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Temple of the Monkeys

Temple of the Moon and Temple of the Monkeys from Cusco

Hike to the Temple of the Moon and Temple of the Monkeys in Cusco

After our trip to Machu Picchu, we spent a couple of days in Cusco. Perched above Cusco, Sachsayhuaman is the main Inca site in the area. However, if you are looking for something off the beaten path, consider hiking to the Temple of the Moon (Templo de la Luna) and the Temple of the Monkeys (Templo de los Monos). Both are free, and there is a good chance you will have the entire site to youself.

To get there, I suggest taking a taxi to Q’enqo (cost should be 10 soles – about €3 or $3 ). You can also walk from the city center, but it will take at least 30 minutes, all up hill, and if you have never been before you won’t know where to go. Once in the Q’enqo parking lot, head uphill away from the Q’enqo ruins (you will be coming from the right of the picture below where the car is).

Temple of the Moon

Just to make sure I knew where I was going, I walked to the sign, but you can just cut across (right to left in this picture)

Temple of the Moon
Head up this road which is in the left of the prior picture
You will pass this stone on your right and continue straight
Though I wondered if I should go this way, do it.
Across the field, head toward this rock formation in the distance. I know; it doesn’t look like much
and walk along the path next to the farmland until you come to
Temple of the Moon, Cusco Peru
Temple of the Moon

Wander around back and look around. There are other cool things to find.

Temple of the Monkeys

Continue past the Temple of the Moon in the direction you had been walking from Q’enqo. Look to your right “down” the hill and look for a clump of trees. To the left you can see some stones that are part of the Temple of the Monkeys.

Temple of the Monkeys
Temple of the Monkeys, Cusco, in the distance

After briefly continuing along the path to get to the Temple of the Moon, you will soon come to a very nice grass path. Is it an old Incan Road? It appears to be, but I’m no expert. Turn right and follow it down toward the group of trees on the right.

Temple of the Monkeys, Cusco Peru

There is not much left, but you can find some interesting oddities if you look around.

Temple of the Monkeys
Temple of the Monkeys
Temple of the Monkeys
Temple of the Monkeys; it looks more like a snake to me

Returning to Civilization

You can backtrack the way you came and look for a taxi in the Q’enqo parking lot. Or, if you are adventurous, take a right when you leave the Temple of the Monkeys and continue along the grass path. I didn’t know where I was going, but I figured I need to keep going DOWN. I eventually saw Sachsayhuaman to my right and when I got a little lower I could see the Cathedral in Plaza de Armas and kept heading in that general direction. I didn’t know where I was going, but I made it back, so you can too.

I took a left here and followed it into town
Once you get here, look for the Cathedral down below and to the right


Temple of the Moon and Temple of the Monkeys are great little ruins if you want to go on an adventure and get away from the crowds.

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