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Photograph of Tambo Colorado, taken west of the Plaza

Tambo Colorado Information

Tambo Colorado is located at the entrance to the Pisco valley, just 35 km inland from the port city of Pisco on the southern coast of Peru. The archaeological site contains large, rectangular complexes that are arranged around a large, trapezoidal plaza.

Tambo Colorado contains extensive standing architecture made primarily from adobe, with elements characteristic of classic Inca imperial architecture as well as others borrowed from local Chincha and Ica traditions. Along the main plaza is an Ushnu, a wide platform common at Inca administrative centers, which functioned as the throne for the Inca ruler. The site also contains intricate lattice work, single and double-framed niches, ornamental crests, and corbeled arches, constructed from stone and adobe.

The adobe walls were adorned with plaster and painted with horizontal, alternating ribbons of white, red and yellow. Due to favorable climate conditions, much of this paintwork is still preserved, making Tambo Colorado one of the best preserved Inca sites in the coastal area of Peru.

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