Moderate Trek - Minimum recommended age: 10


Santo Domingo Church once the most important and magnificent Inca Temple in the Empire: Koricancha, Temple of the Sun. Its walls were once covered in 700 sheets of gold studded with emeralds and turquoise and the windows were constructed so the sun would cast a near blinding reflection off the gold inside. A huge gold disk representing the sun covered one whole wall while a sister disk of silver, representing the moon, was on the opposite wall and supposedly reflected the moonlight. Mummified bodies of Inca leaders were kept here and tended by specially selected women. Though none of these things remain, the stone walls, some of which are 3 feet thick, still stand proud.

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Cusco— Outlying ruins of Cusco and the archaeological remains of Tambomachay, Puca Pucara, Qenko, and Sacsayhuaman.





The Urubamba, The Sacred Valley Of The Incas The Ruins of Pisac. Pisac is both the name of the colonial (and modern) village and the fortress which lies on a mountain spur 1900 feet above. The walk from the village up to the fort is beautiful with the Kitamayo Gorge to the west and the Chongo Gorge to the east. As you look across the Kitamayo Gorge from the back of the ruins, you will see hundreds of Inca tombs honeycombing the cliff wall.


Machu Picchu— A flagstoned trail winds sharply down into the cloud forest to the ruins of Winay Wayna ("Forever Young") at 8,650 feet, one of the most beautiful of the Inca ruins and the last before reaching Machu Picchu. The trail climbs to Intipunku, the famed Gate of the Sun. Machu Picchu is the best known Inca site of the modern world, but little is known of its importance to the Incas. It is not mentioned in any of the Spanish chronicles and archaeologists can only speculate on its function. Though known to the Quechua peasants who lived around it, the modern world was unaware of its existence until Bingham's discovery. Over the years many archaeologists have studied it but information still remains sketchy. From the fine quality of its stonework and the abundance of ornamentation, it is assumed that it once must have been an important ceremonial center for the Incas.


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