Did you know that one of the most beautiful Inca archaeological centers is located just 37 minutes from the city of Cusco? Tipón is an archaeological park where water was worshiped. It contains enclosures, terraces, platforms, irrigation works and more. You can visit this site through the ‘South Valley Tour’ or on your own.
- What is it?
- Where is it located?
- Why visit Tipón?
- What to see?
- Gastronomic tourism
- Entrance cost
- Hours of operation
- Questions and answers
Beautifully Carved Water Fountains – Tipón Archaeological Park
One of the ways that more tourists visit Tipón is through the ‘South Valley Tour of Cusco’, which also includes a tour of the archaeological site of Piquillacta and the church of Andahuaylillas (also known as the Sistine Chapel of America). Tours last 5 hours and include transportation, tour guide, and entrance fees.
What is it?
- Tipón was an Inca citadel and site for the cult of water.
- In the place, terraces, platforms, stone rooms, adobe and majestically worked water pipes were built.
- Due to the perfection with which the Incas conducted the water in Tipón; this site is considered ‘Wonder of Civil Engineering’.
- Its structures include its altar to the sun (Intihuatana), the wall that protected the enclosure, the Cruzmoqo viewpoint, from where the city of Cuzco and its royal enclosures can be seen.
Where is it located?
- Tipón is the first tourist destination in the South Valley of Cusco. It is located in the Choquepata community, in the Oropesa district, Quispicanchi province; just 23 kilometers southeast of the Imperial City.
- The Cusco-Oropesa paved road can be reached in just 37 minutes with any car. The altitude is 3316 meters above sea level. In the highest area of the enclosure, the altitude can reach 3850 meters.
Why visit Tipón?
- The Archaeological Park of Tipón has 240 hectares. It is part of the Qhapac Ñan route (network of Inca roads).
- It is attractive to the visitor because it is made up of thirteen terraces built in the masonry or Inca style.
- Among its greatest attractions are its royal enclosures, the Intiwatana (altar of the sun), the viewpoint or Cruzmoqo (summit where there is a cross), the smaller enclosures and the wall.
- According to the chronicler Garcilaso de la Vega, it was built by the Inca Huiracocha as the residence of his father Huaqaj, after he was overthrown for escaping from a Chanca rebellion.
- Like many important Inca sites, Tipón was inhabited by human groups and cultures that were predecessors to the Incas, such as the Ayamarcas and the Waris.
- The chronicles indicate that Tipón was the residence of the ruler Yahuar Huacac. His son and successor to the throne Huiracocha was the one who built the main canals and walls of the enclosure during the 15th century.
- During the Spanish invasion in the 16th century, Tipón’s buildings were not destroyed, so it currently maintains a large part of its original figure.
- After more than 600 years, the Tipón canals continue to flow water precisely and constantly. Because of this, the North American engineer Kenneth Wright called it “Wonder of civil engineering.”
- Currently, Tipón is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Cusco. It is part of the so-called ‘South Valley’ tour that also includes Piquillacta and the Andahuaylillas church.
What to see?
- The Intihuatana – The Intihuatana (altar of the sun) refers to enclosures built on a mountainous elevation. Through its trapezoidal windows you could see the entire enclosure and the sunlight.
- The viewpoint or Cruzmoqo – Cruzmoqo means ‘Summit where there is a cross’. It is an enclosure located at the top and north of the archaeological site. From its top you can see Cusco.
- Minor Enclosures – Lower quality rooms than actual stone and adobe enclosures. Due to the quality of its construction, it must have housed minor personalities.
- The wall – Constructions of great dimensions and length. It must have served to protect the site from constant attacks by rival towns.
The royal enclosures – These are the most important buildings in the enclosure. It is presumed that it was the compound that Huiracocha had built for his father. It has water gutters, fountains and gardens.
The platforms and canals – The entire archaeological site is an example of the perfection of the Incas in hydraulic works. The various ecological floors of the platforms would have served as a center for agricultural experimentation. The place is in good condition despite the passage of time.
Cultivation platforms and water channels that can still be seen in Tipón
- For lovers of good food, Tipón is one of the most popular destinations in Cusco.
- Twelve minutes from the archaeological park, there are many restaurants serving typical food in the area.
- The main dishes include baked guinea pig and pork rinds. Both dishes are accompanied by serrano potatoes and ají de huacatay. Peru is considered the most exciting culinary destination in the world.
Baked guinea pig is one of the typical dishes that you can taste on your visit to Tipón
- To enter the archaeological park of Tipón you must have the ‘Cusco Tourist Ticket’ Circuit 2, which includes entry to: Tipón, Piquillacta, monument to the Inca Pachacutec, Qosqo Center of Native Art, Coricancha site museum, museum of popular art, regional historical museum and contemporary art museum.
- The cost of the Cusco Tourist Ticket Circuit 2 is 70 Peruvian soles (about 22 US dollars, approximately).
Hours of operation
- Monday through Sunday from 7 am to 6 pm.
Questions and answers
a) When is the best time to visit Tipón?
Any time is ideal to visit Tipón. Due to the pleasant climate and the lower probability of rain, the dry season (April to October) is perfect for the tour.
b) Can I hire a tour guide in Tipón?
The tours to the South Valley include the guided service in Tipón. If you want to visit this archaeological site on your own, there are tourist guides offering their services at the entrance door.
c) Is it allowed to buy the ticket to Tipón at the entrance gate?
The entrance to the archaeological site of Tipón is included in the tours to the South Valley of Cusco. However, it is also possible to buy the entrance ticket at the door of the enclosure.
d) Is there a small zoo near Tipón?
A few meters from the archaeological site of Tipón there is a small zoo. The entrance ticket is sold at the door of the establishment for only 10 Peruvian soles (3 US dollars).
e) How much does the entrance to Tipón cost?
Entrance to Tipón is included in the Cusco Tourist Ticket. In case you want to make the visit on your own, the adult ticket price is 20 soles (6U $ D).
f) What should I bring?
During your visit, do not forget to bring a rain poncho as it can rain at any time. Also bring sunscreen, good sneakers, and a hat to shelter from the heat.
g) What are the nearby tourist attractions of Tipón?
A few kilometers from Tipón you can visit the archaeological site of Piquillacta. This pre-Inca site is also included in the South Valley Tour of Cusco.
h) Is it dangerous?
No. Tipón has buildings that are easy to navigate and do not represent any danger to visitors.
By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, April 16, 2021