Site #8: Saqsayhuaman Ruins.
Above the city of Cusco lay the ruins of the once towering fortress called Saqsayhuaman. It is thought to have taken over 70 years to build, with the help of around 20,000 men. The ruins feature enormous stones that are cut so precisely that not even a sheet of paper can be slide into the seams.
Some of the lesser known features of the ruins (not included in group tours) include an Inca cave temple that can be explored just northeast of the main ruins and hand-carved Inca slides that can still be used today (this is a great activity if you’re traveling with children). The main area of the ruins is used every June 24th for the world-famous Inti Raymi ceremony in honor of the sun god.
A tour of Sacsayhuaman is included in what is commonly known as the “CityTour.” This will most likely be in a group setting (so don’t expect the cave temple or the slides). The entrance is included on the multi-ruin punch pass purchasable at any of the ruins in Cusco and the Sacred Valley.
To get to Sacsayhuaman on your own, you will likely pay between s./10 – s./15 ($3.50 – $6.00). To return down to the main plaza, we recommend the 30-minute walk down through the streets of Cusco (not recommended for anyone with bad knees).