Near Cuzco, on the way to Pisac from Sacsayhuaman, is the amphitheater and temple of Q’engo (Qenko). This site which is at 3,600 meters above sea level has some of the best examples of undisturbed Incan carving in the world. The name (which has many alternative spellings, sometimes with a k) means zig-zag, and this is in reference to the carved channels in the rock at the site. The site is actually comprised of four different parts, with the most popularly visited being Q’engo (Qenko) Grande, which was used as an astronomical observatory and holy site.
Q’engo Grande is a large limestone outcrop with two small knobs that show a shadow pattern at the summer solstice in June. Also carved into the limestone are a series of caves, altars and hollows that would have been used to move water. The site was used as a stopping point on a pilgrimage of religious importance during the Inca period, and mummification took place onsite as well. There are 19 trapezoidal niches as well, which used to house idols and mummies, though these are no longer onsite.
Q’engo is a good stop on a longer trip that includes nearby Puka Pukara and Tambo Machay. Morning provides the best light for photos of Q’engo.