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Huasao: the amazing wetlands of Cusco
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Huasao: the amazing wetlands of Cusco

Just 30 minutes from the city of Cusco, in the district of Huasao, is one of the favorite tourist attractions for the people of Cusco. This is the Huasao wetlands, a natural area where huge wood carvings were made with fictional figures such as ‘Groot’, ‘Baby Groot’ and ‘Ents’. These and other figures of the place have a message of care for the environment. Visiting the wetlands is an excellent opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and find some nature.



Huasao Wetland
Huasao Wetland – Cusco

The Huasao wetlands is a tourist attraction that can only be visited on your own. Currently, the only all-inclusive tour nearby covers the archaeological sites of Tipón, Piquillacta and the church of San Pedro de Andahuaylillas. This service, called ‘Cusco South Valley tour’, does not include the tour of Huasao.


The Huasao wetlands

The Huasao wetlands are a recreational center in the southern valley of Cusco. It is famous for its scenic beauty where several species of birds live. However, in recent years, wooden sculptures with different figures of animals and fictional characters have been created. This caused the attraction of visitors, especially those from Cusco.

Although not many foreign tourists get to know these wetlands, it is an excellent option if you travel on your own through the so-called ‘South Valley of Cusco’. Nearby are other attractions such as the archaeological site of Tipón, the archaeological site of Piquillacta or the town of Andahuaylillas.


Map to get there

This tourist attraction is located just 30 minutes by road from the city of Cusco (approximately 19 kilometers). It is located in the town of Huasao, district of Oropesa, province of Quispicanchi in Cusco.

Traveling there on your own is easy. You should only take a public transport called ‘Los Leones’ or ‘Saylla – Huasao’. The cost of the trip is only 1 dollar. Public transportation will leave you very close to the wetlands and can be boarded at La Cultura Avenue in Cusco.

Mapa para llegar a los humedales de Huasao
Map to get to the Huasao Wetlands

The town of Huasao

Huasao is a small Andean town south of the city of Cusco. Its simple dirt streets and adobe houses hide a place full of tradition. The most striking is definitely the supply of ‘shamans’ that abound in this town. Indeed, many people from Cusco come to Huasao to look for ‘moorings’, ‘good luck’, ‘coca leaf readings’ or simply ‘an offering to the mountains (pachamama)’.

The shamanic tradition in Huasao dates back to the same Inca times. According to tradition, parents transmit this knowledge to their children and so on. Walking through its streets, anyone can come across the notices of the ‘shamans’ offering their services.


The wetlands: flora and fauna

The Huasao wetlands are a recreational center that offers a micro ecosystem where there are different types of plants such as the nihua (Cortaderia sp), the chachacomo ( Escallonia resinosa), molle (Schinus molle), chillca (Baccharis latifolia) and cantuta flower (Cantua buxifolia), the latter recognized as the national flower of Peru.

Because of its altitude (approximately 3,150 meters above sea level). This geography offers an excellent habitat for different birds such as the Andean duck (Oxyura ferruginea), the gray heron (Ardea cinérea), the poroncoes (Cavia tschudii) and more.


The wooden sculptures

In the past the silent wetlands of Huasao were only visited by a few people, especially by residents of Cusco. However, this changed with the manufacture of various figures of fictional animals, plants and people. These wooden sculptures were the work of the Cusco artist Juan Chalco Chura. Among animal figures, amphibians, reptiles, dinosaurs and even a mermaid stand out. On the other hand, the most striking fictional people carvings are of ‘Ents’, ‘Groot’ and ‘Baby groot’. Its purpose was to give a message about caring for the environment. Currently, the attendance of visitors increased. Even so, there are still not many tourists who dare to get there.


Are there tours?

Currently there are no tours to the Huasao wetlands. The only tour to the ‘South Valley of Cusco’ includes a visit to the archeological sites of Tipón, Piquillacta and Andahuaylillas. Huasao is not included in the itinerary.


How to go on your own?

