This is a town strategically located where 3 roads meet. These are the paths from Cusco, Yucay, and Pumamarca. The trail from Cusco begins in the Santa Ana neighbourhood which was called qarmenqa during the epoch of the Tahuantinsuyo.
You have to pass this way when you are going to Machu Picchu. From generation to generation the ancient traditions have been passed down, so the spirit of the Incas survives here in Chincheros to this day. The people of Chincheros are proud of their traditions. You can witness this in the way that they work together, in their colourful clothes, in their devotion to their deities, and in the way they love their neighbours.
On the last day of every week, Chincheros holds its traditional crafts market. It is one of the most typical and authentic in Cusco city. It is characterized by the barter system that is still in use, as it was during Inca times. During the Incanto, goods from the low country of the jungle were traded for products of the high mountains. In the same way today, the people offer their hand-made textiles. But in Chincheros the local people actually make the weavings and are dressed up in the same colour clothes that they have for sale or for trade. It is a scene of incredible beauty and you see doing the sacred valley.
After the Spanish invasion of Cuzco, Chincheros was burned by Manco Inca as he fled to Vilcabamba. His objective was to leave nothing for the Spanish. When the Spanish arrived in Chincheros, they destroyed what little remained of the Inca’s palace. Around 1572, the viceroy Toledo ordered a church built on the foundation of the Inca’s palace. It was called the “Doctrina de Nuestra Señora de Monserrat de Chinchero”. It was built to implant the Catholic religion in the people here.
The magnificent Plaza is located to the east of the colonial church. It actually fulfils the role of the principal plaza of the town of Chincheros. The plaza is bordered by a giant Inca wall decorated with 10 big niches and trapezoidal cavity. It is still in a perfect state of conservation. To the south there 3 edifices made of finely worked stones which give it a ritual image. It consists of 2 levels. The main level corresponds to the atrium of the church. The other is a patio to the plaza. These structures maintain their extraordinary beauty even as the centuries pass.
In Chinchero we find also terraces that were designed by the Incas. These terraces are in the form of a trapezoid. This distinguishes them from the more linear terraces that are more generally encountered. On these terraces, they cultivated very nutritious crops such as Quinoa, Kwicha, and seeds that provided lots of energy. The terraces are set up so that extra rainwater flows off in such an efficient manner that it is difficult to imitate today. These terraces continue to supply food to the favourite sons of Chinchero.