Learn about Huchuy Qosqo, Cusco’s hidden treasure and an out-of-the-ordinary destination for travelers. Read on to discover everything you need to know about the Inca ruins of Huchuy Qosqo and the hiking route to visit this majestic place.
Huchuy Qosqo, The hidden treasure of the Incas
This spectacular Inca site, the most beautiful and closest to Cuzco, can be visited in one or two days on foot from Cuzco or the Sacred Valley. Huchuy Qosqo can only be compared to Machu Picchu or Choquequirao; its impressive mountaintop location offers magnificent views of the Sacred Valley and the Andes.
The trek to Machu Picchu from Huchuy Qosqo is a popular option for travelers who want to avoid the crowded trails around Cusco. If you’re looking for an adventure-filled trip to Machu Picchu, the Huchuy Qosqo Trek is a great option.
Huchuy Qosqo, or Little Cusco, is an amazing Inca archaeological site located north of Cusco at 3,650m / 11,975 ft. The name comes from the Quechua language that means “Little Cusco.” This amazing ancient Inca citadel overlooks the Sacred Valley right above the town of Lamay in the Province of Calca. The location right above the Sacred Valley allows Travelers to enjoy one of the most amazing views in the Cusco region; you can access this site on a hiking tour from Cusco or the Sacred Valley.
Inhabited around 1400 AD, it belongs to the Inca period. According to Spanish chronicler Pedro de César de León, Huchuy Qosqo was built and was the favorite residence of the eighth Inca king Wiracocha (1410-1438) and his royal family.
The name Huchuy Qosqo was adopted in the XX century. Because of its similarity in form to the great city of Cusco, the original name that appears in the chronicles is Caquia Jaquijahuana. The archaeological site of Huchuy Qosqo, or Caquia Jaquijahuana was declared a National Heritage Site on August 19, 2003.
After the Hispanic conquest, Maco Inca, the rebel king, used this citadel in 1533 to move his army Cusco to the Sacred Valley and later retrieve to Vilcabamba. After this, the conquistador Gonzalo Pizarro ransacked Huchuy Qosqo and burned the mummies of Viracocha around 1534.
What was Huchuy Qosqo?
Huchuy Qosqo was a small Inca settlement near the city of Cusco in Peru. The site was first excavated in the early 20th century and has since been restored. The main features of the site are a series of temples, plazas and storage buildings. The citadel structure, terraces, irrigation, location and buildings assumed an important administrative and military center over the Sacred Valley.
Many large buildings called Kallanka (Great Halls) are resting places for high-class people. Also, several buildings called Qolcas store food like corn in the higher areas. The Inca built an irrigation canal of about 800m to provide water for the site. It’s also possible to find impressive farming terraces adapted to the shape of the mountain.