It is natural get bored of popular tourist circuits and most visited vacation destinations. Sometimes, all we want is to visit a darker and more mysterious tourist spot that is often oblivious to the masses. One such place is the Qenko temple, which is located in Qenko. Qenko is not very far from Cusco and takes just fifteen minutes to reach. It is also spelled as Q’enko, Kenko, and Quenco.
The temple has labyrinthine design which probably overflowed with some kind of liquid. Some people think water flowed in these labyrinthine canals of the temple, while others feel blood of sacrificed animals or humans flowed. What is certain is that the zig zag paths of the Qenko temple was certainly a part of death rituals. It is possible that the Incans used this temple to embalm bodies once they had passed away.
Though it is just 3 kilometer’s from bustling Cusco, Qenko feels like a different world altogether. The temple consists of many chambers and one of them was also used as an amphitheater. The underground shrines at Qenko can feel claustrophobic at times, and if you begin to imagine what might have happened at these temples hundreds of years ago, you might even feel a shiver down your spine.
This Andean community is pristine and you will get to see traditional customs and practices being followed even today. You might also want to visit Lake Qoricocha (Golden Water) and spend time with the llamas and alpacas. Not many tourists come this far and you will be able to make friends with the locals who are always intrigued by visitors to their village.
We have an interesting Huchuy Qosqo Trek which lasts for three days and takes you to Qenko as well. Huchuy Qosqo trek takes you to some of the less-visited destinations such as the village of Lamay, Aguas Calientes and Ollantaytambo. You might also want to visit Qenko in particular and stay put there with the locals, as it is a very scenic and beautiful spot. Most importantly, you will be away from the tourists at other more popular destinations.