A little further south, in the famous province of Pisco, hides one of the least known Inca ruins in all of Peru. This is Tambo Colorado, a 15th century settlement, which is still very well preserved and with many of its spaces still standing to visit, explore and imagine what life was like in this place.
Inca urban center built during the time of Pachacútec as a shelter for soldiers and high authorities. It takes that name because red, white and yellow paint was used to decorate its walls that were built with adobe.
It is made up of six groups of buildings distributed around a trapezoidal plaza. It is one of the few archaeological monuments whose walls are well preserved.
The archaeological remains of Tambo Colorado (or Puka Tampu), are located in the district of Humay, in the province of Pisco, within the department and region of Ica; on the Peruvian coast, at a height of 566 meters above sea level.
Tambo Colorado, also known as Pucallacta or Pucahuasi (from puca = red in Quechua), is divided into three large sectors, North, Center and South, separated by the road that goes down from the mountains to the coast and a large trapezoidal plaza, which It has an Ushno, a small platform where the Inca himself directed the most important festivities of the Tawantinsuyu. From the top of this very small pyramid, a large part of the wide and fertile valley that extends towards the sea can be seen very clearly.
The North sector is a large building built on the side of a hill, with a single entrance, with walls and right angles, organized around a large patio, surrounded by about 30 rooms, measuring 100 meters in front by 150 meters. deep. Two smaller buildings were built on both sides. The walls are painted red, yellow and white, decorated with niches and trapezoidal openings, as well as decorative friezes. In some places you can find evidence of posts made of huarango wood that supported the thatched roofs. The access openings are trapezoidal, with a “double jamb”, an ornament only used in buildings of great importance, such as the Koricancha and Machu Picchu.
The South sector consists of two rectangular buildings divided by a dividing wall. Both are organized around a courtyard surrounded by numerous enclosures.
It was an Inca settlement (1450 AD) located in the province of Pisco, in the valley of the same name, on the right bank, in a corner formed by the hills near the town of Humay. It is one of the best preserved archaeological sites in Peru. Typically Tawantinsuyu in its outline and architectural design presents the singularity of being built in adobe, as an example of the adaptation of Quechua architects and engineers to the new coastal environment that they were beginning to conquer.
The architectural monument of Tambo Colorado is the one that is best preserved, as an Inca legacy, on the coast of Peru. It is said that it was a building ordered to be built during the government of the Inca Pachacútec (more or less around 1450).
Tambo Colorado owes its name to two features, the first, that of being a Tambo, that is, an enclosure intended to fulfill the function of being a place intended for refreshments or temporary lodging, while the adjective “colorado” has its cause in the color of the canvases with which the enclosure was plastered.
It is said that this Tambo had had the purpose of being the residence of the Inca in this sector, and that the section of the tambo would have been destined to lodge its guests.
Regarding the architecture of this place, we can find the presence of squares, these are characterized by their trapezoidal shape; There are also platforms and drumsticks closed by four walls where we can locate evidence of niches. Regarding the platforms, one in particular needs to be named, this is known as ishni and was used in its time for ritual purposes.
There is a residential sector in the area of the complex whose access was restricted, and which was possibly intended for the Inca elite. This sector covers an area of 3,300 m2 and its entrance follows the Inca tradition of the use of the double jamb. It is significant in the interior of this area (which includes patios, passageways and enclosures), the presence of pools that, due to a necessary difference from the other buildings made of adobe, are carved in stone, following the characteristic style of the fountains of Cusco.
At a decorative level, this residential sector shows the presence of pigmentation, which at the time had oscillated between red, white and yellow colors, although it is worth mentioning that there were walls in which there were decorations in which designs of geometric figures were used. . Along with the above, some evidence of friezes made in high relief can also be found on the walls.
In addition to what has been said, important constructions can be found in this place, present in most of the Inca complexes, as is the case of the Temple of the Sun and the House of the Chosen.
To get to Tambo Colorado you will have to do it with a private car or hiring a tour in the city of Pisco, since there is no public transport that takes you to this archaeological complex.
In order for the visitor to reach Tambo Colorado, you must travel by bus or private vehicle, from the Plaza de Armas of Ica, to the site, for a period of between 30 and 60 minutes depending on the means chosen. The entrance to the place is upon presentation of a ticket, whose cost is s/8.00 for adults and s/1.00 for children. Visiting hours are from 9:00 in the morning to 5:00 from Monday to Sunday.
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.