The Tipon ruins are one of the most beautiful and closest archaeological centers of the City of Cusco. The archaeological complex is made up of different enclosures, Andean terraces, platforms, irrigation works, and much more. If you are looking for a different and new way to explore the Imperial City, the tour that includes the ruins of Tipon may be the one for you. It is one of the least visited and most underrated sites in the entire Sacred Valley. The ruins of Tipón teach us how clearly advanced the Incas were in matters of engineering, architecture, and spirituality. Besides, they have a private kitchen where cuy is the delicacy of choice. So you will find many things to discover and enjoy besides the beautiful ruins. For this reason, together with the travel experts of Machu Travel Peru, we have prepared a short article about the ruins of Tipon.
Everything you need to know about the ruins of Tipon
- Ruins of Tipon description
- Purpose of the ruins
- A wonderful example of Inca engineering
- What can you see in it?
- How to get there?
- What to expect on the tour
- Alternative things to do near Tipon
RUINS OF TIPON DESCRIPTION
The Tipon Ruins consists of a site of more than 500 acres near Cusco. It was built around a natural spring. And even though there is evidence of irrigation canals in a vast majority of Inca ruins, Tipón is one of the only famous places in Peru where the irrigation system is still in full operation. The wonderful site has water flowing throughout the year, even in the dry season. So it is not surprising that Tipón is a masterpiece when it comes to water management.
The Ruins of Tipón are an immense archaeological park where water was once worshiped. Unfortunately, they are far from other relevant points of the Sacred Valley, so this impressive place often goes unnoticed. But as an advantage, it is usually a very quiet private tour away from the crowds. This Inca citadel is hidden among the mountains above the Valley. Still, this park has a beautiful view of well-preserved Inca terraces, finely designed fountains, and water channels that continue to operate to this day.
It is clear that its terraces and water channels had a purely agricultural purpose. Although it is believed that it functioned as a ceremonial garden where water was worshiped. This wonderful park has finely carved stone finishes and a neat architecture characteristic of the Inca elite. If you are looking to visit one of the top 5 attractions of Cusco, this is a must to understand the ingenuity of the ancient Incas.
PURPOSE OF THE RUINS
As with many ruins in Peru, the actual reason and historical use of Tipón is not entirely clear. It is assumed that it was built as part of an estate for part of the Inca nobility. As evidence of this, you can find finely carved stones. You can appreciate trapezoidal doors and windows that were architectural techniques reserved for royalty. Others suggest that Tipón was a kind of agricultural laboratory, very similar to the Moray site. Since the many terraces of Tipón contain different microclimates that would have been useful for testing crops.
Although others suggest that Tipón was some kind of ceremonial garden where rituals were celebrated. The different agricultural terraces were built in a way that actually channels not only the water but the spirit and energy. The energy was directed from the surrounding mountains and springs to the crops growing on the terraces.
A WONDERFUL EXAMPLE OF INCA ENGINEERING
Although the Incas did not use steel tools or use the wheel, the Incas were masters of civil engineering. As evidence of this, you can see the wonderful ruins of Tipón. All the elements of the archaeological site are still functional and also blend harmoniously with their surroundings. At the Inca site, you can find that there is an aqueduct built in a masterly way. This aqueduct carries surface water from a nearby source more than 200 feet high (about 61 meters). Also, in Tipón you can find wonderful agricultural terraces that have microclimates at different levels. These were built in such a way that they can withstand the cold winter nights. Ensuring that frost does not accumulate. It must be borne in mind that the growing Inca Empire was highly dependent on its crops.
Inside the ruins of Tipón, you can find hydraulic structures that are part of the walls of the agricultural terraces. This allowed the Inca to provide irrigation water from one terrace to another on a lower level. The Incas implemented a hydraulic system in which some parts had a drop of about 15 feet (4.5 meters). They implemented techniques that allowed them to conserve as much water as possible. The Incas used and perfected the bifurcation technique to effectively send water in several directions at the same time. This was one of the main characteristics of the Inca irrigation system. The drainage system built also employs smart designs and techniques that ensure the central terraces function for the long term. A great way to continue to appreciate the ingenuity of the Incas in their constructions is by taking advantage of the different Machu Picchu tours.
WHAT CAN YOU SEE IN IT?
The ruins of Tipon have a space of 240 hectares and are part of the Inca road network (Qhapac Ñam). The beautiful park is a hidden gem of Cusco due to its many Inca terraces and other enclosures. According to the chronicler Garcilaso de la Vega, the park was built by the Inca Huiracocha as his father’s residence. It is one of the best archaeological sites in Cusco and in it, you can find the following structures:
- The royal enclosures: It is presumed that these enclosures were the Royal House of the father of the Inca Huiracocha. The Inca was also known as Huaqaj. It is one of the most extensive and attractive places in the ruins. In the gardens, you will find numerous Inca terraces to observe and water sources as well.
