- Archaeological Site
- Place or Historical Monument
Situated at 30km from Cuzco, in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the town of Chinchero is often included in tours of Peru. It's in the Urumbamba District.
It's shortly due to be the location for Peru's 2nd international airport. The town is bound to drastically change once the works officially begin. At the same time, it's great news for travellers who want to visit Machu Picchu without spending time in Lima.
I really enjoyed my tour of the church. It dates back to the 1600s. Its paintings and frescoes are well preserved, whilst its history is fascinating. Go with a guide - his/her knowledge will make it worth the expense.
Finally, as it's at a high altitude, the view from Chinchero of Mount Salkantay with its snowy summits is amazing. It's a great photo opportunity.
I lived in Cusco for a time and have therefore explored the Sacred Valley quite a bit. And when it comes to the little villages to visit, Chinchero tops my list, despite the fact that it's quite popular with tourists.
You'll no doubt be advised to visit on a Sunday, which is market day. And that's sound advice: it's exceptionally colourful. But even during the week it's still a place worth visiting. This is partly because the route between Cusco and the village in question is superb, and partly because the centre of the village is very pretty and you'll have the chance to learn about the skilful weaving produced by its inhabitants. However, what I've also been impressed by each time I've visited (perhaps more than anything else) are the views from the Inca terraces located just a few minutes walk from the central square. So, to summarise: a wonderful setting, local arts and crafts, and a mix of colonial and Inca cultures – the perfect blend of everything you could possibly dream of discovering when visiting this part of Peru!