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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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7-Day Lima and Cusco Tour with Overnight at Machu Picchu

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 28 Reviews

Discover the very best of both Lima and Cusco on a 7-day tour of Peru. Visit the famous landmarks and government buildings of Lima before heading south to ...  Read more

Location: Lima, Peru
Duration: 7 days (approx.)

From USD $876.99

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

4 star rating: Recommended 18 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 $77.99

Archeological Park of Sacsayhuaman Half-Day Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 20 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 $67.99

Cusco Markets and Ruins Small Group Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 17 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 $71.99

3-Day Cusco and Machu Picchu Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Enjoy a 3-day tour to see the best highlights of Cusco and Machu Picchu. You will explore Cusco, the capital of the Inca Empire and see its important landmarks ...  Read more

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

From USD $472.00

7-Day Tour: Cusco, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca

This 7-day tour will allow you to explore incredible places in Peru. See the highlights of the Andes starting in Cusco, capital of the Inca Empire and gateway ...  Read more

Location: Cusco, Peru
Duration: 7 days (approx.)

From USD $989.00

Sacred Valley Private Tour: Chincheros, Ollantaytambo and Pisaq

The Sacred Valley tour is one of the most popular tours in the region. The Sacred Valley of the Incas was a crucial area for the Inca empire and it functioned ...  Read more

Location: Cusco, Peru
Duration: 1 day (approx.)

From USD $103.00

Private Cusco City Tour Including Main Archaeological Sites

Enjoy a 6-hour private guided tour of Cusco, considered the historical capital of America. See its main landmarks and archaeological sites and learn about its ...  Read more

Location: Cusco, Peru
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $80.00

Private Tour: Cusco City Sightseeing including San Pedro Market and Archaeological Sites

This 4.5-hour private tour will take you on a sightseeing tour of Cusco, 'The Capital of the old Incan Empire' and important archaeological site. Get immersed ...  Read more

Location: Cusco, Peru
Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $129.00

Private Half-Day Cusco City Tour

Enjoy a private, half-day tour of the city of Cusco. Visit the most important site including the cathedral, the Temple of the Sun (Qoricancha) and the ...  Read more

Location: Cusco, Peru
Duration: Flexible

From USD $82.00

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