About 30 kilometers southeast of the city of Cusco, is located the Piquillacta Ruins, also known as Piki Llaqta, one of the most important administrative centers of the Wari culture.
The Pikillaqta temple is characterized by having constructions made of stones and mud, which are separated by straight streets and imposing walls up to 12 meters high.
Its finish is so impressive that we have decided to share the most incredible postcards of this complex located in Cusco. Don’t miss out on this fascinating photo gallery.
It is said that it comes from two Quechua words: piki, which means chigger (a kind of flea) and llaqta, which would mean town. Translations that when put together would make up the phrase «the town of fleas.»
It is known that the name Piquillacta was assigned to it after the arrival of the Spanish. And although her name is unknown in the Inca period, it is possible that she was Muyuna (in circuit) or Muyna (in a bad mood). Today this place is known as Huacarpay and is part of the Pikillaqta complex in the South Valley of Cusco.
Where is Piquillacta Ruins located?
The archaeological zone of Pikillaqta is located near the town of Huacarpay, district of Lucre, province of Quispicanchis in the department of Cusco, 30 kilometers southeast of the city, at about 3,350 m.a.s.l. in an area of ??approximately 50 hectares.
Pre-Inca city of Pikillaqta
Piquillacta is a pre-Inca city occupied by the Wari, they extended from here to the town of Paruro in Cusco. It is known that the Wari, before settling in Piquillacta, occupied Chelques, originally Lucre; Its great expansion due to the characteristics of the Cusco valley made them develop towns with cultural characteristics typical of their culture, they reached a high level of engineering their cities were built under already established urban planning patterns, their advance was used by other cultures and perfected by the Incas.
The constructions are made of uncut stone and clay with mortar, arranged in sets separated by straight streets and surrounded by walls up to 12 meters high, which gave it the appearance of a fortification. In total it contains 700 buildings, 200 courts and 508 warehouses or colcas (others consider it homes), among other buildings. The walls are mostly covered with plaster” and even some painted.
What was Pikillacta?
Pikillacta seems to have been an important commercial center, it has 501 small linked rooms located on the northwest side. These relatively small uniform structures and their location on one of the strategic axes of the wari road network, as well as the presence of an extensive plaza at the entrance of the site, to which the function of «market» or place of Exchange
What to see in Piquillacta Ruins?
Pikillaqta is located in the southern part of the Cusco valley, it belonged to the Wari culture that spread from Ayacucho. Pikillaqta is one of the things you have to do in Cusco, along with great visits like Pisac or Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley of the Incas; In Piquillacta you can see sharp stone walls, of the purest pre-Inca origin and possibly one of the main cities of the Wari culture of that time.
Qaranqayniyuj was the largest settlement after Pikillaqta. Some of its buildings have the shape of semicircles, built irregularly, part of it is in a natural hollow, and the other is in a larger plateau than the previous one.
Choquepucjio is one of the most impressive constructions of the Piquillacta archaeological complex, they are located on the left side of the Huatanay river. These buildings have similar characteristics, constructions of 2 or 3 floors where the first floors are made of stone and mud, and the upper floors only of adobe and mud.
Its name could be translated as the “house of the birds”, it is one of the most important structures in Piquillacta and Cusco; It has platforms of extraordinary quality, excellently armed without amalgamation of any kind, it is located on a small plateau with a huge mountain behind it, east of the Huacarpay lagoon in Cusco.
Kunturqaqa is simply a large rocky promontory that stands out from Huatanay, west of the city of Cusco, its name can be translated as “Rock of the Condors” and it is understood that they gave it that name since the rock has the shape of the head of a condor; however the true meaning of the place is not known.
Amarupata means «place of serpents» and perhaps it was because serpents abounded in this place; These platforms are located southeast of the city of Lucre, its ancient water channels are magnificent and are still used by the inhabitants of the area even now.
How to get to Piquillacta Ruins?
How to get there by public transport?
To go to piquillacta by public transport you take it in Cusco on the avenue of culture, the cost is S /. 2.00, people get off at the entrance of piquillacta, it is not far from the complexes. Inside the complexes a ticket can be shown and we can know all the places, we will find a guide.
How to get there with a travel agency?
There are some quite famous agencies that can rent, one of the most recognized is Travel, which provides excellent services and is quite safe. The cost is approximately S / .12.00. It is good that we know all the information on how to get to this place before going to visit it, through the internet you can see the different alternatives to get there easily without problems.
Visiting hours in piquillacta
The archaeological park in Piquillcta is composed of 700 buildings, 200 courts, the walls are made of plaster. This park was one of the most significant administrative centers of Wari wisdom, there is evidence that most of the constructions were three floors, this gives the impression that the inhabitants were highly developed in various aspects. It has been estimated that they hosted more than ten thousand people.
From 7:00 am to 6:00 pm
In order to enter the archaeological complex of Piquillacta you have to have the full Cusco ticket. It is good to inform you very well to be able to buy the tickets
Tourist tickets are classified as follows:
Comprehensive Cusco tourist ticket: this allows you to enter 16 tourist sites in Cusco, the archaeological parks. The places they include are:
Ticket for foreign students: these are for students who have the accredited card, this will be valid with the country from which they come, the presentation of note books, the valid university card or the passport that can indicate the condition that accredits maximum 25 years old.
Tourist ticket for national students: this will have to prove the condition of the national identity document.
Price of tickets circuit 1 (includes archaeological sites)
- Foreigner: 70 soles
- Nationals and the countries of the Andean community: 40 soles
Price of circuit 2 tickets (includes museums)
- Foreigners: 70 soles
- Nationals and countries of the Andean community: 40 soles
Recommendations when visiting piquillacta
The best date to visit Piquillacta: it is June 24 because it is a date where tourists go to see this famous place and it is full of many festivities. It is recommended to book in advance the accommodation and the tour you want to do, about 7 months you should set aside
How to avoid problems: as the climate is dry in this place and the sun is strong, we recommend that you wear protectors to protect your skin.
Where to buy: in this place there is a wide variety of establishments, artisan centers, where you can get the same product at different prices, we advise you to walk and look for the best option
We must bring a camera to be able to take photos of this beautiful place and have the best memories.
It is important to know everything related to piquillacta and all the places it has to offer us, its culture, for this reason it is essential to inform ourselves well before visiting this site.
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.