Chinchero Peru is an unmissable village on your trip to Peru. It is nestles amidst the snow capped peaks of Urubamba mountain range. Locals say, Chinchero is the birthplace of the Rainbow. This is because of the textile industry that functions even today.
Chinchero is a small Andean village popular for the local market. It is right in centre, where 3 roads meet. These are the paths from Cusco, Yucay, and Pumamarca. It sits in between Cusco and Urubamba province en-route to Machu Picchu.
Chinchero Peru is where the Sacred Valley of the Incas begin. It is at 3762 metres (12343 ft) above sea level, slightly higher than Cusco.
Locals here, continue to practise their age old traditions which are passed down from generation to generation.
People of Chinchero Peru are proud of their traditions. You can witness this in their daily life.
The Sunday Market in Chinchero Peru is a must visit. It is one of the most typical and authentic site. Some people here practise the barter system (Ayni).
During the Inca civilization, goods from the low land regions were traded for products of the high land mountains. In the same way today, the people offer their hand-made textiles in exchange for vegetables and meat.
Local women here are popular for knitting. They continue to dress in traditional outfits in their daily life. Most of them even talk in Quechua.
When the Spanish troops invaded Cusco, Emperor Manco Inca burned down Chinchero Peru and took asylum in Vilcabamba so that the Spanish invaders could not enjoy what the Incas built.
In 1572, viceroy Toledo ordered the demolition of the Inca palace and built a church on its remains. Through this Catholicism was born here.
The main plaza of Chinchero Peru is right next to the colonial church. It actually fulfils the role of the principal plaza of the town of Chinchero. A giant Inca wall with a trapezoidal cavity surrounds the plaza. It is in perfect condition even today.
To the south there are 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.
Among all sites in Sacred Valley, Chinchero has the most fertile soil. The Incas built many farming terraces here. They primarily cultivated crops like potatoes, Kiwicha and Quinoa.
The terraces are built in a way so that extra rainwater flows off in such an efficient manner that it is difficult to imitate today.
You will need a tourist ticket or Boleto turistico to visit Chinchero. It is best to buy the one that is valid for 10 days. You will have enough time and will have the opportunity to see all sites including Pisac Ollantaytambo in Sacred Valley.