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Ruins of Qoriwayrachina in Peru

Tierras Vivas Travel > Ruins of Qoriwayrachina in Peru

Qoriwayrachina in Cusco (Cerro Victoria), 35 km (22 miles) is located southwest of Machu Picchu. The ruins of a large settlement that could have been occupied by the Incas long before they built an empire that spanned the entire continent. Among the ruins are tombs and platforms, which suggest an important burial site and sacred rites, although there are also indications that the site was an entire city.

The Qoriwayrachina ruins in Perú cover 6 square kilometers (2 1/3 square miles) and occupy a spectacular location on top of the mountain with panoramic views of the snow-capped peaks of the Vilcabamba mountain range, which the Incas considered sacred. Archaeologists, who claim that Qorihuayrachina is one of the most important sites found in the Vilcabamba region since it was abandoned by the Incas nearly 500 years ago, have high hopes that the ruins will help them rebuild the Inca Empire from start to finish. .


It is an archaeological site of Qoriwayrachina, whose Quechua name is Qori = Gold, Wayra = wind and China-Vent. It is the starting point of the Inca Trail, from km 88, the name was put in 1942. It is located 2,480 m. / 8,136 ft. 35 km. south east of Machu Picchu. It is an architectural complex made up of enclosures, terraces, irrigation channels, constructions, circular, which were built by the Inka Pachacutec, with the possible function of being a Control and administrative Center.

It is a beautiful excellent place, to start taking pictures and admire the natural landscape, because it has:

  • To the north, the deep canyon of the Urubamba.
  • To the south, the Valley and the gorges.
  • To the East Sayacmarca.
  • To the northeast, 12 km from the City of Machu Picchu.

History of Ruins of Qoriwayrachina in Perú

Since the disappearance of the Inca Empire, rumors, clues and tales of a legendary lost Inca city filled with gold and silver have spread throughout Peru.

The tales sparked searches, discoveries, and often reevaluations. Machu Picchu was not the lost city that Hiram Bingham thought was Vilcabamba, the last refuge of the Incas.

However, the search continues and incredibly, new discoveries continue to occur. It was first Choquequirao in the 1990s. More recently, other exploration teams have announced discoveries from other lost Inca cities.

The discovery of Qoriwayrachina ruins in Perú (also known as Cerro Victoria) 35Km (22 miles) southwest of Machu Picchu, was announced by the National Geographic Society in March 2002. The Qoriwayrachina ruins in Perú are large and cover 6 square kilometers (2.5 square miles) and occupy a spectacular location on the top of the mountain with panoramic views of the snowy peaks of the Vilcabamba mountain range, which the Incas considered sacred. Archeologists claim that Qorihuayrachina is one of the most important discoveries of the Inca Empire, and little by little more is learned about the lives of the Incas who lived there.

Qorihuayrachina discovery

Frost first sighted the ruins in 1999 during an excursion in the region with several companions. He returned last year with a team of archaeologists to map and investigate the site.

He said the Qoriwayrachina ruins in Perú, many of them well-preserved include an Inca-style wall, agricultural terraces, a barn, cemeteries and funeral towers, animal pens, and a complex of buildings surrounding a courtyard.

On the slopes surrounding the summit known as Cerro Victoria, the team also found the remains of more than 100 circular buildings at heights of up to 12,500 feet (3,900 meters). The style is believed to be typical of Andean dwellings that occupied the region before the Incas or under Inca rule, but Frost said initial observations indicate that the occupation would have been by the Incas themselves.

The newly discovered part is in the southern part of a sparsely populated region known as Vilcabamba, named for a local mountain range. It is located 22 miles (35 kilometers) southwest of Machu Picchu, an ancient fortress that is the most famous Inca symbol. Another important archaeological site, Choquequirau, is very close.

Last refuge of the Inca

Vilcabamba has long been known as the last stronghold of the Incas in their attempt to evade conquest by the Spanish, who arrived in the early 16th century in search of gold.

