The previous 4 posts covered sites in the Sacred and Southern Valleys, now we will move to the West of Cusco where you will find the Anta Province, aside from those that traveling through and those staying with us here at GringoWasi, the Anta Province in general does not see many tourists, so it is still relatively untouched by tourism.
The Andenes Zurite are located a little more than 42 km to the West of Cusco and the largest continuous terraces in the Cusco Region if not in all of Peru, with the larger terraces being about 1 km in length, 30 meters deep and 3 meters in height.
Before being taken over by the government, the terraces were farmed and controlled by a wealthy family, the old colonial home is still on one of the upper terraces and is one of many building the Ministry of Agriculture occupies. The Ministry of Agriculture now manages the archaeological site and operates it as a large laboratory, here they test different growing methods and through cross pollination try to develop new varieties of crops, for instance they introduced a new variety of quinoa back in 2012.
Aside from the terraces and colonial home, there are also ruins on the hill above the terraces that we have been told are referred to as Qenqo, like to site above Cusco. While the ruins above are accessible, it would be a difficult hike and according to some of the workers at the site, one would need a machete to blaze a path, as there is no established trail to get you there.
If considering a trip to the Andenes Zurite and you like pork, I would recommend stopping in our town of Huarocondo for lunch, Huarocondo is regionally known as the “tierra de lechon” or land of lechon. Lechon is pork that has been slow roasted, and while lechon is available in Cusco and many towns in the region, it is usually a piece of adult pig, here in Huarocondo the pig must be 10kg or under and is roasted whole for 4 to 6 hours depending on size.
Up next will be my last installment in this series, a site dedicated to the moon and where you can experience an amazing local celebration virtually free of other tourists.