In the middle of the high and cold Andean highlands southern Cusco, there is a paradise of customs and traditions, that have endured since ancient times.
All this area southeast of Cusco belongs to the ancient Inca road to the Collasuyo, where the Tiawanaku, Lupaqa and Chupaychu cultures developed, who due to an invasion of the Aymara culture had to escape from these lands arriving to Cusco.
The mountains and snow-capped mountains that are located between touristic Cusco and impressive Puno have popular snow-capped mountains , which was worshipped by all the cultures of southern Peru, especially by the Incas. We are talking about Ausangate and all the social, political and religious development that it generated.
That is why Cusco transport wants to share the abundant cultural richness that these places have through this blog that also tries to encourage all readers to make some fun tours in the southern valley of Cusco and visit the colorful mountains southern Cusco.
The historical significance of these valleys, southern Cusco, is much older than the early existence of Cusco’s city.
The grandparents of the Incas come from these southern lands of the Collasuyo!
The first researches of the human being’s existence in the department of Cusco are located south of the city, specifically in the Cusco’s districts of Yauri and Chumbivilcas, which are located 250 kilometers approximately away the center of the city. In these places, material evidence was found, which belongs to human beings who lived in caves at lower parts of the snow-capped mountains. The approximate dating of these archaeological remains is approximately 5000 years before Christ.
These mountains and snow-capped mountains southern Cusco got a greater importance due to the arrival of the Inca culture.
The Inca economy was based on herds of llamas and alpacas, because the wool could be used for textiles, their meat for human consumption and also these Andean rumiants served to carry on them, products of different areas and then trade them all around the towns of Tawantinsuyo.
That’s the reason why herds of llamas and alpacas were the main sources for the economy of Inca culture. Precisely the natural habitat of these animals is the puna (up to 12000 Ft.) around the Vilcanota mountain range, located southern Cusco.
It is worth mentioning that within the Vilcanota mountain range we can find the snow-capped Ausangate, which is recognized as an Inca divinity, since it feeds the animals with vegetation, provides pure water to the inhabitants around it, and protects the surrounding crops from bad weather and hail.
When the Iberians arrived to Cusco, after conquering the city, they began to go to the south, because a large number of willac uma (Andean priests) escaped to these areas to take refuge. Due to the fact that the south of Cusco was a place of Inca religious resistance, the Spaniards made a greater effort to evangelize these lands, building many Catholic temples, as is the case of the temple of Andahuaylillas known like “the sixtina chapel of America“.
Additionally, the first desires for national freedom arose in these lands south of Cusco, with the rebellion of Tupac Amaru II, that began on November 4, 1780 in the town of Tinta with the murder of the Spanish captain Arriaga.
Due to this early cultural evolution that took place in these lands, the customs and traditions of its inhabitants keep being practiced until nowadays, as well as a continue investigation of this areas head by anthropologists, sociologists and archaeologists.
No one knows how many mysteries are still kept among these peoples!
Some of those several traditions are:
Within the traditions rooted since our ancestors, the act of giving thanks to the mountains is typical practice and one way for doing that is through the construction of apachetas.
These apachetas are small towers made of small stones that are placed one on top of the other, usually put next to path trails or on the side of the mountains.
In the past, these apachetas were also used as milestones to delimit the borders between Andean communities.
Clothing is an important feature when we want to differentiate Andean societies.
Peruvian cultures used a code of colors and shapes to create their clothing and to distinguish themselves from other societies.
The use of poncho arose due to the cold weather around the mountains of these places, although it can save you dry during rains. While the chullo, despite not being an Inca coat accessory, became popular since the nineteenth century, and today is an icon of our Peruvian culture due to the variations in shape and color it has like the poncho.
In the heart of these snow-capped mountains in south of Cusco, a food technology was developed to be shared with the whole world.
To preserve the potatoes, which were harvested in these areas, they dehydrated these products with the help of the frost and snow that usually is felt around the snow-capped mountains, while to dehydrate the meat of the alpaca and llama they used natural salt.
On this way, they could keep their food as long as they wanted, because dehydrated food cannot rot.
All these Andean knowledges and traditions are still practiced today southern Cusco, and you will be able to take contact with them by our southern valley tour and rainbow mountain journeys that Cusco transport offers.
Within these beautiful landscapes are hidden some treasures of nature and history such as:
This mountain is composed naturally by red, yellow, green, blue and purple soil. And its original name is Vinicunca mountain.
Vinicunca is one of the new wonders of Cusco, since the views of the landscape during the trail, plus the presence of llamas and alpacas at all times and the kind treatment of the villagers, make of this hike a unique experience in order to reach the viewpoint of the rainbow mountain.
Located next to the Ausangate snow-capped mountain, this place is recommended for people who want the easiest trekking to rainbow mountains to enjoy snowy landscapes, big rocks and colorful mountains.
Explore three moments of Peruvian history just in one day.
You will be able to visit Tipon, an Inca construction, then walk through narrow and long streets inside Pikillacta, a Huari society, and finally appreciate the “sixtina chapel of America”, a Jesuit temple built in Andahuaylillas in XVII century .
This southern valley tour in Cusco is recommended for people who love Peruvian history.
Now is your turn to decide where you will start to visit by, the southern Cusco. just choose your favorite destiny: cultural tour southern Cusco or full day adventure tour like rainbow mountain or palccoyo mountain , and we will be ready to take you all over the magical south of Cusco. Contact us!