Písac is a small town located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, 45 minutes from Cusco. The road from Cusco is a panoramic route with a marked descent towards the sacred valley. Pisac is known as the gateway to the sacred valley and as a living museum. The sacred mountain known as Apu Linly and the ancient terraces enhance the spectacular natural environment, with the beautiful Wilkamayu River running through the fertile heart of the valley. A pleasant climate, a low altitude and the charm of a small town, in addition to its proximity and easy access to Cusco, Machu Picchu and other places in the sacred valley, make Písac an ideal base.
Pisac is known for the traditional market and the archaeological complex. There is also a small but nice community museum worth visiting, the corn museum (hosted by a local family), the Felipe Marín Moreno botanical garden, the Kusi Ñan organic farm, activities like horse riding, and various excursion options. The native communities of Písac maintain their ancestral lifestyle and their presence adds a vibrant touch. The Apu Runawana Weavers Association sells its beautiful fabrics in front of the hotel door and offers authentic and unique experiences in the Amaru community for those not interested in mass tourism.
Where is Pisac located?
Pisac is located at the eastern end of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The Pisac ruins are one of the best Inca archaeological complexes in Peru. They are located on the road up the side of the mountain, just behind the town.
How high is Pisac?
The ruins of Pisac in Perú are 3,300 meters above sea level (masl). The town is located at 2,974 meters above sea level.
How is the weather in Pisac?
The climate in Pisac is temperate most of the year. In the town, the climate varies from 2ºC. at 21ºC. There are 2 seasons: the dry season (from April to October) and the rainy season (from November to March). In the latter, the rains occur more frequently. The days are mostly sunny and the nights are cold.
How to get to Pisac?
Pisac is located 1 hour from the city of Cusco by road (34 kilometers). It is reached by the road that leads to Sacsayhuaman. The public transport buses are taken on Puputi street in the Historic Center of Cusco.
Archaeological Park of Pisac
The Archaeological Park of Pisac is located 3.5 kilometers from the town of Písac, at 3,347 m s. n. m., with incredible views of the entire valley. The impressive agricultural platforms are the legacy of an ancient culture that knew how to coexist with its environment without destroying it. An entire side of the mountain was transformed into colossal agricultural terraces with the highest irrigation technology, one of the most advanced of its time and which serves as inspiration for the development of technology in balance with the environment. It is one of the best preserved and most impressive archaeological sites, with multiple sectors and functions. For example, the Intihuatana sector exemplifies an astronomical observatory with structures that use light and shadow to accurately measure the solstices and equinoxes, important dates for an efficient agricultural calendar. The Archaeological Park of Pisac also served as a ceremonial center to celebrate and honor these cosmic moments. The stonework is considered one of the finest in the valley and is admired for the architectural skills of its construction. It has the largest pre-Columbian cemetery in the Americas: 11 miles of slopes with approximately 400,000 traditional tombs. Sadly, most of the graves were looted.
Science, agriculture and ceremonies were developed at the archaeological site, all of these activities intertwined with the reality of everyday life. For some, Pisac is as majestic and admirable as Machu Picchu. It is worth taking the time to fully explore the site and its surroundings.
The ruins of Pisac in Perú is located 33 km away to the east of the city of Cusco. It can be reached through an agency on a tour of the entire Sacred Valley. You can also use public transport that goes to Urubamba that leaves every 15 minutes, you must get off at the bridge and from there you must go towards the back of the Pisac temple in a walk of about an hour.
Group of platforms of Acchapata
Just 200 meters up from the town square of ruins of Pisac in Perú rises a beautiful set of platforms. This group is made up of 40 platforms forming a kind of triangle with a downward vertex, that is, the smallest platform is the first that the visitor can see when he begins to ascend.
