Huchuy Qosqo

The archaeological zone of Huchuy Qosqo (Small Cusco), which was known during the Inca times as Qaqyaqawana (which in Spanish means «place from where you look at thunder»), is located in the district of Lamay, within the province of Calca, in the department and region of Cusco, specifically in a plain found on the top of a mountain. At a height of 3,550 meters above sea level. And it is currently considered, thanks to the National Institute of Culture, as Cultural Heritage of the Nation.

On a historical level, this site is known for being the preferred place of the Inca Wiracocha, the same that he chose as a place of rest and retirement and, where, according to the myth, he died at an advanced age (80 years). It is also said that this area was already populated by different ethnic groups, before the Inca arrival, so they had to be previously defeated. Another striking story about the area is that the Inca Wiracocha would not have arrived there alone, but in the company of his son: Inca Urco, the worst ruler of the Empire, who left the Tahuantinsuyo to their fate after the Chanca attack that ended up being stopped by his other son Cusi Inca Yupanqui. Finally, another reason that makes this site important is the discovery of a mummified body, found during the Conquest, and which would have been attributed to the old Inca monarch, although later burned by Francisco Pizarro’s brother.


It is located in the peasant community of the same name at the top of a part of the mountain range, almost 5 km from Calca and 570 meters above the Vilcanota river.

Regarding its location, it can be added in addition to the access feature, that it provides the visitor (and those who lived in the archaeological center) a wonderful view of the snow-capped mountains of Pitusiray together with the town of Calca.


Its name means small Cusco, and it was the Inca Wiracocha who ordered it to be built with palaces and temples, because, feeling old and tired, he wanted to leave the government, get away from the palace bustle of Cusco and seek rest and quiet in this place.


This complex is the most important archaeological center in the Urubamba valley, after Ollantaytambo and Pisac. The ruins are impressive, although the conservation of the site is inferior to that of Ollantaytambo or Pisac, because they are older.

But unlike the places mentioned above, Huchuy Qosqo has a peculiar architecture: the buildings have been built on polished stone bases with a fine finish, with clay plaster (they are the best preserved parts) and the highest floors are made of adobe.

Regarding the architectural remains that have still been preserved on the site, we can say that there are at least 2 buildings, in addition to the presence of platforms and cliffs. Among the buildings, some made of stone and others of adobe, we can observe one of three floors, without a name; This first construction is characterized by the presence of the mixture of construction materials, since the two lower levels are made of carved stone, while the last one preserves an adobe-based structure. The second building, also without a name, is a rectangular-based construction, made with adobones, which is believed to have had the purpose of being a space for labor apprenticeships for the women of the Empire. There are also vestiges of remains of smaller enclosures that are almost destroyed due to natural events, including the rains and the vegetation in the area.

There is a kallanka (rectangular enclosure that could measure up to 70 meters long and that were important state centers where Inca officials stayed) of at least 40 to 50 meters long. Also a remarkable building with two stone floors and an upper one of adobe. There are also large terraces, a very large plaza and a large Inca gate through which a well-preserved path leads from Tambomachay.

The Hispanic chronicles refer that Huchuy Qosqo (probably a site known in Inca times as Caquia Jaquijahuana) was the work and preferred place of the Inca Wiracocha. To this, Maria Rostworoski adds, in her work «Historia del Tahuantinsuyo», that this sovereign consolidated the conquest over the towns of the Urubamba valley and that he chose as his successor his son Inca Urco who, dizzy by power and vices, He proved himself totally incapable of ruling. The Inca royalty was very dazed by this choice and tried to conspire to impose another son of Wiracocha, Prince Cusi Yupanqui. Social unrest and tension increased every day and to make matters worse, the darkest night fell on Cuzco: the Chancas came to the gates of the capital and were ready to destroy it. It is the year 1438. Wiracocha leaves the city to his fate and, accompanied by his son Inca Urco, takes refuge in his palaces in the Urubamba valley, among which was Huchuy Qosqo.

After the Spanish conquest, Gonzalo Pizarro found here the mummy that supposedly belonged to the Inca Wiracocha and ordered to burn it. The descendants of the Inca kept the ashes in a jar that the chronicler Polo de Ondegardo would discover many years later.

