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Piuray Lagoon, the Inca twin in the Chinchero Plateau

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Piuray Lagoon, the Inca twin in the Chinchero Plateau

The Piuray Lagoon is considered the most important water source of the imperial city of the Incas, Cusco. In addition, its incomparable beauty that is found in the middle of agricultural fields that look like a multicolored blanket. It really is a cover image and fantasy. 

The importance of this lagoon is not only in the adventure tourism that is positioned in the surroundings, which, by the way, is highly demanded by visitors; but also the lagoon obtained this importance since pre-Hispanic times, because the Incas used the water to supply the city of Cusco through highly sophisticated underground pipelines for their time. 

The beautiful Piray lagoon, 8,750 m long, is surrounded by the Vilcanota mountain range where the Apus (sacred mountains) are located, guardians of Salkantay, Verónica and Soray, which give an impressive panoramic view of the dark blue waters. 

Another great attribute for visitors is being able to do sports in the Piuray lagoon, sports such as SUP (Stand-up paddle) that is suitable for the whole family, since it does not require previous experience. And on its shores you can picnic, hike, bike and cookery classes, where you will have the opportunity to discover more of the local cuisine.

Description of the Piuray lagoon

The Piuray lagoon is one of the most important water sources in all of Cusco. It supplies 42% of drinking water in the city. Also in the Sacred Valley of the Incas and other provinces of the region. The Incas themselves conducted their waters to various parts of the city through a formidable system of canals.

It is also an ideal tourist attraction to practice adventure sports such as kayaking, stand up paddle, cycling, hiking or ATV routes.

The landscapes that surround the lagoon are truly dreamlike. In the distance, the snow-capped mountains Soray, Verónica and Salkantay stand out. Here and there there are fields with crops of potatoes, quinoa and other products. Finally, the dark blue water of the lagoon reflects the immense Andean sky.

The perimeter of the lagoon is approximately 8,750 meters (465 meters wide and 3 thousand meters long). The depth of its waters is from 20 to 50 meters. The temperature of its waters is below 0 degrees Celsius.

The lagoon can be visited throughout the year. It is possible to go with an all-inclusive tour or on your own. Most tourists take advantage of their visit to get to know the town of Chinchero, famous for its textile centers and archaeological site. 

Location

The Piuray lagoon is located in the town of Chinchero, about 31 kilometers by road from the city of Cusco.

The lagoon is located in the upper part of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, at about 3,689 meters above sea level. It is located near the Pacchaicoc creek.

At the top you can see the imposing snow-capped Soray, Verónica and Salkantay, the latter is the second largest 'Apu' in all of Cusco. 

Location of the Piuray Lagoon

The Laguna de Piuray is located west of the city of Chinchero, in the department of Cusco in southern Peru, South America. 

Altitude

The Piuray lagoon is located at 3,435 meters above sea level, located in the Quechua natural region.

Climate

The climate in Laguna Piuray is generally semi-dry and temperate with an average temperature of 10°C. However, there are two well-defined seasons in the year. 

Rainy season: Which are between the months of October to March, where constant rainfall occurs and temperatures vary between 3° and 18°C.

Dry season: Which are between the months of April to September, where there is little rain, but the cold increases, especially at night and early in the morning, reaching temperatures below zero degrees. And the sun is usually more radiant with blue and clear skies with temperatures reaching 17°C. 

Characteristics of the Piuray Lagoon

The Piuray Lagoon in Chinchero provides 42% of drinking water to the imperial city of Cusco, the other percentage to nearby communities and the Sacred Valley.

The waters that filter the Piuray Lagoon are from spring eyes.

In the areas of the Piuray Lagoon, it is planned to build the Chinchero International Airport.

The Piuray Lagoon has a length of 8,750 m: 465 m wide, 3,000 m long and a depth of 20 to 50 m.

The Laguna de Piuray has a twin brother that is Huaypo, both are surrounded by the most important snow-capped mountains of Cusco, Salkantay, Verónica and Soray. 

Legend

Local legend tells that the famous and beautiful Laguna de Piuray is the twin daughter of one of the most important Incas in the empire. Manco Capac, who by order of the God Inti (Sun) sent his sons Piuray and Huaypo (the twin brother) to accompany the Sun at sunset. 

And by God Inti's decisions, they both became beautiful lagoons in the middle of the wide plateau of Chinchero, the land of the rainbow. 

What to do in the Piuray Lagoon?

Kayaking

Kayak rides are very pleasant, safe, stable and easy to paddle. The Kayak tour offers the possibility of enjoying the environment in a very safe and relaxed way with our family or companion. 

Stand Up Paddle

SUP (Stand-up paddle) is a sport for the whole family, since it does not require previous experience. Start with a stretching session and then enjoy the surroundings and its beautiful view. 

Four Motor

In the visit to the Laguna de Piuray we can make ATV visits around the surroundings, enjoying the scenic beauty and adventure full of stories. 

Walks

When you arrive at the Piuray Lagoon you can walk through its beautiful fields of barley, broad beans and tarwi crops that reach the edge of the same lagoon, merging with the emerald green of the lake of almost three kilometers that the inhabitants of the communities take care of. agricultural areas of the Chinchero plateau since time immemorial. 

Bike

You can also quietly practice cycling sports, or simply take a walk around the Piuray Lagoon. 

Gastronomic

La Laguna is not only privileged for the beautiful landscape it shows, but also the locals are used to making delicious stews with products from the area, such as baked guinea pig, broad bean capchi, snack, and more. And best of all, you can be part of the preparation thanks to experiential tourism.

When is the best season to visit the Piuray Lagoon?

The best season to visit the Piuray lagoon is throughout the year. However, we recommend you do it after the rainy season, that is, from April, since the fields take on a spectacular multicolor coloration that is predominantly green and the lagoon maintains very beautiful blue colors. 

How to get to the Piuray Lagoon?

Before visiting Laguna Piuray we must be in Cusco. Once we are in the imperial city we must take a vehicle that takes us to the town of Chinchero (31 km from Cusco) in the Sacred Valley in a time of 50 minutes and costs between 10 soles (3 dollars) 

Another more recommended option so that you do not miss any detail of your great adventure, you can take the professional services of a Guide or a Travel agency that will give you more security and will tell you about everything that is in the area. You will not miss anything! 

Business Hours

6:00 am. to 5:00 p.m. 

Rates

Free access 

What to bring to the Piuray Lagoon?

  • Personal documents
  • Warm and light clothing, raincoat and rain poncho (in case it rains)
  • Swimwear for water sports
  • Trekking shoes
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hat.
  • Personal medications.
  • Snack (chocolates, coca candies, coca leaves for altitude sickness)
  • Water
  • Camera or video camera so you don't miss any experience.

Recommendations

  • Before arriving at Laguna Piuray, try to acclimatize in the city so as not to suffer from altitude sickness.
  • We recommend you bring cash, preferably coins in soles.
  • You can visit it with friends, a partner or the whole family.
  • Avoid littering. Let's take care of nature!

Best Tours in Peru

Many are the routes that take you to Machu Picchu, but none is like the Inca Trail Tours, the most famous pedestrian path in the Americas. After flying from the capital of Perú, Lima, you will arrive in Cusco to walk for four days along a path through forests and dense fog, millenary stone steps and discovering the ruins of ancient fortifications and Inca cities, and all the time enjoying majestic views. 

If you want to visit Machu Picchu, we recommend you to book your Machu Picchu Ticket in advance, so you will enjoy your Vacation in Machu Picchu without any problem.

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