SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS

The Sacred Valley of the Incas or Urubamba is a valley located in the Andes of Peru, close to the Inca capital of Cusco and below the ancient sacred city of Machu Picchu. In colonial documents it is referred to as the "Valley of Yucay". According to recent studies, it encompasses the heartland of the Inca Empire. The valley is generally understood to include everything between Calca and Lamay, Písac and Ollantaytambo. It was formed by the Urubamba River, also known as Vilcanota River or Wilcamayu. The latter is in Quechua, the spoken language of the Inca Empire.

The Sacred Valley is a magical place where you can appreciate the living culture of the Quechua speaking inhabitants of the Andes. Visitors can enjoy colonial era villages, local markets, traditional handcrafts and local homes, and get a real feel for the Andean way of life. Local establishments serve Chicha (the fermented corn beer drunk by the Incas which is still the traditional beverage in this part of the Peruvian Andes). The valley is the setting for a number of Inca remains, including the archaeological sites of Ollantaytambo and Pisaq, which were constructed on mountain tops so that the limited flat areas of land in the valley could be used exclusively for the growing of the region’s several crops, particularly corn. Today local people cultivate white corn, which is the largest and sweetest corn in the world. The Valley was appreciated by the Incas due to its special geographical and climatic qualities.

RECOMMENDED TOURS IN THE SACRED VALLEY

SACRED VALLEY TOUR
Home to many Inca archaeological sites. The hills around the Valley are covered with ancient agricultural terraces, while the Valley itself is dotted with colonial villages where the people of the Andes live traditional lives, based on agriculture, and continue to wear traditional dress. Visit the village of Pisaq, with its colorful local market, and the impressive Ollantaytambo town, which is the last remaining example of an Inca settlement in Peru.

  • Duration
  • Full day
  • Activity Type
  • Culture and archaeology
  • Transport
  • Bus
  • Level
  • Easy

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OLLANTAYTAMBO AND THE CACHIQATA ROCK QUARRY
The rock quarry of Cachicata, will give you the chance to get impressive views of Ollantaytambo archaeological site, the pyramid sundial (Pakaritampu), Veronica snow capped mountain, and the fertile valley itself.

  • Duration
  • Full day
  • High Light
  • Soft Adventure
  • Total distance
  • 9 km / 6 miles
  • Highest Point
  • 3050 m / 1065 ft
  • Level
  • Moderate

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PISAQ RUINS AND PISAQ MARKET TOUR
Is one of the most important of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and is constructed in the highest part of a mountain and includes hundreds of agricultural terraces, temples, living areas, and store houses; all of which were constructed with both fine and coarse architecture. The main square in the actual town is alive with craft sellers, to buy reasonably priced articles.

  • Duration
  • Half day or full day
  • Activity Type
  • Soft adventure
  • Transport
  • Bus
  • Level
  • Moderate

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CHINCHERO + MARAS AND MORAY
Beautiful town to learn about weaving techniques in the highland region and to witness series of circular terraces in Moray, all built as concentric rings to be used for agricultural research making crop experiments. The salt mines consist of over 4,000 small water pans, built on a mountain slope and filled with salt water that flows from a nearby saltwater spring.

  • Duration
  • Full day
  • Activity Type
  • Culture
  • Transport
  • Bus
  • Level
  • Easy

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LARES VALLEY 2D HIKE
Recommended for those who want to experience a little touch camping in high elevation, and walk over the mountains in the Peruvian Andes.

  • Duration
  • 2 days
  • Level
  • Moderate to strenuous
  • High Light
  • Nature
  • Total distance
  • 22 km / 14 miles
  • Highest Point
  • 4670 m / 15410 ft

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