Huchuy Qosqo, The hidden treasure of the Incas
The closest and most beautiful Inca site in the Cusco area, this spectacular Inca site can be accessed in 1 or 2 days of hiking from Cusco or the Sacre Valley. Huchuy Qosqo can only be compared with Machu Picchu or Choquequirao; its magnificent location on top of a mountain offers a great view of the Sacred Valley and the Andes mountains.
The trek to Machu Picchu from Huchuy Qosqo is a popular option for travelers who want to avoid the crowded trails around Cusco. If you're looking for an adventure-filled trip to Machu Picchu, the Huchuy Qosqo Trek is a great option.
|Distance from Cusco||From Cusco to the starting point takes 1 hour and 30 minutes (Lamay) or only 30 minutes by car (Tambomachay)|
|Best time to visit||Dry season April to October|
|What to see?||Huchuy Qosqo archaeological site, Lamay Village, Qenqo Village, Pukamarca|
Huchuy Qosqo, or Little Cusco, is an amazing Inca archaeological site located north of Cusco at 3,650m / 11,975 ft. The name comes from the Quechua language that means "Little Cusco." This amazing ancient Inca citadel overlooks the Sacred Valley right above the town of Lamay in the Province of Calca.
The location right above the Sacred Valley allows Travelers to enjoy one of the most amazing views in the Cusco region; you can access this site on a hiking tour from Cusco or the Sacred Valley.
Inhabited somewhere around 1400 AD, this belongs to the Inca period. According to the Spanish chronicler Pedro de Cesar de Leon, Huchuy Qosqo was built and the favorite place to live for the eighth Inca King Wiracoca (1410–1438) and his Royal Family.
The Name Huchuy Qosqo was adopted in the XX Century. Due to its similarity in shape to the great city of Cusco, the original name that appears in the chronicles is Caquia Jaquijahuana. The archaeological site of Huchuy Qosqo, or Caquia Jaquijahuana was declared a National Heritage on August 19, 2003.
After the Hispanic conquest, Maco Inca, the rebel king, used this citadel in 1533 to move his army Cusco to the Sacred Valley and later retrieve to Vilcabamba. After this, the conquistador Gonzalo Pizarro ransacked Huchuy Qosqo and burned the mummies of Viracocha around 1534.
What was Huchuy Qosqo?
Huchuy Qosqo was a small Inca settlement located near the city of Cusco in Peru. The site was first excavated in the early 20th century and has since been restored. The site's main features include a series of temples, plazas, and storage buildings.
The citadel structure, the terraces, the irrigation, location, and buildings assumed an important administrative and military center above the Sacred Valley.
Many large buildings called Kallanka (Great Halls) are resting places for high-class people. Also, several buildings called Qolcas store food like corn in the higher areas. The Inca built an irrigation canal of about 800m to provide water for the site.
It's also possible to find impressive farming terraces adapted to the shape of the mountain.
What is the meaning of Huchuy Qosqo?
The name Huchuy Qosqo means "little Cusco" in Quechua, the language of the Incas. The site is believed to have been an Inca emperor's royal estate or summer palace.
How to get to Huchuy Qosqo
There are a few different ways to get to Huchuy Qosqo, but the most popular way is to take the trek from Cusco. This trek can be done in a couple of different ways, but the most popular way is to start from the town of Chinchero, Quenqo Village, Tambomachay, or Lamay in Sacred valley.
Flora of Huchuy Qosqo
Huchuy Qosqo is home to various plant species, many of which are endemic to the area. The trek to Machu Picchu passes through several different ecosystems, allowing hikers to see a wide range of plant life.
One of the most notable plants found in Huchuy Qosqo is the Andean lily (Alstroemeria aurea). This brightly colored flower grows along the banks of streams and rivers.
Other common plants that can be seen in Huchuy Qosqo include:
• Cushion plants (Pleurothallis sp.)
• Orchids (Epidendrum sp.)
• Ferns (Pteridium aquilinum)
• Bromeliads (Tillandsia sp.)
The diverse range of plant life in Huchuy Qosqo provides an important source of food and shelter for the local wildlife. Visitors to the area should take care not to disturb the natural environment.
Fauna of Huchuy Qosqo
The Huchuy Qosqo trek is home to various animals, including Andean condors, llamas, alpacas, and vicunas. The area is also home to various birds, such as the Andean goose, the bearded vulture, and the Peruvian Thick-knee.