Going to Huasao on your own is easy. To do this, you should only take public transport from ‘Avenida La Cultura’ in the city of Cusco. The ‘Los Leones’ or ‘Saylla – Huasao’ services will leave you very close to the wetlands. The cost of the service is only 2 Peruvian soles for adults (0.6 dollars) and 1 Peruvian sol for children (0.3 dollars). Remember that the opening hours are from Monday to Sunday from 9 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon.


Photo gallery of the wetlands of Huasao


Learn a little more

The Huasao wetlands were actually a garbage dump that polluted the water there. The local authorities, aware of the potential of the wetlands, decided to turn it into the natural theme park that it is today.

During the visit to the Huasao wetlands know that it is forbidden to contaminate the water. It is also not allowed to damage the wooden sculptures. Photos are possible.

Weekends are the busiest days. If you want to enjoy the place more calmly, you can come on weekdays, especially from Monday to Thursday.


Other nearby tourist attractions

Tipon – This Inca archaeological site was a temple of worship to water. It has enclosures with fine walls, enclosures with simple walls, a beautiful set of platforms, shrines but, above all, fine water channels. The liquid continues to flow after several centuries. Tipón is considered a marvel of Inca hydraulic engineering.

Piquillacta – This Wari archaeological site (important pre-Inca culture) resembles a ghost town. Its particular urban design has immense streets with narrow passages and enclosures up to three stories high. Unlike the Incas, the Wari mainly used adobe. In its time, Piquillacta housed more than 10,000 people.

Andahuaylillas – The town of Andahuaylillas is famous for its beautiful colonial church, considered the ‘Sistine Chapel of America‘. Inside there are numerous paintings and murals that sought to indoctrinate the local people after the Spanish conquest. Both Tipón and Piquillacta and Andahuaylillas are part of the ‘Cusco South Valley Tour’ .


Frequently asked questions about the Huasao wetlands

  • 1) What are the Huasao wetlands?

    The Huasao wetlands are wooden sculptures with different figures of animals and fictional characters. It also offers a wetland where you can see various types of birds. It is visited especially by the people of Cusco.

  • 2) How much does it cost to enter the Huasao wetlands?

    The entrance to the Huasao wetlands is 2 soles.

  • 3) How to get there from Cusco?

    To get from the city of Cusco to the Huasao wetlands, you must take public transport from the company ‘Saylla – Huasao’. The trip takes approximately 45 minutes. The bus ticket costs 2 soles.

  • 4) When is the best time to visit the Huasao wetlands?

    The dry season months are the most recommended to visit the Huasao wetlands. These are: April, May, June, July, August, September and October.

  • 5) Are the Huasao wetlands included in the South Valley Cusco tour?

    No, the Huasao wetlands are not included in the famous Cusco South Valley half-day tour. This service only includes a visit to the archeological sites of Tipón, Piquillacta and the church of Andahuaylillas.

  • 6) Can I go with children to the Huasao wetlands?

    Yes, the visit with children is recommended. The little ones enjoy the theme park with statues of animals and fictional characters.

  • 7) What to see near the Huasao wetlands?

    During the visit to the Huasao wetlands, tourists can visit the Inca archaeological site of Tipón, the Wari archaeological site of Piquillacta, the Andahuaylillas church, the traditional town of Oropesa and more.

  • 8) What is the weather like in the Huasao wetlands?

    The climate in the Huasao wetlands is cold temperate with an average temperature of 16ºC. During the day the heat can reach 22ºC. At night the cold can drop to 2ºC.

  • 9) What should I bring to my visit to the Huasao wetlands?

    During your visit to the Huasao wetlands, do not forget to bring a raincoat, comfortable sportswear, a hat, sunscreen, snacks, rehydrating drinks, and a suitable backpack.

  • 10) Are there shamans in Huasao?

    Huasao is famous for being a town of shamans. This shamanic tradition comes from the Inca times.

 

By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, April 12, 2022

 


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