Inca ruins worth visiting in Peru (that aren’t actually Machu Picchu)
anyone thinks Peru, Machu Picchu instantly comes to mind and for good reason.
The incredible hilltop citadel was recently voted one of the New Seven
Wonders of the World. However there are many other fascinating Inca ruins
to visit in the country and some are a lot easier to access. Built between
1438 to 1533 each site shows the incredible skill of the Inca people.
of this fascinating sites are even within easy access of Machu Picchu,
making it easy to combine them into your vacation. When touring
in Peru, bear the following excellent examples in mind.
The Inca Ruins of Sacsahuamán
CC BY-SA 2.5 Colegota
Sacsahuamán is probably
the greatest Inca ruin outside of Machu Pichu. Overlooking the city
of Cusco, Sacsahuamán this gargantuan complex is believed to have
been a fortress or a royal retreat, or possibly both. The walls are built
in a zigzag formation and consist of some of the largest stones ever found
in Inca stone masonry. Experts believe some weigh as much as 300 tons,
but all are fitted together neatly like a jigsaw. To access Sacsahuamán
from Cusco, you can either take a taxi or hike up there in under an hour.
The Inca Ruins of Pisac
Photo: Pisac in the
Public Domain by AlexSP
The ruins of Pisac overlook
the Urubamba River close to the modern town of Pisac itself, just under
an hour northeast of Cusco. These ruins are well known for their Inca waterworks
and curving agricultural terraces, offering beautiful views of the Sacred
Valley. The buildings are as finely constructed as those at Machu Picchu
and of interest to note is that this site features one of Peru’s only remaining
“intihuatanas,” a series of carved rocks used for astronomical observation
by the Incas.
The Inca Ruins of Ollantaytambo
Back in 1536, Ollantaytambo
was the site of the Inca’s greatest military victory over the invading
Spaniards. Even today, the site retains its original Inca walls and street
grid, along with a set of stone terraces, used to attack the invading Spaniards
with slingshots and arrows. Above the town, storehouses can be seen, as
pictured above). The site is a stop for most of the trains traveling to
and from Machu Picchu, making it an ideal stop.
The Inca Ruins of Moray
is considered to be one of the best examples, besides Machu Picchu, or
extreme Inca landscaping. Moray consists of three enormous pits with curved
sides and terraces leading down them. Each pit was carved out of the earth
with depths of up to 100 feet or more. Researchers have noted that temperatures
between the top and bottom layers of the pits can vary by more than 20
degrees, leading them to believe Moray may have been an agricultural site
where the Inca experimented with crops.
conclusion, there are many more excellent and fascinating sites to visit
in Peru showing the architectural
wonders of the Incas. Have a great trip!
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