Sacsayhuaman

Vacation Travel Guide

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 Hotels Close to Sacsayhuaman

Hilton Garden Inn Cusco
Hilton Garden Inn Cusco
3.5 out of 5
Santa Ana, Avenida Abancay 207, Cusco, Cusco
The price is $68 per night from Jan 26 to Jan 27
Located in Cusco Historic Center, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Museo de Plantas Sagradas Magicas y Medicinales and Plaza de Armas. San Pedro Church ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (774 reviews)
"Great place to stay"

Reviewed on Dec 22, 2021

Hilton Garden Inn Cusco
Novotel Cusco
Novotel Cusco
4 out of 5
San Augustin 239 Esquina, Cusco, Cusco
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $69 per night from Jan 22 to Jan 23
Located in Cusco Historic Center, this historic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Hatunrumiyoc and Plaza de Armas. UNSAAC Yale International Center and Museum ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (821 reviews)
"Well run property with friendly service and great location. Highly recommend."

Reviewed on Jan 17, 2022

Novotel Cusco
Antigua Casona San Blas
Antigua Casona San Blas
4 out of 5
Calle Carmen Bajo 243, San Blas, Cusco
The price is $87 per night from Feb 21 to Feb 22
Located in Cusco Historic Center, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Plaza San Blas and Plaza de Armas. San Blas Church and Olave Art Gallery are also ...
4.9/5 Exceptional! (830 reviews)
"Lovely staff, super clean, great food"

Reviewed on Jan 18, 2022

Antigua Casona San Blas
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.

Plan a trip to see Sacsayhuaman

Tocuyeros Boutique Hotel
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Rumi Wasi

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Sacsayhuaman

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Best Lodging Options Near Sacsayhuaman

Ramada Costa Del Sol Cusco
Ramada Costa Del Sol Cusco
3.5 out of 5
Santa Teresa N 344, Cusco, Cusco
The price is $54 per night from Feb 3 to Feb 4
Ramada Costa Del Sol Cusco
Novotel Cusco
Novotel Cusco
4 out of 5
San Augustin 239 Esquina, Cusco, Cusco
The price is $69 per night from Jan 22 to Jan 23
Novotel Cusco
Antigua Casona San Blas
Antigua Casona San Blas
4 out of 5
Calle Carmen Bajo 243, San Blas, Cusco
The price is $87 per night from Feb 21 to Feb 22
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 $68 per night from Jan 26 to Jan 27
Hilton Garden Inn 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 $173 per night from Feb 9 to Feb 10
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 $180 per night from Jan 22 to Jan 23
Palacio del Inka, A Luxury Collection Hotel by Marriott
Aranwa Cusco Boutique Hotel
Aranwa Cusco Boutique Hotel
4.5 out of 5
San Juan De Dios 255, Cusco, Cusco
The price is $119 per night from Jan 22 to Jan 23
Aranwa Cusco Boutique Hotel
Atoq San Blas Hotel
Atoq San Blas Hotel
3.5 out of 5
Calle Atoqsaycuchi 278, Esquina con Calle Tandapata, San Blas, Cusco
The price is $62 per night from Jan 22 to Jan 23
Atoq San Blas Hotel
Rumi Wasi
Rumi Wasi
3.5 out of 5
Calle Suecia No. 499, Cusco, Cusco
The price is $88 per night from Jan 22 to Jan 23
Rumi Wasi
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.