Peru is famous of the archaeological places from Inca times. But there are also other ruins worth to explore here, from the times before Inca Empire. As one of the good examples it should be mentioned about the Pikillacta or Pikillaqta ruins of Wari culture. Pikillacta, which means in in Quechua “flea city” is an enormous set of ruins. Still a lot of them are covered with the grass, trees but even that part which was cleaned makes quite a big impression. The whole complex of Pikillaqta is located over 3350 m.a.s.l. (11000 feet) and covers an area of around 2 square kilometers. This pre-Inkan city was probably occupied in the times about 550 to 1100 AD and contains approximately 700 buildings. The city has geometrical design and is divided in blocks with straight streets.
The Pikillaqta site is situated around 25 km from Cusco, in the south-east of Cuzco, on the way between Cusco and Puno. You will not be able to see the ruins from the main road, because they are about 1 km away from it. If you have some extra days it is worth to visit this place, to see how looked like the towns of the other cultures who lived in Peru, older than Incas. I recommend you to do a trip very early in the morning and connect it with the archeological site of Tipon, which is on the same direction, just much closer to Cusco, than Pikillacta.
Even if you do not want visit the Pikillacta ruins, for sure the trekking around this place will give you a lot of satisfaction. The area around is beautiful, with very nice landscapes and there is nice path to walk through with the ruins in the background.
How to get to Pikillacta ruins near Cusco?
There are some options available, depends on how much money you want to spend, how much time do you have and what kind of transport uyou like more.
You can catch a taxi to Pikillacta. For sure it will not be a cheap journey, but definitely faster than by bus.
By public bus
You can also catch the bus which goes directly to Urcos and leave it on the way, in front of Pikillacta ruins. You just need to tell for the bus driver that you want to visit this place and it should not be a problem. The bus terminal is on Av. Huaruropata. The bus ticket costs around 5 soles. It is also possible to catch this bus at any bus stop along the Avenida de la Cultura. But if you want to have a place to sit, it is better to go to the main terminal.
Of course this bus option will take you a little bit more time than the journey with a taxi, but there is one huge advantage of choosing it. You will have possibility to spend almost one hour with local people. If you are curious and very open, for sure there will be someone to talk with.
By private bus with the travel agency
A lot of travel agencies organize the tours to Pikillacta and Tipon. The tour takes half a day, so is a good option for all of you who wants to visit this two sites in a short time and who prefer to have a tour guide. If you have more time, and the explanations of the guide are not so important for you, do not lose money and discover these places on your own.
How much does cost entrance ticket to Pikillaqta
The cheapest way is to buy the special ticket, called “Boleto Turistica del Cusco”. There are some kinds of this ticket, depends on which things and places do you want to visit. If you wish to discover the South Valley of Cusco, then you need to buy Partial Cusco Tourist Ticket (BTCPII) / Circuit II – City & South Sacred Valley. This ticket includes entrance to 8 places: Museo Histórico Regional, Museo Municipal de Arte Contemporáneo, Museo de Sitio de Coricancha, Centro Qosqo de Arte Nativo, Monumento de Pachacutec, the Inca archaeological site of Tipon and ruins of Wari culture Pikillacta. If you do not like museums you can visit with this ticket only Tipon and Pikillacta and also if you have time Museum of Korikancha and Monumento de Pachacutec (which are worth to visit if you have time). Thanks to all this places, you will learn about history of Inca Empire and not only and for sure you will understand Peru and its culture much better.
Remember only, that this partial ticket is valid only for 2 days. But do not worry, it is possible to visit all of the places included in the ticket price in that time.
The price of the ticket in 2014 is: S/. 70 or US$ 25
If you need more info about the tickets to all the archeological places in the region of Cusco, the actual prices, and what is included, visit website of Boleto Turistica del Cusco.