Saksaywaman, pronounced “sexy woman”, is a site of some impressive ancient ruins just on the outskirts of Cusco town. It is about a 2K hike up and out of town and well worth a visit. If you are heading to the Inca trail, it is a nice short hike that will help you acclimatize to the altitude. In preparation for the upcoming Inca Trail hike, we decided to walk to the ruins which took about 40 minutes (we were meandering). Once we got there, we hired a local guide because we wanted some historical information. You certainly don’t need a guide to see the ruins but if you want to learn a bit more history and ask questions, it is worth it.
The ruins include a temple, ceremonial table and play field, an amphitheater which was the location of animal combat, a quarry, and some dramatic views of Cusco town.
And after the warm hike, there is nothing like a cold Cusquena!