Whether you visit Q´enqo with a travel agency or by yourself, it is more likely you will just see what I have already shown in my former post, Q´enqo Stairway to Three Worlds.
Archaeologically speaking, this area is known as Hatun Q´enqo or Big Q´enqo. However, there is something else to see in this place.
In Q´enqo Stairway to Three Worlds, part of the Andean Trilogy was mentioned and now it is time to talk about the third stage: the heaven. The Incas represented it with a condor. On top of Q´enqo, it is said to be carvings depicting this animal as well as a llama and puma (I was not able to spot them; you may have much luck).
However, there is an impressive zig-zag channel cut into the rock which might have been used to put llama blood or chicha as a sacrifice or in order to foresee the future.
In addition, nearby a huge block stone was carved in a kind of seat with two small pillars. People gather here around 6am on the winter solstice, june 21st, the only moment of the year that entrance is allowed to this area.
Small yet Impressive
Archaeologists call this place Hatun Q´enqo in order to make a difference with a second site known as Huchuy Q´enqo or Small Q´enqo which is to the southwest but still visible from the first site.
The small hill is surrounded by a huge wall similar to the ones at Sacsayhuaman. The only entrance, which is located to the north, is so high from the ground that Incas should have put a bridge to enter.
On top there are impressive carvings that you can admire in the pictures below. To the south and southeast some terraces can still be appreciated.
Ironically, entrance is free to Huchuy Q´enqo while the first site is part of the Boleto Turístico.
Do not miss my next post where I will share an interesting hike from Cusco to Q´enqo.
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