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Raqchi Archaeological Park 

It stands out for its imposing Inca temple dedicated to Wiracocha, and its impressive walls and columns of great size.


According to the latest research, the aforementioned archaeological park has an area of approximately one thousand hectares, because outside the gigantic Inca wall that protects the park, there are also some constructions such as aqueducts, subway tombs and pre-inca culture enclosures. The complex was built in different periods. One of the sectors was built during the reign of the Inca Wiracocha, according to the Inca chronicler Garcilaso de la Vega. Later, another stage was built between 1439 and 1471, during the government of Pachacútec, and, finally, the third stage was built, according to Cieza de León, by the Inca Túpac Yupanqui, between 1471 and 1493.


It is located in the district of San Pedro in the province of Canchis, 119 km from the city of Cusco.


  • The Temple to Huiracocha: According to some chroniclers, in this place the god Wiracocha was attacked by the Canas Indians. As punishment, the divinity made it rain fire, "being with the fire - as Pedro Cieza de León notes - consumed and worn out the stones". There are discrepancies, however, about the Inca in charge of ordering the construction of this monumental work. Cieza indicates that it was Pachacútec who ordered the construction of the "great rooms" that are in Cacha, while Garcilaso attributes this work to the Inca Wiracocha, to whom the god of the same name would have appeared on a certain occasion.
  • The Greatest Inca Temple: The temple is a unique construction within the Inca architecture. It is a large rectangular shed 92 meters long by 25 meters wide, with a huge central wall almost twelve meters high. The base of the wall, up to three meters high, is made of finely carved stone, then adobe. The temple had doors of communication with discharge openings on them and supported a gabled roof, which also rested on the eleven cylindrical columns on each side, as well as on the side walls of the building. Only one of the total of twenty-two columns is preserved today. The foundations of the side walls are still visible after excavation work by the Spanish Mission in the late 1970s.
  • The Statue: Several centuries after Cieza's visit to Racchi, while excavations were being carried out in Cusco, a stone head and the representation of a body of the same material were found. Manuel Ballesteros and other specialists maintain, with enough foundation, that these would be the remains of the statue of Wiracocha, transferred at some point to Cusco and destroyed and buried as part of the policy of extirpation of idolatries. The head is currently preserved in the Museum of America in Madrid and the body in the Inca Museum of Cusco.
  • Enclosures: Another sector that calls the attention by the quality of its architecture, is that of the enclosures or barracks. It includes a total of twenty-two houses that stand out for their walls, with their abundant trapezoidal niches, and for their layout. Twelve of these houses are aligned in pairs for almost 250 meters. This group of buildings is arranged around a series of almost square-shaped courtyards. One of the sides of these courtyards, the one facing the esplanade known as pucllanapampa (Quechua for "pampa of games") is free, while the other three accommodate six enclosures, two on each side.
  • Las Colcas: They are located next to the enclosures and are separated from them by small rectangular chacras. They are impressive for their number, between 120 and 200 according to different researchers, as well as for their disposition in double row that follows approximately the same axis of the temple. They are circular constructions. Some of these colcas have been reconstructed by the various archaeological expeditions that have worked on the site, which gives an idea of their original appearance. The complex, despite being the worst preserved, is in itself impressive.
  • The Inca Bath and the Usno: Translated these words correspond to "where the monkey is steep". It is a succession of benches, carved into the diorite rock with a deep aesthetic sense, is in the eastern portion of the hill.


Hours of Operation: From 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Cost: Admission included in the Tourist Ticket.

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