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Discovering Andahuaylillas in Cusco: the Sistine Chapel and More

Tierras Vivas Travel > Discovering Andahuaylillas in Cusco: the Sistine Chapel and More

Great adventures await us to know the Southern Valley of Cusco, appreciate crafts, temples, natural landscapes, museums and local cuisine in the town of Andahuaylillas in the province of Quispicanchis.

Our adventure starts from the city of Cusco traveling 36 km to the town of Andahuaylillas Cusco, the bus trip last 45 min following the Andean Baroque route to Andahuaylillas Church ‘the Sistine Chapel of America’. 

Like most place names in Cusco, Andahuaylillas comes from the Quechua language Antahuaylla which translating it means Cobriza Prairie. However, this name was changed to the diminutive Andahuaylillas to name this beautiful place of pure air and beautiful colonial structures to differentiate itself from its equal located in Apurimac.

If you do the Cusco South Valley circuit, you will know the place at the end of your route. It’s really interesting, finding the best silver craftsmen in Cusco. They have an amazing job and the prices are really incredible. In addition, they make alpaca sweaters and handicrafts.

Important Information About Andahuaylillas Cusco

  • Location: Andahuaylillas is located 40 km southeast of the city of Cusco, along the road that leads to Puno region.
  • Climate: In the village, the maximum temperature is 20 ° C and the minimum temperature in winter is 0 ° C. Do not forget that, as in other Andean areas, even in summer the nights are very cold. Wear light clothes for the ride, but also don’t forget a rainwear.
  • Altitude: 3122 m.s.n.m / 10242 ft, so you must take precautions to avoid suffering from altitude sickness. But neglect, in most restaurants you can buy a coca tea.
  • Price: Andahuaylillas church entrance for adults is S / .15 (Approx $ 5) and children and students S /. 10. The Cusco tourist ticket does not include this tour. It is the only route in the South Valley that is not included in the Ticket.
  • Visiting Hours: General admission is from 8:00 to 4:00 pm. The place does not allow taking pictures.


How to get to Andahuaylillas Peru?

After flying from the capital of Perú, Lima, you will arrive in Cusco. If you plan your trip alone, with friends or with family you will find different ways to enjoy your stay in Cusco to the fullest and visit the best destinations that this magical city hides, here a guide that will help you get to Andahuaylillas without problems.

Bus or car to Andahuaylillas: (Ideal for a trip alone or with friends)

To go to Andahuaylillas, Huaro & Canincunca: get on the bus that goes from Cusco to Urcos (in front of the regional hospital – Cusco). The cost is US$ 1.

Tours to Andahuaylillas: Ideal for a family trip

A tour of the South Valley would be excellent knowing not only Andahuaylillas but also Tipon and Pikillacta. Will be picked up from your hotel and will have a professional guide helping you to know much better I am incredible destinations.

When is the Best time to visit Andahuaylillas Perú?

The best season to visit Andahuaylillas is during the dry season, which covers the months April to the end of September. In October the rains begin and you can find Machu Picchu covered by clouds. If you travel in June, we recommend you to book the Inti Raymi 2020 Tour that takes place in June 24th, and also hike the Palcoyo Mountain Tour, which is an incredible Rainbow Mountain located in the Andes.

Andean Baroque Route:

If you are a lover of art and history, you will like this tour. You will tour 4 temples that show works made by mestizo artists in the time of the Viceroyalty in Cusco. A peculiar style born from a mixture of religious and biblical themes with myths and deities of the Andean tradition giving rise to the Andean Baroque.

A day before we started with the Temple of the Society of Jesus, in the city of Cusco. The next day and on our tour of the southern valley we visited the Church of San Pedro Apóstol de Andahuaylillas, known as the Sistine Chapel of America, the temple of San Juan Bautista in huaro and finally, the Chapel of the Purified Virgin of Canincunca, surrounded by the most beautiful landscapes that characterize the tour to the South Valley of Cusco.

andahuaylillas sistine chapel of america

Church of San Pedro Apostle of Andahuaylillas:

Built in the 16th century, the Sistine Chapel of America thus considers for its fine interior decoration and varied fresco paintings with themes on the Christian faith, in order to educate the natives and continue the process of evangelization.

