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Q'enko (Q'enqo/Kenko)

Location: Rediscover Machu Picchu > Peru & the Andes > Q'enko (Q'enqo/Kenko)





An Ancient Inca Religious Site


These ruins are close to the city of Cuzco, but a bit further from it than Sacsayhuamán. It is located northeast of Cuzco and not many tourists wander out there. As opposed to Sacsayhuamán.

Q'enko is located on to of the Socorro Hill and it used to be a religious spot of the Incas. They performed rituals there.

The archaeological site of Q'enko is part of the Sacsayhuamán Archaeological Park.

This site was unearthed in 1934.


If you would like to wander out to Q'enko, then expect rather interesting than beautiful ruins. You will see lots of deteriorated carved stones and you will hardly have any idea about what they were or how they looked when they were in good condition.

Caves, the remains of destroyed stone structures are just about all a traveler can see at Q'enko.


It is believed that Q'enko's construction was ordered by Huayná Cápac Inca and that the site was dedicated to funerals especially and other rituals related to death, including sacrifices


Specialists have also determined an astronomical significance in the case of this complex. It could have been used for astronomical observations, including for calendar making.


The primary construction material used by the Incas for building Q'enko was limestone.


An interesting place at Q'enko is the so-called "Big Rock" or "Great Rock", which is 100 m (32.8 ft) long. This gigantic stone bears deep carvings on it. On the rear part it has carved stairs leading to its top. Visitors are allowed to walk up to the top of the rock.

On this rock you will be able to identify carved animal shapes, such as felines, reptiles.

Under the "Great Rock" there is an underground gallery.


Another part of the site is a semicircular square (semicircular plaza), there you will find perfectly carved stone bricks put together, all around, forming a stage-like area. It somewhat resembles an amphitheatre.

The wall around in an elliptical one with 19 niches that were probably used as seats.

You will also see a monolith that has a height of 4 m (13.12 ft).


There is a similar site to Q'enko, called "Little Q'enko", which has a rectangular wall surrounding it.


Q'enko is unique, but overall doesn't offer beautiful views. There are about a dozen or more sites that are far more interesting. Make sure that you have visited the Sacred Valley, Cuzco, areas thoroughly before going to Q'enko.


The name of this site is written in several ways: Q'enko, Qenqo, Q'enqo, Kenko etc.


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