on April 27, 2005
Approximately 30 minutes or so outside of Cusco lies the town of Pisaq. On Sundays, the town is turned into a large market to serve both the locals and tourists. Almost any souvenir can be found here, and feel free to bargain with the vendor for the best price. Chances are you can buy souvenirs at the markets for up to 50% less than what you will pay in Cusco.
The modern day town of Pisaq lies at the bottom of a mountain along the Urubamba River. Looking above the city, you will notice dozens of terraces and ruins. This is the original city of Pisaq built during Inca times. The original town of Pisaq is considered as a typical Inca town, with several stages of a state-city and early privileged assimilation to the Inca Empire. The remains of the political, administrative, and religious structures are distributed on the slopes and peaks of the mountains on the right border of the Urubamba River. All these sections were joined with a net of pathways with stairs, tunnels, water springs, and waterways, complemented with a system of terraces and andenes for agricultural purposes.
The easiest way to get to Pisaq is to join one of the many Sacred Valley tours offered by many hotels and tour companies in and around Cusco. Look around the Plaza de Armas in Cusco for these operators. The average cost of these tours is $25, plus the $20 Tourist Ticket (a ticket allowing admittance to 16 historical sites in Cusco and the Sacred Valley, including the Pisaq historical site). Most tour companies also include a buffet lunch with the tour. Tours last all day, departing Cusco around 9am and returning around 6pm. Taxis can also be hired to reach Pisaq at a cost of 30 to 40 soles. Local buses are also an option at 5 soles each way.
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