One of the best sites to visit on the Boleto Turistico is the incredible garden Inca Site of Tipon. Located just 40 minutes outside the city of Cusco, this beautiful archeological site was built for the worship of water. Tipon contains enclosures, terraces, platforms, irrigation works and more. It is a lush green Inca site because of the ageless irrigation system that the Incas constructed. “The complex is an irrigation system of canals, aqueduct, fountains, buried conduits, and a tunnel provided conjunctive use of both surface and spring water”. There are many ways to visit Tipon, you can take a bus and venture on your own or join a day tour through the ‘South Valley Tour’. Here we have All you need to KNOW about Tipon.
You have to get the tourist ticket (boleto turistico) to visit Tipon. The one day ticket allows you visit 4 archeological sites. For a little extra fee, you can get the 10 day ticket which allows you visit a total of 16 sites. If you wish to visit all these sites then we recommend you join a tour, that way you have excess to private transportation to take you from one location to the next.
A ‘South Valley Tour of Cusco’ also includes a tour of the archaeological site of Piquillacta and the church of Andahuaylillas (also known as the Sistine Chapel of America). Tours last 4 to 5 hours and include transportation, tour guide, and entrance fees. To use the rest of of tourist ticket you can book a Sacred Valley tour which will take you to other great locations like Pisac and Ollantaytambo archeological sites. Also included are great attractions like Maras Salt Mines and the Moray experimental farming amphitheater.
What is it?
Tipón was an Inca citadel and a site for the worship of water.
In the place, terraces, platforms, stone rooms, adobe and majestically worked water pipes were built.
Due to the perfection with which the Incas constructed the waterways in Tipón; this site is considered a ‘Wonder of Civil Engineering’.
Included, is a large stone that was an altar to the sun (Intihuatana), the wall that protected the enclosure, the Cruzmoqo viewpoint, from where the city of Cuzco and its royal enclosures can be seen.
Where is it located?
Tipón is the first tourist destination in the South Valley of Cusco. It is located in the Choquepata community, in the Oropesa district, Quispicanchi province; just 23 kilometers southeast of the Imperial City of Cusco.
The Cusco – Oropesa paved road can be reached in just 40 minutes with any car. The altitude is 3316 meters above sea level. In the highest area of the enclosure, the altitude can reach 3850 meters.
How to get there?
To visit Tipón on your own you must take public transportation on La Cultura avenue. The transport companies that go to Tipón have a cost of approximately 2 Peruvian soles (less than 1 dollar).
Once at the ‘Desvío de Tipón’ you must take a collective taxi for 5 Peruvian soles (less than 2 dollars). These shared taxis leave the visitor at the very door of the archaeological site.
The return follows the same route as the outbound journey.
On arrival you must buy a tourist ticket, tickets can also be purchased on Avenida De Sol, near the historical center of Cusco.
Why visit Tipón?
The Archaeological Park of Tipón has 240 hectares. It is part of the Qhapac Ñan route (network of Inca roads).
It has thirteen terraces built in the masonry and Inca style.
Among its greatest attractions are its royal enclosures, the Intiwatana (altar of the sun), the viewpoint or Cruzmoqo (summit where there is a cross), the smaller enclosures and the wall.
According to the chronicler Garcilaso de la Vega, it was built by the Inca Huiracocha as the residence of his father Huaqaj, after he was overthrown for escaping from a Chanca rebellion.
Like many important Inca sites, Tipón was inhabited by human groups and cultures that were predecessors to the Incas, such as the Ayamarcas and the Waris.
The chronicles indicate that Tipón was the residence of the ruler Yahuar Huacac. His son and successor to the throne Huiracocha was the one who built the main canals and walls of the enclosure during the 15th century.
During the Spanish invasion in the 16th century, Tipón’s buildings were not destroyed, so it currently maintains a large part of its original figure.
After more than 600 years, the Tipón canals continues to have water flowing through them constantly. Because of this, the North American engineer Kenneth Wright called it a “Wonder of civil engineering.”
Currently, Tipón is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Cusco. It is part of the ‘South Valley’ tour that also includes Piquillacta and the Andahuaylillas church.
What to see?
The royal enclosures – These are the most important buildings in the enclosure. It is presumed that it was the compound that Huiracocha had built for his father. It has water gutters, fountains and gardens.
The platforms and canals – The entire archaeological site is an example of the perfection of the Incas in hydraulic works. The various ecological floors of the platforms would have served as a center for agricultural experimentation. The place is in good condition despite the passage of time.
