Písac or Pisaq or Inca Pisac is an Inca ruins around the Vilcanota River in the Sacred Valley at an altitude of 3,352 meters (11,000 feet) in Pisac District, Calca Province, Cusco Region, Peru. Unknown Inca Písac was built, but apparently not inhabited by pre-Inca Empire civilization and most likely built no earlier than 1440.

Pisac has the completeness as a city that has agricultural areas, military territories, cemeteries, hundreds of terraced farms, water engineering and complex irrigation, warehouses, defense walls, guarded gates, religious and ceremonial areas with some of the finest Inca works.

Xvlor Písac is Inca city ruins built by Emperor Pachacuti in 1440

Xvlor.com Písac is Inca city ruins built by Emperor Pachacuti in 1440

A theory says Emperor Pachacuti (1438-1472) established a number of royal estates to commemorate victories over other royal groups, among them Písac to commemorate victory over Cuyos. Another theory suggests Písac was built as a fortress to protect Cusco from possible attacks by Antis countries.

Pisac is probably best known for its ruins located on a hill at the entrance of the Sacred Valley. The ruins separated along the ridge into four complexes are P'isaqa, Inti Watana, Qalla Q'asa, and Kinchiraqay where each has a different function.

The complex includes the Temple of the Sun, bathtubs, altars, fountains, ceremonial platforms, volcanic outcrops carved into "pole halam for the Sun". The angle from the base shows the function to determine the change of seasons. Qalla Q'asa is built on top and overlooks a valley known as a fortress.

Inca built a farm terrace on a steep hillside and still used by local people until now. The Incas created a terrace with a richer topsoil from the lowlands. The terrace allows the production of excess food at an altitude of 11,000 feet.

Scientists say Pisac's structure serves military, religious, and agricultural functions. Písac is a Sacred Valley fortress in the south, while Choquequirao is the western entrance, and Ollantaytambo to the north. Inca Pisac controlled the route connecting the Inca empire with the forest border.


P'isaqa or Pisaqa is the main residential zone located just below the ceremonial area on a large circular ledge. To the north a semi-circular shape extends to the bottom of the valley. On the south side has a number of terraces, but has a steep falling end.

The Inti Watana or Intihuatana is a religious and ceremonial area as one of the best examples of Inca architecture where granite blocks are cut perfectly to build temples. At the center is Intihuatana as an important religious or astronomical tool for the Incas. A pillar of the sun indicates relevance to the winter solstice and the Inti Raymi festival.

Qalla Q'asa or Callacasa is a complex of about 30 buildings considered as residential areas, ceremonial centers, administrative centers, cemeteries, and farms. The building uses rough stone and water flows to every citizen. A 10-meter tunnel pierces the outcrop and serves as a defense.

www.xvlor.com Písac is Inca city ruins built by Emperor Pachacuti in 1440

Xvlor Písac is Inca city ruins built by Emperor Pachacuti in 1440

Location: Pisac District, Calca Province, Cusco Region, Peru

Routes and public transport: Flights to Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco City, then drive to Pisac for 35 kilometers (22 miles) in 30 minutes. Buses, cars and motorbikes are available in Cusco.

Advice: The Písac town and the Písac ruins are two different places, yet quite close to each other. The town is in the Urubamba Valley, while the ruins are in a higher place. A great local market every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday will give you a taste of Quechuan culture.