Torreones or Pucaras
In the ruins of Pisac in Perú we can count more than twenty towers and they are of two types: the living room towers and the watchtower towers; the former are conical enclosures associated with construction water channels with well-carved and assembled pieces, these look like pulpits attached to the mountain. The watchtower towers are beautiful elevations, with a conical tendency, they are not enclosures, their texture is solid and their interior compact mass plus their portion is a flat surface. The most important in its location is Qoriwayrachina.
It is the central neighborhood, seat of temples and palaces, with a higher architectural quality, greater beauty in its walls, the enclosures are larger in relation to those of other neighborhoods. It has 3 levels to gain aesthetics and comfort, they modulate the buildings directed towards the main valley. In this place we can find: The central enclosure, the Intiwatana, the altar carved in a volcanic gap, groups of liturgical fountains, alleys and patios.
It is known as Tianayuc, which translates to «that has a seat» since in the interior patio there is a kind of sofa for two people, with a backrest and elbow pads made of stone. This neighborhood is small, with rooms whose doors open onto a central courtyard, plus an almost destroyed tower that dominates a large part of the K’itamayu ravine.
It is the largest of the neighborhoods of the Inca city of Pisac, built on the top of the mountain the highest altitude of all the enclosures, its enclosures move on an inclined plane descending towards the North. It has many rooms, steep slopes, towers, a short tunnel 3 meters long; this neighborhood has impressive ravines on its sides.
It is located on the Chongo ravine, two hundred meters away from the Intiwatana neighborhood and at a lower height. This neighborhood was built by lowering the original ground level to modulate a plain. The plan of this neighborhood is semicircular obeying the shape of the mountain, this set consists of 23 precincts built with amazing order.
This neighborhood has many buildings, the houses are made of medium and small stones, the plane of the complex is inclined that reaches the slope where the Chongo stream is. The entire neighborhood is like a sentinel controlling the northeastern side of the city of Pisac.
- The Entry Hours from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.
- The cost of entry is included in the Tourist Ticket.
Pisac Traditional Market
Admire the beautiful faces and the joy of Pisac in the famous Market that is installed every day in the square. The colorful market offers handicrafts, textiles, ceramics, and jewelry. You can’t miss the textiles; look for women from high Andean communities who sell their unique fabrics made from natural plants. The fabrics of the Amaru and Chaihuatiri communities are especially fine and recognized worldwide, worthy collectibles. On the side of the front door of the hotel you will find the Apu Runawana Weavers Association. Pisac is known for its hand-painted pottery: plates, ashtrays, tea sets, and chess sets. Many local people still paint the intricate Inca geometric figures in their family workshops. You will find these works of art also in wood, to prevent them from breaking.
Sunday is the most festive day in the market, since the inhabitants of the high Andean communities go down to the town with their traditional clothes to sell or exchange their precious agricultural products. The varayoc (authorities) of the ayllus (communities) walk through the town with their ponchos blowing their pututos, which gives the Sunday festivity a distinctive touch. It is fun to explore the typical food section of the market, where you will find all kinds of Andean potatoes, exotic fruits brought from the jungle, typical dishes such as chicken broth and much more.
Set aside a day to visit the Pisac Market. In addition to buying beautiful gifts, it will be quite an experience to experience the explosion of colors, smells and human warmth.
How to visit Pisac?
You can visit Pisac in 3 ways:
- Hiring the services of a tour to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, which includes the entrance to the ruins of Pisac.
- Buying the Tourist Ticket of Cusco in their offices located in AV. El Sol. I can buy the full ticket or a partial one.
- Buying the ticket at the door of the same archaeological site of Pisac.
How much does the entrance to Pisac cost?
The Cusco Tourist Ticket is the cheapest way to visit Pisac because it also includes many other archaeological sites:
- General tourist ticket: S /. 130.
- Partial tourist ticket: S /. 70.
What are the opening hours in Pisac?
From 7 a.m. until 6 pm. He attends every day of the week.
When is the best time to go to Pisac?
The dry season (April to October) is the best time to visit Pisac. During those months there is less possibility of rain so the excursion is easier. It is recommended to visit in the early hours of the morning.
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.