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Pisac Market and Ruins

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Pisac Market

Pisac's famous market-held each Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday draws locals and tourists. Fruits, vegetables and grains share the stage with ceramics, jewelry, and woolens on the central plaza and spill over into the side streets. Sellers set up shop about 9 AM on market days and start packing up at about 5 PM. The market is not so differen from many others you'll see around Peru, only larger. Go on Sunday if your schedule permits; you´ll have a chance to take in the 11 AM bus. You should go the Iglesia San Pedro Apostoloand and watch the elaborate costumed processionled by the mayor, who carries, his varayoc (ceremonial staff) out of the church and afterward. On the sunday afternoon you can see bands and beer tents. This is peruvian small-town at its best.

Pisac Ruins

From the market area, drive or take a taxi S/70.00 one way up the winding road to the Inca ruins of pisac. If you visit Pisac on a market day is your best bet for finding easy transportation up; the alternative is a steep two-hour walk from town. It's most crowded on Sunday; the rest of the week there will be few other people.

Archaeologists originally thought the ruins were a fortress to defend against the Antis fierce (jungle people), though there is little evidence that battles were founght here. Now it seems that Pisac was a bit of everything: citadel, religious site, observatory, and residence, and may have served as a refuge in times of siege. The complex also has a temple to the Sun and an astronomical observatory, from which priests calculated the growing season each year. The narrow trail wind tortuously between and through solid rock. You may find yourself partially alone on the series of paths in the mountains that lead you among the ruins, through caves, and past the largest known Inca cementery (the Inca buried their dead in tombs high on the cliffs). Just as spectacular as the side are the views from it.

Farther above are more ruins and burial grounds, still in the process of being excavated.

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