Ruins of Urco

Tour to the ruins of Urco

This is a guided tour to the ruins of Urco (2926 meters) located in the town of Calca, where we will visit the mystical sanctuary of Wiracocha and learn about the Inca system of agricultural terraces. This is the location of a famous legend that originated the Water Festival of Urco (Unu Urco) which is celebrated on October 1st. For over 500 years the site has remained well hidden from most visitors.

The ruins are a 20-minute walk from Pumawasi. The tour lasts 1 ½ hours.

Best season: Year round.
Difficulty: Very easy
Elevation: 2900 meters

The Water Festival (Unu Urco)

The ruins of Urco serve as the background for the Water Festival (Unu Urco) which is celebrated on October 1st each year. Uno Urco is inspired in the following legend:

On the plain close to the mountain Qan Qan, the Inca Urco and his royal entourage ask the surrounding mountains to bring water to the barren fields. Desperate, the powerful Inca offers his beautiful daughter Kusi Q’oyllur in marriage to the curaca (prince) who can guide water from the surrounding mountains to the dry plains fields of Urco. The suitors build majestic canals that still exist today. The winner is given the Incan princess in marriage, but love and betrayal put a tragic end to the story.