I am puzzled. Very puzzled. Raul, our Peruvian guide, announces with a wide grin, “Today we will see Peru’s sexy woman!” Raul’s mischievous brown eyes twinkle as I groggily drink my coca tea at breakfast. Although pronounced sexy woman with a dash of drawl, ( Sac-say-hua-man) we would be visiting the ruins of Sacsayhuaman Peru. My high altitude mind haze clears at finally understanding his joke.
The lost city of Machu Picchu is without doubt the most famous ruins of Peru if not South America. Really a bit of a show off with holding top 10 spots on bucket lists world wide for this granddaddy of the Incan ruins.
Yet Sacsayhuaman Peru, although lesser known, is a show off in its own right. With stones as high as 5m (17ft) and some weighing 350 tons this Inca military ruin is a powerhouse. Furthermore the giant stone ramparts stretch in zigzag pattern 300m (985ft) in length above Cusco.
The impressive stones are so perfectly aligned Spanish historians describe a knife being unable to penetrate a seam. All this without a bit of mud or mortar.
Thousands of men were recruited to move the stones. Sad legend speaks of 20,000 men moving the largest stone and thousands being crushed to death in the effort.
The Incas design of the city of Cusco is in the image of a puma. This takes some imagination and a few of the local beverages Pisco Sours. Sacsayhuaman represents the head of the puma and the zig zag walls the separated teeth of the beast. Cheers to that I say.
How do I find Sacsayhuaman Peru?
Looking down on the city of Cusco, Sacsayhuaman is 2 km north east of the city. A taxi ride or walk is the best way to get there. Be aware the walk is uphill and over 11,000 feet altitude. While taxis are inexpensive in Cusco it is important to agree on a price with the driver before you leave.
When looking for more information be warned of some serious issues at the international spelling bee. Saksaywaman, Saqsaywaman, Sasawaman, Saksawaman, Sacsahuayman, Sasaywaman. Another option apparently is to look for Sexy Woman.
Have you heard of Sacsayhuaman Peru?