Did you know that one of the most beautiful Inca archaeological centers is located just 37 minutes from the city of Cusco? Tipón is an archaeological park where water was worshiped. It contains enclosures, terraces, platforms, irrigation works and more. You can visit this site through the 'South Valley Tour' or on your own.
It was an important place and a major shrine, where water was worshiped with the care and veneration with which the Incas treated this element. Although there are still mysteries to be unraveled, the calm of the site, the sound of the water and the feeling of being close to the gods, captivate the visitor.
This archaeological complex is located 24 km southeast of the main square of the City of Cusco.
What is it?
- Tipón was an Inca citadel and enclosure for the cult of water.
- In the place, terraces, platforms, stone rooms, adobe and majestically worked water pipes were built.
- Due to the perfection with which the Incas conducted the water in Tipón; This site is considered a 'Wonder of Civil Engineering'.
- Among its structures, its altar to the sun (Intihuatana), the wall that protected the enclosure, the Cruzmoqo viewpoint, from where you can see the city of Cuzco and its royal enclosures, stand out.
Why visit Tipón?
- The Archaeological Park of Tipón has 240 hectares. It is part of the Qhapac Ñan route (Inca trail network).
- It is attractive to the visitor because it is made up of thirteen terraces built in the masonry or Inca style.
- Among its main attractions are its royal enclosures, the Intiwatana (altar of the sun), the viewpoint or Cruzmoqo (summit where there is a cross), the smaller enclosures and the wall.
- According to the chronicler Garcilaso de la Vega, it was built by the Inca Huiracocha as the residence of his father Huaqaj, after he was overthrown for fleeing from a Chanca rebellion.
- Like many important Inca sites, Tipón was inhabited by human groups and cultures that preceded the Incas, such as the Ayamarcas and the Waris.
- The chronicles indicate that Tipón was the place of residence of the ruler Yahuar Huacac. His son and his successor on the throne, Huiracocha, was the one who built the main canals and walls of the enclosure during the 15th century.
- During the Spanish invasion in the 16th century, the buildings of Tipón were not destroyed, so it currently maintains a large part of its original shape.
- After more than 600 years, the Tipón canals continue to flow water in a precise and constant manner. Because of this, the American engineer Kenneth Wright called it the "Wonder of civil engineering".
- Currently, Tipón is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Cusco. It is part of the so-called 'South Valley' tour that also includes Piquillacta and the church of Andahuaylillas.
How to get there?
- To visit Tipón on your own you must take public transportation on Avenida La Cultura. The transport companies that go to Tipón have a cost of approximately 2 Peruvian soles (less than 1 dollar).
- Once at the 'Tipón Detour' you must take a collective taxi for 5 Peruvian soles (less than 2 dollars). These shared taxis leave the visitor at the door of the archaeological site.
- The return follows the same route as the outbound trip.
What to see?
- The royal enclosures – These are the most important buildings in the enclosure. It is presumed that it was the enclosure that Huiracocha had built for his father. It has water gutters, fountains and gardens.
- The platforms and canals – The entire archaeological site is a sample of the improvement of the Incas in hydraulic works. The various ecological floors of the platforms would have served as a center for agricultural experimentation. The place is in good condition despite the passage of time.
- The Intihuatana – The Intihuatana (altar of the sun) refers to some enclosures built on a mountainous elevation. Through its trapezoidal windows you could see the entire enclosure and the sunlight.
- The viewpoint or Cruzmoqo - Cruzmoqo means 'Summit where there is a cross'. It is an enclosure located on top and to the north of the archaeological site. From its top you can see Cusco.
- Minor enclosures – Rooms of lesser quality than the royal enclosures made of stone and adobe. Due to the quality of its construction, it must have housed minor personalities.
- The wall – Constructions of great dimensions and length. It must have served to protect the site from the constant attacks of rival towns.
The Tipon Zoo
- In addition to its archaeological site, the town of Tipón is famous for housing a small zoo.
- This recreational center has some animals from the mountains and jungle of Peru, such as: the spectacled bear, the condor, the macaw, the llama and more.
- The entrance fee for foreign tourists is 10 Peruvian soles (approximately 3 dollars).
- The zoo is located just a few steps from the archaeological site of Tipón. Yes it is possible to walk from there.
- To enter the Tipón archaeological park, you must have the 'Cusco Tourist Ticket' Circuit 2, which includes entrance to: Tipón, Piquillacta, monument to the Inca Pachacutec, Qosqo Native Art Center, Coricancha site museum, museum of popular art, a regional historical museum and a museum of contemporary art.
- The cost of the Cusco Circuit 2 Tourist Ticket is 70 Peruvian soles (about 22 US dollars, approximately).
From Monday to Sunday from 7 am to 6 pm.
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.