Basic Quechua words and phrases for visiting Cusco

Today, we will embark on a fascinating linguistic journey to the heart of the Andes: Cusco, a city rich in history and culture. But what better way to immerse yourself in the local culture than by learning some basic words and phrases in Quechua, the language of the Incas?

Quechua, although not as widely spoken as Spanish in Peru, is still an integral part of its rich cultural heritage. Learning some basic words and phrases in Quechua will not only help you communicate better with the locals, but will also give you a deeper appreciation of the rich history and traditions of this region.

So, whether you are planning a trip to Cusco or just curious to learn a new language. We will introduce you to some basic Quechua words and phrases that will be useful during your visit to Cusco.


Here are some commonly used and, above all, easy to learn phrases, sentences and words. These will be useful for having a conversation with a local Quechua speaker if you plan to visit Cusco in the near future.

Basic words and phrases (Quechua – English)

Greetings in Quechua

  • ALLIN P’UNCHAY (good morning)
  • ALLIN SUKHA (good afternoon)
  • ALLIN TUTA (good evening)
  • ALLIN CH’ISI (good evening)
  • HINALLATAQ QANPAQPAS (likewise to you)

Farewells in Quechua

  • PAQARINKAMA (until tomorrow)
  • SUKHAKAMA (until afternoon)
  • TUTAKAMA (until evening)
  • MINCHHAKAMA (until the day after tomorrow)
  • KUTIMUNAYKAMA (until I return)
  • TUPANANCHISKAMA (until we meet again)
  • HOQ P’UNCHAYKAMA (until another day)
  • RIPUSHANIÑA, RISAQ (I am already leaving)

Expressions of politeness and gratitude in Quechua

  • SUMAQLLAÑA (I am thankful)
  • ANCHATA KUSIKUNI (I am very happy)
  • AÑAY (thank you)
  • AÑAYCHAYKI (I thank you)
  • ANCHATA AÑAYCHAKUYKI (I thank you very much)
  • AMA HINA KAYCHU (please)
  • PAMPACHAYKUWAY (forgive me or excuse me)

Usual expressions in Quechua

  • ARI (Yes)
  • MANA (No)
  • IMAYNALLAN KASHANKI? (How are you?)
  • ALLILLANCHU? (How are you?)
  • ALLILLANMI KASHIANI, QAMRÍ? (I am well, and you?)
  • IMATAQ SUTIYKI? (What is your name?)
  • ÑUQAP SUTIYMI LORENZO (My name is Lorenzo)
  • MAYMANTAN KANKI? (Where are you from?)
  • ÑUQA QOSQOMANTA KANI (I am from Cusco)
  • ALLIN P’UNCHAY (Good morning)
  • ALLIN SUKHA (Good afternoon)
  • ALLIN TUTA (Good night)
  • TUPANANANCHISKAMA (Until our next meeting)
  • AÑAY (Thank you)

Numbers in Quechua

  • Huk: One
  • Iskay: Two
  • Kinsa: Three
  • Tawa: Four
  • Pisqa, Phisqa: Five
  • Soqta: Six
  • Qanchis: Seven
  • Pusaq: Eight
  • Isqon: Nine
  • Chunka: Ten

As you immerse yourself in Cusco’s rich history and vibrant culture, the power of Quechua brings you even closer to the essence of this ancient land. Whether you’re exploring the awe-inspiring ruins of Machu Picchu, browsing the colorful local markets or simply sharing a conversation with friendly locals, mastering a few basic Quechua words and phrases will open doors and hearts throughout your journey.


Don’t worry if you can’t remember all the words and phrases right away. Practice makes perfect, and the locals in Cusco will be happy to help you improve your Quechua.

Enjoy your trip to Cusco and the opportunity to immerse yourself in Quechua culture!

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