With a Renaissance style on the outside, the interior is a splendid example of the baroque dazzling a naturalistic decoration. The whole place is complemented with abundant canvases with frames covered in gold leaf highlighting fine paintings such as the ‘Crucifixion’, ‘The Baptism of Christ’, ‘Archangel St. Michael’ and the painting of the Virgin of the Rosary painted by Diego Quispe Tito – Iconic outstanding character of this art.

The temple of Andahuaylillas, church of San Pedro has numerous canvases also in gold leaf allusive to the public life of the apostle whose name is this beautiful construction currently restored and valued to enjoy it in its maximum splendor.

One of the curiosities that most caught our attention was the access arch to the baptistery (Place where Baptism is taught), finding the inscription of the Trinitarian formula (I baptize you in the name of the Father of the Son and the Holy Spirit). In Latin, Spanish, Quechua, Aymara and the extinct Puquina languages. Coming to the conclusion that the temple of San Pedro Apóstol de Andahuaylillas was a main center of translation of biblical texts into the indigenous languages of the Archdiocese in Cusco.

andahuaylillas cusco

Other Churches in Cusco

Cusco has the most beautiful churches in America, many of these religious constructions are considered works of art; this makes it travel through the historic center of Cusco, sea like touring a huge museum.

When planning your trip to Machu Picchu, you can include the religious circuit and visit the amazing collection of churches in Cusco:

  • Cusco Cathedral, the most impressive monument of colonial architecture, located in the Main Square of Cusco.
  • La Compañía de Jesus, one of the Baroque churches of Cusco; it is made of andesite stone and has a very beautiful facade.
  • The Convent of La Merced, its almost rustic walls contrast very well with its beautiful columns and its baroque bell tower.
  • The Church of Saint Blas, is one of the oldest in Cusco; It was built around 1,544 on an ancient Inca sanctuary dedicated to the worship of the god ‘Illapa’, deity of lightning, thunder and lightning.
  • Santo Domingo convent, is built on the bases of the Qoricancha (Temple of the Sun). Here you can see finely polished Inca enclosures. The baroque carved tower that holds the bell tower is one of the most outstanding features of the Temple.
  • The Monastery of Santa Catalina, its architecture features Roman-style arches, corresponding to the last stages of the Renaissance; It is built on the Acallawasi (House of the chosen or virgins of the sun)
  • The Church of Saint Peter, it houses beautiful paintings of the Cusqueña School; the pulpit was carved by the famous artist from Cusco Juan Tomas Tuyru Túpac. The 2 bell towers give the facade a Renaissance cut.
  • The church of Saint Sebastian, was built in a place surrounded by small archaeological sites that must have been very important in the time of the Incas. The temple, the facade and the main altar are baroque; It has a very unique architecture full of ornaments.

After your visit to the temple of Andahuaylillas

Andahuaylillas Square

It is one of the most traditional and ancient squares of Cusco. Around the square there are artisan shops that show their work, in addition there are stalls selling products of all kinds.

Considered as one of the most beautiful squares in the region. Right in the heart of Andahuaylillas, the square of arms of Andahuaylillas is adorned by the trees of Pisonay (Coral trees) and palm trees is a great place to take a well-deserved rest already completed your tour through the South Valley.

Gastronomic Route in Andahuaylillas

Following the different aromas of traditional restaurants Andahuaylillas offers typical dishes such as Baked Cuy, which is served with golden potatoes and stuffed rocoto; Fried Trout and Upu Tarpuy, quinoa-based dish, guinea pig, squash turret and other local products.

You will also find on the South Valley tour:

Pikillacta Citadel:

Continuing with our southern route in the Lucre district, 8 km from Andahuaylillas, is this pre-Inca citadel of the Wari culture. Surprising your urban planning geometric plan very harmonious and perfect.

