7 km from the city of Cusco, is the fortified hill of Puca Pucara in Perú. Getting here is quite easy since it is part of a tourist circuit that covers Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Puca-Pucara and Tambomachay.
Puca Pucara means “red fortress”, because the calcareous stones with which it is built have acquired the reddish coloration of the land, very abundant in iron.
It is alleged that it had the function of protecting Tambomachay, an important palace in the Incario. But that in turn, due to its architectural layout and the existence of fountains, aqueducts and multiple enclosures, and its proximity to the old road, which is observed gaining the gap in the northern mountain and leading to Huchuy Qosqo and Calca in the Sacred Valley It was a “tambo” that is to say, a collective shelter that offered inn and food to travelers, as well as to the procession that had to accompany the Inca in his retirement in Tambomachay.
In Puca Pucara Perú there are enclosures, interior squares, bathrooms, aqueducts, watchtowers and an easily recognizable Inca trail. The buildings are made of medium and small stones, the external surface of the polyhedra is slightly rough unlike other archaeological sites, in synthesis the urban layout is highly adequate and functional.
Puca Pucara is located at the top of the road to Pisac, about 7 km from Cusco. It is located at an altitude of 3850 meters above sea level.
Cusco and Puca Pucara in Perú have two distinct seasons: dry and rainy.
Best time to visit Puca Pucara in Perú:
Most people, including tour operators, recommend coming during the dry season, May through October, as it rains less and the roads are safer.
We recommend bringing your sun hat to avoid sun damage. And since the nights are colder, don’t forget to bring a warm jacket if you go out at night.
What can you see in Puca Pucara in Perú?:
This is an important place in the history of Cusco. The Incas built three walls that establish the three levels of the site.
It looks like a curved wall that prevents protruding rocks from cutting. On the north side, at the back of the outer wall, you can find a total of 6 rooms of different sizes. To the west, is the trapezoidal-shaped square which is accessed from an external staircase.
There are two walls surrounding the wide central raised platforms to the east and south. At the back of the wall, it is possible to find 3 rooms with typical Inca architecture.
It is located in the upper surrounding area; however, there is no trace of existing buildings in this place.
Why is Puca Pucara in Perú important?
According to some chroniclers of the time, Puca Pucara served as a Tambo or as accommodation for the Inca soldiers and dancers. They were not allowed to enter Tambomachay, so they waited for the Inca in Puca Pucara. The Inca visited Tambomachay to pay homage to the water. It is believed that a Chincana or tunnel existed, and that it connected these two sites.
How to get to Puca Pucara in Perú?
Getting to Puca Pucara is very simple. You can walk, but it will take approximately 50 minutes from the Plaza de Armas in Cusco.
You can also take a taxi. It will only take 20 minutes. And if you want to save some money and immerse yourself in the culture, you can take public transport. It will take 30 minutes.
The best option is get a tour in Cusco, like the 3 Days Cusco Tour or the 5 Days Cusco Tour.
Price of Entrance Tickets:
The Cusco Tourist Ticket includes the entrance to the archaeological site of Puca Pucara. The cost of this ticket is 130 Peruvian soles for foreigners and 70 Peruvian soles for Peruvians.
Monday to Sunday: from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
What to Bring?
- Tourist ticket (not included in the price of the tour)
- Sun hat
- Sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 35 or more
- Waterproof jacket / rain poncho
- Camera and film