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Sacred Valley Day Trip: Chincero, Peru

A visit the Chincero site in Peru is a truly unforgettable experience. Chinchero is higher elevation than Cusco, and is located between Cusco and Urubamba. This historical and cultural site is located in the Andes Mountains and is believed to have been used by the indigenous people of the region for spiritual and religious purposes. It is a small town that claims to be the birthplace of the rainbow. The town is full of steep roads and many stairs.

Chincero is located about 45 minutes outside of Cusco. To visit the site, you can use a collectivo, taxi, or join a tour group. There are many day tours offered that will take visitors to one or more Incan sites in the Sacred Valley from Cusco. Most of these day tours pick up visitors at their hotel and include multiple sites. I would also suggest wearing good shoes, bringing a hat, sunscreen, and water, as the high altitude and sun can be quite intense.

It was a typical July Peruvian day.... cold in the early morning but hot by mid-morning. I spent the day exploring the Chinchero Ruins, located in the town of Chinchero. This site was once a major religious center and is known for its well-preserved agricultural terraces and impressive stone walls. I was struck by the beauty of the site and the ingenuity of the Incans in using the land for farming. Admission is 10 soles ($3) and the site is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Chincero town is not just a hub for tourists and an archeological site, but also a vibrant and bustling community of locals who are proud of their heritage. Incan Tupac Yupanqui, son of Pachacutec, used the town as a holiday and relaxation center. He ordered the building of aqueducts and terraces.

The town is known for its traditional crafts and textiles (more on that later), including beautifully woven blankets and ponchos made from Alpaca wool. Visitors can also enjoy a delicious meal of traditional Peruvian cuisine at one of the town's many local restaurants. For meat eaters, I highly recommend lomo saltado, a delicious stewed preparation of meat, onions, annd tomatoes served with rice.

Before arriving at the main site, visitors will walk through the town. Chincero Church is another example of the Spanish conquest destroying important Incan sites. The Spanish destroyed most of the original palace and built a Catholic Church in the area. The 17th-century murals are a combination of bible stories by Incan artists who weaved their own history into the artwork.

There was a large battle fought between the Inca and the Spanish. The Spanish won. The murals show scenes of the battle.

The Chincero site is rich in history and legends. The Incas believed this site to be sacred and used it to worship the sun, moon, and stars. According to local myths, the site was also believed to have been a place where the sun was born. The site has also been used for astronomical observations and has served as a center for trade and commerce.

Upon arriving at the Chincero site, one of the first things you will see is the well-preserved ruins of an Inca palace. The palace is believed to have been used by the Inca emperors as a place of refuge and rest during their travels through the region. Visitors can also see the remains of an Inca road, which was used for trade and communication between different parts of the empire.