Tipón Archaeological Site in Cusco.

Machu Picchu usually takes center stage regarding Peru’s archaeological sites. But the ruins of Tipon in Cusco should not be underestimated as a top destination for travelers and nature lovers alike. Located just an hour south of Cusco, Tipon offers visitors a chance to explore ancient Inca towns, temples, terraces, and aqueducts that the Inca Empire once used.

Terraces in Tipon

What is Tipon?.

Tipon is an Inca archaeological site southeast of Cusco that was once an important ceremonial center. The site is on a high plateau overlooking the valley of Cusco and is surrounded by terraces, canals, and aqueducts. Tipon is one of the best-preserved Inca sites and provides insight into the Inca’s water and irrigation engineering abilities.

The most notable feature of Tipon is the enormous terraces irrigated by a network of water channels fed by a large fountain directing water from a natural spring. The irrigation system consisted of canals, fountains, and masonry buildings with water droplets revealing that the Incas possessed advanced water-related technology and were expert hydraulic engineers.


It is located near the Village of Choqeupata, District of Oropesa, Province of Qispincanchis, in the Cusco region. Tipon is 27 km kilometers southeast of Cusco with an altitude of 3560 m (11689F ft).


The Ayarmacas initially inhabited Tipon, a small tribe in the Valley of Cusco that was later dominated by the powerful Wari empire during 1200 AD. The Incas arrived at Tipon and built over the ancient constructions. Tipon was the real state of Yahuar Huacac and later by his son Huiracocha in the XIV century.

During the arrival of the Spaniards, Tipon was not destroyed, and now we can see the fantastic hydraulic technology that the Incas implemented on this site. Today, Tipon is an important archaeological site in the South of Peru with Pikillacta and Andhuaylillas.


The primary purpose of the Tipon is still unknown. Still, it is thought that they were used as a royal estate or retreat, for religious ceremonies and rituals, and for agricultural production.

The fountains at the site were probably used for cleansing rituals. Although the exact purpose of the Tipon Ruins is still a mystery, it is clear that they were an important part of Inca culture and society. The site provides insight into the engineering and architectural skills of the Inca people, as well as their belief system and cosmology.


Cusco is located in the Southern Hemisphere, so its weather patterns reverse what most people are used to. The rainy season in Cusco runs from October to March; during this time, the city experiences rain showers almost daily. These showers usually don’t last long, but they can wet the streets. April and May are the shoulder months when rainfall is less frequent but still possible. June through September is the dry season, and this is the best time to visit Cusco if you want to avoid any chance of rain. October through March is also the cooler time of year in Cusco, with average temperatures in the mid-60s Fahrenheit (around 18 degrees Celsius).

The Meaning of Tipon.

Tipon is probably derived from the Quechua word Timpuj, which means boiling, which refers to the water spring in the upper part of the terraces.


The site consists of terraces, plazas, and water features built into the natural landscape. The most significant part of Tipon is its water system, which includes canals, aqueducts, and fountains.

The architecture of Tipon reflects the Inca belief that water was a sacred element. The site was designed to use the natural terrain to provide irrigation for crops and drinking water for the local population. The canals and aqueducts at Tipon are some of the most sophisticated engineering feats of the Inca civilization.

The terraces at Tipon were likely used for agriculture, as they would have provided ample crop space and a stable foundation against landslides. The plazas were likely used for religious or ceremonial purposes, as they offer clear views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

The water features at Tipon are some of the most impressive examples of Inca engineering. The canals and aqueducts are still used today, providing irrigation for local farms. The fountains are believed to have been used for ceremonial purposes, as they would have been a source of clean water for ritual washing.

How to get to Tipon from Cusco.

To get to Tipon from Cusco, you must take a bus or private taxi. The journey will take around 1 hour and 30 minutes. Once you arrive in Tipon, you will need to walk about 20 minutes to the ruins.

How to visit Tipon?.

The best way to visit Tipon is by traveling with a travel company that will organize private transportation, private guide, entry fees, and meals included. You can also travel by yourself by renting a private taxi; however, its remote location might be even more expensive than booking an organized tour.

What to pack?.

When packing for a trip to Tipon, it is essential to remember that the weather can be pretty cold and windy or the opposite. The Andes weather is unpredictable, and you must be prepared for all kinds of weather.

Have a small backpack to carry all your belongings.
Comfortable clothing for hiking
A hat and sunglasses are also essential to protect you from the sun.
Rain gear, especially if you are visiting during the rainy season
Water and snacks
Extra money in soles

What can you expect?.

During the visit to Tipon, be prepared for hiking. The site consists of a series of terraces, plazas, and platforms constructed by the Inca. Tipon is thought to have served as a ceremonial center for the Inca. The site is located in a rural area, and it is recommended that visitors wear comfortable walking shoes and bring plenty of water.

When you first arrive at Tipon, you will see the remains of a large gate. This gate was once part of a wall that surrounded the site.
Beyond the gate, you will see the central plaza. Two large platforms flank the plaza. These platforms were used for ceremonies and other public events.
As you walk around Tipon, you will see several terraces. These terraces were used for farming and irrigation.
You will also see several smaller buildings. These buildings were most likely used for storage or as workshops.
At the far end of the site, you will find a spring. This spring provided water for the people who lived at Tipon.
We recommend visitors not drink water from the spring.

Best time of the year to visit.

The best time of the year to visit any place in the Andes and Cusco is during the Dry season, which runs from April to October. However, if you arrive during the Rainy season, the green landscapes are also impressive.

Why is Tipon an Important Inca site?

The irrigation systems at Tipon are some of the most sophisticated in the world and testify to the Inca’s engineering skills. More than 600 years have passed, and the water channels continue to flow precisely; for this reason, the American engineer Kenneth Wright called it a “Wonder of civil engineering.”