August 29, 2015
The market town of Pisac, with hilltop Inka ruins lying above, is another great day trip destination out of Cusco that can easily be done on your own. Sunday is the busiest market day in terms of number of vendors and tourists, but some stalls are open every day of the week. Being more interested in the ruins than the market we went on a quiet Saturday and climbed up to the ruins from town.
To reach the town from Cusco go to the Pisac bus station marked on the tourist map. You may want to verify the location with your hotel as it can change. With no set schedule buses and colectivos leave when they are full, generally several times a day.
It’s a beautiful one hour drive that winds up and over the mountains and down into the Sacred Valley before stopping at the bridge at the entrance of Pisac.
From here you can either walk into town, past the left side of the church and up to the ruins, or if you don’t want to tackle the ruins from the bottom take a taxi up to the top of the hill and walk down.
The ruins start at about 9500 ft and climb up another 1500 ft. On the day we went I was struggling with the altitude and had a difficult time on the climb. Even though the trail is in good condition, it’s steep in places with stairs, but manageable and not too slippery.
Despite my difficulty breathing the views are amazing and worth the trek in either direction. For the best views and proximity to the different ruin areas be sure to take the high trail past the main ceremony area if coming from the top to the bottom, or up the stairs if coming from the bottom.
Buses back to Cusco leave from just before the bridge – we paid 3 soles (about 50 cents) each in both directions.