by Jim and Melanie
The day before our departure from Cuzco we visited two archeological sites – Tipón and Sacsayhuamán. There are many more sites in Peru. We feel drawn to return some day to see more of them.
Tipón Archeological Parque
We drove southeast from Cuzco about 14 mi (22 km) to the archeological site of Tipón. It sits 11,155 ft (3400 m) above sea level. Not very well known or visited by many tourists, it is important for the water control engineering of the Inca. The site is included in Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks of the American Society of Civil Engineers. The description of Tipón by ASCE can be read here. Highlights include:
- Inca converted the site from previous users.
- Aqueducts brought water to the terraced site.
- Structures routed water in different directions to provide for efficient irrigation.
- Subsurface drainage techniques ensured long-term integrity of the central terraces.
- Petroglyphs pre-dating Inca thousands of years exist on top of Tipón Mountain.
Our access to the site was by a narrow switchback road from the Sacred Valley below. This Google Map image shows the road and site. An interactive map link is here. The highest elevations are at the top of the image.