Pisaq district is located within the province of Calca and is part of the Cusco region. Pisaq occupies a territorial extension of 148.25 Km2 and is made up of different peasant communities.
Pisaq is a fairly rich archaeological district. In this district is the Archaeological Complex of Pisaq that rises above the 3,300 meters above sea level. This complex is of Inca origin and would have had a religious as well as agricultural use. The Archaeological Complex of Pisaq is divided into four sectors: Kialla Q'asa, which is clearly housing; Intihuatana, where this solar observatory is located; Pisaq, where in addition to housing areas are systems of terraces, Tantana Mara, where funerary structures are recognized, among others.
In addition to the archaeological remains of Pisaq, this district presents attractions such as: the cave paintings of Chahuaytire, which are located within this peasant community and which are characterized by red and black pigments. Other attractions of Pisaq are its artisan fairs, which are set up only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, where the exhibition and sale of this type of products takes place. As remarkable as the fairs, is the Typical Market, this market that is set up in Pisaq on Sundays, has as a peculiarity the fact that the commercial exchange is not given by monetary means but through barter, following ancient Andean customs.
If the person interested in knowing the district wants to be a participant or know closely the festive and ritual customs of the people of Pisaq, you can visit the place during key dates such as the carnivals, which take place between February and March, where those interested interpret carnival dances in the District Plaza; Another event to be highlighted is the Pisaq Willca Raymi, which is an Andean ceremony dedicated to Mother Earth and which includes the participation of Inca-style performances.
Pisaq is a fairly traditional district, where still the Andean rites and customs, inherited from the incantation are still present, so that, in addition to the fairs and modes of commercial exchange, along with their festivals, rites such as the "Evening of sheep" are still present. which is carried out in June and which aims to multiply the rearing of lambs or the "Ritual of tilling" in May, where the patron of the farmers is celebrated, to whom they request a good harvest.
The Archaeological Park of Pisaq is located 33 km away to the east of the city of Cusco and is one of the most beautiful monumental centers of the valley because it combines the landscape with the impeccable finish of its buildings. It is located on the highest hill of the city, on a dry and rocky surface.
Together with Cusco and Piqkllaqta, Písaq closes an equilateral triangle of 33 kms. on the side, precisely planned to protect the city from the possible attacks of the Antis (Anti derives from 'Andes' or mountains), who were its worst enemies.
As in other Inca buildings, some studies show that it was not a fortress, but a kind of 'real estate', property of the Inca Pachacutec, composed of platforms, domestic and ceremonial structures, and aqueducts that provided the water for agricultural exploitation.
Some constructions, distributed throughout Písaq Pueblo Viejo or Písaq Arqueológico are:
The wall does not have the conception that we know today. Formerly it responded to a continuous building that was not necessary for the whole city. Some of its stones have amazing dimensions. It gathers five doors, located in the eastern part of the complex. The only one that has lintel is called Amaru Punku, which means' Gate of the Serpents.
There are two tunnels located on the hill of Písaq. The first goes north and is 16 meters long; the second goes to the top and is 3 meters.
The Inca bridge:
In the Písaq complex there was more than one suspension bridge. One was in Paccháyoc, where the bases still exist. And the other, on the western side of the Intihuatana.
It consists of six colcas of equal size, arranged in rows, which would have served as Inca deposits. They are located 200 meters from the Intihuatana, and you have to cross precipices to get there. The path that joins these colcas ends in a staircase of 102 steps that ascend parallel to a water channel.
The andenería sets. The main economic activity of the town of Pisac was agriculture. Therefore, there are 16 agricultural sectors that contain complex and advanced platforms; five are separated by walls. Písaq is the site with the most stylistic variety of platforms. It has at least 14 different forms of platforms built from 2,995 to 3,450 meters above sea level.
The Inca cemetery:
It is located in front of the archaeological complex, only separated by the Quitamayu stream. It is an impressive place, located on a slope of almost one hundred meters high and several kilometers long, belonging to the Linliy mountain. This cemetery is known as Tankanamarka and can be translated as "launch site". It should have contained approximately 10,000 graves.
