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Písac is a village located on the Urubamba River in the Sacred Valley. It is a popular place to stop on the way to Ollantaytambo and is famous for its markets which are held each Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday.
There is plenty of Peruvian craft for sale but the local market is fascinating and some lovely fresh fruit can be bought for a few Sol. It is in this part of the market where you find the local women in their traditional and very colourful dress.
There are several Inca sites close by and from the township you can see traditionally terraced hillsides.
- Arts and Culture
There is another tour you can do by bus watching some of the most interestins ruins around Cusco.
1-. Take the bus to PISAQ in Puputi street. There are 18 kilometers and it costs 2,5 soles (0,75€; Year 2007).
2-. Once in PISAQ take a taxi to the hight part of the ruins. Don't pay more than 5 soles per person. (1,25€: year 2007).
3-. Here you can contract a guide or just walk by yourself. It will take you about 2 hours arrive to PISAQ city again.
4-. Take the same bus you took to came to PISAQ but this time in the opossite direction. Get off the bus in TAMBOMACHAY. 2,20 soles (0,6€ in 2007) .
PUKAPUKARA is 5 minutes walking from TAMBOMACHAY, so you can see them together.
5-. Take the same bus once again from TAMBOMACHAY to SACSAYSUAMAN. 0,5 soles.
6-. A taxi from SACSAYSUAMAN to CUSCO costs about 5 soles. But there are 20 minutes walking to Plaza de Armas, so it's up to you!!
- Arts and Culture
Pisac is 30km north of Cusco. It has an interesting traditional market on Sunday mornings, and less crowded ones but more commerical ones on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. You can easily catch a bus from Cusco here.
Above the town on the mountain is a superb Inca fortress. The walk up begins from the plaza, you have to ask around for the starting point. The path goes through farms and terraces.
In the central part of the ruins, known as Intihuatana group of temples, you see magnificent Inca masonry, like the Reloj Solar or the 'Hitching Post ofthe Sun', palaces of moon and stars, water channels, solstice markers.
A path leads around the hill through a tunnel to Q'Allaqasa, a military zone. cross the valley, you can observe Inca tombs in holes in the sides of the mountains.
Going to the Pisac market
One of the typical things to do on a Sunday or Thursday in Cusco is to go to the Pisac market, and for good reason. My friends and I enjoyed walking around the market - interesting to see, plus a lot of great shopping. We got lots of souvenirs and local wares for really great prices! Hats, sweaters, blankets, jewelry, purses, t-shirts etc... Great food too! ..... As far as getting there, you can take a tourist bus, or you can take a cab for about 35 or 40 soles, or you can take the local bus, which is an experience in itself - but also really cheap! Only 2.25 soles per person or something. ..... It's about an hour so from Cusco, and the market sort of closes down around 5pm. The ruins at Pisac, which are also a sight to see, also close at 5pm.
We went to Pisac on a Sunday, despite being warned that it wasn't a market day. Well, I don't know what it looks like when it is market day, but what I saw certainly resembled a market! I guess there must be many more stalls on the real market days?
Anyway, after a while you realise that most of the stalls sell more or less the same things, so really the number we had to look at and choose from was fine. There are all the usual tourist souvenirs you find everywhere in Peru, and despite being a very touristy place, we got good prices with a bit of bargaining.
I liked the fact that in places this was still a real local market too, with various food-stuffs for sale and people chatting to friends and having their lunch together. We also visited a lovely little art gallery on the south side of the market square and bought a small watercolour for only a few pesos.
Pisaq, or Pisac
Visit the ruins of Pisaq, one of the most important archaeological complexes set high above the valley with stunning terracing following the hill contours. The ruins are surrounded by some of the most impressive agricultural terraces in Peru, still in use today. Also explore the town of Pisaq including its famous market.
- Historical Travel
The Pisac Ruins
Pisac is an Inca ruin that sits on a smallish mountain saddle much like a mini Machu Picchu. To get to the ruins you can climb up from the town of Pisac in the Sacred Valley, which apparently takes 90 minutes or you can take a taxi up to a parking lot at the end of the road up to ruins. I took a third alternative, a bus tour. This still meant that I had to walk one half hour to the ruins themselves, across a path that is actually pretty scary to walk along if you do not like heights.
