Two sites near Cusco that boast remarkable ritual architecture. Qenqo is an immense, rocky promontory marked by carved steps, wells, and channels, most likely for holding the "chicha" (traditional corn beverage) consumed during Inca rituals. The site features a semicircular courtyard with an isometric perimeter and a number of large alcoves encircling a thin stone, or "wanka," enclosed in a chamber, a kind of icon within a chapel.
Tambomachay features fine architecture comprising platforms, alcoves, and fountains fed by spring water from higher ground. In Inca times it was a sacred place dedicated to the worship of water, one of the temples that was part of Cusco's "ceque" system — a set of imaginary lines that indicated the time and place of religious ceremonies.
Location: Qenqo is 4 km (2.5 miles) from Cusco (approximately 15 minutes by car). Tambomachay is 8 km (5 miles) from Cusco (approximately 35 minutes).
Average temperature: 12°C (54°F) between November and March, and 9°C (48°F) between April and October, with cold nights and sunny days.
Season: Cusco has two well-defined seasons: a rainy season, between November and March, and a dry season (the best time to visit), between April and October.
Important: entry with tourist tickets.