NAME: Tipon (to boil)
ALTITUDE: 3 400 masl.


The original Quechua name of the whole Park is lost, and today it has diverse groups, standing out the sector where some Inkan “royal enclosures” are found. According to Victor Angles, those enclosures were made built by Inka Wiraqocha as a dwelling and refuge for his father Yawar Wakaq after his flight in the war against the Chankas. That group is found in a slight and warm ravine at an altitude of 3 400 m. Besides, the terracing found over here is very impressive, it contains 12 very fertile terraces that are still cultivated, and their retaining walls were built with well-carved stones. Even more impressive is the irrigation system that is still serving agriculture and was made taking advantage of the water spring existing on the spot. It has carved stone channels, precisely calculated and sometimes with almost vertical falls that all together constitute a hydraulic engineering master work. Likewise, there are some fountains that must have ceremonial duties.

Because of its location and the presence of a surrounding wall, Tipón must have been a very exclusive site, interdependent with some other sectors that today have divers names, among which are “Intiwatana” toward the West, “Pukutuyoq”, “Pukara”, “Hatun Wayk’o”, etc. Towards the group’s southwest, in the almost vertical mountain surface is the cemetery named “Pitopuqyo” that today has rows of looted tombs. It is worth mentioning that all over the park there is a huge amount of different cultural vestiges, including thousands of surface broken ceramic pieces.


NAME: Piquillacta (flea town)
ALTITUDE: 3 250 masl.


Piquillacta” is a compound Quechua word meaning “lousy town” (piki = louse; llaqta = town); however, that is not the original name of the zone or the main site. Today, it’s Inkan and previous names are unknown; though, when referring to this zone or the lagoon many chroniclers insinuate the names “Muyuna” (curve or turn), “Muyna” or “Mohina”. It seems that the site began being called “Pikillaqta” since the last years of the colonial epoch or by the beginning of the republic; its reason is unknown.

The pre-Hispanic site of Pikillaqta belonged to the Wari Culture developed in the present-day Ayacucho department. The Wari Culture is a blend of cultural elements of the Warpa, Nazca and Tiawanako civilizations. It undertook the start of its territorial expansion and then the Wari invasion of the Qosqo valley toward the year 750 AD; being developed approximately until 1200 AD. Everything indicates that by the beginning of the Inkan development the Waris were defeated in this region, conquered and absorbed, and their city was reused for the Tawantinsuyo’s interests. Today that pre-Inkan City contains approximately 700 buildings, 200 “kanchas” (apartments) and 504 “qolqas” (storehouses) and different buildings. It must have had a population of about 10 thousand people. The city has a very harmonious and almost perfect geometrical design, divided into blocks with straight streets. Archaeologist Mc. Ewan states that over here existed various complementary sectors: administrative, ceremonial, urban, defensive and a road system. Its buildings had 2 and even 3 stories, with high walls made with mud bonded stones; the walls were wide by the base and narrower by the top.

According to studies carried out by the team led by Gordon Mc. Ewan by the beginning of the 90s, those walls were originally covered with a coat of mud of 9 cm. and whitened with gypsum; likewise, the floors were made with a thick coat of gypsum, being thus demonstrated that by 750 AD that was a white city. The rooms were narrow, surely adapted to the length of the timber available in the region for a division of the stories. The ground surface that is seen today belongs mainly to the beginning of the second stories, the first floors being covered by stones and all the material of the upper floors that fell off as centuries passed. In 1927, Justo Roman Aparicio, practicing archaeological diggings in this spot found 40 turquoise micro-sculptures that are exhibited in the Qosqo’s Archaeological Museum. Subsequently, Luis A. Pardo found a stone sculpture representing a puma (mountain lion) in natural size. Many scholars suggest that in Inkan times, Pikillaqta was used as a city for “mitimaes”, that is, whole nations or tribes displaced from their original lands.

