Pisac Town: Ruins, Market, and Potatoes

pisac ruins

All information about Pisac Town, Pisac Ruins, Pisac Market, and Potato park

Pisac town is one of the much-preferred towns by the tourists who come to Cusco. The serene village is famous amongst those looking to escape the crowds and experience part of the traditional rural life in Peru. However, it is known for its astronomical observatory (Inca ruins) and a large market that attracts a heavy flow of tourists from the nearby city of Cusco.

The Pisac ruins are among Peru’s most extensive archeological sites in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Located on the long crest of a 3000m high mountain overlooking the Southern end of the Urubamba Valley or Sacred Valley, Pisac is 33 kilometers Northeast of Cusco.

As was customary in Inca architecture, cities were built in the shape of animals. Pisac is shaped like a partridge, thus its name. The views from the countryside are mesmerizing as the ruins, and their markers are remarkably satisfying. You may be tempted to stay longer than you originally intended to stay in the town.

History of Pisac

According to Kim MacQuarrie, Pachacuti erected many palaces whenever he conquered other ethnic groups to remember the victories. Pisac was one of these royal estates (victory over the Cuyos). When the Inca Empire conquered the area, they constructed a prominent complex along the mountain ridge above the current town.

Other historians suggest that Pisac was built as a multipurpose residence, citadel, observatory, and religious site. Its purpose was to provide a secluded royal retreat located away from Cusco for military campaigns, ritual and religious ceremonies, or the need for refuge in times of danger.

It is not known when Inca Pisac was built as it does not appear to have been occupied by any pre-Inca civilization. However, it was built not earlier than 1440. Unfortunately, any of the Spanish reporters not mentioned the Inca complex despite its size and nearness to Cusco.

It was destroyed by the Spanish Conquerors and Pizarro in the early 1530s. Viceroy Toledo built the modern town of Pisac in 1570 in the valley below the ruins of the complex.

Pisac Ruins – Archeological Park

The National Archeological Park of Pisac includes numerous archeological divisions. These include platforms, bridges, cemeteries, canalized water channels, aqueducts, and paths associated with walls and portals. This attraction covers an area of up to 4 square kilometers.

Pisac Inca constructions are famous for the vast terraces surrounding the mountain, polished stone structures well assembled, and surrounded by watchtowers and observation points. The ruins surrounding this area form different groups in a complicated arrangement.pisac doorways

Main Attractions at Pisac.

The architecture is built on indigenous remains mixed by Viceroy Francisco de Toledo. Pisac is recognized for its large number of attractions as well as its charming and colorful atmosphere. Below are some of the fantastic attractions you must not miss on your trip to Pisac;

  1. Pisac Market.
  2. Comunitario de Pisac.
  3. Potato Park.
  4. Jardin Botanical.
  5. Nusta Encantad (The Enchanted Nusta)
  6. The ‘City’ of the Towers.

Pisac market

This traditional craft market will dazzle you with its unique products made by local artisans. The Pisac market is a gold mine for the best souvenirs, offering remarkably sensible tourists compared to Cusco. You will find silver jewelry, flutes, backpacks, ornaments, chullos, alpaca wool, and other handmade accessories decorated with bright colors. The official market days are Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday, although it operates every day. The market is biggest on Sunday when Quechua communities from the surrounding area come to town to sell their organic produce.pisac market

Comunitario de Pisac

That is a museum that was opened in 2009 on the corner of Avenida Federico Zamalloa. It exhibits ceramics and traditional textiles produced by local Quechua communities.

Potato Park

Peru is famous for its many potatoes. During your visit to Pisac, you might want to go to Parque de la Papa (Potato Park). Here you can see the work that has been done to protect the potato and later enjoy a potato picnic prepared by the locals.potato park

Jardin Botanical

Also known as Felipe Marin Moreno Botanic Garden, located in an old enclosed colonial garden and created in 1917 by a Peruvian botanist and explorer. He built up his collection over many years through correspondence with different botanists all over the world.

Nusta Encantada (The Enchanted Nusta)

That is a rock formation on the road to the south that is said to be the remains of Princess Inquill carrying bags on her back on Nustayoc hill.  According to the legend, the chief Huayllapuma and his people suffered attacks by their neighbors who used the rainy season to attack the kingdom. Chumpi, the oracle Wankar Kuichi, prophesied that only a price that could build a bridge on the river overnight could marry the princess. A young man once came and decided to make the bridge overnight while the princess walked forward carrying their belongings on her back. She was not supposed to look back at any point. When the ground shook, she looked back and turned into a rock.

The City of the Towers

It is also known as the “City of Towers” because it has over twenty towers in the noticeable parts of the mountain. You can take a hike towards the top of the mountain and visit some of the towers. The view is breathtaking from above, and the walk is worth it.

Pisac Food Specialties.

The town is notorious for its delicious street food. Travelers who have been to the city recommend and up loud the town’s unique corn “choclo” boiled, smeared with a paste of cilantro and hot pepper, and served with a chunk of fresh country queso for chewing.

You may also want to take a trip to the Potato Park as mentioned and have a chance to check out the picnic lunch where different kinds of Peruvian potato dishes are served.

The culinary sanctuary of Pisac celebrates diversity in all its forms through decorating the landscapes, tubers for food, and other varieties for ritual and ceremonial uses.

Only a handful of places globally invoke paradisiacal spirit; Pisac is definitely among the number. pisac terraces

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