Huchuy Qosqo


     Huchuy Qosqo (or “Little Cusco”) is located north of Cusco, and lies at an elevation of 3600 meters (11,800 feet), above the 3000-meter high town of Lamay and the Sacred Valley. The site received its name in the 20th century; previously it had been known as Kakya Qawani. Pedro de Cieza de León, in his Second Chronicle of Peru, claimed that the palaces found in Huchuy Qosqo were built by Viracocha, the Eighth Inca. Amongst the many buildings — some stone, some adobe — is a kallanka (great hall) that is 40m long. There is also an Inca-built irrigation channel, lined with stones for about 800m, that provides water to the site.
     Hucuy Qosqo is inaccessible by public road. The two main access points by foot are from Lamay — 3 hours up a steep set of switchbacks — or from Tauca, Peru — about 3 hours, with a pass at 4400m, then mostly downhill, and with the opportunity to visit some other ruins. The 2 day route from Tauca to Lamay is described in Peter Frost’s “Exploring the Cusco”. Two-day hikes or horseback trips to Huchuy Qosqo are also available.
The Huchuy Qosqo trek is the shortest and easiest of alternative treks to Machu Picchu.