Peru travel Peru vacations Peru tours peru gateway travel
Use our unique PERU TRAVEL PLANNER to help plan your travel itinerary.
Toll free 1 888 671 2852
Contact Us
Peru Gateway Travelon  


Peru Viajes

Edition 2015
The Tawantinsuyo
The Inka
Inkan Religion
General and City Planning
Materials and Lithic Tech
Inkan Architecture
Coca Leaves
Andean Camelids
Andean Condor
Inkan City of Qosqo
Present-day Festivities
The Cathedral
Saint Blaise Church
Convent of Our Lady of Mercy
La Compania de Jesus Church
Saint Francis Convent
Monastery of Saint Catherine
Maras, Moray, Pichingoto
Call Centers


Monday - Friday
From 9 am to 6 pm ET

1 888 671 2852 voice

Discounted Airfares Toll Free

1 480 247 4242 Fax

UK Tool Free

Australian Customers TOLL FREE

Rest of the world
+51 1 4443027 - 4457704


Peru Gateway Travel is member of ASTA

Home >> Peru Cities >> Cusco Travel Information >> Chinchero



It is a district in the Urubamba province, 30 Kms. (19 miles) away through the paved road, northwest from Qosqo. Its altitude is 3780 mts. (12400 feet), over a plateau that is cold during the early mornings and at night time. It was one of the most important Inkan towns in the region, where even today it is possible to see vestiges of its great past. The meaning of its original name is lost; although, today tradition knows it as the "land of the rainbow" because over here the K'uychi (rainbow) is frequently seen in the rainy season. As it is known the rainbow was a special deity among Inkas; it had a temple inside the Qosqo's Qorikancha, and still today in many regions of the Andes people respect, fear or even revere it. Alfonsina Barrionuevo, about the behavior of people in front of a rainbow says, "... It is not possible to watch the rainbow, they say superstitiously, without covering the mouth because it rots the teeth. Neither it is possible to point it with the finger because it undermines the bones. Maidens run away from it because if it catches them in the countryside, it has children with them".

Lamentably, as in most of the towns or temples near Qosqo, Chinchero was wrecked and modified by the "idolatries extirpators". Its destruction began when Manko Inka after his campaign in Qosqo decided to discharge his soldiers so that they could go back to their farmlands and take care of their families; he went towards Ollantaytambo passing through Chinchero and burning it so that the invaders who were persecuting him could not have either food or lodging. Subsequently in 1572, Viceroy Toledo founded the "Doctrine of Our Lady of Monserrat of Chinchero" and ordered construction of the present-day Catholic Church that was finished by the first years of the XVII century; possibly in 1607, that is the year found in the writing over the main arch inside the church. The whole church was built using as foundations the finely carved limestones that belonged to a great Inkan palace. The entrails of the fine Inkan building were filled up as high as the roofs with earth brought from some other sectors. It was in the 1960s when the Inkan palace was discovered under the Catholic Church. The Inkan palace must have been very important because on its facade facing to the southern plain presents openings of triple jamb that by themselves indicate its category. Farther south from the plain there are two "wakas" (shrines) carved on outcrop limestone formations; today they are known as "Chinkana" and "Titiqaqa". Towards the west there is another shrine named as "Pumaqaqa" where it is possible to observe on the in-situ rock sculptures of two pumas which heads were mutilated. Farther west from the mentioned plain there are, even more, a large amount of farming terraces that are still cultivated in spite of having lost their aqueducts.

On the southeastern side of the church is another great plaza that today is the town's Main Plaza. On its western side there is a wall containing big trapezoidal niches that can easily let a person stand up inside; they must have been used to keep the nobility mummies and idols that presided over ancestral ceremonies. That wall with niches has a genuine carved andesite cornice. By the middle of this plaza is a bust honoring Mateo García Pumakawa Chiwant'ito who was born in the house located in front of the bust; the house has small arch windows on the second floor. Mateo Pumakawa was Chinchero's Quechua chief, Official and Warrant Officer paid by the Spanish army; he fought against the Tupaq Amaru II Revolution helping to bring about his defeat in 1781. When being old aged he wanted to repay what he did against his people and race and joined the Angulo brothers in order to fight against the Spanish crown. But, he was defeated and hung from an arch like the ones that are seen in Chinchero, in Sicuani in 1814.

