Chinchero known as the city of Arco Iris is located 28 km. to the northwest of the city of Cusco, on the 3160 msnm., flanked by the snowed ones of Salkantay, Verónica and Soray. The view from here is impressive. Chinchero belongs to the province of Urubamba, department of Cusco
Chinchero, the most typical population of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, is a distinctly Inca city that the conquistadores wanted to “civilize” to implant their culture, but never fully achieved it. Its inhabitants inhabit almost intact Inca buildings, in the same place where their distant ancestors lived and formed the largest and most prosperous civilization in America.
In the Archeological Site of Chinchero, its platforms are initially called, which allows us to understand that it was a center of agricultural production in the Inca period, a warehouse was also built and the whole complex was equipped with a very efficient irrigation system. The story goes that with the arrival of the Spaniards, Chinchero was burned down in 1536 by Manco Inca, in his flight to Vilcabamba, with the aim of leaving nothing to the Spaniards.
On the Palace of Tupac Yupanqui the Spaniards raised the Church of Our Lady of Montserrat in 1607, with the purpose of representing their submission in a symbolic way. Its main altar carved in gold leaf and baroque style is dedicated to the Virgin of the Nativity. Its walls are decorated with works by Diego Quispe Tito, the highest representative of the Cuzco school. There are also works by Francisco Chihuantito.
In Chinchero the past persists stubbornly, as if the spirit of a millenarian culture clung to this place, refusing to disappear. The native settlers, dressed in colorful traditional costumes, come down from their communities on Sundays and gather in the main square to exchange their products. Seeing all this group of people with deep cultural roots, oblivious to any sign of modernity, is a spectacle.
In the busy and colorful Sunday fair of chinchero you can find objects for domestic use, some truly old like the famous chinchero textiles. In this town, with united communities, it has been possible to preserve a living, immaterial heritage of extraordinary value, which is expressed both in textiles and in agricultural practices and in a network of family and community relations. In the workshops of the associations of artisans the whole process of the fabric is exposed daily, from the washing of the wool, to the final product, you learn from the techniques of spinning, dyeing and weaving.
From Chinchero you can access the beautiful Laguna de Huaypo and the town of Piuray. Chinchero is also recognized as a town of talented textile artisans.