Tambo Colorado was an Inca settlement located on the right bank of the Pisco River valley. Tambo Colorado, also known as Pucallacta or Pucahuasi, is considered the best Inca urban-administrative complex in Peru. It was built in the time of Inca Pachacutec to house the soldiers and the high dignitaries of the town.
Typically tawantinsuyu in its outline and architectural design, it presents the singularity of being built in adobe, as an example of the adaptation of Quechua architects and engineers to the new coastal environment that they were beginning to conquer.
Tambo Colorado was a military and urban administrative center in the Late Horizon period, 1440-1532 AD. Its name comes from the union of the Quechua word «Tampu» which means a resting place, while the Hispanic term «colorado» is due to the presence of red, white and yellow paint used to decorate its walls built in adobe .
It has an area of ??twelve thousand square meters. It is divided into three large sectors, North, Center and South, separated by the path that descends from the mountains to the coast and by a large trapezoidal plaza, which has a ‘ushno’, a small platform where the Inca himself directed the most festive important of the Tawantinsuyu.
Various structures are distributed around a square with a trapezoidal plan, including warehouses, houses and a main building known as ‘La Fortaleza’, the best preserved enclosure.
The Site Museum is located near the entrance of the complex and houses archaeological pieces found in the area.
Hours (all year)
Monday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Price of admission
General: S / 7.50 nuevos soles / Reduced: S / 3.00 nuevos soles / Student S / .2 nuevos soles / Students S / 1.00 nuevo sol.
It was an Inca settlement (1450 AD) located in the province of Pisco, valley of the same name, right bank, in a corner formed by the hills near the town of Humay. It is one of the best preserved archaeological sites in Peru. Typically Tawantinsuyu in its outline and architectural design presents the singularity of being built in adobe, as an example of the adaptation of Quechua architects and engineers to the new coastal environment that they were beginning to conquer.
Tambo Colorado, also known as Pucallacta or Pucahuasi (from puca = red in Quechua), is divided into three large sectors, North, Center and South, separated by the road that descends from the mountains to the coast and a large trapezoidal plaza, which It has an Ushno, a small platform where the Inca himself directed the most important festivities of the Tawantinsuyu. From the top of this tiny pyramid, a large part of the wide and fertile valley that stretches out to the sea can be seen very clearly.
The North sector is a large building built leaning on the skirt of a hill, with a single access, with walls and right angles, it is organized around a large patio, surrounded by about 30 enclosures, measuring 100 meters in front by 150 deep. On both sides, smaller buildings were built. The walls are painted in red, yellow and white, decorated with niches and trapezoidal openings, as well as decorative friezes. In some places you can find evidence of huarango wood posts that supported the thatched roofs. The access openings are trapezoidal, with a «double jamb», an ornament only used in buildings of great importance, such as the Koricancha and Machu Picchu.
The South sector are two rectangular buildings divided by a dividing wall. Both are organized around a patio surrounded by numerous enclosures.
This site was built during the wars that the Incas waged against the coastal nations, that is, in the middle of the 15th century, probably during the Pachacutec government.
It owes its name to the predominance of red on its walls. A color that has been preserved over time for more than 500 years, during a time when the exchange of marine products with those from the heights, marked the day to day of the ancient Peruvians.
The construction of this ‘citadel’ is an example of the architectural fusion of two completely different regions but which were part of a single empire. Its walls were raised to a stone level (typical of buildings in the mountains) and finished in beautifully decorated adobes (characteristic of the coast).
The entire structure is divided into areas, each one more important than the last. The tour begins with a large square where it is impossible not to imagine hundreds of merchants exchanging fish, shellfish, salt and other marine products from the coasts of Ica, with tubers, vegetables, llamas and products typical of the mountains.
In this first square is a ushnu, which was a small trapezoidal platform with an access ramp, from where the Inca himself directed the most important festivities of Tawantinsuyu and in which llamas were allegedly sacrificed.
By way of intricate corridors and rooms, which give the impression of being walking through the minotaur’s labyrinth, we come across one of its two main bathrooms. A kind of stone Jacuzzi in which the high dignitaries allegedly recharged energy while cooling off, taking advantage of the region’s own heat. Here its drainage systems, similar to those found in Machu Picchu, make note of the advanced architectural level that the ancient builders had, and that today surprise all its visitors.
In the highest part are the most decorated and best preserved rooms of the complex. They belonged to the most important dignitaries, among which the Inca stood out, who would have spent the nights in this place, on one of his many trips to the coast.
The entire enclosure is decorated with trapezoidal-shaped adobe windows and ornate walls in a style similar to that seen in the Chan Chan citadel, in Trujillo. Many of the entrances, also trapezoidal, keep the huarango trunks intact with which they were roofed. The great square keeps
Chinchas: Ancient Traders
This citadel is attributed to the Inca empire, but they have great influence from the Chincha culture. This stood out for being a community of great merchants who peacefully joined the Tawantinsuyo.
The Chinchas intelligently took advantage of the great Inca roads to trade their marine, agricultural and other handicrafts. The alliance between the Chinchas and the Incas was mutually beneficial and it is even said that the only lord who could be carried after the same ceremony as the Inca sapa was the lord of Chincha.
Pick up at your accommodation or at the Paraca office and departure to the Tambo Colorado Ruins.
During approximately one hour of travel until you reach the Ruins, you will be able to observe the Pisco Valley, its small towns and the Pisco River.
Upon arrival at the place we will take an approximate 1 hour tour through the archaeological center where you will receive information from the guide and can take photos.
Later we will return by car to Paracas.
End of service.
- Permanent Assistance.
- Transfers In / Out on the tour.
- Additional features.
Touring Peru is discovering endless mysterious places, with hidden stories in corners that you may have never seen before stepping on this country. We recommend you to visit another impressive destinations in Cusco like 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 Perú, 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.