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World's most amazing Incan Ruins

 
Moray
Moray is an archaeological site in Peru approximately 50 km (31 mi) northwest of Cuzco on a high plateau at about 3500 m (11,500 ft) and just west of the village of Maras. The site contains unusual Inca ruins, mostly consisting of several enormous terraced circular depressions, the largest of which is about 30 m (98 ft) deep.
 
 
The purpose of these depressions is uncertain, but their depth and orientation with respect to wind and sun creates a temperature difference of as much as 15 °C (59 °F) between the top and bottom. This large temperature difference was possibly used by the Inca to study the effects of different climatic conditions on crops. In other words, Moray was perhaps an Inca agricultural experiment station. As with many other Inca sites, it also has a sophisticated irrigation system.
 
 
Tipón
 
 
Tipón on the south-eastern route from Cuzco, is one of the most interesting samples of agricultural terracing and water management developed by the Incas. Still today, water is rushing though the channels and wide terraces - masterpieces of walls - are in perfect condition. Several sourrounding ruins are excaved, and many many more are visible below the soil.
 
 
Pisac
 
 
Pisac (or Pisaq in Quechua-spelling) is a small town about 35 km from Cuzco. Pisac is most of all famous for its Sunday market, but also for some ruins dating from about the same time as Machu Picchu. Pisac lives at a very different pace than nearby Cuzco. There is something very harmonious about the whole place, a harmony that evades explanation.
 
 
Ollantaytambo
 
 
Ollantaytambo is a town and an Inca archaeological site in southern Peru some 60 kilometers northwest of the city of Cusco. It is located at an altitude of 2,792 meters (9,160 feet) above sea level in the district of Ollantaytambo, province of Urubamba, Cusco region. During the Inca Empire, Ollantaytambo was the royal estate of Emperor Pachacuti who conquered the region, built the town and a ceremonial center. At the time of the Spanish conquest of Peru it served as a stronghold for Manco Inca Yupanqui, leader of the Inca resistance. Nowadays it is an important tourist attraction on account of its Inca buildings and as one of the most common starting points for the three-day, four-night hike known as the Inca Trail.
 
 
Ruins of Ollantaytambo
 
 
The ruins of largely religious significance, they doubled as the the last and largest defensive structures near the plains below where the Incas defeated the Spaniards in battle.
Ollantaytambo (called by locals Ollanta) is a town in the Sacred Valley of the Incas near Cuzco in the Southern Sierra region of Peru. This is where the Incas retreated after the Spanish took Cuzco. Much of the town is laid out in the same way as it was in Inca times.
 
 
Choquequirao
 
 
Cachora is the most popular starting point for travelers who want to see the amazing newly-rediscovered Incan site, Choquequirao. Guides and mules for the trip may be found in Cachora.
The ruins are buildings and terraces at levels above and below Sunch'u Pata, the truncated hill top. The hilltop was anciently leveled and ringed with stones to create a 30x50 platform.
Choquequirao (3,085 m) is in the spurs of the Salkantay Mountain Range in the Province La Convención in the Cusco region above the valley of river Río Apurímac. The complex is 1,800 hectares, of which 30-40% is excavated.
 
 
Sacsayhuamán
Sometimes called Saqsaywaman and pronounced "Sexy Woman" ruins high above Cuzco. It is a steep climb from the Plaza de Armas up Plateros street which changes to Saphi. Look for the long staircase on the right, follow the paved curvy road up to the next cobblestone pedestrian path and follow this climb past the first closed control point to the second control. No need to take a cab if you can handle it. But, be careful, as robberies have been reported in mornings and evenings. There is a charge to explore the ruins at the second control or present your the boleto turistico. Those on a budget can get a sense of the ruins without paying by walking up the hill and up to the entrance. You can then walk to the adjacent hill with the big Jesus on it and look down on the city. However, the sheer size of the stones that were moved and the importance of the battle there make it worth entrance fee. Read up on the battle beforehand as the guides don't discuss it. Also, a view of the circular base of the former tower as shown in many of the photos is not possible due to the protective ropes. Go earlier in the morning as later visits are disrupted by whistles from guards telling unobservant tourists to get off the ruins.
 
 
Tambomachay
 
 
Tambomachay or Tampumachay is an archaeological site associated with the Inca Empire, located near Cusco, Peru. An alternate local name is the El Baño del Inca, "The Bath of the Inca".
It consists of a series of aqueducts, canals and waterfalls that run through the terraced rocks. The function of the site is uncertain: it may have served as a military outpost guarding the approaches to Cusco, as a spa resort for the Incan political elite, or both.
 
 
Llactapata
 
 
Llactapata (also spelled Llaqtapata) is a combination of two Quechua words. Hiram Bingham, discoverer of Machu Picchu and many other Incan sites, states that Llacta Pata is a descriptive term; "llacta" means "town" and "pata" means "a height".Thus, more than one site has been, and is, referred to by this name.
Hiram Bingham first discovered Llactapata in 1912. "We found evidence that some Inca chieftain had built his home here and had included in the plan ten or a dozen buildings." Bingham locates the site "on top of a ridge between the valleys of the Aobamba and the Salcantay, about 5,000 feet above the estate of Huaquina." "Here we discovered a number of ruins and two or three modern huts. The Indians said that the place was called Llacta Pata." Bingham did not investigate the ruins thoroughly, however, and they were not studied again for another 70 years.
 
 
Machu Picchu
 
 
Located at 2,430 metres (8,000 ft), this UNESCO World Heritage site is often referred to as "The Lost City of the Incas", is one of the most familiar symbols of the Incan Empire, and is one of the most famous and spectacular sets of ruins in the world — a visit to Peru would not be complete without it.
These remarkable ruins were only rediscovered in 1911 by the American archaeologist Hiram Bingham. Perched dramatically 1000 ft above the Urubamba river, Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is also the end point of the most popular hike in South America, the Inca Trail.
The story of Machu Picchu is quite a remarkable one; it is still unknown exactly what the site was in terms of its place in Inca life. Current researchers tend to believe that Machu Picchu was a country resort for elite Incans. At any given time, there were not more than 750 people living at Machu Picchu, with far fewer than that during the rainy season. The Incas started building it around AD 1430 but it was abandoned as an official site for the Inca rulers a hundred years later at the time of the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire.
One thing that is clear is that it was a remarkably well hidden place, and well protected. Located far up in the mountains of Peru, visitors had to travel up long valleys littered with Inca check points and watch towers. Remarkably, the Spanish conquistadors missed the site, and Bingham only located the site by chance. On a wet day in 1911, he traveled up the slopes with a few companions from his expedition. On meeting local peasants, they told him about ancient ruins that covered the area. To Bingham's amazement, he had found the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu
 
Source and more info: Gotsaga by Troy
Photography: Gotsaga
 
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