The Coricancha was the most important temple for the Incas. Such was the perfection of its walls that even surpass Machu Picchu. Currently, the temple is one of the main tourist attractions of the city of Cusco.
How to visit the Coricancha? Know the schedules, prices and all the information about the ‘Temple of the Sun’.
- Coricancha: basic information
- Tours and other ways to visit the Coricancha
- More information about the Coricancha
Temple of the Coricancha
Coricancha: basic information
What is the Coricancha?
The Coricancha was the most important religious and political temple for the Incas. It was the main shrine of the god Inti (sun). It was so important that visitors entered barefoot and on and fasting.
Its walls are the most finely carved of the empire. One thinks that Coricancha already existed before its definitive remodeling that executed the emperor Pachacutec The Inca ordered to coat the temple with gold plates.
After the Spanish conquest in the sixteenth century, the Dominican order built on its structures the Convent of Santo Domingo with the purpose of culturally submitting to the Incas. Today, both buildings coexist in a single temple.
The earthquakes of 1650, 1749 and 1950 severely damaged the Convent of Santo Domingo. The Coricancha did not suffer more damage.
What does his name mean?
Coricancha is a Quechua word meaning ‘Golden Temple’. However, according to some research, his real name would be ‘Intikancha‘ whose meaning is ‘Temple of the Sun’. Both names refer to the majestic gold decoration that was inside.
Where it is located?
The Coricancha is located in the Historic Center of Cusco in the Andes of Peru. It is currently located at the intersection of El Sol and Santo Domingo streets ..
How to get to the Coricancha?
Arriving at the Coricancha is easy. From the Main Square of the Cusco you should take the El Sol avenue and walk 400 meters until you reach the archaeological site by Santo Domingo street. Another option is to simply take a taxi to the Temple of the Sun.
What to see in the Coricancha?
After the conquest, the Coricancha was sacked by the Spanish invaders. Many structures of the enclosure were destroyed. Today, only some of its constructions are maintained.
- The Temple of the Sun – During the Inca period this enclosure was covered by gold and other precious metals. It was the main altar where the god Inti (Sun) represented in the god Huiracocha (main god of the Incas and other Andean cultures) was worshiped.
- The Rainbow Enclosure – It is a room that was covered almost entirely by gold during the Inca period. The upper part is distinguished by the shape of a rainbow, a phenomenon worshiped by the Incas because it came from the sun.
- The Temple of the Stars – This site was the center of worship of the stars. Bone remains of auquénidos were found in a niche, so it is believed that animal sacrifices were made there.
- The Hall of Sacrifices – This room was named for the rock carved as a sacrificial table in the lower part.
- The Ray, Thunder and Lightning – Enclosure – This rectangular enclosure has 3 doors whose origin is in tripartite worship of lightning, thunder and lightning.
- The Sacred Gardens and Sources – Space of green areas that in time of the Incas probably had decorations of gold and precious materials. Currently, it can be seen from outside the temple.
- The Gate or the Sacred Alley – A kind of corridor surrounded by two finely carved stone walls. Leads to the main precinct.
Temples and adoration enclosures inside the Coricancha
During the visit, in addition to the Coricancha, the tourist will have the opportunity to appreciate the architecture of the Santo Domingo Convent.
Tours and other ways to visit the Coricancha
How to visit the Coricancha?
- City Tour Cusco: The most usual way to visit the Coricancha is with the City Tour Cusco. This tourist service also includes visits to the other archaeological sites of the city: the Cathedral, the Plaza de Armas, Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Tambomachay and Puca Pucara.
- Tourist Ticket of Cusco: The Tourist Ticket of Cusco is a ticket designed for tourists who wish to visit the main tourist attractions of Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Among the archaeological sites is the Coricancha.
- Direct visit to the Coricancha: If you only want to know the Coricancha, you can buy the entrance ticket at the same door of the ‘Temple of the Sun’.
Do you want to know Coricancha and the most important archaeological sites of Cusco? The cheapest way to do it is with the Tourist Ticket of Cusco.
Visit to the Coricancha without tour
At the door of the Coricancha you can buy the entrance ticket directly. Most visitors, however, prefer to buy a City Tour Cusco or the Tourist Ticket of Cusco. Both, besides the ‘Temple of the Sun’ include the entrance to the other archaeological sites of Cuzco.
How much does the ticket to the Coricancha cost?
The cost of the direct entry ticket to the Coricancha is 15 soles (US $ 5). University students pay 8 soles (US $ 3) with their valid university card. Those less than 10 years old do not pay.
Tour to the Coricancha
The City Tour lasts half a day and includes the entrance to the Coricancha as well as transportation and tourist guide service. Tours can be booked online. Another option is to buy the tour directly at a tourist agency in the Historic Center of Cusco.
The City Tours visit the following sites: Coricancha, the Cathedral, the Plaza de Armas, Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Tambomachay and Puca Pucara.
How much does a tour to the Coricancha cost?
The price of the City Tour Cusco depends on the type of service provided. On average, the cost is $ 57 per person. The cost includes income to all archaeological sites including the Coricancha.
Coricancha with the Tourist Ticket of Cusco
The Tourist Ticket of Cusco is a ticket designed for tourists who wish to visit the main tourist attractions of Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Tourist Ticket of the General Cusco: The Tourist Ticket of the General Cusco includes Coricancha and all the main archaeological sites like Sacsayhuaman, Ollantaytambo, Pisac, Moray, Tipón and many more. They also include the main museums such as Regional Historical Museum and the Museum of Popular Art.
Partial Cusco Tourist Ticket: The partial Cusco Tourist Ticket includes the Coricancha and some of the main museums and archaeological attractions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Regional Historical Museum, the Popular Art Museum, the Qosqo Native Art Center, the Monument to the Inca Pachacutec, Pikillacta and Tipón.
More information about the Coricancha
What is the weather like in the Coricancha?
The Coricancha Temple is located in the Historic Center of Cusco. The climate in the ‘Imperial City’ is mild. From November to March there is a rainy season where fluvial rainfall is frequent. From April to October, the dry season occurs where the rains occur less frequently.
What are the hours of service in the Coricancha?
The archaeological site of Coricancha is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. On Sundays the site remains closed.
How to get a guide in the Coricancha?
The City Tour Cusco includes the tour guide service. However, if you plan to visit the Coricancha on your own or with the Tourist Ticket of Cusco, you, can hire the services of a tour guide at the entrance door of the temple.
By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, October 5, 2018