The architectural ruins at Pisaq, the entrance to the Sacred Valley, show the Inca’s ingenuity and gives insight into how they lived.
Even from afar, this site is impressive as you can see below.
Upon entering the site, the most immediately obvious thing you notice is the agricultural steps. These terraces, made by bringing soil up from the rich lowlands, enabled the Incas to produce food at a higher altitude – enabling surplus production. Very little is in surplus over 11,000ft high, but the Incas used their ingenuity to ensure they were well-fed.
By the way, the terraces are still used today to grow food. Amazing..
After climbing a hill the guide told us we were looking at Latin America’s biggest cemetery. None of us saw any tombstones though.
The Incas mummified their dead and here in Pisaq they buried them in the mountain. In the picture below you can see holes in the mountain – each of them is a tomb.
The site itself is interesting. It was built, like most Incan sites, in the shape of an animal. In Pisaq’s case, it was built in the shape of a partridge. Its name originates from this, actually, as the Quechua word for partridge is pisaca.
There is a bathing area on-site, showing the Incan ingenuity for irrigation, aqueducts, and harmony with nature.
Being in the Sacred Valley, Pisaq offers wonderful views of the mountains and greenery all around. The views make any trip here worthwhile. The story and history are all a bonus on top of the amazing views.
About Adam Pervez
In mid-2011 I left my cushy corporate job and took the plunge into a life incorporating my passions of traveling, writing, volunteering, learning, educating, and telling stories. I study what happiness means to others, offer what I can from my engineering/MBA background as a volunteer, and try to leave each place better than how I found it. Read more.