K´usilluchayoq, or most popular known as the Temple of the Monkeys, is near the city of Cusco. Actually, it is just 15 minutes from the site of Q´enqo on foot.
The only way to get to this small but amazing archaeological site is by walking. This may be the reason why, fortunately, it is not part of the City Tour which takes you from Sacsayhuaman to Tambomachay passing by Q ´enqo and Pucapucara.
You can even get to this site from the neighborhood of San Blas. Just take the street to the left of the church at San Blas and walk until you reach the highway Cusco – Pisaq (called Circunvalación). Then hike the hill to the right where there is a clear stone stairway. The slope is steep but the site is just there.
Like other Inca sites, Kusilluchayoq is remarkable for some stones beautifully carved. The most impressive by far is a boulder that you may pass it unnoticed.
At first look, it reveals a channel or, as some people and scholars claim, the shape of snakes carved in the stone. However, if you continue looking you will find the shapes of what it seem to be monkeys.
It is clear that these shapes were defaced. As you can see in the next two pictures, the head of the monkey was cut.
The Shaped Heart Stone:
In addition, Kusilluchayoq is still a sacred place where offerings take place nowadays. In a lower section just underneath the stone with the monkeys, there is a small cave which has a piece of rock with the shape of a heart.
It is not uncommon to find flowers and seeds placed on the heart as part of rituals.
The walk to this site is safe either if you follow the Sacsayhuaman – Q´enqo trail or the San Blas route. And then you can continue the Inca trail to get to the Temple of the Moon which i will show you in the next post.