The Archaeological Center of Chinchero is little known by travelers, however, it has interesting attractions. So, if you plan to get to know Cusco and Machu Picchu on a tour, you cannot fail to include your visit to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and get to know Chinchero.
Chichero is one of the 7 districts of the Urubamba province, Cusco department. It is also known as the city of the Rainbow, because it is surrounded by beautiful panoramas of the Andes mountain range demarcated by the imposing snowy Salkantay, Verónica and Soray “Apus Tutelares of the Cusco region” and lagoons such as Huaypo and Piuray.
Chinchero was the place chosen by the Inca Túpac Yupanqui to settle his residence where he built his palace, where the Church of the Virgin Nativity was built on the Inca settlement, in it you can see a combination of colonial and Inca construction. In addition, its traditions and culture are still alive.
Chinchero is located 28 km from the city of Cusco, in the province of Urubamba, at 3,780 meters above sea level. Flanked by large snow-capped mountains such as Salkantay, Verónica and Soray, and the Huaypo and Piuray lagoons. Chinchero is the most typical and picturesque town in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, it brings together twelve Andean indigenous communities that are still governed by the Inca organization system called “Ayllu”.
Chinchero is a town frozen in time; its buildings were built on the foundations of Inca walls and you can still see the history of the Sacred Valley in the adobe and stone walls. The main square is a fine example of a mix between Inca and Spanish architecture styles.
Most tourists go to the Chinchero market to see the well-known vibrant colorful market with humming humans. The market is visited by local girls and foreigners. The neighborhood market is in a square not far from various monuments and archaeological ruins. It’s pretty basic with no sidewalks and no ones selling their wares on blue canvases on the ground.
The ladies wear purple circular hats and colorfully trimmed sweaters in traditional Peruvian outfits with braids in their hair, which are elegant and attractive. A visit to the Chinchero market is fun with masses of various stalls, from fruit and seafood to tons of textiles in different bright hues.
Chinchero is well worth going through with so many locals and tourists alike to keep, devour and socialize.
It is believed that Chinchero was used as a spa by the Inca Tupac Yupanqui, son of Pachacutec. Due to the rich fertile land of the chinchero, the Inca Tupac Yupanqui ordered the construction of so many aqueducts and terraces for agriculture and livestock. This land is used to produce potatoes, olluco, oca, quinoa and broad beans.
The weavers’ cooperatives show that the people of this town work hard to maintain their way of life. Speaking Quechua and wearing colorful outfits fascinates thousands of vacationers from all over the world.
Full of archaeological wonders, Chinchero is a record of colorful civilizations and architectural mastery. Subculture and records combined to shape the beautiful city of Chinchero, which is a brilliant archeological site and charming places. It has beautiful landscapes, a picturesque town and a cathedral with a remarkable mixture of Spanish and indigenous architecture and ornaments.
On Sunday pre-Inca archaeological rest full of terraces. On top of the ruin, there may be a very impressive Spanish church with ornate ceilings. Locals visit a church to observe the spiritual duality of Catholicism and the vision of the Inca Cosmos.
Chinchero is characterized by the living culture that it still maintains despite the strong incursion of the modern world on traditions. On Sundays, a fair is held in the main square of Chinchero, where you will see local products, handicrafts and especially their textiles, which are made in the ancestral style, and where it is still possible to observe bartering. If you wish, you can see in the textile centers how the women dressed in their beautiful suits carry out the process of spinning and dyeing the wool with natural dyes, and appreciate the way they weave following the ancient tradition.
Without a doubt there are many reasons to visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas and one of those reasons is the stop made in the town of Chinchero.
In Chinchero, its spectacular main square stands out, an extraordinary fusion between Inca architecture and colonial architecture, which makes Chinchero a unique place. It is possible to admire the remains of what was the palace of the Inca Tupac Yupanqui, a great Inca wall with 10 trapezoidal niches that is preserved to this day, shows how beautiful the palace must have been; In addition, in the square and its surroundings, Inca constructions and terraces can be seen that show the original Inca urban layout. The chronicles tell that in 1540 Manco Inca ordered Chinchero to be burned while fleeing from the Spanish conquerors, so that they would run out of provisions.
Built on the Inca settlement, the colonial temple of Chinchero was built around 1572 by Viceroy Toledo and completed in 1607, calling it the Church of Our Lady of Monserrat. This church is one of the best examples of Cusco religious art, it was built on Inca walls, with an altar decorated in baroque style gold leaf and on whose walls you can see original works by indigenous artists Diego Quispe Tito (the highest representative of the Cusco school) and Francisco Chihuantito.
Towards the sides of the church there are three large portals built in stone and mud, one next to the bell tower of the church and the other two as entrance doors to the square, which give a unique style to the place and stand out in all the Chinchero postcards.