about puka pukara

Cusco, Perú

Puka Pukara is a historical Peruvian site that is found 4-5 miles away from Cusco on the road to Pisac. At first the site seems like a bunch of serpentine stucco walls encircling an overgrown garden of grass. However, you understand the significance of the site when a guide or a book you read explains the history.

Puka Pukara had many functions in it’s time. It used to contain fountains, canals, baths, various rooms and towers. Due to this, it was though that Puka Pukara was used as a sort of hunting lodge or resting place for travelers. Here, weary travelers could stop off to rest, eat or drink.

Another function of Puka Pukara is that it may have been used as a fortress. In fact, the name Puka Pukara comes from two Quecha words meaning red fort. In it’s day the fort may have been an impressive red color since the limestone contained iron. If you’ve ever been to Sedona, AZ imagine the red rocks there used to construct a large fort. That’s what the fort may have looked like here back in the day. The location of the fort is strategic it overlooks the Cusco valley and it looks down at Tambo Machay. Tambo Machay was a very important site in Incan times. A bonus of the strategic location on an overhang in the mountains is that you are treated to some impressive views from here.

As you enter and when you leave the site Peruvian people have set up tables to sell their wares or ask to take picture with them for a few sols.

You can take a four hour tour to visit this site and others from Cusco for around $10. You can get here on your own by cab or bus as well. Use your $20 tourist ticket to get into this site as well as 15 other historical sites.

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Before Coming to Peru

Important: If sensible precautions are taken by the visitor to Peru, there is no reason why you shouldn't remain as healthy as at home.
  • Before you travel make sure that you take out good medical insurance. If you plan to undertake 'adventurous activities' such as rafting, horse riding or paragliding, make sure that your policy covers you. You may have to pay a small surcharge for this.
  • For advice on what immunizations / inoculations that you require we recommend that you try ringing a specialist travel clinic (at least 6 weeks prior to travel). Your own doctor is probably unfamiliar with health in Latin America.
Passport and Visas:

All countries require a valid passport (with minimum 6 months validity). Citizens from most countries in the Americas and Western Europe do not require visas to enter Peru. Bolivians, Ecuadorians, Brazilians, and Chileans may enter determined regions of the country just by presenting their national identification documents. The maximum authorized length of stay is 90 days.

To remain longer in the country or to enter for other purposes (residence, study, research, work, etc.), you must request the corresponding visa at the Peruvian consulate of your country of residence before traveling.

Contact your embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements. It's your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation.

No inoculations are currently required for Peru. However you should consider immunization against the following:
  • Typhoid
  • Polio
  • Tetanus
  • Hepatitis A

If you plan on going into the Peruvian jungle (Iquitos, Manu, Tambopata) then a yellow fever vaccination is recommended. There are still the occasional outbreaks and it is frequently obligatory to show a vaccination certificate when entering the jungle regions. If you don't have a certificate then you will be inoculated on the spot as you get off the plane!

Malaria tablets are also recommended for the jungle, although nearly all of the jungle lodges in the Madre de Dios/Tambopata areas and Manu National Park state that there have been no reported cases of malaria, and that taking anti-malaria tablets are optional but recommended.

To avoid any problems on your trip, take into account the following general recommendations:
  • Avoid recruiting services for people moving near the ground or air terminals and on public roads.
  • Carefully read the terms of contracts in order to know the limitations and / or restrictions imposed by the company.
  • In Peru are not used taximeters. See prices with reference Iperú before negotiating with taxi drivers. Prices are not based on the number of passengers.
  • We recommend that you change your money in banks or exchange houses. Only accept tickets in perfect condition.
  • Ask your hotel or Iperú referential prices of goods or services and request payment vouchers for all their purchases and consumption.
  • Fines for traffic offences are paid only in the Municipality.
  • Check your hotel or Iperú on the safety of the places they visit.
  • When traveling by bus, if you carry valuables, Carry a hand luggage.
  • If you go across borders to remember that the exit and entry to Peru is not made any payments. The procedure for the Andean card is simple and requires no help from others.

Daily departures - Price per person based on shared service unless otherwise requested and subject to change without prior notice and availability - International airfare is not included.