The temple of the moon is a tourist option in Cusco that you should not miss. If you are looking for a place not so crowded and without many tourists, without a doubt, the hike to the temple of the moon is what you should choose.
Where is? How long will it take me? Here we tell you absolutely everything!
The Temple of the Moon: What is it?
The temple of the moon is literally located at the top of the hill, far from the noise and movement of Cusco, even though it is only an hour’s walk away. The temple contains a cave with a ceremonial altar, where the figures of pumas, snakes, and condors are carved.
Their purpose was to revere fertility, so their caves were built to let in sunlight and moonlight on specific days, targeting specific parts of the altars.
History of the temple of the moon
The temple of the moon, according to its functional and morphological characteristics, dates from the Imperial period between 1438 and 1532. This enclosure was built and carved on what is known as a rock.
In this place, both outside and inside, ceremonies and rituals dedicated to the moon (as observed in the carved moons in the enclosure) were practiced, as well as other deities such as Pachamama.
If we base ourselves on Andean cosmology, this is based on respect for the world’s energy entities such as the Moon, and Mother Earth, since these are closely connected to agriculture, which is the main source of the economy in the Inca period.
Due to this, the offerings were very popular to show the man’s gratitude for the good harvests.
How to get to the temple of the moon?
The temple of the moon is located approximately 2.5 kilometers on foot from the Plaza de Armas of the city of Cusco (in the Qenqo sector).
To get there, we have 2 alternatives:
By Taxi or Public Transport – Bus:
From the city of Cusco, this journey will not take you more than 15 minutes by taxi, paying approximately 20 soles to the same venue.
If you do not want to pay for a taxi, then take your bus in front of the Coricancha temple (in front of the Qarmenqa Hotel) in the historic center of Cusco – The company you must take is CRISTO BLANCO, you pay 1 Sol, you get off at Whereabouts Qenqo (20 minutes), from
Qenqo walk to the temple of the Moon (10 minutes), you will meet many people on the route, so don’t worry.
On your return, take your bus at the Qenqo bus stop and get off at the Puente Rosario bus stop or any other place near the historic center.
Getting to the temple of the moon on foot takes about 40 minutes from the city center. From here you should go to Atoqsaycuchi Street located in San Blas.
You will have to continue going up until you reach a paved road from where you will see the statue of Cristo Blanco, from there you will walk along the paved road to Qenqo (do not leave the road), from Qenqo walk through the potato fields until you reach the temple of the Moon.
Mysticism in the Temple of the Moon
It is believed that the Temple of the Moon is a construction dedicated to fertility. This is because the cavern is shaped like a uterus while the upper cavity through which the light beam filters would represent the vagina.
It is also believed that the cave had gold ornaments. And that during the moonlit nights, the camera was illuminated.
A short distance from the Temple of the Moon is a mysterious building called ‘the Temple of the Monkey’. It is a rock carved in the shape of a headless monkey (it is presumed that it was made of gold and that the Spanish removed it).
It is believed that this construction was an astronomical observatory. It is also believed that it was a site that worshiped this representative animal of the jungle. Tourists also often practice mystical tourism there.
What can we do in the area?
- Meditation, healing, and connection exercises with Pachamama and the Moon
- Perform offering ceremonies to mother earth
- Surrounding roads that lead to beautiful places and huacas.
- A day out with fruits, drinks, and food can be arranged.
- Excursions on horseback through the different sectors of the park, visiting Zone X, Tambomachay, and ending at the Temple of the Moon.