Chinchero Travelers Guide, Information, Prices and Tours

Come See Peru Tours

Location of the community of Chinchero – Sacred valley

Chinchero
Chinchero

The community of Chinchero is located 28 km from the city of Cusco.

Chinchero is the capital of the district of the same name, which belongs to the province of Urubamba. It is one of the most representative towns of Cusco in general. Known for its archeology and beautiful handicrafts.

This typical Andean village, for the Incas it was the cradle of the rainbow, combines the Inca ruins with a colonial church, magnificent views of the mountains and a colorful Sunday market. Because of its altitude, an overnight stay is not recommended, unless you have already acclimatized. To enter the historical complex, where the ruins, the church and the museum are located, a tourist ticket is required.

GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION: Central Andes region of Peru, in the District of Urubamba in the Cuzco Region

ETHNIC ORIGINS: Chinchero is a Quechua village. Quechua is a collective term for indigenous mountain people of the Andes who speak a Quechua language, despite having different ethnic backgrounds. This language was imposed on the original inhabitants by the Incas.

LANGUAGES: Quechua, Spanish. Quechua is the first language for most inhabitants of Chinchero, and is spoken in the home and in early years of school. Later years of schooling are in Spanish. Young children and elderly women may speak only Quechua.

How to get to Chinchero

The buses and combis that travel between Cusco and Urubamba stop at the corner of the road and Manco Capac II Street.  It is enough to stop them with the hand.  They also leave at intermediate points, such as the detour at Maras. Although the safest and most recommended option, in addition to having a professional guide explaining all the interesting sites you will visit in Chincheros is to make your tour with Come See Peru Tours, which will turn a trip into an immersive experience in the local culture.

Important Attractions of Chinchero

Colonial Church Of Chinchero

Chinchero Church
Chinchero Church

This colonial temple built on an Inca foundation is one of the most beautiful in the Valley. It is worth visiting its interior, decorated with cheerful floral and religious motifs.

The Handicrafts Fair

The Chinchero fair is one of the most impressive in Cusco due to the high quality of traditional products sold there, is recognized worldwide for its excellent work and beauty.

In this fair we can find that the villagers are still practicing the exchange of objects or barter. Here the local people and descendants of the Inca princesses who are dedicated to weaving with natural inputs.

The Handicrafts Fair
The Handicrafts Fair

At the fair you will also see the “Varayoc” who are the leaders of the communities that are part of Chinchero, who dressed in their typical and multicolored costumes continue to jealously maintain the tradition of their ancestors.

In Chinchero, every Sunday morning there is a nice native market, which is one of the most typical and commendable ones in the region. Over here it is still possible to observe bartering of goods, and almost always people exchange tropical goods such as fruits, coca leaves or salt for some other regional goods such as potatoes, broad beans, ollucos, etc. Also over here, there is a market for tourists with diverse handicrafts with very well made weavings standing out. Unlike some other markets where merchants are foreigners, over here merchants are native regional people.

Chinchero is internationally famous for its talented weavers who perpetue the Inca tradition thanks to the backstrap loom weaving technique. Thousands of tourists who go to see the Machu Picchu, make a stop at the village to see the fascinating Sunday market and their weavers wearing the typical red and black clothing.

Living Culture

When you arrive in Chinchero you will realize that time has stopped here, as Inca traditions and culture still persist. The people who live in it are of Inca blood and the predominant language is Quechua, although almost all the inhabitants of this area speak Spanish as a second language.

LIving Culture
LIving Culture

Agriculture in Chinchero

Their fertile lands make them excellent producers of potatoes, ollucos, geese, lima beans, barley and wheat, traditional products whose sowing dates back to the time of the Incas and even today are the backbone of agricultural trade in the area.

WAYLLABAMBA

On the other side of the valley, a clear road ascends before turning north and descending towards the Urubamba River Valley, about 4 hours away. In the river, turn left and continue to a bridge at Huaynapicchu, where you can cross to the other bank. From there, the Sacred Valley road leads to Calca (on the right, about 13 km) or Urubamba (on the left, about 9 km). You can stop any bus that passes through there until mid-afternoon, or continue walking to Yucay, the official end of the road. There you will find a colonial church, Inca ruins and seductive lodging.

TRADITIONAL TEXTILE CENTER

The best craft workshop in town, although there are them all over the streets.

Inca Ruins in Chinchero

The most extensive archaeological complex formed by a set of terraces. If you walk along the right side of the valley as you leave the village, you will see several carved geese in the shape of seats and stairs.

Chinchero
Chinchero

Chinchero Site Museum

Small archaeological museum in front of the church, with a collection of abundant broken stories; not worth the extra entrance.

