At nearly 13,000 feet (3962 meters), Tambomachay is one of the highest Inca archaeological sites in the Sacred Valley of the Inca. Multi-tiered terraces are built into the mountainside in such a way that blends organically into the landscape. A relaxing, powerful meditative place, Tambomachay sees far fewer visitors than some of the more famous ruins.
Travelers have many options for exploring Tambomachay as part of a half-day, full-day, group or private tours that leave from Cusco. Multi-day tours combinexa0 visits to Lima, Machu Picchu, and various towns and archaeological sites in the Sacred Valley of the Inca, such as Chinchero, Moray, Pisac, and Maras. Adventurers may explore the area on mountain bikes and ATVs.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Wear comfortable shoes, as you will be walking a lot on uneven stones.
- Because of the high altitude, be sure to stay hydrated and take it slow.
- Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level.
- The site is accessible as part of the Boleto Turistico, which allows entrance to 16 sites around Cusco.
- The site is not wheelchair accessible.
- Many tours include ground transportation, transfers, entrance fees, camping and hotel accommodations, and guides.
- Tours operate in all weather conditions, so remember to dress appropriately. Sweaters for colder months and a rain poncho for the rainy season, generally January through April.
How to Get There
Tambomachay is located 5 miles (8 kilometers) north of Cusco along the road to Pisac. Take a taxi from Cusco’s Plaza de Armas, and ask the driver to wait at the site for the return trip. The trip is about 20 minutes. The round trip way cost is less than $20.
When to Get There
Tambomachay is open daily, 7:00am - 6:00pm. Off the beaten path, the site is rarely crowded. Come in June, for Festival of the Sun (Inti Raymi) when Inca folk dancers perform in vibrant costumes. Easter Week (Semana Santa) is one of the best times to visit, and in December, the Santuranticuy Festival is Peru’s biggest crafts fair, with hundreds of artists displaying work in the Plaza de Armas.
Pisac Indian Market After Tambomachay, visit the Pisac Indian Market, one of the most popular and picturesque of the indigenous markets in the Cusco region. Travelers from all over the world make the pilgrimage to this mountain town to purchase all manner of textiles, ceramics, jewelry, ponchos, rugs, hats, gloves, Andean instruments, ceramics, alpaca and llama woven clothing, and a host of lovely souvenirs.
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