Tipón – the last place to visit on the boleto, or rather, the last place that we actually managed to see. We had planned on trying to get to Tipón and Pikillaqta in one day, but that didn’t quite work out.
The day got off to an interesting start. We had read that you could catch buses to Tipón in Plaza San Francisco, so that’s where we went first. We asked a bus driver where to wait, and he directed us to the other side of the street. We double checked with a police officer, and he said there were no buses to Tipón there, so he directed us to a street another two blocks away.
We probably should have trusted the bus driver over the police officer, but we took the officer’s directions anyway. We then checked with a colectivo driver – he sent us to yet another street. We stopped and asked a stranger on the sidewalk; he said there was no direct route to Tipón and no bus that would take us right there.
At that point, we finally walked back to Plaza San Francisco and waited where the bus driver had initially told us to go. We waited a bit, and lo and behold, a bus to Tipón appeared almost immediately. After all that confusion, we hadn’t thought to grab any lunch or a snack; this was a mistake, since I’d also read that Tipón really just sold guinea pig and pork. Hindsight is always 20/20!
It took about an hour and a half to get to Tipón, and it started raining as soon as we got off the bus (seemingly just our luck, the way the day was going). We started the one hour walk from town up to the ruins, and luckily, the rain cleared. A few taxis offered a ride, but we had been sitting for so long on the bus that we just decided to make the hike. We saw a lot of cuyerias (restaurants that sell cuy – guinea pigs), a lot of territorial stray dogs patrolling the streets, and very few people on our way up.
The ruins themselves were pretty unique – fountains, waterways, and some of the most advanced irrigation systems we’d seen. After all of this, we decided it was best to skip Pikillaqta. We headed back down, and we hopped back on the bus to Cusco for the ever-affordable price of 1.70 Peruvian soles (0.52 cents in USD). We ended this day with sandwiches, ice cream, and a surprise parade in the Plaza de Armas.