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Tambomachay Cusco

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Tambomachay Cusco

The archaeological complex of Tambomachay Cusco is also known as the ‘Baños de Inca’, and is one of the most important Inca constructions; this is due to the great mastery and the extraordinary assembly of the stones that form its walls.


Tambomachay Peru has an extraordinary hydraulic system. Two underground channels carved in detail in the rock, transport a constant flow of clean water, throughout the year; this comes from a pool located at a higher level, and pours its waters into a small stone pool located at the lowest level. This pool must have been a ceremonial source, in which the Inca and his court worshiped the water. The bathrooms of the Inca are very similar to the enclosures located in the city of Ollantaytambo.


Even now, specialists have not been able to determine the origin of the spring from which so clean and abundant waters flow. Some believe that they could come from the opposite bank of the river. The little noise of the flowing water makes you feel the peace in the environment; the peculiar shape of the space in which it was built gives Tambomachay an atmosphere of tranquility. In addition, it is one of the best examples of the ability of the Inca architects to preserve the harmony between the buildings and the landscape.


Tambomachay Ruins

The Tambomachay ruins are a group of stone structures, carved, formed by aqueducts, canals and waterfalls that come from wells and thermal springs nearby.

Architecturally speaking, Tambomachay Cusco consists of four walls or stepped terraces, which create three parallel platforms. In the last of them, a wall of 15 meters long by 4 high rises adorned by 4 niches. The blocks of stones have been fitted perfectly. The water reaches the lowest level through underground channels. In this place, two springs maintain a constant flow of clean water, which comes from another pool at a higher level. A similar system can be see in the staris of the fountains in Machu Picchu.

When observing the Tambomachay ruins from the river, there are two thick walls that cross the support wall. The one closest to the river has two large niches and the second, perpendicular to the first, has a double jamb door. This door was used by the Incas to highlight the importance of a building.


Where is Tambomachay Peru?

The Tambomachay ruins are located 7 km (15 min.) Northeast of Cusco, by paved road, and 1 km from Puca Pucara. It is located on the slopes of a hill near the main road to Antisuyo, on the Tambomachay River, very close to Sacsayhuaman.




Tambomachay History

The name Tambomachay is a combination of two Quechua words: ‘Tampu’, which means collective accommodation and ‘Mach'ay’, which means resting place. But, according to other chronicles, the meaning of the Word 'machay' in Quechua is 'caverns', which would describe the peculiar environment of the place in which these natural rock formations are appreciated, which according to the Inca’s traditions, were the object of veneration or magical practices.

The Tambomachay history says that it was considered one of the shrines of the first 'ceque' (huge imaginary lines, which served to organize sanctuaries and huacas in the surroundings of the Antisuyo, departing from the city of Cusco). The chronicles of the conquest say that Tambomachay Cusco was the hunting area of the Inca Yupanqui; so it follows that the place would be flooded with numerous animal species. It is possible that another of its functions would have been to provide water to the cultivation areas of the Inca site known as Puca Pucara.


When was Tambomachay Built?

It is estimated that the site of Tambomachay Peru was built between 1400 and 1480 AD. The place has an extension of approximately half a hectare and the material used for its construction was limestone with polygonal style rigging.


How to get to Tambomachay Cusco?

To get to Tambomachay Peru you have 3 options:


Bus to Tambomachay

The bus to Tambomachay is very functional due to the short distance between Cuzco and Tambomachay, so the minibuses, for a cost of approximately 4 soles, in a route of only 20 minutes arrive at the destination, stopping at the entrance of Tambomachay Cusco.


Tambomachay to Cusco Walk

You can also take a walking tour that will take you about 2 hours. We recommend you take a bus to Tambomachay and then return from Tambomachay to Cusco walking, this way you can visit the ruins that are on the way from Puka Pukara, Qenqo and you can even get from Tambomachay to Sacsayhuaman walking.


Tambomachay Tour

The Tambomachay Tour is included in the city Tour of Cusco, which you can hire with any travel agency (almost all offer this type of service). These tours, mostly, offer breakfast and lunch, depending on the time you start, and include the Tambomachay entrance fee, this ticket includes a guided Tambomachay Tour and other services. These can cost $ 20 per person.




Tambomachay Entrance Fee

The Tambomachay entrance fee is included in the Tourist Ticket of Cusco. You can visit this site in the Schedule of Monday to Sunday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.


Tambomachay Altitude

Tambomachay Cusco is located on the side of a hill on the Tambomachay River, the Tambomachay altitude is 3700 masl. Due to the Tambomachay altitude, it’s locations on the slopes of a mountain and on the river of the same name, it is presumed that in the past there was abundant Andean fauna in the place.




Tambomachay Facts

Finally, here are 6 interesting Tambomachay Facts that you probably didn´t know:

  • Tambomachay comes from 2 Quechua words: 'Tampu' (collective accommodation) and 'Mach'ay (resting place).
  • There is located a platform that served as a liturgical source and, probably, of Inca baths.
  • According to the Andean cosmovision, water was a source of life. It was believed that this symbolized the masculine and the earth (pachamama) the feminine reason why the union of both caused the fertility.
  • Although it is not known for sure exactly where the water that flows in their channels comes from, these constructions continue to flow water after 600 years
  • Due to the height of its walls (up to 2 meters), it is presumed that they also served as defense against possible enemy attacks.
  • You can get from Tambomachay to Huchuy Qosqo, taking a path that starts from the same archaeological center and leads to the Sacred Valley. The trek lasts approximately 7 hours.
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