Backpacking across the Andes Cusco Peru

Backpacking across the Andes – #18: Sacsayhuaman (Peru)

We continued exploring Cusco and discovered the Sacsayhuaman site, an impressive archeological complex located on a steep hill overlooking Cusco and composed of massive fortified walls in a zigzag shape!



We learnt that part of this site was built by a pre-inca civilization called the Killke around 1100 AD and that the Incas extended the complex during the 13th century.

Like we had seen in Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu, the walls were made of huge stones so tightly fitted together that a sheet of paper would not fit in-between! Mortar was not used; the stones very so perfectly cut that their shape made them stay together.

Thanks to this precision, the walls remained intact during the devastating earthquakes that shaked Cusco. But if they survived the earthquakes, they did not entirely survived the Spanish conquistadors who took most of the stones, piece by piece, to build their own buildings in Cusco, only leaving the heaviest stones that they could not move…


Sacsayhuaman is very easily reachable on foot from Cusco. We started walking in the direction of the ruins located up on the hill when a taxi driver offered to take us there. At first we were not sure because it was not very far away but in the end we were happy to accept this offer as the hill was very steep and the site is located at an altitude of 3 700 meters which makes the walk all the more difficult. So we quickly reached the site and started exploring.



We were once again welcomed by a lovely lama. I definitely loved lamas!

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From the top of the hill, we had the best view on Cusco and the Plaza de Armas.

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With the visit of Sacsayhuaman ended our stay in the Sacred Valley. Our amazing backpacking adventure across the Andes was reaching its end. We had one last stop before going back home: Lima.

Continue reading

  • Next stop: Lima. Click here to read the article.
  • All articles about this country: click here to see all articles about Peru.
  • All articles about this trip: click here to read see all articles about this backpacking trip across the Andes (Chile – Bolivia – Peru).

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