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The Temple of The Moon in Cusco

The Temple of the Moon or Amaru Markawasi.

Are you tired of visiting the same places all the time?

I recommend you visit new places freely and for free. For this, there is an Inca temple of the Moon/Fertility using religious patterns. They venerated the Moon in this place.

Get to know more about this archaeological site in Cusco with PeruAmazonTrips.

Here you can see an Inca temple, some rock carvings, caverns, and other constructions that hold their particular significance. Others also comment that this could be the very important Temple of Fertility from the Inca era, and today only traces of this temple remain.

The Temple of the moon in Cusco.
The Temple of the moon in Cusco.

Killa or the Moon’s Importance

As I mentioned before, the Temple of the Moon was really important (considering that the Sun’s couple, the main god of the Inca Pantheon, was the Moon or Killa in Quechua) but curiously the construction was made inside a cavern, a sacred and mystical site for the Inca inhabitants. On the outside, you can see some stone carvings with different shapes, among them the one that draws the most attention is a semi-circular one in the shape of the moon.

For this reason, this point was called the “Temple of the Moon.” Likewise, you will find figures depicting the serpent, condor, and puma, which the Inca empire considered sacred animals.

Going back to the cave or cavern, the Incas built a ceremonial table that shows very fine carvings, and light filters down directly onto the center of the table from the top. According to local people, they performed rituals directed toward women there.

This sacred site is part of the Qapac Ñan (Inca road network), a route that leads to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, specifically in the Pisac section. Near this temple, you can also visit other archaeological sites such as Sacsayhuaman, Pucapucara, Qenqo, and Tambomachay, all part of the classic city tour of Cusco, which needs a ticket if you want to visit all those sites.

The temple of the moon is surrounded by a beautiful scenery that has phew visitors per day.

How to get to the Temple of the Moon?

To get here, you have several options: one, and perhaps the most used by visitors, is to go on foot. For this, go to San Blas, take Atoqsayk’uchi street to White Christ road. Continue to Qenqo, then cross field to Temple of Moon.

Another route is to come by public transportation’s buses called “Seño del Huerto” or “Cristo Blanco” that will drop you off at Qenqo (average fare is 2 Peruvian soles, or 0.5 US dollars), and from there you will have to make your way to the Temple of the Moon, or you can simply come by taxi, which will charge you around 10 Peruvian soles if taken by the city’s downtown (approximately 3 US dollars).

What did the Moon mean for the Incas?

The moon was fundamental in Inca times, as it influenced agriculture. The Incas described lunar phases based on new moons.

Horses around the temple of the moon are available for rides around the area.

They counted the months by moons from one new moon to the next new moon, this they called the month quilla, like the moon; they gave names to each month, they counted the half months by its waxing and waning, they counted the weeks by the quarters, although they did not have a name for the days of the week,” mentioned Inca Garcilaso de la Vega.

Recommendations for visiting the Temple of the Moon?

  • If you are going to visit the Temple of the Moon, do so in the mornings until around 5 pm.
  • Always bring warm clothing, sunscreen, a hat or a rain jacket as the weather in Cusco changes frequently.
  • If you want to buy a souvenir, always have cash on hand because card payments are still not accepted.
  • Bring water and a good camera.

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