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Chinchero

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Chinchero

The Peruvian district of Chinchero is one of the 7 districts of the Urubamba province, located in the department of Cusco, under the administration of the regional government of Cuzco, in Peru.

 

The ancient town of Chinchero in Cusco - Perú is one of the most beautiful in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. A wonderful place where you can still feel and see the Inca culture as it was in times past. It has an incomparable plaza based on what was an Inca palace, with a typical Sunday fair where ancient marketing practices are still carried out and where you can observe people with the typical clothing of their ancestors.

 

Location

The Chinchero Village in Perú, is located 28 km. northwest of the city of Cusco, at around 3,160 meters above sea level, surrounded by the snowy mountains of Salkantay, Verónica and Soray. The view from here is impressive. Chinchero belongs to the province of Urubamba, department of Cusco.

 

History of Chinchero in the Sacred Valley

The origins of Chinchero in Cusco - Perú are lost in the night of time. There are vestiges that date back approximately two thousand years. The first inhabitants of the region were the Ayarmacas who, when the first Cusco governors arrived, defended their territory and offered serious resistance before being incorporated into the empire. Chinchero was the place chosen by the Inca Tupac Inca Yupanqui to establish his residence. He had beautiful palaces built for his personal use and that of his panaca.

 

Towards 1536, in the middle of the invasion, Manco Inca began his rebellion by burning Chinchero in Cusco - Perú so that the Spanish did not renew their provisions and stopped pursuing him in his retreat to unknown jungle regions. When Viceroy Toledo visited Cusco, he stopped at Chinchero. Here he established a reduction of Indians and ordered the construction of the current church, which was built on beautiful Inca rooms. Later, during the Tupac Amaru II revolution, the curaca of Chinchero, Mateo García Pamacahua, rose in favor of the King of Spain to fight the rebel. Pumacahua's triumph was eternalized in a mural that today features a cougar defeating a snake (amaru).

 

Officially, the district of Chinchero in Cusco - Perú was created on September 9, 1905 through Law No. 59 given in the government of President José Pardo y Barreda.2

Here is what in the Inca period was the royal hacienda of Tupac Inca Yupanqui, as well as a colonial temple built on the foundations of that civilization, especially the typical wider doors or windows below and narrower above, which was a characteristic of the Inca architecture.

 

Geography of Chinchero in the Sacred Valley

The capital is the Chinchero Village in Perú, located at 3,754 meters above sea level. 28 kilometers from Cuzco, in the province of Urubamba, department of Cuzco, and before reaching the Sacred Valley of the Incas (and the Urubamba River) is the town of Chinchero. The Sunday market, which was originally dominated by the barter of products among the inhabitants of the area, is currently a tourist attraction for the offer of its Inca crafts and textiles manufactured in the pre-Columbian style.

 

The important Inca ruins of the town were excavated and restored by the Spanish Archaeological Mission between 1968 and 1970. Those investigations gave rise to several volumes published by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 

Altitude of Chinchero in Perú

This altitude of Chinchero in Perú is almost 4000 meters above sea level.

 

Weather in Chinchero in the Sacred Valley

The climate is cool, on sunny days the temperature reaches 20 ° C. The climate of the Chinchero Village in Perú is semi-dry and temperate with an average temperature of 9.5 ° C.

 

The annual average temperature is a maximum of 13 ° C and a minimum of 10 ° C. During the year two seasons are observed: in the summer season (October-March) the rains are abundant and constant, with temperatures that vary between 3 ° and 18 ° C, during the winter (from April to September) the rains stop and the cold is accentuated at night reaching levels below zero, but during the day the sky turns blue and clear with temperatures reaching 17 ° C and the weather is frigid.

 

The best season to visit the Chinchero Village in Perú is between the months of May to September, a very good time for because the climate is temperate and you can better appreciate the landscapes that will be traveled.

 

Farming

Its fertile lands make them excellent producers of potatoes, ollucos, geese, broad beans, barley and wheat, traditional products whose planting dates back to the time of the Incas and even today they are the axis of agricultural trade in the area.

 

The dressing

 

The man from Chinchero

She wears the typical multicolored chullo, especially on Sundays and holidays she also uses walnut sheep wool ponchos, vests and pants made of cloth. On their feet they wear the old sandals (flip flops), either leather or rubber.

 

The woman from Chincherino

For its part, it has inherited the art of spinning and wool weaving for generations. For this reason, it proudly preserves its traditional clothing. She wears llicllas (a kind of dark blankets decorated with red and green filigree and a pin at chest height), vests and skirts of black cloth, fastened to the body with sashes or chumpis. On their heads, decorated by fine braids, they wear colorful headbands.

 

How to get to Chinchero

The first step, of course, is to go by plane from Lima to Cusco, a trip that lasts 1 hour and 20 minutes. You can also go by bus to the imperial city, but the long tour lasts 1 full day.

 

Once in Cusco, you must take a bus from Avenida Grau or Calle Pavitos in the direction of Urubamba, it passes through Chinchero after a 40-minute trip. Ask the driver to warn you when you get to Chincheros. To get to the Archaeological Center you have to walk 200 meters from the Plaza de Chincheros.

