Chinchero, discover its culture and tradition
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Chinchero, discover its culture and tradition

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Chinchero, discover its culture and tradition

It is the capital of the district of the same name, which belongs to the province of Urubamba. It is one of the most representative towns of Cusco in general. Known for its archeology and crafts.


The current towns of Chinchero, as well as those of Ollantaytambo and other places, are based on old pre-Hispanic towns. Chinchero was on the direct road that in Inca times led directly to Machu Picchu and was an important urban center that we can still see today around its church and square.



Generally one arrives in Chinchero on the way back to Cusco (Sacred Valley Tour or Pull), it is an hour from Ollantaytambo, and about 40 minutes from Cusco.



Chinchero was an important urban center whose main center was located where the church is today, in its surroundings there are formidable walls of assembled polyhedrons that form retaining walls giving shape to the platforms, we can also see large rooms with windows, niches, doors and accesses.


The current main square, where the Sunday fairs are held, concludes with an Inca wall on the eastern side, which has 12 niches, each 2m high and 1.50m wide. This wall, in turn, serves as a facing and containment for another plaza that acts as an atrium in front of the Church.


Also in the area we find the remains of three shrines called Titiqaqa, Pumaqaqa, Chincana; which are huge outcrops of limestone rock carefully carved by the ancient Peruvians in the form of seats, stairways, cupboards and canals. There is a group of platforms built obeying the conformation of the terrain.


Craft Fair

The Chinchero fair is one of the most important in the region due to the high quality of the artisan products that are sold there, internationally recognized for its excellent work and beauty. In these fairs we can see that barter (old form of product exchange) is still in force; In Chinchero, the granddaughters of the Inca princesses continue weaving wool and making garments, as the ajllas did for the children of the Sun, in imperial Cusco.


Living Culture

Chinchero is one of the few places where it seems that time does not pass, since the traditions and the Inca culture still persist. The people who live in it are of Inca blood and the predominant language is Quechua, although almost all the inhabitants of this area speak Spanish as a second language.



Their fertile lands make them excellent producers of potatoes, ollucos, ocas, broad beans, barley and wheat, traditional products whose planting dates back to the time of the Incas and even today constitute the axis of agricultural trade in the area.



Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Cost: Entry included in the Tourist Ticket.


Climate and temperature

The climate corresponds to that of the Cusco region, with two defined seasons, the rainy season, between the months of November and April and the dry season between the months of May and October. With a maximum temperature of 18.5 degrees Celsius that annually averages 16 degrees Celsius and a minimum of -6 degrees Celsius with an average of 0 degrees Celsius in one year. Rainfall reaches 4533 mm in the year.


Chinchero and its history:

Its history officially begins with its mention in Spanish chronicles that narrate the struggle of a young Inca people with the Ayarmacas tribe that owned this territory, and that according to these narrations offered iron resistance during the period of tribal confrontation.


During the Inca period it is mentioned as the favorite resting place of the Inca Tupac Yupanqui, perhaps because of its strategic position that communicated Cusco Yucay and Pumamarca and of course Machupicchu. In it, beautiful temples were built on which later, around the year 1572, the viceroy would build a Christian temple as part of the plan for indigenous reductions that would allow better control of the aboriginal settlements. This entire area was declared a national heritage site on December 28, 1972.


Subsequently, an important mention details the flight of Manco Inca, the first ruler of the resistance, who, in 1536 during his escape from the city of Cusco in the direction of Vilcabamba, set fire to the place, which had separate food deposits, with the purpose of prevent Spanish troops from resupplying and following him during his flight.


One of its most important historical events, not very honorable, is narrated in its frescoes, as Mateo Pumacahua, curaca of Chinchero, together with the Angulo brothers, during the rebellion of Tupac Amaru II, rose up against the independence troops, winning a one of the most important battles that would be part of the announcement of the fall of the entire rebellion, which was represented in a fresco in the church symbolized in a puma defeating a snake.


What to do in Chinchero?

Awana Cancha:

The so-called awana canchas or translated into Spanish, centers where weaving, are textile production factories in which the inhabitants grouped into business groups explain to tourists the entire production process of the textiles for which they are famous, as well as offering them for sale if they become to the taste of the visitor. These have become very important economic and development engines not only for the town of Chinchero but also for many other places with a tourist influx such as P'isaq, and other communities in which experiential tourism is practiced.


Chinchero site museum:

It is located in the district square, stocked with the pieces rescued from the archaeological site of the same name, it exhibits in another of its rooms old pieces for agricultural use, as well as their typical clothing as well as important pieces of art by prominent artists from the Cusco school.


