This former Inca stronghold was once considered the geographical center of the Inca empire. It was believed to have been a city constructed in the shape of a falcon, and housing at its peak a 40,000-strong population. Today only a couple of buildings, the usnu (pyramid) and templo del sol (temple of the sun) remain, and, in a rather damning statement of colonialism, a Spanish-built church actually stands on top of some of the ruins.

Vilcashuamán today is a village, with a few accommodations, accessible by bus from Vischongo (18km) and Ayacucho (110km). From Vilcashuamán, it’s only 2km to Vischongo (you can base yourself overnight at either village). Buses from Ayacucho's Terminal Terrestre Zona Sur run to Vilcashuamán (S20, three hours). You can also take a 1½-hour hike to a Puya raimondii forest from here.