+51 984 004 472 info@tierrasvivas.com
+51 984 004 472 info@tierrasvivas.com


Tierras Vivas Travel > Chachabamba

The 2 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is the easiest version of this trek. There are several ways to get to the Inca citadel. Day 1 includes about 7 hours of walking, where you will see Chachabamba, a beautiful Inca ruin where we take a tour with a professional guide. Do you want to know more?

These ruins, discovered in 1940, are located on the old Inca road that ran along the southern bank of the Urubamba River. The style of buildings and stonework suggest that this used to be an important religious site, as well as having the secondary function as a gate house guarding this entrance to Machu Picchu.


On our short Inca Trail itinerary, the impressive archaeological site of Chachabamba is located on the ancient route used in times of the empire, which partly follows the course of the Urubamba river. For its construction, the Incas had to open a clearing in the jungle. It is located 2,171 meters above sea level (6,995 feet above sea level), already descending in the subtropical Andean forest. It is a magnificent place!

The Chachabamba ruins in the Inca Trail is located in the middle of beautiful and huge green mountains, with an invaluable view, where the clouds are almost in front of the hikers.

The Origin of its historic name

The name of this archaeological site has slight variations from Quechua. The Chachabamba is said to come from 2 words “Chacha” which means welts and / or bites produced by the mosquitoes that live in the valley and “Bamba” which would have no other meaning than valley or place, which would have the final result “Valley mosquito bites”

Another of the theories about its possible translation and that perhaps you find the most beautiful to hear is: “Valley of the origin of the waters”, which derives from the Quechua that gets its words from the onomatopoeic sounds of nature, in this case the syllables Cha … cha … “would come from the sound that water makes when falling through waterfalls” giving full meaning to its translation into Spanish.

Design of the Chachabamba Citadel in Perú

The Incas were fairly skilled builders. They were able to link a citadel to the shape of the mountains. Chachabamba in Perú is not an exception.

It is very interesting and ingenious, because it is located on top of a hill. This top was flat or flattened in some way. Although most of the site sits on a flat surface, there are fascinating constructions that cater to the curved contours of the mountain. As in all its sites, everything is well planned and the design itself is efficient and functional.

Some of the buildings, however, follow the undulations of the terrain, they are curved buildings. Its architectural characteristics are combined, according to the current theories of archaeologists, that is, religious and military.

Its stone buildings are very high, well built, imposing and in the past they were roofed with some light and flexible material.

Chachabamba ruins in the Inca Trail contains two types of architecture: the Inca imperial structures and the domestic types. For the type of architecture, structures and distribution, it was probably a religious center where the Incas performed ceremonies dedicated to Mother Nature spatially in the mountains. In the middle of the construction there is a very nice square that in this site you can see a very nice altar carved from natural rock. A few meters from here there are several ceremonial water baths. Probably the place where the Inca pilgrims take a purification shower to cleanse the soul before reaching Machu Picchu.

The landscape around is wonderful, green mountain ranges crossed by narrow paths and white clouds above, a place full of silence and peace. The Chachabamba area is a very fertile valley, a great place to grow tropical and subtropical foods and plants, spatially sweet potatoes, cassava and medicinal plants.

History of Chachabamba in Perú

The ruins such as Chachabamba in Perú were discovered in 1940, being within the traditional Inca Trail route that followed the current along the coast of the Urubamba river to a subtropical height of 2,171 meters above sea level in the region known as Antisuyo. Due to the shape of its buildings and the architectural order that they are contemplating, it can be said that Chachabamba would also have been built for important religious purposes.

Purpose of Chachabamba ruins in Perú

“It is believed that an archaeological site was a place destined for the Water Treaty” or that “it served as a place of refuge before entering Machu Picchu.”

Current archaeological and historical investigations maintain that this site was probably built for one of the following two reasons: first, as a military fort to control the entire area, because it was access to the vicinity of Machu Picchu, which was the luxury retreat for the emperor, his family, and the rest of the court. Second, as a religious complex to worship water, it was a central deity for them, due to the essential importance of agriculture for their survival.

This highlight, the Chachabamba site, according to archaeological studies, was first built as an important religious site for water worship; the Incas had a very strong connection with nature, which they called Pachamama (Mother Earth). Its economy was based on agriculture, reason why both the cult to the Pachamama and the deity of the water were very important in their vision of the world.

Second, the Chachabamba site was also a checkpoint for people heading to the Machu Picchu sanctuary; Machu Picchu was a place where all the Inca leaders went on “vacations”, so to speak, it was a royal retreat, so they also took some security measures. The Inti Punku (Puerta del Sol), which is the entrance to Machu Picchu, is also a checkpoint guarded by elite soldiers.

Climate in Chanchabamba

The weather in Chachabamba Perú is usually warmer and sunnier than in the city of Cusco and higher altitudes (the ruins are at a height of 7,053 feet or 2,150 meters).

How to get to Machu Picchu and Chachabamba by the Short Inca Trail

The entire travel route to Chachabamba and Machu Picchu will surprise you with its beautiful paths delicately decorated with green forests and its soft nature that will clear your mind for the trekking that this unmistakable place requires.

On the first day, after breakfast, we take you from your hotel. (You can find out more about food for this tour) to the train station in Ollantaytambo and from there to kilometer 104 of the old road to Machu Picchu (both transfers included). At kilometer 104, you must cross a bridge over the beautiful Urubamba River and not far from there the impressive ruins of Chachabamba rise.

After the guided tour in Chachabamba, the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu continues with a short walk of around 3 hours to the magnificent archaeological complex of Wiñaywayna and finally the march to the Portada del Sol (Inti Punku), the original entrance to Machu Picchu. In the Inca past, where you can take extraordinary photos of the citadel. Day 1 ends already going down by tourist bus on the way to the town of Aguas Calientes, very welcoming and with various activities for you to enjoy the afternoon at leisure. Overnight is at a tourist hotel in the town.

Chachabamba is one of the many reasons to do the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu! Don’t forget that this world famous hike must be booked well in advance, contact us!

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