Tambomachay is an archaeological site associated with the Inca Empire, located near Cusco, Peru. An alternate local name is the, “The Bath of the Inca”. The complex is situated at just 9 km (5.6 mi) from Cusco, in the side of a hill.
It consists of a series of aqueducts, canals and waterfalls that run through the terraced rocks. The function of the site is uncertain: it may have served as a military outpost guarding the approaches to Cusco, as a spa resort for the Incan political elite, or both.
Tambomachay was a site for ritual bathing. The excellent quality of the stonework suggests that its use was restricted to the higher nobility, who maybe only used the baths on ceremonial occasions. The ruins basically consist of 3 tired platforms. The top one holds four trapezoidal niches that perhaps were used as seats; on the next level an underground spring emerges directly from a hole at the base of the stonework and from here cascades down to the bottom platform, creating a cold shower just high enough for an Inca to stand under. On this platform the spring water splits into two channels, both pouring the last meter down to ground level.
The Incas have used this complex for religious ceremonies either directly dedicated to the water’s worshipping or for other rituals that included the use of flowing water.
In August, every year, locals gather around Tambomachay and perform various ceremonials acts. Although, this event is not as renowned as the Inti Raymi Festival, it does attract a few foreign visitors.
If you are planning to visit Cusco, you cannot miss the experience of visiting the Tambomachay. For more information on tours or hotels, please contact us