Exploring Huchuy Qosqo, Peru

Huchuy Qosqo, or “Little Cuzco” in Quechua, is an Incan archaeological site north of Cusco, Peru that overlooks the Sacred Valley and the town of Lamay. It is inaccessible by road, therefore access requires either a hike up from Lamay (~3 hours), or a from Cusco ( ~5 – 7 hours; the way that we took – detailed here).

Huchuy Qusqo is believed to have been used as an estate for the eighth Inca Emperor Viracocha in the early 1400’s. He supposedly fled Cusco to avoid a revolt against his rule. It was this move to flee that led to Viracocha‚Äôs son Pachacuti assuming power, an event which is considered the birth of the Inca Empire.

Around 1534, the Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Pizarro looted Huchuy Qosqo and burned the mummy of Viracocha. The site was later used as a farm by the Spanish before it became the archaeological site it is today.

On-site at Huchuy Qosqo, you will observe several Inca building ruins and grain-storage structures called “qullqas,” used to store and preserve food. Additionally, you will find a number of terraces previously used for the aforementioned farm space. A couple camp of sites lie toward the edge of one of the terraces. This is where Roger, Efrain, Porfirio and I would stay the night, continuing our journey the following day. If time allows, I would highly recommend doing the same. The views are spectacular.

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