Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I just wanted to be part of it...  Sit on the field of Sacsayhuaman, contemplate the crowd, lay down and look at the sky and have a picnic.  It was a beautiful day in Cusco, knowing that the day before was a rainy day and it also rained part of that evening and I knew for sure that I will have blue skies the next morning, and the the ruins would look marvelous..!  I had my breakfast at the hotel, took a chilean sauvignon blanc bottle of wine and some sandwiches and empanadas from the local stores.  On the large field within the walls of the fortress you can practice yoga, you can even jog if you are in the mood since the altitude is higher than Cusco.  Some cusqueños even play soccer there..!
The city of Cusco uses this field to celebrate the ritual of the Inti Raymi every year on June 24th right after the procession of the Inca from the city of Cusco to Sacsayhuaman.  The festivity is a very colorful one...  You will be able to enjoy every single dance and music from all of the regions of Cusco.  All of the andean communities gather here to represent themselves during this festival.

Well, let's go back to my story...

Later on that day, I arranged for a trip to go up the hill from the city to go and visit the Sacsayhuaman fortress.  It is located north of Cusco on the hills by the Christ statue that you see from every part while you are in the city and looking up towards the hills.

This fortress was built on a form of terraces to secure the city of Cusco, which during the Inca Empire was the capital, as they called it the navel of the world or the center of the world.

The wonder of this place is that you will be able to find the biggest stones worked and carved to build the fortress and it is still a mystery how they built it or how the stones got there.  We know for a fact that most of the stones that were on this fortress were used to build the city of Cusco right after the invasion of the Spanish conquistadores.  The fortress was completely destroyed.

The panoramic view of the city of Cusco is spectacular, just incredible and it is worth it to walk to the statue of Christ and wait for the evening to be able to enjoy the view of the lights of the city.  Beautiful cathedral peaks everywhere..!

How to get there..?

From the main square or plaza de armas, you can actually walk to this fortress, or take a taxi, or hire a driver to take you there.  It will probably cost you S/. 20.00 soles to get there by car.  If you are walking to the fortress, it is a 2.6 kilometers, approximately a 34 minute walk up the hill.  You will have to start your walk from the plaza de armas/main square...  Right on the corner where Portal de Carnes and Portal de Panes meet, that little street's name is Calle Suecia, take that street towards the mountain which is the only way that you can go up the hill towards north until you find Huanapata and make a right turn, then you will look for Resbalosa and make a left, then try to look for Don Bosco which is the other street that pass by a church on your left side, and then look for Carretera Llaullipata and this road will take you all the way up to the fortress, just stay there until you see the fortress.
Of course once you are there; go to the office and you will have to buy a 'boleto turistico - boleto parcial', valid for only one day.  It could be a partial one since you probably just want to visit this fortress and spend most of the day there.  With that same ticket, you can visit the other three ruins listed on our ticket of Q'enqo, Tambomachay and Pukapukara.  The partial ticket will cost you S/. 40.00 soles, but if you are going to be visiting more ruins you would want to buy the S/. 70.00 soles 'boleto turistico', that will give you access to more ruins located all over the province of Cusco, and you will have to complete these visits within 10 days from the day of the purchase.