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Chinchero : Discovering the sacred valley of the Incas

Posted on : 07 April 2021


Chinchero; the inca village

Chinchero is a traditional town in Cusco. It is located 28 kilometers from the city of Cusco. The first inhabitants of Chinchero were the Ayarmacas, who inhabited this territory until the arrival of the Incas. The Inca Túpac Inca Yupanqui established his residence in the sacred valley of the incas and he ordered the construction of beautiful palaces for his personal use.

In 1536, the Inca Manco Capac started his legendary rebellion by setting fire to the town of Chinchero (where the Spanish kept their food supplies) so that the Spanish would stop pursuing him, as he retreated to Vilcabamba.

The Viceroy Toledo visited Cusco and ordered the construction of the current church that can be seen in the main square of the town.

Later, during the revolution of Túpac Amaru II, the curaca of Chinchero, Mateo Pumacahua, rose up in favor of the King of Spain to fight the rebel. The triumph of Pumacahua was eternalized in a mural in which today a cougar appears defeating a snake (Amaru).

Currently, Chinchero is a town with tradition. In addition to the fact that in its streets and in its main square you can see the traditional weavers who use the ancestral techniques of the Incas to dye and weave their typical clothes.

Besides that, there are loom workshops and souvenir shops where you can see and touch the traditional looms and threads of Chinchero.

Known by the Incas as the birthplace of the rainbow, this typical Andean village combines Inca ruins with a colonial church with beautiful fresh paintings, some wonderful mountain views and a colorful Sunday market.

On a high plain with sweeping views to snow-laden peaks, it’s quite beautiful. Since it is very high, it’s unwise to spend the night until you’re somewhat acclimated.

Colonial Church of Chinchero

the colonial church of chinchero

Among the most beautiful churches in the valley, this colonial church is built on Inca foundations. The interior, decked out in merry floral and religious designs, is well worth seeing. Admission needs to be paid separately at the entrance and it is 5 soles per person that usually is not included in the tour.

The Market of Chinchero

the market of chinchero

The Chinchero market, held on Tuesday, Thursday and especially Sunday, is less touristy than its counterpart in Pisac and well worth a special trip. On Sunday, traditionally dressed locals descend from the hills for the produce market, where the ancient practice of trueco (bartering) still takes place; this is a rare opportunity to observe genuine bartering.

The Ruis of Chinchero

The most extensive ruins consist of terracing. If you start walking away from the village through the terraces on the right-hand side of the valley, you’ll also find various rocks carved into seats and staircases.

Inca Trail in Chinchero

chinchero waterfall poc poc The Inca trail in Chinchero e1668103447317

One of the interesting things that people doesn’t know is that there is a beautiful Inca Trail to walk towards Sacred Valley (Huayoccari) starting in Chinchero, all the hike is down the hill and you will be ble to appreciate a beautiful waterfall called (cataratas de poc poc)

Nowadays, Chinchero is one of the most touristic places of Cusco and Sacred Valley, they have the Colonial Church with beautiful fresh paintings, the archeological site  where locals make ”Chuño and Moraya” (dehydrated potatoes)

Entry to the historic precinct, where the ruins, the church and the museum are all found, is by the boleto turístico (adult/student S130/70), valid for 10 days and covering 17 sites across the region, including Cuzco.

Book the tour to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and get to know Chinchero with Peru Private Tour.