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Pisac: all about the Inca archaeological site

If you travel to Machu Picchu in Cusco, Peru; Be sure to include the ruins of Pisac in your itinerary. This Inca archaeological site is one of the jewels of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. It has temples and palaces carved finely in stone.

How to know the ruins of Pisac? Know all the information you need.

Pisac archaeological park
Pisac Archaeological Park

Pisac: location, height, climate

What is Pisac?

Pisac is a town of Cusco famous for hosting the Inca archaeological site of the same name. Its ruins attract thousands of visitors who travel the tour through the Sacred Valley of the Incas. It is recognized for its platform system and its carved stone enclosures.

Pisac derives from the Quechua word ‘Pisaca’ which means ‘Partridge’. It is believed that the archaeological site has the form of a partridge.

Where is Pisac?

Pisac is located at the eastern end of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The ruins of Pisac is one of the best Inca archaeological complexes in Peru. They are located on the road along the side of the mountain, just behind the town.

At what altitude is it located?

The ruins of Pisac are located at 3,300 meters above sea level. The town is located at 2.974 meters above sea level

His history

  • The construction of Pisac was carried out during the government of Emperor Pachacutec in the 15th century, during a time of vertiginous territorial expansion.
  • In the 16th century, after the arrival of the Spanish in Cusco, Pisac was invaded and its inhabitants fled. Its main monuments were damaged. The Inca cemetery was destroyed and looted.
  • With the Toledo reforms (between 1532 and 1600), Pisac became a reduction of Indians. With the passing of time, the town settled on the slopes of the mountain where the Inca archaeological site is located.
  • Today, Pisac is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The Inca archaeological site preserves many of its original structures in good condition.

How is the weather in Pisac?

  • The climate in Pisac is mild most of the year. In the village, the climate varies from 2ºC. at 21ºC.
  • There are 2 seasons: the dry season (from April to October) and the rainy season (from November to March). In the latter the rains occur more frequently. The days are mostly sunny and the nights are cold.

How to get to Pisac?

  • Pisac is located 1 hour from the city of Cusco on the highway (34 kilometers). It is reached by the road that leads to Sacsayhuaman. Public transport buses are taken in Puputi Street in the Historic Center of Cusco.
  • Once in the town of Pisac, you can walk (1 hour 30 minutes walk) or you can take public transport (30 minutes).

The ruins of Pisac in the Sacred Valley of the Incas

What to see in Pisac?

In Pisac there are several tourist attractions:

  • The town of Pisac – The town of Pisac is surrounded by beautiful mountains. There you can enjoy nature as well as its square and church.
  • The market of Pisac – The traditional market of Pisac was a very important commercial place for centuries. Today, it is frequented by tourists, especially on Sundays.
  • The ruins of Pisac – The most attractive tourist attraction of Pisac. It has important Inca remains as Machu Picchu as the Temple of the Sun.

How are the ruins in Pisac?

  • In this enclosure, in addition to superimposed terraces, you will find ceremonial baths, a residential settlement and the largest Inca cemetery (the oldest in South America).
  • Mountain below, you will find the complex of temples exquisitely carved in granite. There are ceremonial altars, water wells and the beautiful Temple of the Sun.

These are the archaeological sites of Pisac :

  • Group of platforms of Acchapata – It is formed by 40 platforms that form an inverted triangle, that is to say, it will see the platform smaller, when it begins to ascend.
  • Torreones or Pucaras – In total there are more than 20 towers. Some are attached to the mountain. The others are elevations of compact mass.
  • Intiwatana neighborhood – It is the main neighborhood. It houses finely constructed temples and palaces. Its enclosures are larger compared to other neighborhoods. Here you can see the ‘Intiwatana’.
  • Barrio de Tianayuc – Tianayuc translates “Que tiene asiento”. It is known as a kind of sofa for 2 people made of stone, with backrest and elbow pads.
  • K’alla Q’asa neighborhood – Here you will see chambers, towers, and a tunnel 3 meters long. This neighborhood is built next to impressive ravines.
  • Pisaq’a neighborhood – This neighborhood has a semicircular shape, in harmony with the circumference of the mountain, here you can see more than 20 enclosures, built in amazing order.
  • Qanchis Raqay Quarter – This neighborhood is a kind of checkpoint, guarding the northeastern side of the city of Pisac.

Pisac archaeological site travel map

Pisac archaeological site travel map

Pisac: tours, prices, schedules

How to visit Pisac?

You can visit Pisac in 3 ways:

  • Hiring the services of a tour to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, which includes the entrance to the ruins of Pisac.
  • Buying the Tourist Ticket of Cusco in its offices located in the AV. El Sol. I can buy the full or partial ticket.
  • Buying the entrance to the door of the same archaeological site of Pisac.

How much does the entrance to Pisac cost?

The Cusco Tourist Ticket is the most economical way to visit Pisac because it also includes many other archaeological sites:

  • General tourist ticket: S/. 130
  • Partial tourist ticket: S/. 70

What are the opening hours in Pisac?

From 7 am to 6 pm It serves every day of the week.

When is the best time to go to Pisac?

The dry season (from April to October) is the best time to visit Pisac. During those months there is less chance of rains so the tour is easier. It is recommended to visit in the early hours of the morning.

Tips for visiting Pisac

  • Bring a bottle of water before and during the trek.
  • It is advisable to use hiking shoes. That way you will avoid kinks and accidents.
  • Take rain poncho with you. It is not known when the fluvial precipitations will happen.
  • The day is hot so it is advisable to wear a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses.
  • The best way to understand Pisac is with the company of a tour guide. The tours include this service. Another option is to hire one at the entrance door.

Questions and answers about the archaeological site of Pisac

  • How much does the trip from Cusco to Pisac cost on my own?

    If you want to go to Pisac on your own you must take a public transport (minivan) on Puputi street, located just 15 minutes from the city center. This trip has a cost of 5 Peruvian soles (less than 2 dollars) and takes approximately 1 hour.

  • Can I hire a tour guide at the entrance door?

    Touring Pisac with a tour guide is optional. At the same entrance door you can hire one, either in shared (group) or private (personal) service.

  • Can I walk up from the town of Pisac to the archaeological site?

    Yes, the walk is arduous and begins near the main square of the town. It travels about 3.6 kilometers and it can take 1 hour 30 minutes, approximately.

  • Where to buy the Cusco Tourist Ticket?

    You can buy the Cusco Tourist Ticket on Avenida El Sol 185, a few steps from the city’s Plaza de Armas.

  • Where to buy a tour to Pisac?

    You can purchase a tour to Pisac at any Cusco tourism agency, either in person or online. We recommend looking for a serious agency. You can read recommendations or criticisms in online forums.

  • How long does it take to go through the entire archaeological site?

    The archaeological site of Pisac is huge. Going through all its neighborhoods, buildings and roads can take 2 hours or even more.

  • Is the visit dangerous?

    No, the archaeological site of Pisac has well-marked paths with notices for tourists. The park rangers pass through the buildings at all times.

  • Is Pisac open all year?

    Yes, the archaeological site remains open to tourists every day of the year except for emergencies (natural disasters, strikes, etc).


By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, April 23, 2021