A far more substantial complex about 143km east of the city, which was built as a military outpost to protect the valley from raids by the unconquered Chiriguano tribes of the Eastern lowlands.
The nearest thing Bolivia has to Peru’s Machu Picchu is the remote and rarely visited site of Incallajta (meaning Land of the Inca) situated 132km east of Cochabamba on a flat mountain spur above the Rio Machajamarka. This was the easternmost outpost of the Inca Empire and after Tiwanaku it’s the country’s most significant archaeological site. The most prominent feature is the immense stone fortification that sprawls across alluvial terrace above the river, but al least 50 other structures are also scattered around the 12-hectare site.
Incallajta was probably founded by Inca Emperor Tupac Yupanqui, the commander who had previously marched into present day to demarcate the southern limits of the Inca Empire. It’s estimated that Incallajta was constructed in the 1460s as a measure of protection against attack by the Chiriguanos to the southeast. In 1525, the last year of Emperor Huayna Capac’s rule, the outpost was abandoned. This may have been due to a Chiriguano attack, but was more likely the result of increasing Spanish pressure and the unraveling of the empire, which fell seven years later.
The ruins were made known to the world in 1914 by Swedish zoologist and ethnologist Ernest Nordenskjold, who spent a week at the ruins measuring and mapping them however, they were largely ignored- except by ruthless treasure hunters-for the next 50 years, until the University of San Simon in Cochabamba launched its investigations. At Pocona, 17 Km from the ruins, there’s an information center and a small exhibition of archaeological finds from the site.WEB PAGE: www.travelstorebolivia.com
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @TravelStoreBol
FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM:instagram.com/travelstorebolivia/