Chinchero, known as the Rainbow city, is part of the province of Urubamba, within the department of Cusco. It is located 28 kilometers northwest from the City of Cusco, at 3,700 meters above sea level, and flanked by the stunning Salkantay, Veronica, and Soray Mountains. The view from Chinchero is unique and breathtaking.
Despite attempts to impose their culture upon locals, the Spanish conquistadors were never quite able to “civilize” Chinchero’s Inca natives. To this day, townspeople continue to inhabit the almost completely intact Inca constructions, where their ancestors lived during the creation and culmination of one of the biggest and most prosperous civilizations in America.
The Chinchero Archeological Complex boasts impressive terracing, which suggests that the area was used for agricultural production during Inca times. There is also a storage house and an important irrigation system that runs throughout the entire site.
The Colonial Temple of Chinchero, also known as Nuestra Señora de Monserrat or Nuestra Señora de la Natividad, is located in the town’s main plaza.
Built upon the walls of what was the palace of Inca Tupac Yupanqui, the temple features a carved, Baroque altar covered in gold leaf, dedicated to the Virgin of Nativity. This is a clear example of the wealth of the churches in the towns surrounding Cusco.
The temple is considered one of the first established in ancient Peru, its construction dating back to the XVII Century – although it was not completed until 1607.
Chinchero is famous for its Textile Centers and the talented local women who transform the alpaca and sheep wool into fine, high-quality weavings. The culture is known for its unique selection of colors and its original designs, which elegantly reflect the Andean worldview.
Chinchero is one of the few places where time seems to stand still as traditions and Inca culture continue to exist and thrive. The people who live here are of Incan descent, and Quechua is still the area’s main language – although almost all local inhabitants now speak Spanish as well.
DO NOT MISS
- Try the famed choclo con queso (corn with local cheese). It is a must!
- Shop for a Chinchero weaving – they make great runners for beds and tables alike.
- Get some good shots of the Chinchero terraces and take in the amazing views of the Sacred Valley below.
You can find some more pictures of this incredible destination on Instagram.