The construction is of stone without carving and mud, separated by streets and walls of up to 12 meters high, giving it an aspect of fortification. It is estimated that I house ten min people.

If you want to know more about this incredible construction before the magnificent Inca culture, I invite you to visit our Pikillacta blog, where we will tell you in detail all the experience in the southern valley of Cusco.

Tipon Archaeological Complex:

A large sample of Inca hydraulic engineering located 19.5 km from Andahuaylillas. Made up of twelve terraces flanked by platforms, stone walls, channels and finely carved water falls that, together with the flora and fauna of the place, offer an impressive landscape.

There is still much to learn on our route through the southern valley, do not miss our Tipon blog ‘A masterful hydraulic work’. We will tell you everything we find in the southern Valley of the Inca capital Cusco.

Other Archaeological Sites in Cusco:

Cusco was the center of the Inca culture, so it is possible to find many of the most important Inca archaeological centers in the entire region:

  • Archaeological Park of Machu Picchu, is the most important archaeological site in Peru and one of the most prominent in the world. Machu Picchu is one of the wonders of the modern world and in turn is a sacred place of the Andean culture. We recommend you to book in advance your Machu Picchu Tickets Entrance to enjoy your Vacation in Machu Picchu without any problem.
  • Archaeological Park of Sacsayhuaman, an incredible enclosure where it is possible to observe giant blocks of stone in its walls. In the explanation that is adjacent to the fortress every June 24 of the Inti Raymi ceremony.
  • Archaeological Park of Ollantaytambo, it presents a well-maintained architecture, its bells and orders or structures such as the Temple of the Sun are proof of this. The chronicles indicate that Ollantaytambo was built by order of the Inca Pachaquteq
  • Archaeological Park of Pisac, where several sectors are located in the main enclosure of the park, among them the main or Intiwatana neighborhood, where temples and palaces of fine masonry are housed, the Temple of the Sun stands out. Other constructions that stand out are the towers or pucaras and the platforms.
  • Archaeological Park of Choquequirao, It is a large archaeological complex with typical Inca buildings and a magnificent andenería, it is known as the younger sister of Machu Picchu and is still little explored, this is because to reach it you need a walk that lasts 4 days.
  • Archaeological Park of Moray, is a system of several large concentric circular terraces and of which it is believed to have been an agricultural research center.
  • Archaeological Park of Chinchero, in the main enclosure stands a colonial church, the contrast that is generated gives Chinchero a special atmosphere, as if it were a place suspended in time.
  • Archaeological Park of Raqchi, stands out the Temple of the god Wiracocha, although today only a part remains, it is possible to imagine the majesty that it should have had.

Other Tours in Cusco:

The famous Inca Trail Tours are the most popular excursions in Cusco – Peru; and considered among the best walks in the world.

The new and Mysterious: Alien in Andahuaylillas

Many people suggested the Andahuaylillas Museum, called the Andean Rites Museum in charge of the anthropologist Renato Davila Riquelme, gained great importance for being in its many attractions the ‘andahuaylillas alien’, a 50 cm long skeleton, with a disproportionate skull , large eyeballs and other different characteristics that came to be considered extraterrestrial.

With the price of voluntary admission, our tour begins in the cozy museum. Inside we can see different bone remains exhibited with all the paraphernalia with which they were buried, different lithic remains such as meteor remains found in Andahuaylillas; You will also find a wide collection and evolution of Andean corn until you reach the elaboration of Chicha.

Wanting to know more about the mummy of Andahuaylillas the famous ‘Wayky’ the alien Andahuaylillas, we arrived at his exhibition observing information of the place of his discovery and interesting data that would lead to the conclusion of an intra-terrestrial influence in Inca territories.

Being able to be just judges and give our own conclusions, I recommend you jump into this small museum in Andahuaylillas so that you can draw your own conclusions from this mysterious and attractive find.


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