Blog | Sumaq Hotel Machu Picchu (English)

Muy cercano a Cusco se encuentra el encantador poblado de Chincheros, testigo y heredero de la cultural inca. Es una de las pocas localidades que aún conserva su estructura urbanística casi como en la época del Imperio Inca. Esto quiere decir que por donde usted camine hace cientos de años caminaron los mismos incas que construyeron la civilización más grande y próspera de América del Sur!

Qué ver y hacer en Chincheros

La Plaza de Armas de Chincheros de singular belleza alberga la Iglesia de Monserrat y es donde tiene lugar el Mercado de Chincheros. Cada domingo los habitantes locales, vestidos con sus coloridos trajes típicos, bajan de sus comunidades hacia la plaza central para comerciar sus productos. Muchos de estos productos son el fruto del trabajo en el campo dado que los habitantes de Chincheros viven especialmente de la agricultura. Tal vez esto se deba a que este poblado se fundó originalmente entre las más bellas campiñas para servir como lugar de descanso del Inka Tupac Yupanqui.

El mercado de Chinchero se celebra todos los domingos en su plaza central. Aquí usted puede encontrar también artesanías y objetos hechos a mano pero también existe la posibilidad de comprar productos comestibles, tejidos, cerámicas y pinturas. Como siempre los mercados populares guardan un encanto único e invitan al turista a llevarse los mejores suvenires en forma de pequeñas artesanías locales.

La iglesia de Chincheros es uno de los grandes atractivos del lugar junto con el mercado local. Esta fue construida sobre el basamento de antiguo palacio inca Tupac Yupanqui ya desaparecido. La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Monserrat, que data de 1607, fue construida por los conquistadores sobre este antiguo palacio inca en Chincheros como una forma de demostrar su dominio sobre la población local. El interior de la iglesia presenta el altar central en estilo barroco tallado en oro en homenaje a la Virgen de la Natividad.

De camino hacia la Iglesia de Chincheros o hacia las ruinas del complejo arqueológico existe un gran número de tiendas de artesanías estratégicamente ubicadas para llamar la atención del turista que pasa por allí. Estos puestos de venta artesanal ofrecen artículos producidos por los habitantes locales, cerámicas, objetos tallados en madera o piedra, representativos de la cultura y tradiciones locales.

¿El clima en Chincheros,  qué ropas llevar?

Rodeado por los nevados de Salkantay y Verónica, Chincheros presenta un clima típico de la cierra. Las temperaturas aquí son frías por la mañana y van ascendiendo gradualmente hasta volverse cálidas durante el mediodía y la tarde. Al llegar la noche la temperatura desciende rápidamente sintiéndose el frío típico de la cierra. Se recomienda durante la mañana vestir varias “capas” de ropa para resguardarse del frío pero que deje la posibilidad de quitarse algún abrigo al acercarse el mediodía momento en el cual la temperatura asciende.

Cómo ir de Cusco a Chincheros

Chincheros se encuentra a tan sólo 28 km desde Cusco. Llegar a Chinchero desde Cusco es muy sencillo. Se puede rentar un carro de alquiler y conducir hacia la salida norte de la ciudad tomando la carretera asfaltada en dirección Urubamba/Ollantaytambo demorando una media hora en llegar.

La otra forma por medio de transporte público (ómnibus) por valores siempre inferiores a los 5 soles peruanos. El inconveniente del bus público es que parará en cada pueblo entre el trayecto Cusco-Chincheros, pudiéndose demorar hasta una hora en llegar a destino.

IMG_8355 cristo blancoFor our friends who are traveling to Cuzco for the first time, it is advisable to hire a guided tour so as not to miss any of the city’s touristic attractions.

The closed packages hired through a travel agency in Cuzco will ensure that tourists get to know the whole imperial city and will usually include a free day so that they can set up their own itinerary.

We will now see what to do and what to visit during a free day in Cuzco.

Visit the San Pedro de Cuzco Market

It is common that during a guided tour in Cuzco not much time is spent at this fantastic spot. That is why it is a good option to come back with more time on your own to look for better prices of any product offer in there. Inside the market you can find a great number of stalls that sell local products, from meat, bread, chocolate, cocoa, fruits, vegetables and souvenirs, to clothes and dresses.

Going through the market alleys, the visitor will be able to see a great number of typical Peruvian dresses, cloths, “aguayos” (typical multicolored cloths), flags, etc. Shoes, handcrafts and all kinds of touristic and everyday products are also on display in the shelves of each stall and on the floor.

Taking pictures of the Twelve Angles Stone

This stone is part of the building blocks of the Archbishop’s Palace in Cuzco and it is estimated that its weight can reach up to 5 tons. The 12 perfectly carved angles, which at the same time fit with the other stones that surround them, remain a mystery. Scholars have not yet been able to figure out what lies behind this stone, which is photographed by tourists over a million times per year.

It is often the case that this Cuzco attraction cannot be photographed during the guided tour due to the large number of people that are queuing to get a picture. But the stone is so close to the historical center that it is possible to come back and visit it with more time to take a nice Cuzco memento home.

