When you hear “Inca ruins” you probably think Machu Picchu, and while the famous 15th century site deserves its bucket list status, Peru is home to other travel-worthy ruins as well. One of them, arguably the best demonstration of the incredible engineering skills of the Incas, is Tipón.
The 500-acre site, located near a natural spring 12 miles (20 kilometers) south of Cusco, comprises a network of agricultural terraces so elaborate that archeologists think they may have been used for testing difficult crops rather than for everyday farming. Some of the terraces are still in use and still supplied by the same ancient technology.
Since the site was part of an Incan noble’s estate, the elaborate stonemasonry exhibits the same stunning Imperial style as the structures seen at Machu Picchu, but with far fewer visitors to contend with.
The ruins of Tipón are accessible via a steep hike or by car on a dirt road. If you plan to hike, give yourself about two hours each way.