The Intihuatana – The Intihuatana (altar of the sun) refers to enclosures built on a mountainous elevation. Through its trapezoidal windows you could see the entire enclosure and the sunlight.
The viewpoint or Cruzmoqo – Cruzmoqo means ‘Summit where there is a cross’. It is an enclosure located at the top and north of the archaeological site. From its top you can see Cusco.
Minor Enclosures – Lower quality rooms than actual stone and adobe enclosures. Due to the quality of its construction, it must have housed minor personalities.
The wall – Constructions of great dimensions and length. It must have served to protect the site from constant attacks by rival towns.
For lovers of good food, Tipón is one of the most popular destinations in Cusco.
Twelve minutes from the archaeological park, there are many restaurants serving typical food in the area.
The main dishes include baked guinea pig and pork rinds. Both dishes are accompanied by serrano potatoes and ají de huacatay. Peru is considered the most exciting culinary destination in the world.
The Tipón Zoo
In addition to the archeological site, the town also has a small zoo. The small zoo has an eclectic mix of wild animal species that are rescues kept there for rehabilitation. They have an impressive collection of animals like pumas, speckled bear, condors, macaws, alpacas, vicuñas and so much more. The zoo is not big, but its located close to the archeological site and worth a visit if you have time.
The entrance fee for foreign tourists is 10 Peruvian soles (approximately 3 dollars).
The zoo is located just a few steps from the archeological site of Tipón. And yes it is possible to walk from the archeological site to the zoo.
To enter the archaeological park of Tipón you must have the ‘Cusco Tourist Ticket’ Circuit 2, which includes entry to: Tipón, Piquillacta, monument to the Inca Pachacutec, Qosqo Center of Native Art, Coricancha site museum, museum of popular art, regional historical museum and contemporary art museum.
The cost for the Cusco Tourist Ticket one-day (Circuit 2) is 70 Peruvian soles (includes 4 archeological sites)
The cost for the Cusco Tourist ticket 10-days is 130 Peruvian soles (includes 16 archeological sites)
Hours of operation
Monday through Sunday from 7 am to 6 pm.
Weather in Tipón
Tipon has a temperate climate that varies around an average maximum of 21ºC and 2ºC minimum.
The wet season is between November to March, with frequent rain showers. Dry season is from April to October, which is often referred to as the Andean summer.
The afternoons get a bit of headwind, so we recommend wearing a windbreaker jacker. Also, it can get nippy at the top, especially later in the day. So, consider bringing comfortable walking shoes, comfortable long pants and another extra layer to warm up if needed.
Some recommendations for your visit
Take advantage of your trip to Tipón to get to know other tourist attractions in the South Valley of Cusco: Piquillacta, Andahuaylillas, Raqchi or Huasao.
To reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness, try not to drink alcoholic beverages or eat fatty foods during your trip to Cusco.
If you decide to visit Tipón with a tour, choose a reputable tourism agency like Orange Nation. Also, checkout some reviews on TripAdvisor if you are unsure.
Questions and answers
a) When is the best time to visit Tipón?
Any time is ideal to visit Tipón. Due to the pleasant climate and the lower probability of rain, dry season (April to October) is perfect for the tour.
b) Can I hire a tour guide in Tipón?
The tours to the South Valley include the guided service in Tipón. If you want to visit this archaeological site on your own, you can find Spanish speaking guides at the entrance.
c) Is it allowed to buy the ticket to Tipón at the entrance gate?
The entrance to the archaeological site of Tipón is included in the tours to the South Valley of Cusco. However, it is also possible to buy the entrance ticket at the door of the enclosure.
d) Is there a small zoo near Tipón?
A few meters from the archaeological site of Tipón there is a small zoo. The entrance ticket is sold at the door of the establishment for only 10 Peruvian soles (3 US dollars).
e) How much does the entrance to Tipón cost?
Entrance to Tipón is included in the Cusco Tourist Ticket.
f) What should I bring?
During your visit, do not forget to bring a rain poncho as it can rain at any time. Also bring sunscreen, good sneakers, and a hat to shelter from the heat.
g) What are the nearby tourist attractions of Tipón?
A few kilometers from Tipón you can visit the archaeological site of Piquillacta. This pre-Inca site is also included in the South Valley Tour of Cusco.
h) Is it dangerous?
No. Tipón has buildings that are easy to navigate and do not represent any danger to visitors.
All you need to KNOW about Tipon was updated in June 2023.
One of the best sites to visit on the Boleto Turistico is the incredible garden Inca Site of Tipon. Located just 40 minutes outside the city of Cusco, this beautiful archeological site was built for the worship of water. Tipon contains enclosures, te...