Chinchero colonial church:

Built on the Inca foundations of a temple, belonging to the Inca Tupac Yupanqui, the church began to be built in 1572 as part of the process of indigenous reductions and was completed around 1607, being called the Church of Our Lady of Mon Serrat, it was later decorated with, frescoes among which stand out that of Our Lady of Mon Serrat and the puma defeating the snake that represents the battle of Pumacahua and Tupac Amaru II, as well as paintings belonging to Diego Quispe Ttito and Francisco Chillihuani, great exponents of the Cusqueña school of painting. Finally, the baroque-style altar adorned with gold leaf also stands out.


Archeological site:

In which the group of platforms that are built in a northerly direction on the hill where the current church of the Virgin of the Nativity was also built later stands out, all around two main squares known as capellanpampa and town square. In the whole complex, the ten trapezoidal niches that possibly had ritual use stand out, in addition to the magnificent drainage system that works to this day and the urban design that interconnects the entire town through streets and passageways.


Racchi viewpoint:

This viewpoint located about 5 minutes from the town center itself, offers one of the most beautiful views you will find of the sacred valley, the Vilcanota mountain range and all the sacred mountains that surround them. Do not forget to make a stop at this magnificent place on the route that you will follow towards the sacred valley or Machupicchu itself.


Chinchero Fair:

Sunday fair in which ancestral trade practices are still carried out, such as barter. These are also adorned with the presence of the varayoq or chiefs of each community.


Culture and tradition:

Thanks to tourism that today is part of the regular economic movement of the population, many of the ancient traditions that were being lost have been revalued with the intention of demonstrating them to tourism, which include its traditional Sunday fair in which the varayoq or heads of the 12 Quechua-speaking communities for which this district is made up, as well as their traditional festivities, already mentioned, and mainly the weaving activity for which they are mainly known today.


Main Festivities:

  • Cruz Velacuy (May 03, 2020)
  • Virgin Nativity (August 29 of each year)
  • Mr. de Qoyllorytti and Corpus Christie de Chinchero (June 7, 2020 and June 11, 2020)



The colorful clothing that today is traditional in Chinchero, as well as in many towns in Cusco. It was instituted after the rebellion of Tupac Amaru II, as part of the actions that sought to prevent future rebellions, forcing the towns to wear typical town clothing. peasants from northern Europe to whom natives from all over the Andes added elements of their own culture. See the photographic description in the following image.


Huaypo Lagoons:

This has a width of approximately 1500 by 800 meters and has a wide variety of fish and birds characteristic of high mountains. Its calm waters make it ideal for practicing calm water sports.


Piuray Lagoon:

It is the largest lagoon that Chinchero has, with a perimeter of around 8750 meters and a maximum depth of 50 meters. Currently it supplies water to a large size of the city of Cusco.


Snowy mountains:

The town boasts beautiful landscapes surrounded by mountains or tutelary apus called Verónica, Salkantay, Pitusiray Sawasiray and Samay.


When it is best to visit Chinchero?

To visit chinchero, just take into account that in the amount you arrive at the place, you can find everything you want to see, that is, within business hours (09:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m.) or outside of them if you want make a more private visit.


Frequent questions:


How did Chinchero originate?

Its history officially begins with its mention in Spanish chronicles that narrate the struggle of an Inca people with the Ayarmacas tribe that owned this territory.


In the year 1572, Viceroy Toledo would build a Christian temple as part of the plan for indigenous reductions that would allow better control of the aboriginal settlements. This entire area was declared a national heritage site on December 28, 1972.


Officially, it was created on September 9, 1905 by Law No. 59 given in the government of President José Pardo y Barreda.


Who ordered the construction of Chinchero?

According to history, Chinchero was the resting place of the Inca Túpac Yupanqui, perhaps because of its strategic position that communicated Cusco, Yucay and Pumamarca and Machu Picchu. He ordered the construction of beautiful palaces for his personal use and that of his panaca.


His constructions present the typical doors or windows that are wider at the bottom and narrower at the top, which was a characteristic of Inca architecture.


Chinchero culture still endures

Chinchero is one of the few places where it seems that time does not pass, since the Inca traditions and culture still persist.


The people who live in Chinchero are of Inca blood and the predominant language is Quechua.


Best Tours in Peru

Many are the routes that take you to Machu Picchu, but none is like the Inca Trail Tours, the most famous pedestrian path in the Americas. After flying from the capital of Perú, Lima, you will arrive in Cusco to walk for four days along a path through forests and dense fog, millenary stone steps and discovering the ruins of ancient fortifications and Inca cities, and all the time enjoying majestic views.

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