Half Day Trip to Tipon and Piquillacta Ruins
Tipon and Piquillacta are both on the Boleto Touristico (Tourist Ticket), but they are some of the least visited ruins on the list. They’re about an hour from Cusco and make for a great day trip if you have spare time in the city.
We hopped on a bus to Tipon at the bus stop on the corner of Av Tullumayo and Garcilazo de la Vega (although I’ve read you can also get collectivos in Plaza San Francisco) The bus was interesting… it only cost two soles, but was packed full so we were stuck standing for the hour drive. We let the driver know we wanted off at Tipon and the locals around us we’re super helpful in making sure we ended up where we needed to be.
Once we got off at the stop, there were tons of taxis waiting to take us up to the ruins. From here, you can pay one driver 50 soles for a round trip from the roadside stop to the Tipon ruins, to Piquillacta, and back the highway to catch a bus home. We opted to take a taxi only to Tipon and back to the highway (10 soles each way) then grab the next passing bus for two more soles to Piquillacta. Just depends on your budget and time! From Piquillacta, a bus back to Cusco is only 2 soles more.
So, on to the ruins….
Tipon is unique because of its still functioning Incan irrigation system. The sprawling terraces and cascading water make it clear that Tipon was used for agricultural purposes. The large green space and surrounding ruins are great for exploring, photography, and relaxing on the grass in the sun. The site is uncrowded and boasts beautiful views of the surrounding valley and mountainsides.
Where Tipon was uncrowded, Piquillacta is practically a ghost town. There were two other small groups there besides us. These ruins are unique and interesting to explore because they’re pre-incan and are believed to have been built by the Wari tribe, a group who conquered much of Peru around 1500 years ago. The super old buildings are fun to wander while ruminating on the mysterious history of the ages old people who once walked those lands.
As a bonus for being one of the few tourists who makes it all the way out to Piquillacta, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful view of the large Huacarpay lake and the surrounding valley. Adventurous ones can walk down the hillside to the lake below, where plenty of Peruvians were out enjoying their Sundays kayaking, picnicking, and hanging out on the shore. Or, if you’re hot, dusty, and tired like us, you can just enjoy the gorgeous view from above!
Although Tipon and Piquillacta are not at the top of most tourist lists, they have a certain beauty to them and are nice to visit for a quiet day away form the crowds. Take a half day trip from Cusco to check them out, and let me know what you think!
All my love,
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