Nowadays, there is no water in the city; the Wakarpay lagoon is about 1 km. (0.62 miles) away from the spot and at a lower level with a difference of about 150 mts. (492 Ft.). However, in ancient times they had a lot of water in the town. The park includes some other interesting groups such as Choquepuqyo, Kañaraqay, Minaspata, Amarupata, Salitriyuq, Tamboraqay, Qaranqayniyuq, Rayallaqta, etc. Toward the lagoon’s eastern end, there are many farming terraces in the rocky face of the mountain; and in its lower part are some modern buildings that are used as a lodge for occasional visitors, they were built over the Urpikancha (Dove’s Palace) that is supposed to be the Inka Waskar’s birth place.

Advancing towards the east of Pikillacta is a great wall that on its upper side had the aqueduct that furnished water for the pre-Columbian City. Today, in that wall there are also remains of two imposing Inkan gates named Rumiqollqa Gates that in their epoch served for checking the people arriving in Qosqo, besides serving as a customs site. It is known that over here, inhabitants of the vast empire willing to visit the great capital had to drop the offerings prepared during their lifetimes. It is also known that in Inkan times Qosqo City for the Quechuas was something like “Mecca” for Moslems. Thus, every Tawantinsuyo inhabitant had a supreme dream to visit the “puma city” at least once in his lifetime. Just visiting the city gave people a superior status, and for example, if on a faraway road two persons met traveling in opposing ways, the person who had already visited Qosqo was recognized, greeted and respected by the other who had not visited it yet.


NAME: Andahuaylillas (Anta = coper, place – Waylla = valley)
ALTITUDE: 3 100 masl.


The colonial town of Andahuaylillas is decorated with coral trees and palm trees and its valuable jewel stands imponent: the Andahuaylillas Catholic Church. The church is considered to be the “Sistine Chapel” of the Americas, because of the quality of the artworks found inside it.

This church was built over some important Inkan building, possibly a religious shrine, as bases of the church were made with carved andesite belonging to religious Quechua architecture. Besides, in the surroundings there are remains of Inkan buildings, standing out a gate of transitional architecture on the church’s western side with two quadruped’s sculptures on its lintel. Those were the Jesuits who constructed the church by the end of the XVI century, with sun-dried mud-brick very wide walls, very common in colonial buildings. Its relatively modest architectonic structure is classic in small town churches. It has just one upper bell tower, a facade adorned with murals, and two strong projecting stone columns between which is the main gate; over that gate is an ancient balcony behind which there are more murals.

Inside the one-nave church, there are two different sections corresponding to the two stages of its construction; they are separated by the present interior main arch. The oldest and most adorned of mudejar style (architectonic style mixing Arab and Christian elements, developed between the XIII to XVI centuries) is found deeper inside where the High Altar is. The newest section is toward the entrance. That is the reason why this church has two pulpits, the oldest is under the interior arch and the latter on the opposite wall farther out. It is impressive the number of murals covering the walls and especially the ceiling with geometrical patterns and flowers adorned with gold flakes.

The High Altar is baroque, carved in cedar-wood and gilded with gold flakes; in the center of this altar is the effigy of the “Rosary Virgin”. Its tabernacle is covered with plates of beaten silver and it also has a lower mirror area placed in order to reflect the light of candles as well as light entering through the gate for helping interior illumination. Deep inside, at one side of the High Altar is the vestry that has ancient trunks in which the priests’ clothing and chasubles embroidered with precious metals are kept; that vestry also kept very interesting gold and silver jewelry that were stolen in 1992 but never recovered. Moreover, there are also some other altars and lateral chapels, and on the upper side of the central area an interesting collection of anonymous canvases of the Cusquenian School representing the life of Saint Peter, with impressive gilded frames. Over the interior arch is a painting representing the “Virgin of the Assumption” attributed to the Spanish painter Esteban Murillo.

Entering the church through its main gate, towards the left side is the baptistery; around its entrance is the writing “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen”; what is interesting is that the writing is in five languages spoken at the time when the church was built: Latin, Spanish, Quechua, Pukina and Aymara (today Pukina is an extinct language). On the surface behind the facade, that is, inside the church, on both sides of the gate are murals representing a crowded and attractive profane path leading to hell and another virtuous towards heaven.
Outside, on the western side of the church’s front patio are three big crosses sculpted in andesite; the central one is the biggest and they represent the Holy Trinity of Catholicism that is, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.