The next two sites on our boleto journey were Puka Pukara and Tambomachay, both part of the Saqsayhuaman Archaeological Park. To these two sites, we decided to take a taxi. Puka Pukara was fairly small. We learned puka in Quechua means “red,” and pukara is said to mean “fortress or defended place.” At dusk, the rocks there appear reddish in the light.
Tambomachay is much bigger than Puka Pukara. You can easily walk from one to the other; Tambomachay is right down the road. The name of this site also comes from two Quechua words; Tampu means “collective accommodation,” and m’achay either means “resting place” or “caves.” It is thought to have been a shrine to water; this is easy to believe, as it’s filled with fountains, aqueducts, and structures with waterfalls. According to some sources, this was a major hunting ground for the Inca as well.
We followed a path very far in and ended up hiking more than expected. We found some natural caves, passed sheep, alpaca, llamas, and packs of dogs that barked at us like they owned the area.