An Inca palace and a beautiful colonial church

In Chinchero, its spectacular main square stands out in a very noticeable way, an extraordinary fusion between the Inca architecture and the colonial architecture, which make Chinchero a unique place. It is possible to admire the remains of what was the palace of Inca Tupac Yupanqui, a large Inca wall with 10 trapezoidal niches that is preserved to this day, shows how beautiful the palace must have been, also in the square and its surroundings are observed Inca constructions and terraces that show the original Inca urban line. The chronicles tell that in 1540 Manco Inca set Chinchero on fire while fleeing from the Spanish conquistadors, so that they would run out of provisions.

Built over the Inca settlement, the colonial temple of Chichero was erected around 1572 by Viceroy Toledo and culminated in 1607, calling it the Church of Our Lady of Monserrat. This church is one of the best examples of Cusco religious art, was built on Inca walls, with an altar decorated in gold leaf baroque style and whose walls can be seen original works of the indigenous artists Diego Quispe Tito (the highest representative of the Cusco school) and Francisco Chihuantito.

Towards the sides of the church there are three large portals built in stone and mud, one next to the bell tower of the church and the other two as entrance doors to the square, which give a unique style to the place and stand out in all the postcards of Chinchero.

Hours of operation

Monday to Sunday from 07:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m. (Chinchero Archaeological Park is included in the Cusco Tourist Ticket).

Visitor information

Entrance to the main plaza and ruins is included in the Cusco Tourist Ticket (Boleto Turistico) which costs 130 Peruvian Soles and is valid for 10 days (although you can enter each site just once). The ticket is best bought in Cusco but it is also on sale at at the government check point at the bottom of the hill leading up to the plaza. If you don’t want to buy the complete ticket you can buy a partial ticket which costs 70 Peruvian Soles and is valid for 2 days allowing entry to Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero & Moray. There is no entrance fee to the Sunday morning market which is held at the bottom of the hill by the main car-park.

Chinchero Local People
Chinchero Local People

Customs and traditions in Chinchero

The community of Chinchero still retains a traditionally religious spirit that reveals the syncretism of Spanish Catholicism and the cosmovision of Andean man. Its main celebrations revolve around its patron saint, the Virgin of the Nativity, and the Lord of Coyllur Riti. The festivities involve the whole town and are characterised by their unique colour.

“El Cruz velacuy” (2 and 3 May) As in all Andean villages, the Inca huacas or sanctuaries were replaced by crosses. The feast of the Cross in Chinchero begins on May 2 with the Cross Evening, amidst songs, prayers and music. The next day, the crosses are lowered from their altars to be taken to special ceremonies by their butlers.

The feast of “El Coyllur Riti” (June 14, 15 and 16) The devotees of Chinchero join some 50,000 Peruvian and foreign pilgrims and travel on foot to worship the lonely Se or Coyllur Riti, high in the snow-capped mountains of Sinacara and Ausangate, district of Ocongate, province of Quispicanchis. This pilgrimage is the hardest of all pilgrimages. The devotees ascend to 5,000 meters above sea level and support a minimum of -4 C.

After the pilgrimage to Coyllur Riti, the dancers participate in the celebrations of Corpus Christi in Chinchero. This lively religious feast begins on Thursday with the celebration of the feast mass. Then there is the procession of the Saints, in which take place, among others, the Mamacha Natividad, San Isidro, San Miguel, San Antonio and the procession of the Purified Virgin.

Once the tour is over, the dancers dressed in beautiful multicoloured costumes compete in a colourful parade. Each comparsa exhibits its best choreography and its most colorful costumes before a qualifying jury. In the afternoon, the cacharpari begins, when the butlers entertain visitors by offering drinks and the traditional chiri uchu.

It is the most important festival of Chinchero, being the Patroness and Mayor of the locality. The festivities, every September 8, begin with a mass in honor of the Virgin of the Nativity. Towards noon there is a traditional procession, where the image is accompanied by dances and colorful comparsas. In the afternoon there is a beauty contest, and at night serenades, music and fireworks.

We Recommend You Bring to Chinchero

  • Small Backpack
  • Camera with Extra Batteries and Film
  • Sports Clothing
  • Insect Repellent
  • Rain Coat
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Cap or Hat

Vaccinations & Insurance to Chinchero Tour

Before travelling, you should always check current information about the necessary vaccines.

We recommend you to take the vaccine against yellow fever at least one week before your travel.

Please note that to participate in any of our tours you have to have valid travel insurance. Please check the regulations and exclusions of your insurance company, especially if trekking in the high mountains or planning adventure sports.

Additional Tips to Chinchero

Avoid unforeseen situation by being at departure location at least one day before the beginning of the tour.

Check requirements about passports and visas to enter Peru enough time in advance.

WHAT TO BRING

Here you will find some recommendations what kind of items may be needed on the tour:

  • Small backpack
  • Sportive clothing
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun block with high UV factor
  • Extra cash
  • Camera
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