Cusco 136 articles
South Valle Cusco
Click to rate article

The south valley in Cusco

We know that you have heard about the Sacred Valley of the Incas and its impressive archeological sites such as Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero and more. But have you heard of the South Valley of Cusco? Few tourists toured the archaeological sites of this place, such as: Tipón and Piquillacta. Places with a lot of history and tradition like Machu Picchu.

The South Valley of Cusco is made up of important archeological sites such as Tipón and Piquillacta. In addition, visitors can enjoy the beautiful landscapes and exquisite local cuisine. There is also a colonial church known as the ‘Sistine Chapel of America’.

What is the South Valley of Cusco?

  • To the south of the city of Cusco is the place known as the South Valley.
  • It is an important place for the development of the Inca empire.
  • It is the perfect tour for people looking to experience archeological sites and magnificent landscapes.
  • This territory was one of the first inhabited places in the entire valley of Cusco. The first inhabitants of the culture known as ‘Marcavalle’ populated this place 1000 years before Christ.
South Valley Cusco
The South Valley in Cusco

Map of the South Valley of Cusco

  • The archaeological park of Tipón is located 25 kilometers from the city of Cusco.
  • The archaeological park of Piquillacta is located 7 kilometers from Tipón.
  • Andahuaylillas is 39 kilometers from Piquillacta.

How is the circuit to the South Valley?

  • The circuit through the South Valley will allow you to enjoy beautiful landscapes of the Andes of Cusco.
  • You can see the magnificent hydraulic architecture of Tipón, pre-Inca constructions in Pikillacta and beautiful works of art of the Cusco school in the Temple of Andahuaylillas.
  • You can also visit a variety of restaurants in the town of Saylla where the specialty is the ‘chicharrón’ and the guinea pig ‘guinea pig’.
  • The best way to do this tour is on a tour organized by a tourism agency. However, it is also possible to do it on your own.

What to do in the South Valley?

In the South Valley you can enjoy the following tourist attractions:

  • Archaeological site of Tipón.
  • Archaeological site of Piquillacta.
  • Colonial church of Andahuaylillas.
  • Archaeological site of Raqchi.
  • Huasao wetlands.

What to see in the South Valley?

  • Huacarpay Lagoon.
  • Saylla town.
  • Oropesa town, the city of bread.
  • Lucre town.


  • Tipón is one of the best examples of agricultural andenería created by the Incas.
  • It is said that Tipón was a royal garden commissioned by the Inca Wiracocha.
  • These terraces extend through the narrow valley and are fed by springs from the apu (mountain) Pachatusan.
  • There is also a complex of temples, irrigation canals and aqueducts.
  • This archaeological complex is located 25 kilometers southeast of the city of Cusco.


  • Pikillaqta was a pre-Inca citadel built south of Cusco.
  • This adobe-made complex was built by the Wari culture, between 700 and 900 after Christ.
  • A few meters from the area, you can see a small Inca site known as ‘Rumicolca’, which functioned as a kind of toll for travelers walking through the place.


  • Andahuaylillas is one of the colonial towns of southern Cusco.
  • In this town you will find an old church known as ‘The Sistine Chapel of America’.
  • It is the home of golden altars, paintings of the Cusco school and multi-colored ceilings.
  • The chapel is quite simple and modest outside. However, once inside you can see the wonderful interior decorated by works of art from the famous ‘Cusco School’.
San Cristobal Church
The beautiful church of San Pedro in Andahuaylillas

The South Valley of Cusco is a tourist attraction still little explored by tourists compared to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and Machu Picchu. There it is still possible to appreciate Tipón and Piquillacta without many tourists around.

What to take to the South Valley?

  • Passport.
  • Cusco tourist ticket.
  • Sun protection
  • Protection against rain
  • Water bottle.
  • Photographic camera.
  • Cash.

How to visit the South Valley of Cusco?

  • To visit the South Valley of Cusco you must purchase the ‘Tourist Ticket of Cusco (Circuit 2)’.
  • This ticket includes admission to several tourist attractions such as: Tipón, Pikillacta, Coricancha Museum, Regional Historical Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Pachacutec Monument, Museum of Popular Art and the Qosqo Center for Native Art.
  • The Cusco Tourist Ticket can be purchased in the city of Cusco: Avenida El Sol 103 and Calle Garcilaso s / n.
  • Another option is to visit the tourist attractions of the South Valley directly and buy the entrance tickets at the same access door.

Tips before visiting the South Valley

  • The South Valley of Cusco is a good option before visiting the Inca City of Machu Picchu.
  • Tipón is the archaeological site of the South Valley located at a higher altitude (3,560 meters from the sea / 11,679 ft). It is recommended to acclimatize to the height of Cusco at least 1 day before the visit to the South Valley.
  • A tour to the South Valley is a good option as it includes: hotel pick-up, transportation, tickets and tour guide.
  • If you want to visit the South Valley on your own, the best option is to buy your Cusco Tourist Ticket (Circuit 2).
  • Take advantage of your visit to the South Valley to taste the best of Cusco cuisine: guinea pig baked, guinea pig, pork rinds, etc.

Advice from people who have been there


Oscar RBy: Oscar R

“Is incredible“

“Seeing this incredible citadel one understands the cultures that nourished the Incas, it is amazing grand supreme; but something even more incredible is the little importance they give to a place like this “


By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, December 17, 2019