The stone of the 12 angles is one of the most popular attractions in the city of Cusco. Its fame is due to the perfection of its construction. It is a huge polished stone, which fits perfectly in each of its corners with the rest of the stones that make up the wall. It is located on Hatun Rumiyoc street. The visit to this place is free. It is one of the most photographed places in Cusco.
- Video: this is the stone of the 12 angles
- What is?
- Where are you?
- Map: how to get there?
- Know your story
- How much does the visit cost?
- Why take care of the stone of the 12 angles?
- Other free tourist attractions in Cusco
- What is the attention hour?
- Photos: the stone of the 12 angles
- Questions and answers
Visiting the stone of the twelve angles has no cost
This is the stone of the 12 angles
The stone of the 12 angles is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Cusco. It is famous for its immense size whose twelve corners fit perfectly with the rest of the wall. It is one of the most photographed places in Cuzco!
- The stone of the 12 angles is a green diorite rock (widely used in important Inca constructions) that is part of one of the walls belonging to the famous palace of Inca Roca (1350 – 1380). The stone has an approximate weight of 6 tons. In its edges it is not possible to enter a needle because its twelve angles fit perfectly with the stones that surround it.
- Although in the same wall there are stones that have more angles, they do not have the perfection of the stone of the 12 angles. Research indicates that if it is removed, the entire construction would collapse.
- Because it is part of the Historic Center of Cusco, is considered ‘Cultural Heritage of the Nation’.
The stone used for the construction of the wall and the main Inca palaces was brought from Sacsayhuaman. The carving and polishing work in twelve angles followed the perfectionism that characterized the Incas. The wall has a trapezoidal shape and a slight inclination characteristic of the most important Inca works. The objective was to better withstand telluric movements. Due to its solidity, the Spanish could not bring it down. Until today, after more than 500 years, the stone of the 12 angles remains intact.
Where are you?
- The stone of the 12 angles is located on Hatun Rumiyoq street (big stone in the Quechua language), almost 500 meters from the city’s Plaza de Armas. It is part of an Inca wall where the Archbishop’s Palace and Museum of Religious Art of Cusco currently sits.
- Getting there is easy. From the Plaza de Armas you must go up the slope ‘Triunfo’. This road leads to Hatun Rumiyoc Street, which is packed with handicrafts, jewelry, and clothing stores. It is there where the stone of the 12 angles is found.
Map: how to get there?
Know your story
- The stone of the 12 angles was one of the immense Inca walls that formed the palace of Inca Roca (sixth ruler of the curacazgo of Cusco). In the following years, the palace was the residence of the Inca’s descendants until the Spanish invaded and sacked the palace in the 16th century.
- On the foundations of the stone of the 12 angles, the Spanish built the House of the Marquises of San Juan de Buena Vista and the Palace of the Marquises of Rocafuerte. This colonial building would later be donated to the church to become the Archbishop’s Palace and the Museum of Religious Art of the city of Cusco.
- The immense and solid wall, but above all this stone, gained popularity among tourists who visit Cusco year after year. Currently, it is one of the most photographed tourist attractions in the Inca city.
How much does the visit cost?
- The stone of the 12 angles is located on a public street so there is no cost to visit it.
- The visit can be made at any time of the day. The structure of this architectural work must be respected. You are not allowed to touch it. You can get to know it by requesting the company of a tour guide.
Why take care of the stone of the 12 angles?
- The stone of the 12 angles is considered Cultural Patrimony of the Nation of Peru. Likewise, it is a symbol of the people of Cusco. Taking care of it is the task of all tourists and residents of Cusco.
- During the day and night there are police officers guarding the stone. Likewise, from 7 in the morning until 7 at night, there is a man dressed as an Inca who watches over the rock.
- Despite care, some unscrupulous tourists have damaged the stone with graffiti and graffiti. Surveillance cameras capture these events. The penalty for damaging Cultural Heritage of the Nation could include a few years in prison.
Hatun Rumiyoc street where the stone of the 12 angles is located
Other free tourist attractions in Cusco
- Plaza de Armas del Cusco – The busiest tourist center in the city of Cusco. It was also an administrative center during the Inca Empire. In the surroundings there are craft shops, clothing stores, restaurants, hotels and cafes. Free dance shows are usually presented on Sundays.
- Mercado de San Pedro – This popular market is one of the oldest in the city of Cusco. Its architecture was designed by the famous French engineer Gustave Eiffel. It offers all kinds of groceries as well as handicrafts. There you can learn about some aspects of the Cusco culture. There are free guided tours of this market and the streets of the city.
- San Blas neighborhood – This traditional neighborhood is located following the slope that continues to Hatun Rumiyoc street (stone of the 12 angles).. It is famous for its narrow cobbled streets. It is also known as the neighborhood of artists and craftsmen in the city. The workshops of the Mendívil, Olave and Mérida families are famous. It is an excellent place to acquire quality handicrafts and works of art.
- The churches of Cusco – The churches and convents located in the historic center of Cusco offer striking baroque architecture as well as great historical significance. Admission is free during mass hours (preferably Saturday and Sunday mornings). Some of the most famous churches are: the Cathedral, the church of the Society of Jesus, the church of San Cristóbal, the church of Santo Domingo and others.
What is the attention hour?
- The stone of the 12 angles is located in the middle of Hatun Rumiyoc street in the city of Cusco. Then the visit can be made at any time of the day.
- However, it is recommended to visit during tourist hours. That is to say: from 7 in the morning to 10 at night approximately.
Photos: the stone of the 12 angles
Questions and answers
a) Can I touch the stone?
No. To better preserve the stone, it is forbidden to touch it. Of course, you can take all the photos you want.
b) Can I take a picture with the Inca who guards the stone?
Yes. The Inca that guards the stone is part of the tourist landscape of Cusco. In exchange for a tip, visitors can be photographed with him.
c) Where to get a tour guide for the visit?
You can take a ‘Free walking tour’ (they depart from the Plaza de Armas) where a tour guide will explain details of this and other free tourist attractions in the city. Another option is to ask a Cusco citizen for information about the stone. People will gladly tell you details about the wall.
d) What should I bring?
During your visit to the Stone of the 12 angles do not forget to take with you: a camera, a rain poncho (in Cusco it can rain at any time) and cash in case you like some crafts.
e) When is a good time to visit the stone?
Any day of the year is a good time to visit this popular attraction. Remember that January, February and March are the rainiest months. From 10 in the morning to 6 in the afternoon are the busiest times for tourists. Choose the time that suits you best.
f) Is it dangerous?
No. Hatun Rumiyoc street is guarded by police during the day and night. There are also security cameras.
g) Are there other similar stones?
Yes. There are stones with even more angles. Some examples are the ‘stone of the 13 angles’ on Inca Roca street (a few steps from Hatun Rumiyoc street). There is also a smaller stone that has 14 angles. This is located on Calle Herrajes.
h) What are the stone’s opening hours?
The 12-angled stone is open to tourists 24 hours a day. It is recommended to visit between 7 in the morning and 10 at night.
i) Are there tours to the stone of 12 angles?
No. However, a good option is to hire a ‘Free Tour’ in Cusco that includes a visit to the stone.
j) What places to visit near the stone?
During your visit to the stone of the 12 angles you can visit: the neighborhood of San Blas (famous for its church), the Archbishop’s Palace of Cusco or the hundreds of craft stalls that are in the place.
Advice from people who have been there
“Simply incredible to see the perfections that fit the other stones with the stone of the 12 angles. Definitely an extremely advanced work for its time, where myths and legends fall surprisingly.“
By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, June 18, 2022