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  • Hours: Daily 7am-6pm
Sacsayhuaman is the largest and most impressive of four archaeological ruins on the outskirts of Cusco, Peru. Built by the Incas, it served an important military function and was the site of a major battle with the Spanish in 1536. The name itself can be translated as “speckled head” and some say that the city of Cusco was laid out in the shape of a puma, with Sacsayhuaman forming the head.

The complex was constructed out of massive stones, some weighing as much as 300 tons, cut to fit together without the use of mortar. Today, many of the outside walls, built in a tiered, zigzag formation, remain, as do several tunnels and the “Inca’s Throne.” The latter is a series of large rocks with well-worn grooves used by many visitors as slides. A large, open plaza holding several thousand people was once home to ceremonial activities and continues to be used today – most notably for the annual celebration of the Inti Raymi festival in late June.

The location of Sacsayhuaman, at over 3700 meters and high above Cusco, affords visitors spectacular views across the entire valley.

Practical Information

It is possible to walk up to Sacsayhuaman from Cuzco, following Plateros Street from the Plaza de Armas as it turns into Saphi Street and then continuing along a curvy paved road until you reach a cobblestone walkway. The journey is a steep uphill climb and can be quite strenuous, so some may prefer to visit by joining a guided tour or hiring a taxi. Many tours will combine a visit to Sacsayhuaman with the other sites in the area, Qenko, Pukapukara and Tambomachay.  The ruins are generally open daily from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tours & Tickets

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Cusco Archeological and Religious Sites Tour Including Sacsayhuaman and Cathedral of Santo Domingo

4.5 star rating: Recommended 6 Reviews

Be fascinated on a half-day tour of Cusco’s surrounding archeological sites, including the famous Sacsayhuaman, where the Incas’ construction of tightly placed ...  Read more

Location: Cusco, Peru
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $79.99

Cusco Markets and Ruins Small Group Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 12 Reviews

For a great introduction to Peruvian culture, join a small-group walking tour of Cusco's vibrant markets and impressive Inca ruins. Start at the vibrant San ...  Read more

Location: Cusco, Peru
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $69.99

Archeological Park of Sacsayhuaman Half-Day Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 15 Reviews

Experience the impressive Incan architecture of the ancient fortress and temple at the archeological park of Sacsayhuaman. See the Tower of Pucca Pucara and ...  Read more

Location: Cusco, Peru
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $68.99

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