The Incas believed in reincarnation, so they kept their mummies with all their properties and food necessary for their new life. When the Spaniards learned of this custom, they did not hesitate to desecrate the tombs and loot the jewels, metals and precious stones. Today, small holes can be observed as a result of desecration.
The "City" of the Towers:
Písaq is also known as the "City of the Towers", since it has more than twenty towers built on the mountain's outgoing edges. They are of perfect finish, very similar to the constructions of Sacsayhuaman. It is not yet known what was its exact function, only that some would have been associated with hydraulic leftovers existing in the place.
The Enchanted of the Ñusta:
It is a place located on the road to the south, which leads to Ñustayoc hill. It is the statue of a woman who carries her saddlebags on her back. The tradition of the city tells that the woman is Inquill, a princess who could not stand the curiosity to see the finished work of her fiance.
It is a neighborhood of small dimensions, located in the lower part of the city. Here you can find a perfect seat for two people, carved in a stone.
It is a rustic set of irregular buildings located on the top of the mountain. It is difficult to access because you have to avoid dangerous ravines.
To the southeast is the set of rectangular buildings whose distribution has the shape of an arch. Its walls are considered the most perfect of the Tahuantinsuyo. Near this site, there is a building similar to a viewpoint. From here you can get an excellent view of the valley and the current town of Pisaq.
This is one of the most important ceremonial monuments in Pisaq. Its location, from the top of the mountain, dominates much of the valley. Its walls are of the "sedimentary" type (the joint of polished stones has a rectangular exterior surface). Its sides are carved in the form of hands that are enclosed in a semicircle, so it is considered as the Temple of the Sun of Pisaq.
At the center of the building is an altar carved in stone, also known as Intihuatana, which must have been used to observe solar movements, and as an altar to celebrate religious ceremonies: the cult of the Sun god or animal sacrifices. Also, to the west of the altar was found a carved stone that could be used for astronomical observations, this represented the three phases and those of the religious world: the sky, the earthly world and the subsoil.
The altar has the shape of a letter D, and is perfectly oriented with the sunrise, on the June solstice. Only in Machu Picchu, you can see a similar rock.
The sources and water channels were also characteristic of this area. It is said that he had a purely religious Finnish for the quality of his carving. The main source is located 20 meters. from the central door of the complex, and has two notches, a manner of handles, which was used for ceremonial baths.
In Inca times, the Urubamba River was channeled from Písaq to Ollantaytambo for agricultural purposes. Currently, there are many vestiges of the side walls of the canal, and the Urubamba River flows in a straight line three kilometers from the city.
The Archaeological Park has a Site Museum where the main pieces found in the main deposits of Pisaq are exhibited.
The town of Pisaq is just an hour from the city of Cusco by car and on Sundays, are the best to visit this beautiful town and its craft market where we can find from musical instruments to clothing made of Alpaca wool , all these made by the people of the nearby towns that descend to Pisaq wearing their typical costumes to be able to offer their best products.
The market of Pisaq also opens on Tuesday and Thursday; but it does not compare to the atmosphere that is generated on Sundays. In the market you will find a great variety of products made by artisans who, because Pisaq is an important stop for visitors to the Sacred Valley, has gone a little further to the tourism sector; but this will not make your experience less colorful since the offers are so tempting that without realizing you will be with a new look with products made with alpaca wool.
Some of the products are very repetitive; but there are also unique pieces that you can only find in this fair. Since in recent years the fair has become something more tourist, it is unlikely that the first price consulted is the cheapest for which, you will have to consult in one or two more places so as not to pay more. Haggling can seem very stressful to you: but in this way you can get the best prices plus it is a way to have fun and get more involved with the local culture.
We can also find typical products that make this market unique, such as the delicious Jora chicha (obtained from the fermentation of corn) and the strawberry fruit (which is also obtained from fermented corn but some more fruits are added to it). process). This is also a market for local people, who take the opportunity to do their shopping for the week.
And you must not forget to visit the archaeological center of Pisac before returning to Cusco, this incredible place is at the top of the mountain, you can take a bus that will leave you a few steps from the main entrance. Remember that this place is included in your tourist ticket so take advantage of it.