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Sacsayhuaman
Vacation Travel Guide

Sacsayhuaman which includes a ruin and heritage elements as well as an individual child

The colossal stones of Cusco’s hilltop fortress are a powerful testimony to the ingenuity of Incan construction techniques.

Venture into the archaeological park just outside Cusco’s city center to explore the ruins of Sacsayhuaman. This colossal stone fortress and temple sits on a steep hill overlooking the city and attests to the brilliance of Incan engineering. Come to observe traditional Incan ceremonies and to admire how the structure was built, noting the large limestone blocks that lock together without mortar.

In its heyday, Sacsayhuaman encompassed three stone towers and buildings for up to 5,000 soldiers. Following the fall of the Incan Empire, the complex was used as a stone quarry. Today, only three tiered rows of zigzag walls remain. Walk around them and marvel at some of the largest stones found in any Inca ruin. A few are more than 10 feet (3 meters) high and weigh more than 100 tons (91,000 kilograms). The biggest stone is 28 feet (8.5 meters) high.

Observe the Inca stonework, particularly the way the blocks fit together in a variety of interlocking shapes. Note the three large concentric rings on the ground. These rings were the foundations of the fort’s main tower. Archaeologists believe that Cusco was built in the shape of a puma and that Sacsayhuaman forms the head. The walls are said to make up the animal’s teeth.

Sacsayhuaman is more than a tourist attraction as it plays an important ceremonial role during the Inca Festival of the Sun, Inti Raymi. Enjoy street fairs and live music throughout the city during this week-long celebration, which culminates on June 24 with a ceremony on the large, flat area in front of the fortress. Watch hundreds of locals dressed in elaborate traditional costume perform ritual sacrifices and dances.

The colossal stone blocks of Sacsayhuaman are 1.4 miles (2 kilometers) north of Cusco’s main square. Book a tour from the city center or take a taxi. The 30-minute walk is steep, reaching an altitude of 12,140 feet (3,700 meters). A fee applies to enter the archaeological park, which includes admission to other sites including Qenqo and Tambomachay.

Top things to do in Sacsayhuaman

Top Hotels Close to Sacsayhuaman

Antigua Casona San Blas
Antigua Casona San Blas
4 out of 5
Calle Carmen Bajo 243, San Blas, Cusco
The price is CA $93 per night from May 9 to May 9
Located in Cusco Historic Center, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Plaza San Blas, Plaza de Armas, and Cusco Cathedral. San Pedro Market is 0.8 mi ...
4.9/5Exceptional! (711 reviews)
Beautiful boutique hotel
"Really beautiful boutique hotel in the heart of San Blas- historical and artistic zone of Cusco. Excellent attention to detail in all rooms with lovely furniture. We were upgraded to a superior double which had the biggest bed! Common areas of the hotel were equally as lovely: dinning area, bar, ..."

Reviewed on Feb. 1, 2021

Antigua Casona San Blas
Hilton Garden Inn Cusco
Hilton Garden Inn Cusco
3.5 out of 5
Santa Ana, Avenida Abancay 207, Cusco, Cusco
The price is CA $77 per night from May 8 to May 8
Located in Cusco Historic Center, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Museo de Plantas Sagradas Magicas y Medicinales, Plaza de Armas, and San Pedro Market. ...
4.6/5Wonderful! (731 reviews)
"Nice location, clean... staff was very nice, breakfast was ok servuce was not the best."

Reviewed on Apr. 17, 2021

Hilton Garden Inn Cusco
Novotel Cusco
Novotel Cusco
4 out of 5
San Augustin 239 Esquina, Cusco, Cusco
The price is CA $65 per night from May 14 to May 14
Located in Cusco Historic Center, this historic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Hatunrumiyoc, Plaza de Armas, and Cusco Cathedral. San Pedro Market is 0.6 ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (723 reviews)
"Is a mix modern and old construction that’s why love it"

Reviewed on Mar. 31, 2021

Novotel Cusco
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Sacsayhuaman

Antigua Casona San Blas
Antigua Casona San Blas
4 out of 5
Calle Carmen Bajo 243, San Blas, Cusco
The price is CA $93 per night from May 9 to May 9
Antigua Casona San Blas
Hilton Garden Inn Cusco
Hilton Garden Inn Cusco
3.5 out of 5
Santa Ana, Avenida Abancay 207, Cusco, Cusco
The price is CA $77 per night from May 8 to May 8
Hilton Garden Inn Cusco
Novotel Cusco
Novotel Cusco
4 out of 5
San Augustin 239 Esquina, Cusco, Cusco
The price is CA $65 per night from May 14 to May 14
Novotel Cusco
JW Marriott El Convento Cusco
JW Marriott El Convento Cusco
5 out of 5
Esquina De La Calle Ruinas 432, y San Agustin, Cusco, Cusco
The price is CA $193 per night from May 14 to May 14
JW Marriott El Convento Cusco
Palacio del Inka, A Luxury Collection Hotel by Marriott
Palacio del Inka, A Luxury Collection Hotel by Marriott
5 out of 5
Plazoleta Santo Domingo No 259, Cusco, Cusco
The price is CA $193 per night from May 14 to May 14
Palacio del Inka, A Luxury Collection Hotel by Marriott
Ramada Costa Del Sol Cusco
Ramada Costa Del Sol Cusco
3.5 out of 5
Santa Teresa N 344, Cusco, Cusco
The price is CA $69 per night from May 13 to May 13
Ramada Costa Del Sol Cusco
Palacio Nazarenas, A Belmond Hotel, Cusco
Palacio Nazarenas, A Belmond Hotel, Cusco
5 out of 5
Calle Plazoleta Nazarenas 223, Cusco, Cusco
The price is CA $474 per night from May 16 to May 16
Palacio Nazarenas, A Belmond Hotel, Cusco
Casa Andina Premium Cusco
Casa Andina Premium Cusco
4 out of 5
Plazoleta De Limacpampa Chico - 473, Cusco, Cusco
The price is CA $114 per night from May 13 to May 13
Casa Andina Premium Cusco
Casa San Blas Boutique Hotel
Casa San Blas Boutique Hotel
3 out of 5
Tocuyeros 566, San Blas, Cusco, Cusco
The price is CA $74 per night from May 13 to May 13
Casa San Blas Boutique Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.