What to see in Huchuy Qosqo?

Here is a list of what you can see at Huchuy Qosqo; At the moment you do not need any ticket, or pay to enter Huchuy Qosqo.

A structure with three levels (floors), the first two in the form of regular polyhedra, and the last floor made of adobe. The enclosure is rectangular in shape and enormously architectural.

A long rectangular building made of adobones on an eminent platform, this building has a large number of doors facing the valley.

You will find many other smaller enclosures scattered, most of them are in poor condition. Very close to these ruins, you will find an Inca trail oriented to Cusco Inca trail oriented to Cusco. Also some small loose enclosures such as outposts and surveillance located on the edge of the precipice, in order to have the greatest possible visual field of the valley.

If you visit the city of Cusco another impressive destinations that you can visit are the tour to rainbow mountain peru or the humantay lake tour from cusco, which only takes one day. But if you are gonna to stay more days in Cusco, other archaeological places you can know will be the choquequirao trek peru, the salkantay trek to machu picchu, and the classic inca trail 4 days 3 nights.

Hike to Huchuy Qosqo 

In order to reach the exact location of Huchuy Qosqo, it is necessary to take a walk, due to the narrowness of the road, it lasts 3 hours from Lamay; on the other hand, you can also go from Chinchero, using a half-day pilgrimage; And if you want to make a trip to the site, of longer duration, where camping is required, you can take the route from the City of Cusco, since this route takes a whole day. The entrance to the site is totally free, although the tourist is recommended to do it in the company of guides or in groups; Another recommendation is that this tour be carried out in the dry weather period, between the months of April and October, to avoid the slipperiness of the area due to the rains.

It is possible to hike to Huchuy Qosqo in two ways, the first walking from Cusco and Tambomachay on the Inca trail. The other way is going up from the Sacred Valley after crossing the Wilcamayo river (today Vilcanota).

Hike to Huchuy Qosqo  1 Day

  • Modality: Adventure, landscape, culture and archeology
  • Departure days Daily departures
  • Period: March to November
  • Duration of the trip: 1 day
  • Accommodation: Camp
  • Group size: Minimum 2 people
  • Maximum height: 4,300 meters
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Tambomachay – Huchuy Qosqo – Lamay – Cusco

6 am: Departure towards Tambomachay. An Inca archaeological center probably a place dedicated to the cult of water. Here we begin our walk to the Sicllajasa pass where we can see the city of Cusco and continue the trip we will appreciate gorges such as the Ccauca ravine and from here you can already feel and see the typical landscapes of the mountains of Cusco, as well as the pineapple straw Ichu used by the Incas to build bridges and houses. Continuing the trip we will begin to see Alpacas, Llamas and birds of the area until the Qeullacocha lagoon.

After a short rest we will continue the ascent to the Challuchallu pass, from this place we will be able to observe the Piuray and Qoriqocha lagoons and the beautiful landscapes that are in the place to finally reach the highest point of our trip the Abra de Rumicruz here we will enjoy our snack and nature. After a good rest we will start the descent towards the town of Pucamarca along a beautiful and ancient Inca trail, finding an Inca bridge on the way, we will pass through a small canyon and a cobbled Inca road that will take us to Huchuy Qosqo. This archaeological site was very important in the time of the Incas, here I live and die Huayna Capac father of the Inca Pachacutec after an interesting view of the place, we will descend for two hours to the town of Lamay where our walk ends. From this town we will take the bus back to the city of Cusco.

Huchuy Qosqo Hike without Guide

Lamay – Huchuy Qosqo

Lamay is a small town in the Sacred Valley in the Calca province of Cusco. We recommend arriving around 8:30 am, and having breakfast.

To get to Huchuy Qosqo without Guide you must follow the path indicated by the sign indicating the track to Huchuy Qosqo, cross the Urubamba river and continue along an unpaved track, then cut the path following some white arrows. Here begins the hill climb, walk at a constant pace, only stops for photos. The sun is overwhelming so bring lots of water. You will enjoy a beautiful view of the valley.

The road gets steeper until it reaches Huchuy Qosqo.

