The Southern Coast Travel Guide

The Southern Coast Sights

Tambo Colorado

  • Via Libertadores, 40 km east of Pisco Map It
  • Pisco
  • Archaeological Site/Ruins
  • Fodor's Choice

Published 02/07/2017

Fodor's Review

The great Inca Pachacutec himself probably stayed at this, one of Peru's most underrated archaeological sites. That's because the labyrinthine alleyways and trapezoidal plaza of this huge adobe settlement were devised as an outpost for soldiers and visiting dignitaries of the far-flung Andean empire, making it the most important Inca site on the Peruvian coast. Today, Tambo Colorado is incredibly well preserved, owing to its bone-dry setting. When you go, you'll feel some of the same grandeur found in the stones of the Sacred Valley around Cuzco.

Tambo Colorado, or Pucahuasi ("red resting place") in Quechua, derives its name from the bright bands of imperial red, yellow, and white with which it was once blazoned. The site comprises several sections laid out around a large central plaza, and you can see the quarters where the great Inca received his guests. Notice that the plaza's distinctive trapezoid shape is reflected throughout the site—look for trapezoid windows and other openings—and thought to have been an earthquake-proofing measure, necessary in this extremely volatile region. Be sure to visit the museum on the premises, which houses many finds by the great archaeologist Julio C. Tello, the site's discoverer.

Sight Information


Via Libertadores, 40 km east of Pisco, Pisco, Ica, Peru

Map It

Sight Details:

  • S/5

Published 02/07/2017


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