 

Culture and tradition

Chinchero is the most typical and picturesque town in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, it gathers twelve Andean indigenous communities that are still governed by the Inca organization system called "Ayllu". Its population is dedicated to the cultivation of native species and livestock, although today tourism moves a large part of the local economy. A town that struggles to keep its ancient tradition alive.

 

Chinchero is characterized by the living culture that it still maintains despite the strong incursion of the modern world on traditions. On Sundays, a fair is held in the main square of Chinchero, where you will see products from the town, handicrafts and above all its textiles, which are made in the ancestral style, and where it is still possible to observe barter. If you wish, you can see in the textile centers how the women dressed in their beautiful costumes perform the process of spinning and dyeing the wool with natural dyes, and appreciate the way the Chinchero weavers continue following the ancient tradition.

 

At the fair you will also be able to observe the "Varayoc" who are the leaders of the communities that are part of Chinchero, who dressed in their typical and multicolored costumes continue jealously to maintain the tradition of their ancestors.

 

Attractions of Chinchero:

Flanked by large snow-capped mountains such as Salkantay, Verónica and Soray, and the Huaypo and Piuray lagoons, Chinchero has a rich monumental and cultural heritage, it is one of the few places in Cusco that conserves the Inca urban layout in a visible way, the remains of the Inca Palace.

 

The Church of the Virgin of Nativity in Chinchero

It is located in the main square, this is one of the great riches of the churches in the towns of Cusco. Its finished being built in 1607.

 

The real name of this Chinchero Church is "Temple of the Lady of the Nativity", although it was initially built with the name of "Church of Our Lady of Monserrat", this temple is a 17th century construction.

 

The Chinchero Church was completed in 1607 and is one of the first Catholic buildings to be built in Peru, so it is not surprising that the Chinchero Church was built on an ancient Inca building, since it is part of the temples that were raised in order to extirpate idolatries.

 

Architecturally, the Church of Our Lady of the Nativity in Chinchero

It is a structure that mixes Inca and Hispanic architectural preferences, which is evident when observing its foundations, in contrast to its façade, plan, and internal divisions.

 

Inside, the Chinchero Church stands out for the impressive filigree murals that it possesses and that has religious motifs. Among the religious pieces of this church, a mural of the Virgin of Monserrat stands out, in the temple it is also possible to find paintings of a historical nature such as the defeat of Túpac Amaru, among others.

 

Other pieces that attract the attention of the internal decoration of the temple, are the altar that it owns and that presents an unquestionable baroque style, this altar is striking for its decoration in gold leaf.

 

The Hacienda de Mateo Pumacahua House

This hacienda belonged to the curaca of Chinchero, Mateo Pumacahua, the most powerful chief in Peru at the time of the 18th century. He was born in this same town in 1748, and was a participant in the indigenous cause in 1814.

 

Piuray and Huaypo lagoons:

Huaypo a beautiful lagoon with crystal clear waters, located between the provinces of Urubamba and Anta. Huaypo hosts a wide variety of fish and birds within its approximately 1.5 km by 800 m in length, totally recommended for practicing flat water sports.

 

Piuray has a perimeter of 8,750 m, 465 m wide and 3,000 m. long, a depth between 20 and 50 m. This lagoon supplies water to the cosmopolitan city of Cusco from Tahuantinsuyo. It was the Incas who brought their waters to the imperial city through underground aqueducts. According to one of the local legends, the Sun God asked Manco Cápac for his twin sons to accompany him in his sunset, but when they went to look for them, they discovered that the son who walked the furthest had become the Huaypo lagoon and the daughter in the Piuray lagoon.

 

Market in Chinchero Perú

The market in Chinchero Perú is one of the most important in the region due to the high quality of the artisan products sold there, internationally recognized for its excellent work and beauty. In these fairs we can see that the barter (old form of product exchange) still in force; In the market in Chinchero Perú, the granddaughters of the Inca princesses and Chinchero weavers continue weaving wool and making garments, as did the ajllas for the children of the Sun, in imperial Cusco. It takes place every Sunday in the district's Plaza de Armas, where most of Chinchero weavers sell their products.

 

Chinchero Archaeological Site

In the museum of the Chinchero Archaeological Site the visitor will be able to find a collection of cultural assets, mainly furniture that was found for the most part in archaeological excavations in the ruins of Chinchero in Perú. Also, ceremonial and utilitarian ceramics, lithic metal, stone objects such as mortars for grinding grains and plants, a large piece of stone carved in the shape of a cougar, typical clothing from the area, bone remains, an ethnographic collection consisting of farming instruments , of fabrics and other materials.

 

In a second room, there is an important collection of paintings from the Cusqueña School, colonial painting from the 17th and 18th centuries, and two mannequins dressed in typical costumes from the region.

We suggest a visit to the Sunday market, the beautiful colonial church and the Chinchero Archaeological Site that surround the square.

 

  • Entrance fee: The visit to the ruins of Chinchero in Perú is included in the Cusco tourist ticket.
  • Entrance fee to the museum:
    • Nationals: S /. 4 (Nuevo Sol).
    • Foreigners: S /. 7 (Nuevo Sol).
  • Hours: Every day from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Address: Plaza de Armas, Chinchero District.

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