Huchuy Qosqo Archaeological Complex (Qaryaqawana)

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19 de May de 2023

The Huchuy Qosqo Archaeological Complex is one of the Inca constructions that belonged to the emperor Wiracocha, it is located on the upper plateau of the mountain, from there you can take the best pictures, see the imposing snow-capped mountains and the town of Calca.

In this article we will talk about the history of Huchuy Qosqo, which was declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation on August 19, 2003, by Directorial Resolution No. 611-2003, by the National Institute of Culture INC, we will talk about what it means, how to get to this tourist attraction, what to see and do, and especially why travel with Illapa, read on:

History of Huchuy Qosqo (Little Cusco)

The archaeological site of Huchuy Qosqo was built on top of a mountain in the late fourteenth century, the Incas joined this road to the Sacred Valley of the Incas in order to expand the territories. Who was in charge of this mandate was the Inca Wiracocha who decided that this would be one of his palaces for him and his family, so he ordered to build Huchuy Qosqo.

The construction was made of adobe and stone, after the invasion of the Chancas Wiracocha and his son Inca Urco escape to Huchuy Qosqo leaving the post to his son Tupac Inca Yupanqui or Pachacutec to fight in the resistance, so says the chronicler Pedro Cieza de Leon.

The Spanish chronicler Juan de Betanzos mentions that the Inca Wiracocha spent his last days in Huchuy Qosqo or also known as Qaquia Jaquijahuana, a favorite place for this emperor who lived until he was eighty years old.

Years later, the Spanish conqueror Gonzalo Pizarro found a mummy that possibly belonged to the Inca Wiracocha and ordered to burn it, but the descendants of the Inca decided to keep the ashes in a jar for many years, later it was discovered by the chronicler Polo de Ondegardo.

  • The Inca Wiracocha ordered the construction of the archaeological complex of Huchuy Qosqo, here the governor lived and died.
  • Huchuy Qosqo also received the name of Little Cusco at the beginning of the 20th century.
  • It was an administrative and military center.
  • It is composed of enclosures, remains of walls, squares, temples and a water fountain because it had a system of agricultural terraces.

Characteristics of Huchuy Qosqo

Huchuy Qosqo is characterized for being an administrative and military center because the constructions fulfilled that function, so you can see that the construction of the houses were fine and perfect, they had grain stores called Qolcas that were located in the lower part of the archaeological center.

Well, the Qolqas were important for storing and preserving food because there was an agricultural center to produce corn. The archaeological site is built with stone and mud, its walls lean slightly inward, defying possible earthquakes and climatic changes, undoubtedly showing its high technology and knowledge in architecture.

Like all Inca constructions, this one also has trapezoidal windows.

Among its constructions we can find the famous kallankas of about 40 to 50 m long, which fulfilled the function of a lodge and it is said that in this place they hosted the Inca officials and the construction that was in the place was a three-story building, the first two floors were made of stone and the third of adobe.

However, the third floor is believed to have been used to educate the women of the empire, these were not the only spaces, we also found cliffs, terraces, a large square and a large Inca door that served as a control for access to the village.

And as the site had an agricultural system, the Incas had built a reservoir to supply water and some time later the Spanish used the site as a farm and others were destroyed.

Meaning of the name Huchuy Qosqo

Huchuy qosqo derives from Quechua and means "small Cusco", however the archaeological site received other names such as Qqyaqawana or Qaqyaxaqixawana which would mean "from where you can see the lightning", and we wonder why, because we know that Huchuy Qosqo is 3600 m so you can see the lights and sounds of this meteorological phenomenon.

How to get to Huchuy Qosqo?

To reach this tourist attraction we have three options:

  1. Tambomachay-Huchuy Qosqo: This trail is for trekking lovers, you will go through a route of the ancient Inca trail through mountains, lagoons until you reach Huchuy Qosqo.
  2. Chinchero-Huchuy Qosqo: This route begins in Chinchero, we start in Taucca, a small village near the Piuray lagoon, also throughout the trip you will observe lakes, mountains, wild animals, lagoons and other things until you reach Huchuy Qosqo.
  3. Lamay-Huchuy Qosqo: The most used route is to go through Lamay, a route that will take us to Huchuy Qosqo, the walk will be approximately 3 hours and during the trip you will see a narrow and steep road.

Where is Huchuy Qosqo located?

The archaeological complex of Huchuy Qosqo or Little Cusco is located north of Cusco, at an altitude of more than 3600 m, exactly on the community that bears the same name, a few meters from the city of Calca, department of Cusco.

How to get to Huchuy Qosqo from Cusco?

To get to Huchuy Qosqo you must leave very early from the city of Cusco, in this case we go to Chinchero, to the community of Tauca from where we start our hike and we go accompanied by llamas.

Our first point is the Laguna de Cusicocha, here we will have the joy of seeing geese called Huallatas, we continue our journey and climb up to the Mountain Apacheta (4200 m) this is the highest point of the trekking..

From here we begin to descend until we reach the Pukamarca sector where we will have lunch and then continue our hike to the Puma Puncu canyon or Puma's door from there we will follow the road directly to Huchuy Qosqo, a magnificent site dominated by its terraces and the andenería system.

Once we have visited the archaeological site we will descend to the town of Lamay for about two hours where we will be waiting for our vehicle to the city of Cusco, all this tour we do with our travel agency Illapa Culturas Andinas, who will be attentive throughout our trip, as we have specialized professionals.

What to see and do in Huchuy Qosqo?

Among the different things we can see on our way to Huchuy Qosqo in the same archaeological center you will appreciate these structures:

  • 3-level house constructions: Inside the archaeological complex you will see that the first two floors are made of stone and the third level is made of adobe, these have a rectangular shape and incredibly surprising architectural form.
  • Buildings with a huge rectangular floor plan: The houses are made of adobe on the platform and, curiously, their doors face the valley.
  • Not only will you get to see this, there are also other scattered houses that were built on the site, but for the most part these are in poor condition, some served the function of lookout posts because from there they could visualize the whole panorama.

Why visit huchuy Qosqo with

La ciudad imperial está rodeado de varios sitios arqueológicos construidos por los incas e incluso los pre incas y sería una pena no visitarlos todos, uno de ellos es conocer el sitio arqueológico de Huchuy Qosqo o pequeño Cusco, que según los cronistas añaden que este habría sido el recinto del inca Wiracocha, quien se fue vivir a este sitio después de la invasión de los chancas.

It allows us to know its architecture and the agricultural system used by the Incas, as well as the function that each area fulfilled, in this case this point was an administrative and military center precisely because of the situation that was lived at that time, you will also find other religious buildings, housing and others.

Hours and admission fee

You can visit from early in the morning until around 4 pm, but this will depend on your return hike, because remember you have to return to the city and it will take you about 3 hours at most to get back.

The entrance fee is 10 soles for national and foreign tourists.

Images of Huchuy Qosqo

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