- Terraces and channels: These Inca constructions are so neatly made that they still stand to this day. It is believed that in addition to serving as the Royal House, it could also have been a center for agricultural experimentation due to the well-designed channels and terraces.
- Intihuatana: The altar of the Sun is located a few meters from the royal enclosures. These were built with trapezoidal windows so you can appreciate the entire park. It is believed that it was destined for the worship of the Sun due to its location in the middle of a mountainous elevation.
- Cruzmoqo viewpoint: The Cruzmoqo or “summit where there is a cross” is in the north of the Park. From its location, you can appreciate most of Cusco city.
- Minor enclosures: They are named that way because fewer connotation characters lived in them.
HOW TO GET THERE?
The Tipón ruins are located within the Choquepata community, in the Oropesa district of the Quispicanchi Province. It is located about 14 miles (22 kilometers) southeast of the city of Cusco. Note that the elevation of the ruins is quite high, so we recommend acclimatizing before deciding to travel.
To get to the ruins of Tipon, you must have a complete or partial Cusco Tourist Ticket, which includes the main attractions of the Sacred Valley of Cusco. This ticket comes with any private tour. Whether you arrange with your agency or tour operator of choice. You can visit the Tipón ruins as part of a tour of the Sacred Valley. The ruins are covered in the full-day hike through the Valley. This tour includes transportation, entrance tickets, a Cusco travel guide as well as the visit of different sites. Although you can also choose to go on your own and independently.
So if you decide to do it independently, you have 2 available ways to get to the ruins. You can go by bus, which is the cheapest option, or you could also go by taxi. If you decide to go by bus, it can take approximately 1.5 hours to get there, although it is usually the cheapest option of all. But if you choose the taxi, you will reach the ruins in approximately 37 minutes from Cusco. Just have in mind that it can cost from 30 to 40 Peruvian soles. The ruins are usually one of the best things to do around Cusco, and you can tour them with us on a totally personalized and private tour for your comfort.
WHAT TO EXPECT ON THE TOUR
To make the most of the ruins of Tipon, you should hire a qualified guide at the ruins. Although there is also the possibility to explore them by yourself at your own pace. If you take the time to tour the ruins, you will be able to know them in more depth. Keep in mind that the ruins are an uphill walk, although transportation can drop you off at the top without any problem. In general, you will need a Cusco Tourist Ticket to explore most of the attractions on the tourist map of Cusco. But if you are lucky, you can find the guard distracted or elsewhere and enter for free.
TIPS BEFORE GOING TO TIPÓN
- We highly recommend buying the Cusco Tourist Ticket. This is at a fairly comfortable price and will allow you to enter Tipón as well as other ruins of interest.
- The ruins of Tipón are quite high. The highest point within the Tipón ruins is about 12,000 feet (3,800 meters). Therefore, it is a good idea to acclimatize before going to the ruins.
- We recommend bringing sunscreen as well as an insect repellent. Although the weather can be pleasant many times, the height and the sun are not good combinations for our skin.
- It is also a good idea to stay hydrated at all times and bring your own water bottle.
ALTERNATIVE THINGS TO DO NEAR TIPON
One of the biggest attractions of the Tipon region is not only its ruins but also its Cuy. Tipón is the capital of Cuy in Peru. So after a day touring the ruins you can take the opportunity to try this delicious and traditional dish. Just a few minutes from the Park, you will find numerous restaurants where the typical food of the area abounds. Dare to try one of the most nationally recognized dishes and enjoy the local flavor of baked Cuy or Chicharrón. You can also take advantage to continue gastronomic tourism in any city tour in Cusco, where you can experience the good local flavor.
“LIFE CAN ONLY BE COMPLETED AT ONE PACE – YOUR OWN”
Being able to go to the ruins of Tipón is one of the best ways to start your trip in the Imperial City of Cusco. It is usually part of the full-day hike in the Sacred Valley. So you can visit several Inca ruins on your way if you wish. We recommend booking your tour of Tipón as your tour to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. We hope together with Machu Travel Peru to have encouraged your next visit to this incredible archaeological park. The ruins are not the only fort in the place, you will also be able to appreciate wonderful views of the Valley and its surroundings. If you have any questions about the Tipón tour, you can consult our advisors for free. With our years of experience, we know how to organize a complete tour of Peru.