After the Tupaq Amaru defeat, Pumakawa made paint his victory in frescos over the church's gate: by the middle is the Monserrat Virgin, to her right is the victory celebration that coincides with the Thanksgiving procession and the presence of Saint Paul, and Saint Peter holding in his hand the heaven's keys. Toward the left side of the Virgin is the battle representing chaos and Tupaq Amaru's faction. More over, there are images representing Pumakawa symbolized in form of fighting victorious Pumas; and other images representing Tupaq Amaru symbolized by the "amaru" (serpent-dragon) as chaos and squalor representation. Inside the church there is a canvas representing the same dark-skinned Monserrat Virgin, where it is possible to see angels sawing the mountain; that artwork was painted by Quechua Cusquenian School artist Francisco Chiwant'ito and dated in 1693. Juan Carlos Estenssoro wrote about that canvas: " This Virgin, although, Spanish typically, is related with some others of the purely Andean imagery such as the Virgin of Galleries, in which Virgin and mountain are confused".

In Chinchero, every Sunday morning there is a nice native market, which is one of the most typical and commendable ones in the region. Over here it is still possible to observe bartering of goods, and almost always people exchange tropical goods such as fruits, coca leaves or salt for some other regional goods such as potatoes, broad beans, ollucos, etc. Also over here, there is a market for tourists with diverse handicrafts with very well made weavings standing out. Unlike some other markets where merchants are foreigners, over here merchants are native regional people.



Mon-Fri 9 Am - 6 Pm ET
please allow pop-ups





Ms. Jenniffer
Wednesday, March 25th 2015

Hi Mr. YenSeng Yong
We wanted to thank you for the wonderful trip you organized for my family, it was an excellent job, and as ...

J. Brown
Monday, February 9th 2015

Dear Luis,
We would like to thank you for organzing for us a great trip, we enjoyed the tours, everyday was an adventure and it was more than ...

Paula J.
Saturday, January 17th 2015

Dear Yen,
We had a fantastic trip!!! We can't thank you enough, and because of you we are inviting to others ...

Wednesday, December 03rd 2014

Hi Yen Seng,
I just want to say how fantastic this trip was. All of the hotels exceeded our expectations and every time we were to be picked up ...

Friday, November 21st 2014

Hi Yen,
We want to thank you for the amazing experience we had in the tour of Peru...

Date: Thursday, October 23rd 2014

Dear Yenseng
We are home and we like to use the opportunity to thank you for everything.
Throughout our planning...

Date: Sunday, October 05th 2014

Luis, I just wanted to say thank you for a wonderful Peruvian experience. We all had an amazing time through all the tours...

Karen Fitchpatrick
Date: Tuesday, September 30th 2014

Hi Yenseng. Just wanted to let you know that we had a really awesome trip. Everything was so well organized and scheduled that we were able ...

Date: Thursday, August 28th 2014

Hello Luis, I am writting to you to share my opinion about our stay in your Country.
First of all, I want to thank you for your assistance in preparing our beautiful trip...

Melanie Friesen
Date: Saturday, July 12th 2014

Hi Luis, First of all I want to thank you for putting together a great tour. We had a wonderful time...

Tatyana Ukhanova
Date: Tuesday, Jun 24th 2014

Dear Yenseng, we had a wonderful trip to Peru. Thank you so much. Unforgettable time! ...

Alex Beric
Date: Saturday, Jun 07th 2014

Thank you very much for organizing our exciting trip to Peru. Everything was flawless and we enjoyed our trip tremendously...

Date Thurday, May 28th 2014

Thank you for the follow-up email. My friend and I enjoyed our trip immensely! The various tours were well organized and nicely presented...

Date : Thurday, May 28th 2014

We had a great time in Peru. And your staff and service was fantastic.
We really appreciated the personalised pick-ups from the hotels...

Date: Sunday, May 18th 2014

This is Alina- nice to write to you again. Recently we came back from our long five countries vacation...

Matthew Williams
Date: Tuesday; May 13th 2014

Thank you for making our trip so wonderful and accommodating. Our tour guide in Machu Picchu was wonderfully entertaining and informative...

Margaret and Roy
Date: Monday, April 9th, 2014

We have returned to Australia from our trip to Peru and Chile. We would like to thank you very much...

Read More testimonials... »




Av Pardo 601 Suite 701-702 Miraflores Lima Peru
Peru travel guide,hotels, tours,vacation holiday planner for Machu Picchu,Cusco,Lima and all of Peru
 US TOLL FREE - 1 888 671 2852
 Non US customers call +51 1 4443027 - 4457704

 Contact Us
 This information is current as of today
 © 2000-2015 Peru Gateway Travel, all rights reserved