On our way back to Cuzco from Ollantaytambo we decided to pay Chinchero a visit. We took a collectivo from Ollantaytambo to Urubamba for 1.50 soles each, at Urubamba we changed for a bus heading to Cuzco, via Chinchero for 5 soles each.
The views on the way to Chinchero are spectacular, with beautiful green and snow-capped mountains surrounding the landscape. When we arrived in Chinchero we felt like we were the only ones there. The bus dropped us off just outside the steep entrance to the town and until we arrived at the ticket check-point we saw no-one. Even once inside the pretty old stone-walled town we must have come across maybe 4-6 other tourists.
The site is made up of 2 sections, the old church and plaza and the ruins just behind. Again you are surrounded with beautiful landscapes and peace and quiet, it really feels like time has stopped in this little town.
We were lucky enough to arrive at lunch as we discovered that the church only opens from 1pm to tourists. The interior of the church is beyond words, photography is not allowed but I guarantee it will leave you with your jaw hanging. The whole interior is made of wood, but almost every single surface from wall to roof beam is hand painted with natural dye and the details that still remain to this day are beyond impressive.
The town also has a little museum which is not included in the tourist ticket but makes for an interesting visit just to see how many intact ceramics were found at the site, including enormous water jugs.
Chinchero also seems to be a textile center for the area and there are many good bargains to be had. However, if you are looking for a scenic place to relax for an afternoon then Chinchero is definitely the place!