Taking the best picture of Cuzco from the White Christ

The White Christ of Cuzco is another beautiful attraction that gives us the best panoramic view of the city of Cuzco. Many times we cannot take the best picture during a guided visit because there is not enough time before reaching the next destination in the itinerary. That is why many people, completely fascinated by the views from the White Christ, decide to come back on their free day in order to take the best pictures of Cuzco from above. If during the visit day you forget your camera at the hotel, this is another opportunity to come back to take one of the best visual mementos from Cuzco.

san sebastian fotoThere are plenty of festivities in Cuzco during January; these comprise ancient ceremonies inherited from the Incas along with those brought from the XVI century onwards by the conquerors.

In this article we will have a look at the three main festivities in Cuzco during January: the Feast of San Sebastián, the Feast of Chiaraje (Warrior’s Ritual) and the Descent of the Three Wise Men.

The Feast of San Sebastián

History tells us that the image of San Sebastián was taken to Cuzco a few years after the arrival of the Spanish conquerors in Peru, and that he quickly became the patron saint of the Indians.

January 20th is the main day in the Feast of San Sebastián in Cuzco. On this day there is a morning mass, and once it concludes, the main procession begins; the image of the saint is carried through the whole district of San Sebastián (Cuzco).

The Feast of San Sebastián in Cuzco is accompanied by several displays of oral tradition, music, dance and food. It also serves as a vehicle for socializing and establishing trade bonds. Declared as being part of the Cultural Heritage of the Nation, it is one of the most traditional cults in the region of Cuzco.

The feast of Chiaraje (Warrior’s Ritual)

On January 20th the Feast of Chiaraje (Warrior’s Ritual) also takes place.

The Feast of Chiaraje is a warrior’s ritual of ancient roots led by the inhabitants of the high provinces of Cuzco. It consists of a ritual fight between the inhabitants of Checa and Quehue, who fight one another in war games that are meant to increase the fertility of the land.

The men are armed with slings, leather whips and sticks, and they wear vests adorned with flowers. At the height of the ceremony more than 500 men can be found at the simulated battlefield throwing stones with their slings. The ceaseless and disturbing noise of thousands of stones hitting the ground truly brings an adrenaline rush to anyone that attends this Andean ceremony.

The descent of the Three Wise Men in Cuzco

On January 6th the people of Cuzco celebrate the feast of The Descent of the Three Wise Men in Cuzco, a religious tradition coupled with beautiful dramatizations, processions and popular feasts, celebrated in a particular manner in the towns of Ollantaytambo and Cuzco.

The Descent of the Three Wise Men culminates with popular feasts and processions which go through the main streets of the town and pass by many of its churches: San Cristóbal, San Blas, San Pedro, Santiago and the Central Cathedral of the Plaza de Armas in Cuzco.

The many festivities in Cuzco, even the ones from a religious origin, reveal the Peruvian nature, both men and women have a sociable disposition and tend to share their hopes of prosperity.

IMG_0214Exploring the Inka Trail safely is the most impressive and unforgettable way of reaching Machu Picchu. This is the very same trail that was used by the Inkas over 500 years ago! The incredible trekking along the Inka Trail goes through gravel roads and galleries that lead to the Urubamba River and all the way to the peak of the Andes.

We must be prepared before facing this 43km trekking experience! We will now look at the necessary equipment to explore the Inka Trail, which clothes to take, how much food to carry on your backpack and which is the best time to do it.

Equipment for trekking the Inka Trail

Since this is a 4-day trekking experience, it is key to plan which equipment and clothes and how much food to take.

  • Abackpack or big bag for personal equipment.
  • A small backpack, a sleeping bag and a thermal mat.
  • A tent if the trail is to be done independently.
  • Bottled water, water purifying tablets, flashlights, matchsticks and bags to carry any trash.
  • Sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, first aid kit, swimwear and toiletries.

Which clothes to take for the Inka Trail

It is advisable to take at least two changes of winter clothes, as well as a short and a few short-sleeved shirts to wear during the day. For the nighttime you will need a warm hat, scarf, socks, gloves and a thick mid-weight goose coat (or similar) as well as a raincoat in case it rains. Trekking shoes or boots and wool socks.

How much food to take to explore the Inka Trail

You will need to take food for the 4 days of the journey.

Which is the best time to explore the Inka Trail

The best time to explore the Inka Trail is from May to October. The rest of the year there are less tourists due to the humid, cold and constantly rainy climate. Some parts of the trail become too slippery and dangerous.

It is advisable to acclimatize in Cusco, one or two days prior to starting the trail. For a good acclimatization it is essential to have a good rest on the first day, eat little and drink lots of liquids, especially coca mate, which is known for its healing and digestive properties.

Is it safe to explore the Inka Trail on your own?

Most tourists that decide to explore the Inka Trail do so through a travel agency or an adventure tourism company. These companies offer all the necessary conveniences for the expedition, such as cooks, porters and professional guides

editada wawa

The best way to become involved in the culture of Cusco is to understand and experience some of the frequent religious celebrations held in the city and throughout the region. Cusco is known as one of the cities with the most celebrations linking the past and the present.

