After playing tourist in Peru’s most famous-and suffocated- sites including Machu Pichu and Cuzco, the quaint town of Pisac was like a cool breeze on a hot day. I left the crowds and chaos behind as I stepped into the tranquility of this Peruvian gem.
Known for its touristy Sunday market, Pisac is much more than its vendors and crafts (although they are quite lovely.) It’s bewitching and mysterious ruins and chill, chakra-aligning energy, left an indelible imprint on my journey.
Referring to both the town and the ruins, Pisac is perhaps derived from the word “Pisaca,” the Qechua word for Partridge. While nobody know exactly why the ruins were built, I was told by a local that if Cuzco was the “Puma” and heart of Inca Civilization, Pisac was the underworld. This makes sense considering one of the biggest collection of Incan tombs rest just opposite the valley from the ruins. You can see the honeycomb holes that adorn that hillside, yet are no longer accessible to visitors as they were raided by grave robbers long ago.
Pisac remains a mystery to visitors and historians alike. In no Spanish conquest texts is this mighty fortress even mentioned. Yet, its perfect stone architecture is captivating. The precision to which each block was placed cannot be replicated even with modern technology. The canals and irrigation systems built by Ancient Inca still flow with Andean spring water while its impressive agricultural terraces contour the hillside and feed the village.
Part of Pisac’s beauty is in its mystery. Perhaps we will never uncover the secrets and wisdom of the Inca, but perhaps we may catch of a glimpse of that elusive cosmic thread they were tapped into.