The ruins of Pisac are refered to as citedal. Although I am sure that Pisac ruins had their defensive purpose, I think that the place served more as a religious centre with several temples spread about the saddle. The most important of these temple is the Temple of the Sun which sits on a rocky outcrop and was considered to be "the hitching post" of the sun. Pisac is also the location of some of the most stunning terracing in Peru. There are many more smaller ruins of temple scattered about the mountain face. To do the place justice, I think that you should spend more than a couple of hours time here like I did. A day is more like it.
The price of admission to the ruins is included in the Cusco Tourist Ticket.
- Historical Travel
Don't Miss the Farmer's Market at Pisac
While many tourist come to Pisac to score some good deals on alpaca products and souvenirs, some fail to leave the merchandise stalls and step out into the farmer's market. There, local agrarians bring their produce to sell to other locals and the few tourist who drop in. It is a very colorful scene, with most people dressed in traditional clothing and selling produce that you might not see in your hometown grocery store.
The market operates on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
- Women's Travel
The Pisac Market
Perhaps the most colourful market in Peru, the Pisac market is a magnet for tourists. The market is held three days a week, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. The largest and most popular is held on Sunday which is when I visited on a bus tour from Cusco.
The market is held in Pisac's central square where hundreds of stalls set up selling all kinds of fruits, vegetables and locally produced products from villages nearby. The locals tend to dress in their folk costumes hoping to be photographed for a few Sols.
Needless to say that this market is now extremely popular with tourist, so much so that it could come across to some as something of a tourist trap. Most of what is for sale these days catered for tourists rather than local consumption. Inspite of that I still enjoyed the market probably because it still does have considerable local flavour. I ended up purchasing some alpaca scarfs for some friends of mine here in Canada. One of the other highlights of the market is suppose to be the San Pedro el Apóstolo Church when the local worshippers spill out after mass and parade around the market. Unfortunately I missed this.
On my second weekend in Peru, I visited the Market in Pisac. It's not the best market in Peru, but it's definitly a very nice one!
Although there are very nice souvenirs to buy on the market, it's a lot cheaper to buy them directly in Cusco...
The beautifull ruins of Pisac
The nice site of Pisac is founded more then 30Km far from Cusco city, and what is strange is that in this site you will not find so many visitors.
Therefore, you can enjoy really sooooo much this open space!
The ruins are simply beautifull!!!
Take your time here...
To get here you have different possibilities:
- drop in a bus (30mins)
- take a taxi (in this case you can visit more place at the same day)
Life in the mountain
You would never imagine locals are so polite and hardworking. They actually love their airtcrafts. They dont just do them for money like in other touristic spots in latinamerica.
I am a spanish speaker so I have the chance to talk to this people and they were very interested in my opinion about their work. They were also willing to know about my country.
Children are also very polite and friendly...
Believe me... this people actually love their way of living and their Inca culture.
- Budget Travel
- Arts and Culture
Pisac is in a spectacular location on the east end of the Sacred Valley. It is best known for its Sunday market for both tourists and locals. The Inca ruins on the mountainside are supposed to be some of the best; however, the tour did not allow us time to visit them.
- Historical Travel
- Road Trip
Climb, Climb, Climb
In the enire Sacret Valley this is probably the most challenging climb. If you are planning on doing the Valley this is the place to go. If you want to take time give yourself a day for it. If you don't have that much time you can combine this with Saqsaywaman near Cusco. First do do the latter, then take a local bus (3 soles) which will take about 1,3 hours to arrive in Pisaq. From there you have approx. 1,5 hour, steep climb. You can do the whole thing in 3 hours, but I'd recommend sth. closer to 5. If you feel to tired or have run out of time, you can take quite an expensive taxi from the other side of the ruins and come back to Pisaq.
- Budget Travel
Don't miss Pisaq
When we were in Pisaq there were very few tourist and our guide said a lot of people skip out on seeing Pisaq and head straight for Machupicchu. Pisaq is amazing and give you a great view of patchwork terrace scenery. And it was a thrill to be treking around above 13,000 feet. Plus the market there is so fun! Just be on guard for some pushy vendors and clingy kids. You have to have the $10 tourist ticket to get into Pisaq but you can buy it at the entrance.
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Cusco Travel Guide
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