Puka Pukara (Quechua puka red, pukara fortress, "red fortress", hispanicized spellings Pucapucara, Puca Pucara, Puca Pucará) is a site of military ruins in Peru situated in the Cusco Region, Cusco Province, Cusco District, near Cusco. This fort is made of large walls, terraces, and staircases and was part of defense of Cusco in particular and the Inca Empire in general.
The name probably comes from the red color of the rocks at dusk. Puka Pukara is an example of military architecture that also functioned as an administrative center.
Puka Pukara is located in mid-southern Peru, roughly 4–5 miles (7 kilometers) from Cusco on the road to Pisac and near the Antisuyo, the jungle portion of the former Incan empire. The fort is located on high ground overlooking the Cusco valley and Tambo Machay, creating a beautiful - and useful - view. When it was built, it was probably placed so that these areas were visible to give the military extra vision over important parts of the empire.
Puka Pukara Now:
Because it is close to the city of Cusco, one of the most prominent archaeological sites in all of Peru; many people visit this area while they are touring the highlights of the Peruvian ruins. People visit the area for its views of the surrounding jungle and ruins, and the hues that are supposed to change the color of the walls around sunset.
The tourists help the Peruvian people to make a living, too; it is a common thing for people who live in the area to set up tables selling small souvenirs or offering to take pictures of groups in front of the ruins for a few sols (one sol is approximately 36 cents).