DAY 1: CUSCO SOUTH VALLEY
TIPÓN: It is an archeological site where we will observe the advanced hydraulic engineering practices of the Inca civilizations. In Tipón we will see a complex irrigation system with vertical and horizontal irrigation channels sprawled over staggered terraces, where underground water flows into a fountain from which it is distributed to the aforementioned channels. Tipón was an important center for agricultural production. Nowadays, it is not only a historically significant location, but a charming place with a fantastic terrace system, where the fertile soil continues to bear fruit. Finally, we will head back to Cusco aboard our tourist bus.
PIKILLACTA: Next on our itinerary is this pre-Inca archeological complex, located 18 Km southeast of the Imperial City of the Cusco. Characterized by its buildings of stone, lime, and plaster, Pikillacta was baptized near the end of the colony era with this quechua word, which means “town of fleas”. It is said that Pikillacta was once the home of the famous Tiahuanaco culture. The streets of this ancient town form quadrants where two-storied buildings —with plastered walls and paved floors— stand out against the sky. Pikillacta was initially a satellite city of the Wari (centuries VI to XIII AD), an important civilization that predates the empire of the “Children of the Sun”.
ANDAHUAYLILLAS: A 45-minute trip south of Cusco is Andahuaylillas, a traditional town with a mesmerizing colonial temple on its main square. “The Sistine Chapel of America” is adorned by fantastic paintings by Cusqueño artists, and has beautiful baroque paintings on its walls and ceiling.
HUASAO: Known as the “Witch Village” and located southwest of Cusco City, this little town has a population of 3000 and a Jesuit church with a moving Christ. Witches and healers gather in Huasao’s streets, touting readings of the coca leaf and offerings to mother earth, among other divination, spiritual, and health techniques. These rituals combine age-old Andean beliefs with Catholic symbolism and practices