Cusco Tourist Ticket: First Circuit or Saqsayhuaman

Also known by its abbreviation as BTC, it is a strictly personal document. With the purchase of this ticket you get temporary access to different tourist spots preserved and administered by the Ministry of Culture of Cusco. You can visit from museums to archaeological sites, go to some concerts and other activities. This first circuit takes us to destinations close to the historic center, all of them less than half an hour away by bus.

Boleto Turistico del Cusco
Cusco Integral Tourist Ticket

IMPORTANT: There are two types of BTC: Integral BTC and Partial BTC. In the case of Integral, you have all the places that appear in the three circuits and can be used in 10 days. While in the Partial you can choose one of the three circuits. The Partial BTC I Circuit is only valid for one day.

The partial BTC is priced at 70 soles for foreign tourists and 40 soles for Peruvian tourists. The circuits are sectioned by the proximity of the places that can be visited. The first circuit or known as the Saqsayhuaman Circuit, includes the entrance to the aforementioned archaeological site and also to Qenqo, Puka Pukara and Tambomachay. For ease of transportation and pick up, it is recommended to take a City tour that has transportation to all these mentioned places. Let’s learn a little more about these places.

  • The Integral BTC costs 130 soles for foreign tourists and 70 soles for Peruvian tourists.
  • Tickets (Full and Partial) can be purchased in person at the Counter Central (Av, El Sol 103 Galerías turísticas). From Monday to Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • It can also be purchased at the different destinations included in the Tourist Ticket except at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Pachacutec Monument
  • Tourist tickets are not sold online.

1. Saqsayhuaman

Saqsayhuaman
Saqsayhuaman

This enclosure of more than 3000 hectares, was one of the most important centers of the Tawantinsuyo. It is attributed to be the “House of the Sun of Hanan Cusco”. It is located 2 kilometers from the Main Square of Cusco. Exactly it has an altitude of 3700 meters above sea level. The easiest way to get there is by taking a City Tour, but you can also go by public transport (in the transport companies: “Cristo Blanco” and “Huerto”) or by private or hired car.

Within all this archaeological park you can find different places that you can visit:

  • The towers of Saqsayhuaman, the researchers do not have a specific specific use. For some archaeologists and chroniclers, they were used to store water, through the nearby aqueducts that connect with the place. While for others they could be observation points.
  • There is a great variety of enclosures, they are constructions in the form of rooms, they are not very far from the towers. Between them they are connected by trapezoidal doors. In some of these places, tools, seeds and even weapons of war were found. Therefore, it is estimated that Saqsayhuaman could have served as a barracks.
  • There are distributed walls and with a particular shape. You can find jagged and zigzag walls. In these constructions you can appreciate the majesty of the large stones that they used and observe the perfect union they have, forming walls that persist to tectonic movements to this day.
  • The Inca throne. It is a stone carving in the shape of a seat. This name is attributed to it due to the location, delicacy and perfection of the carving.

The hours are from 6:00 to 18:00. Attention in Saqsayhuaman is every day except in cases of emergency, natural disasters or protests that prevent access to this place.


2. Qenqo

Qenqo
Qenqo

The second destination that can be visited with BTC is Qenqo. Located very close to Saqsayhuaman. It is very likely that it served as a space for religious ceremonies. Despite the fact that it was probably considered a profane place, which is why attempts at forced destruction can be seen. This can be seen more in the area that corresponds to the amphitheater. However, a large part of its structures and the representative images of the Andean worldview still stand.

So far the reason for building this place remains a mystery. It may be an exclusive place of worship to the gods, where animal lives and perhaps even human lives were offered.

Likewise Qenqo, by its translation into Spanish from Quechua, would mean “Labyrinth” this refers to the underground tunnels that have different directions. This name was given by the Spanish. His real name is unknown, which makes his studies more difficult. It is believed that these underground conduits have a connection to the Temple of Coricancha.

Perhaps after the underground labyrinths, the most striking thing is the amphitheatre. This area is made up of a sculpture where it is presumed that lives were sacrificed. This sculpture has a carving that would slide the spilled blood down a zigzag channel and around it you can see some niches.

You can also appreciate some altars, special places for the mummified bodies of the Inca nobility. Likewise, you can see figures carved for religious purposes. There is a particular one on an altar, it is a sundial, which during the winter solstice can be seen reflecting the gaze of a puma with glowing eyes.

Qenqo’s business hours are from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. seven days a week.


3. Puka Pukara

Puka Pukara
Puka Pukara

Puka Pukara, remains an indecipherable place. For some researchers the place would represent a military fortress. This is because its construction is on a high area and difficult to access. However, its walls are not as large or resistant as those located in Saqsayhuaman. Most likely, it was a barracks or rest area for the military and settlers who directly served the Inca.

This third place in the BTC, like Qenqo, has a network of tunnels that probably connects with Saqsayhuaman and other nearby enclosures, such as Tambomachay.

As we mentioned, the location of Puka Pukara is located in an elevated area approximately at an altitude of 3,850 meters above sea level. This reveals a spectacular view of the area, part of the city of Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Next to the buildings you can see terraces, rooms, stairs and terraces, it is a pleasant place to see and enjoy.

Puka Pukara’s opening hours are from 07:00 to 18:00. During the seven days of the week.


4. Tambomachay

Tambomachay
Tambomachay

This is the last of the destinations granted by the Partial BTC in the first circuit. In this place that is seven kilometers from the center of Cusco. You can see different constructions alluding to water. It is believed that this enclosure was a privileged stay for the Inca and for the nobles.

This place was a mandatory stop because it served as a connection point with other places. It is important to note that this place served as a place where water could be supplied to nearby areas. It is believed that for this reason it served as a center of worship to the water for the different aqueducts that can be seen. In addition, according to the Andean worldview, water would represent a source of life along with Pachamama.

The location of Tambomachay is quite special. It is located between mountains and over rivers and some underground springs. Although an abundance of ichu or straw can be seen around it, it is not without a beautiful appearance. Within this enclosure you can appreciate the spectacular mastery of stone carving and water control. It is a place where engineering and art come together in a natural and harmonious way.

The hours to visit this complex are from 07:00 to 18:00, every day of the week.

Price information of the Cusco tourist ticket

Cusco Tourist Ticket
General Foreign BTC cost
Cost BTC Foreign Student
General Peruvian BTC cost
Peruvian BTC cost Student
Validity
Comprehensive ticketPEN 130PEN 70PEN 70PEN 4010 days
Circuit I ticketPEN 70PEN 70PEN 40PEN 401 day
Circuit II ticketPEN 70PEN 70PEN 40PEN 402 days
Circuit III ticketPEN 70PEN 70PEN 40PEN 402 days
Cusco Tourist Ticket
Destinations
Comprehensive ticketAll the destinations mentioned in Circuits I, II and III.
Circuit I ticketArchaeological Park of Saqsayhuaman, Qenqo, Puka Pukara and Tambomachay.
Circuit II ticketQoricancha site museum, Regional historical museum, Museum of Contemporary Art,
Museum of Popular Art, Scepter of Native art, Tipon Archaeological Park,
and Pikillaqta Archaeological Park.
Circuit III ticketOllantaytambo Archaeological Park, Pisaq Archaeological Park,
Chinchero Archaeological Park and Moray Archaeological Park.

 

By Imachupicchu – Last updated, December 6, 2022


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