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PAUCARTAMBO

(3,020 m.a.s.l.)


A typical colonial town located at 100 km, about 4 hours to the east of Cusco. To get there we have to take the paved road to Puno. Passing Huacarpay, we take a firm path to go into the northeast (alternative route to Pisac) and continue up to the villages of Huancarani and Huambutio. Finally we go down until the fertile valley of Paucartambo.

Its old bridge, its beautiful church, narrow and stony streets, small squares and big houses with balconies and wide halls: Paucartambo still keeps a strong colonial air. Besides, it is one of the towns with more dancers and dances associated to the Corpus and the pilgrimage of Qoyllur Ritti.

From this town, the road goes up towards Acjanaco and Tres Cruces (in the south borders of the National Park of Manu) from where we can admire the most beautiful sunrises in the world. From Acjanaco we go down by the valley of Kosńipata as far as the village of Atalaya Shintuya in the bed of Madre De Dios River. In Paucartambo, we find rustic restaurants and hotels.

It is recommendable to take warm clothes.




PUCA PUCARA


At 7 km to the northeast of the city, by the road leading to Pisac (30 minutes by car and 2 hours on foot), we find this incaic site which Quechua name means "red fortress" due to the color of the rocks when the twilight reflects on them. (puca = red and pucara = fortress or defended place).

It would deal about a military building made up by overlapping terraces, interior squares, aqueducts, watchtowers, high walls and staircases. However, Its presence along the road may also indicate that it was a wayside inn, though its structure does not belong to the standard outlining that characterizes those buildings along the Inca trails. On this possibility, there is a version that says the Inca accommodated there his numerous delegation each time he decided to visit the Tambomachay baths.

The site occupies another typical rocky place standing out in the Sacsayhuamán plain. Towards the western side, it shows a facade on a free area like a small square. On the opposite site, there is a medium size building, which main characteristic is its strategic location since it controls the whole surrounding territory.

It was built with three walls of irregular plant that set three levels for each site.

The first wall was outlined to be winding so as to carefully avoid cutting the prominent rocks. Towards the north and behind the outside wall, there are six rooms of different sizes arranged in such an irregular way so as not to touch the stones forming the wall. Towards the west, there is a high trapezoid square, which is accessed by a staircase. Buildings on both sides surrounded the square. The nine rooms of regular outline in this open area do not seem to belong to a fortified environment.

A second wall surrounds the central elevation. Between this and the first, there are wide cultivation terraces that spread all over towards the south and the east. Behind the second wall, there are three atypical rooms for the Inca architecture since two of them lack of a rectangular plant, it is trapezoidal. The third wall surrounds the top and there are no traces left of its buildings.



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