Admire an ingenious irrigation system at the Inca site of Tipon, 30 km south of Cusco and explore the huge numbers of kanchas (apartments) in the pre-inca site of Piquillaqta. The main attraction in Andahuaylillas, an Andean village at 3198m, is its well-decorated church, also called the ‘Sistine Chapel of America’.
Half day tour: The South Valley Circuit (Tipon, Piquillaqta and Andahuaylillas)
Duration: 5 Hours
Departures: Daily at 9:00AM and returns around 2:00PM.
South Valley of Cusco Circuit Itinerary:
We will pick you up at your hotel at 9:00am. First we will visit the archeological site of Tipónl. A great place to observe several royal chambers of the Inca Wiraqocha. This type of architecture is well known for its imperial style and impressive hydraulic engineering in magnificent mountain scenery. In spite of the years the construction style of the channels and the liturgical sources are still intact, in honor to the goddess of the water.
After this we will continue to the old village of Pikillacta. This was one of the more impressive regional centers of the Wari culture, seated in Ayacucho, and which was occupied by the Incas through the years. Today it is a national archeological park of great importance.
The word Pikillaqta is a made up Quechua word, meaning lousy town (piki = lousy, llaqta = town), although it is also called “city of the fleas”. The constructions of Pikillacta exist of more than 200 kanchas (apartments), 504 golgas (warehouses) and other constructions. The city must have accommodated a population of approximately 10 thousand people.
Some investigators suggest that in the Inca times, Pikillacta was a city for “mitimaes” (groups of people or tribes who were being transferred from place to place).
The next tourist attraction will be Andahuaylillas, a small village at 3198m (10490 feet), having a good climate because of the surrounding mountains. It is located 35 km (22 miles) southeast of Cusco on the road that leads to the Puno region. Formerly, the name of this village was Antawaylla, (anta: barrel maker; waylla: prairie and both words united mean “coppery prairie”).
Andahuaylillas has two big tourist attractions:
The “Sistine Chapel” of America
The San Pedro Church of Andahuaylillas is the major attraction for visitors and because of the quality of the art work is considered as the “Sistine Chapel” of America. It was constructed for the Jesuits at the end of the 16th and the princes of the 17th century. Its´ architectural structure is typical for small towns´ churches. Its´ walls are wide, typical for the colonial buildings, made with sun dried bricks of mud, a facade decorated with murals and two stone columns projected towards the main entrance. Although its´ architecture is relatively modest, the decoration of its´ interiors is the most impressive of the building.
We can first mention a picture of the “Virgin of the Asunción”, painted by the Spanish historical painter Esteban Murillo. You will also see walls attributed to Luís de Riaño (17th century). Who represented the election of man by glory? They attributed this painter, the paintings that decorate the bases and a notable oil of the archangel San Miguel.
The church lodges, additionally, a linen cloth collection of the Cusqueña School, which represents the life of San Pedro (with impressive frameworks in bread of gold), a majestic organ, a silver goldsmith and a baroque altar.
La Plaza de Armas of Andahuaylillas
The immense Plaza de Armas is surrounded by leafy pisonay trees (or choral trees) and palm trees. It is considered as one of the most beautiful Plazas of the region. At a few kilometers from here is the place called Huaro, where the wizards lived at the time of the Incas, or so is said. This is a circuit that will show us a magnificent landscape and will give you moments of satisfaction, getting to know the great variety of typical dishes of the region of Cusco. One of these dishes to taste is the Chicharrón (pork meat) or the famous designated dish ‘Roasted Guinea pig’. We will return to Cusco at about 5.00pm.
South Valley of Cusco Circuit
- Guide in English and Spanish
- Tourist transport
- Entrance to the archeological complexes
- Typical regional lunch
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