D A T C O T O U R
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At the eastern end of the valley is Pisac. It is best known for the Sunday colorful and lively Indian market. Crammed into the main square of this small town is a bustling market comprised of two parts.
|The local market for, of and by the Indians takes place in the streets around the plaza and is a constant scene of comings and goings. In the plaza itself is the handicraft market with a wide variety of textiles, carvings, jewelry, ceramics, pots and other items considered somewhere between art and stuff, all depending on your likes and dislikes.|
Another activity of tradition and importance is the Sunday "March of the Mayors" when the mayors of surrounding towns come together to march to the church, the leader blowing on a shell horn to announce the beginning of services. It is colorful, though often difficult to see as there is no pomp and circumstance to announce it's happening and unless you are paying close attention, it'll all be over before you are aware it is even happening.
In addition to the big Sunday market, there are now smaller (often termed "more user friendly") markets on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and on other days as well.
|There is also an impressive set of ruins
perched on the mountain behind the town.
You can walk up - one hour, uphill all the way - but this is not recommended. Better to go by vehicle with a knowledgeable guide who can put this set of ruins into proper perspective.
Allow at minimum 2 hours even if driving both ways; allow minimum 5 hours if you drive up and walk down.
Handbook (Footprint Handbooks)
The path goes through working terraces, giving the ruins a context. The first group of buildings is Pisaqa, with a fine curving wall. Climb then to the central part of the ruins, the Intihuatana group of temples and rock outcrops in the most magnificent Inca masonry.
Here are the Reloj Solar ("Hitching Post to the Sun") ... palaces of the moon and stars, solstice markers, baths and water channels. From Intihuatana, a path leads around the hillside, through a tunnel to Q'Allaqasa, the "military area". Across the valley at this point, a large area of Inca tombs in holes in the hillside can be seen. The end of the site is Kanchiracay, where the agricultural workers were housed.