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On this article, we will tell our readers about a wonderful attraction just outside Cusco city: the Sacsayhuaman fortress. We offer daily tours to this great archaeological site, which also include all important Inca and Spanish places of the area.

Brief History of the Sacsayhuaman Fortress

On the 15th century a.C, the victorious Inca Pachacutec began the expansion of the kingdom from its capital, today’s Cusco city; among many of his works, he ordered a new design for Cusco city, giving it the shape of a puma (a symbol of power in Inca worldview). The Sacsayhuaman fortress, just outside Cusco, is the head of this puma, although the word Sacsayhuaman means “satisfied falcon” or “royal eagle”, -there is scholarly debate about the word. Thus the head of the puma is also the falcon or eagle which guards the city.

Visit Sacsayhuaman Fortress and discover the puma shape

Sacsayhuaman Fortress is said to be the head of the puma

The Sacsayhuaman fortress was built on the northern border of Cusco city; it is a masterpiece of stonework and design. Many of the blocks are higher than 4 meters and weigh above 100 tons; it is said that 20.000 workers were recruited for the construction, and historians have posited that 6.000 were in charge of cutting and pounding the stones and 4.000 digged and laid the foundations; these massive blocks were moved with ropes and levers. The stonework is so precise that no mortar was needed to perfectly fit them. Recent archaeological studies have shown that Inca architects even considered anti-seismic measures, like sloping the massive walls in a precise angle. The sheer magnificence of this construction has given way to theories of Sacsayhuaman being built by extraterrestrials or that some kind of anti-gravitational laser was used to lift the stones! However, archaeology has already explained the Sacsayhuaman fortress in more scientific ways.

Now, since Cusco city was not invaded for centuries, the Sacsayhuaman fortress was given another use, as a sanctuary, and religious rites were held there for a long time, actually until the Spanish invasion around 1532. However, the fortress was designed mainly as a defensive construction, and actually, the Inca army used it when the Spanish invaders attacked Cusco city, a fierce battle took place there, having the Inca army finally defeated.

Touring the Sacsayhuaman Fortress

The fortress is easily accessible by bus from Cusco city, an uphill ride which gradually allows visitors to have sights of the entire wonderful Cusco valley, really a great experience; the fortress is located on a wide, peaceful plain, where you will be away from all city noise and feel the relaxing energy and silence of Andean nature. Many people take the chance to lay on the ground to enjoy the calmness, or having a brief picnic.

Traveler tip: Visitors should wear sun hats, sunglasses and don’t forget sunblock, for the site is practically on the countryside.

Enjoy Sacsayhuaman with family in the City Tour

The City Tour will take you to Sacsayhuman

Of course, visitors will have a professionally guided tour of the site for 1-hour, marveling at the mighty presence of the fortress, whose walls can reach up to 18 meters, with amazing stonework and perfectly integrated to the natural landscape, as Inca worldview had great respect and gratitude for what they called Pachamama (Quechua for Mother Earth).

From the Sacsayhuaman site itself, there are unforgettable views of the Cusco valley, and also the place offers the opportunity of taking amazing pictures of the fortress and the entire landscape.

The Sacsayhuaman fortress was also used as a place for official ceremonies in Inca times, and nowadays continues to be so; the Inti Raymi Festival in late June congregates people from all over the world, to the representation of this traditional Inca ceremony.

Did you know that the Temple of the Sun, Korikancha is also included in the tour?

TOUR IN PERU offers two great packages including a tour of the Sacsayhuaman fortress, with daily departures:

Don’t forget to include a visit to the Sacsayhuaman fortress on your Cusco vacation! Contact us for more information and booking!

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