When the Inca Manco Inca and his great army could not defeat the Spanish invaders in the year 1536, the Inca fled from his imperial capital of Cusco and took refuge in the Vilcabamba desert. They lived there for 36 years, until the Spanish finally penetrated the area and killed the last Inca sovereign, Tupac Amaru in 1572, ending the Inca empire.

The uncertain location of the last capital of the Incas, supposedly filled an immense deposit of silver and gold, the legendary “lost city” of Vilcabamba, object of search by scholars and treasure hunters in the centuries that followed.

How to get to Qoriwayrachina ruins in Perú?

The only way to get to Qoriwayrachina ruins in Perú is through the 4 day Inca Trail Tour

To walk the Inca Trail, adventurers must take the train from Cuzco to Machu Picchu, getting off the train at Qoriwayrachina ruins in Perú (km 88), where the train stops for a few minutes. Passenger buses take hikers to km 82, from where they must walk the railroad track to km 88. In Qoriwayrachina, the Inca Trail begins at the end of the Urubamba River, after crossing a suspension bridge. Along the hills that run to the right of the trail, hikers will soon see a complex of buildings known as Q’ente, ‘hummingbird’ in Quechua. The route goes up through the Cusichaca valley between terraces planted with corn and quinoa, an indigenous grain consumed since ancient times. Following the route, hikers arrive at the Llaqtapata ruins (2,300 masl). After crossing the Cusichaca river twice, the trail turns south towards Wayllabamba (2,850 meters above sea level). The last town on the route is where the Cusichaca and Llullucha rivers converge. It is also the last place where one can buy food and hire porters.

Hereafter, nature is the sole companion of travelers. The trail continues to climb in a northwesterly direction through the Llullucha Valley towards Warmiwanuska Pass, the highest point along the trail, 4,200 meters above sea level. The Quechua name, “where the woman died,” has a local legend attached. This section was used intensively as a commercial and smuggling route during the 18th and 19th centuries. From the Warmiwanuska Pass you can see the ruins of Runcuracay (3800 masl) and the Pacamayo river.

Once through the pass, which is always icy and windswept, the trail sinks down to the Pacamayo Valley, a protected valley dotted with trees and cacti. When the path rises again, it shows Inca engineering in all its magnificence, like the trail, completely paved with white granite slabs, the zigzagging contours of the slopes. For a few hours, the path runs through a labyrinth of mountains until reaching the second Runkurakay pass (3,950 masl) before finally descending to the Aobamba Valley and the mysterious cloud forest to the ruins of Sayacmarca (3,700 masl), by it means a stone staircase almost 1,600 m long. On clear days, you can see from Sayacmarca the imposing Mount Pumasillo of 5361 meters above sea level.

From Sayacmarca, the trail climbs once more, this time gradually, passing through the dry Chakicocha lake and through a 20-meter tunnel dug out of solid rock, reaching the third and last pass (3,900 masl). Walking along the pass, hikers are greeted with an extraordinary view of the Urubamba Valley and the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, several hundred meters to the left. From here, you can see some of the most beautiful peaks in Peru: Monte Palcay (5 600 masl), Pumasillo (5 361 masl), Verónica (5 350 masl) and Salkantay (6 264 masl), considered as the local apu, or divine spirit of the region.

The dense vegetation hides magnificent examples of Inca architecture: Phuyupatamarca (3,650 masl), Wiñayhuayna (a three-hour walk from Phuyupatamarca, reached through a spectacular series of stone stairs cut into the rock) and its magnificent agricultural terraces. Tambos (old road houses) and observation platforms stand out among the tree ferns and dozens of species of orchids that grow among the polished stone.

The main trail to Machu Picchu starts from the ruins of Winay Wayna at first gradually climbing but then stepping on its final stretch before reaching a small pass. This is a place covered by the life of tropical plants, known as Intipunko or Puerta del Sol. From Intipunko, the final descent is a quick 30 minute walk that takes visitors past a small stone drum to the Machu Picchu citadel.

Other alternative routes to the Inca Trail are: 2 day Inca TrailMachu Picchu 3 day hike2 day Inca Trail with campingOne day Inca Trail.

Alternative Treks to Inca Trail

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