Raqchi (119 km south of Cusco, 8 a.m.–6 p.m., US$3) is a ceremonial center built by Inca Pachacútec that offers a fascinating glimpse into the ambition and organization skills of his budding empire. Rising above the humble village of Raqchi, a wall of adobe nearly 15 meters high and 90 meters long sits on a carved Inca wall.
This was once the center of a huge hall, the roof of which was supported by adobe columns—one of which has been restored—on either side. On the side are six identical squares, each with six stone buildings, which probably served as a soldiers’ barracks.
But the most impressive part of Raqchi is line after line of round stone houses—200 in all—that once were filled with a gargantuan amount of quinoa, freeze-dried potatoes, and corn.
© Ross Wehner and Renée del Gaudio from Moon Peru, 3rd Edition