  • Time: 2 hours of walking
  • Distance: 4.2 kms of pure climb
  • Initial altitude: 2932 masl in Lamay
  • Final altitude: 3661 meters above sea level in Huchuy Qosqo.

TripAdvisor Reviews

Based on 151 reviews
Fernanda L
Fernanda L
Mariela es muy especial! Fue todo perfecto! Mariela es increíble y hizo todo para que nuestro viaje fuera inolvidable. La dedicación de Mariela por su trabajo y por su familia también son muy bonitas. Eso hace todo aún más especial.
Cusco Visitei Cusco em Junho/2023 e reservei todos os passeios com a Qorianka. Equipe muito atenciosa, todos os passeios foram ótimos e bem organizados.
Da F
Da F
Perfeito!!!!! Quando fui planejar a viagem para Cusco pesquisei muito os locais que queria conhecer e as empresas que faziam os passeios, encontrei a Qorianka Tours entrei em contato e fui super bem atendida pela Mariele que esclareceu todas as minhas dúvidas. Quando estamos planejamento uma viagem sempre surgi o medo de não ser o que esperávamos, mas falo com vocês que foi melhor do que eu esperava, me surpreendeu o comprometimento, a atenção de toda a equipe que esteve comigo e com meu marido no período da viagem. Vou detalhar um pouco como foi, quando chegamos no aeroporto já tinha uma pessoa esperando para levar até o hotel, nos dias de buscar para os passeios foram todos extremamente pontuais, os guias sempre alegres e com toda atenção explicavam as histórias dos locais, os locais de café da manhã e almoço muito bom e agradáveis e no fim da viagem também nos buscaram no hotel e levaram até o aeroporto. Ficamos 9 dias em Cusco, foi uma viagem maravilhosa, um sonho realizado. Agradeço toda a equipe da Qorianka Tours que conseguiram transformar minha viagem em algo mais surpreendente do que eu espera. Se vc estiver planejando super indico a Qorianka Tours, não tem nenhum ponto negativo para reclamar. Podem confiar.
Solange Puga
Solange Puga
AGÊNCIA CONFIÁVEL!! A agencia é confiável, fiz a reserva pelo Brasil,só paguei uma pequena reserva,em um banco no Brasil,fiz o resto do pagamento diretamente com a Mariella em Cusco. Eles são honestos,mas meio informais. . No city tour,eles atrasaram, logo após 20'' de atraso eu liguei,esqueceram de nós,mas logo Mariella resolveu o problema e mandou um carro para nos levar até o grupo. Adoramos os guias de cada passeio,Aidê,Roni,Ivan e Mari,são eficientes,educados e divertidos . As Vans eram confortáveis. O hotel do pacote em Aguas Calientes,,era bom e bem localizado,foram nos buscar na estação.
Silvia P
Silvia P
7 lagunas con Diego Go!! La mejor experiencia!!! desde inicio hasta al final... cuentan con servicio de desayuno, almuerzo típico delicioso? Además de conocer y hacer amistades de otros países? y lo más importante el guía quién nos orienta e explica durante todo el trayecto.... totalmente agradecida y muy feliz Guía: Diego Suna Quispe
Rocio O
Rocio O
TOUR 7 LAGUNAS CON DIEGO GO! La mejor experiencia de la visita a las 7 lagunas además de contemplar su belleza natural fue que el guía Diego nos dejó tomarnos el tiempo necesario para captar las mejores fotografías y hacer videos, ya que estas imágenes quedarán guardadas por siempre para el recuerdo. También agradecer por la alimentación que estaba deliciosa con ingredientes propias de la zona. Un consejo para las personas que deseen aventurarse en este tour (o alguno otro, ya que el guía es experto en muchos tours) no se arrepentirán en tomarlo como guía a DIEGO GO! ( como lo bautizamos ???) su nombre real es DIEGO SUNA QUISPE
Rafa Rodriguez
Rafa Rodriguez
Todo el viaje valió la pena El viaje fue súper cansador pero llegar a la montaña de colores compensó todo el cansancio! Además con el guía Ronald aka Picasso hizo esta experiencia mucho más gratificante y hermosa!
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