese, tomato, basil and other tasty ingredients. 

4) Along with the traditional Andean foods to be enjoyed in Pisac, there are numerous nice cafes, restaurants and bakeries around the town, with many clustered around the main square. You will not go hungry, and the prices are quite reasonable. Depending on the time of year, Pisac has its flow of international visitors, but it’s never too many. It retains the flavor of its Andean traditions. A visit in mid-July offers the opportunity to see the town’s yearly Festival of the Virgen del Carmen, with its mix of revelry, dances, costumes and solemn procession. 

5) Pisac is a blend of the ancient and the modern. Abundant lodging options are found in the town’s many friendly hostels, B&Bs and small hotels. With its narrow cobblestone streets and canals, Pisac is calm and pleasant to walk around, including on roads leading out of town into surrounding areas, lined with adobe homes and eucalyptus trees. And frequent glimpses of mountains towering above the Sacred Valley always enhance the experience. 

Come visit Pisac with Andean Excursions

The charms of Pisac and the Sacred Valley of the Incas are here waiting for your visit. You can easily make the Pisac experience a part of your Andean Excursions acclimatization itinerary, with connections to other important destinations and further on to Machu Picchu. Please contact us at andeanlodges.com and let us help you plan your unforgettable journey in the Peruvian Andes. You will enjoy so much and live the time of your life!

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