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Pisac Overview


Most people visit Pisac to see the market on Sunday, but there are smaller markets on both Tuesday and Thursday. However Pisac is a pretty village and has plenty of small handicraft shops and is worth a visit on any day of the week. There are local buses departing from Cusco every 15 minutes for the one hour ride to Pisac village. Local buses cost about US$1 each way. A taxi can be hired for about US$10 each way. There is no public transport up to the ruins. You can either hike up, starting from the plaza (allow two hours round trip). Alternatively you can negotiate with a local taxi driver to take you there (about 20 minutes following a long winding road) and either return by taxi or walk down hill to the plaza. (A local taxi costs approximately US$5 each way)

Pisac Ruins


A vital Inca road once snaked its way up the canyon that enters the Urubamba Valley at Pisac. The citadel, at the entrance to this gorge, now in ruins, controlled a route which connected the Inca Empire with Paucartambo, on the border of the eastern jungles. Set high above a valley floor patchworked by patterned fields and rimmed by vast terracing, the stonework and panoramas at Pisac's Inca citadel are magnificent. Terraces, water ducts and steps have been cut out of solid rock, and in the upper sector of the ruins, the main Sun Temple is equal of anything at Machu Picchu. Above the temple lie still more ruins, mostly unexcavated, and among the higher crevices and rocky overhangs several ancient burial sites are hidden

Pisac Village and Market (2,970m)


Modern Pisac is a picturesque Andean Village, typical except for the huge, spreading pisonary tree that dominates the central square. The village is best known for its Sunday market, which draws hundreds of tourists each week. In spite of its popularity the market retains much of its local charm, at least in the part where villagers from miles around gather to barter and sell their produce. In the tourist section of the market you can buy a wide variety of handicrafts - mostly the same things you see in Cusco. Many of the guide books state that handicrafts are cheaper than Cusco but in recent years I haven't noticed much difference in price. My advice is if you like something in Cusco, buy it! And likewise in Pisac. Don't wait around hoping you'll find it a few dollars cheaper elsewhere. Pisac is a good place to buy the local ceramics including a huge and varied collection of hand-painted multi-colored beads. There are smaller markets in Pisac on Tuesdays and Thursdays.