High Qenqo: The ritual center

Moving forward from Sacsayhuaman, you can find this amazing site. Hidden inside the forest, Q’enqo Archaeological Complex rises to be part of your city tour at 3850 meters above sea level.

Qenqo is a highlight of the tourism in Cusco and since it’s very close to Cusco city, can be reached by foot.
To date, its real name is unknown, the actual that is used was decided by the Spanish of that time. They decided to name it with the Quechua word Kenqo, which means “labyrinth”, perhaps because of the labyrinthine underground galleries or by the small canals carved into the zigzag-shaped rocks.

Qenqo Archaeological Complex Cusco

This area belonged to Inka Yupanqui or Pachakuti and holds a semicircular area, 55 m. long with 19 niches and incomplete niches distributed along the wall but according to recent research it is very likely that they were actually the basis of a large wall, located in each of them, the representation of an entity to which they worshipped. Since it was a ritual space, in front of these niches there is a large block of stone of 6 m. high, which rests on lithic bases worked as a rectangular pedestal, some claim that it would be a Toad or even a Bear, which are only assumptions, the truth is that it was already determined that it would be a Puma , This lithic block may have been deformed by idolatry removers in their attempt to eliminate preterite beliefs.

It is said that this underground chamber may have been used to embalm Mummies because of the cool atmosphere even though it is making a scorching heat outside, although others claim that it would be a kind of altar of Sacrifices, leaving its true functionality as an enigma even today.
There are still a lot of unsolved mysteries towards this amazing site, the Inca place to worship Gods, questions without answers but that still let us enjoy the beauty of the Inca architecture.

Qenqo Archaeological Complex

Q'enqo Archaeological Complex

Source: Google Map, Saul Ascue


Our goal at Alpaca Expeditions is to create the best experience for all of our clients. We create journeys that are to be remembered for a lifetime. Journeys you can be proud of and can share with everybody around you.

Alpaca Expeditions Awards Tripadvisor 2023 travelers choise