Ancient Inca traditions, together with more modern ones established by the Spanish conquerors during colonial times, make Cusco’s celebrations unique.

Travelers can find many celebrations in Cusco on certain dates. Among the most important of these are Inti Raymi (June 24), Corpus Christi (May-June), Santurantikuy (December 24), All Souls’ Day (November 1?) and, lastly, All Saints’ Day (November 2?). All Saints’ Day (November 1) and, lastly, All Souls’ Day (November 2)*

November 1 – All Saints’ Day Celebration in Cusco

On this day, families gather together and assemble an altar with their deceased loved ones’ favorite foods and beverages. According to tradition, on November 1 at noon, the deceased return from the beyond to visit their relatives and to see if they are still remembered in the world of the living.

Hope in the afterlife is what makes relatives of the dead continue their tradition of gathering every year to celebrate All Saints’ Day.

November 2 – All Souls’ Day in Cusco

This is the day when cemeteries in Cusco and throughout the region are filled with relatives and friends of those who are no longer living.

Throughout All Souls’ Day, visitors to the cemeteries of Cusco bring flowers, food, beverages, and even clothes to the graves in memory of the deceased.

In Cusco, groups of relatives of the deceased can be seen eating and drinking near the graves of their loved ones to honor them on All Souls’ Day.

Halloween in Cusco

Cultural syncretism arose not only in colonial times; it continues to be seen in the noteworthy influence of other cultures. As a cosmopolitan tourist hub, the city of Cusco has not escaped this influence.

These days, on October 31, one can see children and teenagers in costumes celebrating Halloween on the streets of Cusco. Every year, the city of Cusco gets into the Halloween spirit!

Visiting the city at this time of year is worthwhile and very entertaining. Once the Halloween celebrations are over in Cusco, the city’s residents return home to continue with their traditions on November 1 and 2.

All Saints’ Day 1 de noviembre

All Souls’ Day 2 de noviembre

intiwata foto

To this day, one of the most enigmatic features  within the Lost City of Machu Picchu is the Intiwatana Sundial. In the Quechua language of the ancient Incas, Intiwatana loosely means “ Where the sun is tied down”. It´s no wonder that this monolithic structure truly lives up to its name.

The Intiwatana structure has a broad base, from which a short, four faced small pillar protrudes upwards. The pillar itself is no taller than a foot, and the whole area is barely 5 feet tall. What makes it stand out is the fact this Inca sundial was actually carved out of one solid piece of granite. Having four sides that are perfectly aligned to the four cardinal  points, the Intiwatana was used in religious  ceremonies to track the path of the sun, as well as predicting solstices and equinoxes.

It´s worthy to note that Inca cosmology was deeply involved with dealing with the Mother Earth, Father Sun, the wind and the water. Thus, being synced with these elements was crucial in their beliefs, since  their relationship with nature was the basis of their success. By knowing the exact movement of the sun and being able to predict climate conditions, they could easily harness the power  of nature in order to sow better crops,and maintain a perfect balance throughout the Empire.

In every  major Inca city, it is believed there was an Intiwatana. The most famous one remains in Machu Picchu. The staff at Sumaq Hotel is ready to provide you with knowledgeable guides, who possess insider information about this fascinating Inca sundial. Since we´re sure you won´t hesitate in taking on the adventure of discovering  the ancient wisdom of the Incas through their most distinctive landmarks, our in-house specialists at Sumaq Hotel will do everything within our means to provide  you with that tailor –made visit  you´ve been dreaming of us.


templo el condor  Mapi
In the Southeast of Machu Picchu there is a marvelous rock structure with the shape of a condor with its wings fully extended. It may had been a sacred temple or the area where the urban prisons were.

The Temple of Condor forms a type of labyrinth with a rock-sculpted Andean Condor in the middle of it. It has its wings extended as if it were about to land.

The East sector of the citadel is where the major constructions of Incas’ civilization are. The buildings are pointing to the sun in order to make the stars measurements possible. The Temple of Condor is located right here, as well as the Temple of Sun, the Temple of the Three Windows, the Sacred Rock and the Aqllawasi. In the South of the Temple of Condor there is a residential area that was devoted to the upper class. This area communicated with the temple through a series of courtyards.

Many expert historians believe to have explained the location of the Temple of Condor after having discovered the Condor’s rock structure. They estimate this was the place where the Inca civilization worshiped their gods and celebrated their rituals.

What was the Temple of Condor purpose?

There are several theories about the social function of the Temple of Condor. One of these points out the religious aspect: the Condor was a worshiped sacred bird for all the Andean people.

The second theory tries to demonstrate that in this particular area the Machu Picchu prisons were located, in which the prisoners were sacrificed as an offering to the condors. The cells are located in the underground room of the Condor’s Temple.

It is indisputable that this was a place specifically built for worshiping the “Apu Kuntur” (condor), which was one of the three sacred animals in the Inca culture, as well as the puma (mountain lion) and the serpent.  Thus its function was strictly religious. The condor was and still is a very special deity in the Andes, but the ceremonies that were carried out in its honor during the Inca Empire are unknown.

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