The Sacred Valley Peru is between the towns of Pisac and Ollantaytambo, parallel to the river Vilcanota. You can access it from the city of Cusco. It is composed of many rivers flowing down gullies and valleys, has numerous archaeological monuments and indigenous peoples.
During the tour you will appreciate the towns of Pisac, Yucay, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo and Chinchero. All this places has pre-Hispanic archaeological ruins that were built by different Incas and used as citadels or resting places. Ideal places to buy handmade goods.
This valley was appreciated by the Incas because of its special geographical and climatic qualities. It was one of the main production sites for the richness of their land and place where it produces the best maize in Peru. All the Sacred Valley of the Incas is also a natural setting, where besides appreciating the archaeological wealth, is an ideal place to enjoy its rich flora and fauna, birdwatching, and adventure sports.
The diversity of microclimates allows the production of large numbers of various species of tall flowers that embellish their fields planted with a variety of potatoes, cereals, vegetables and fruit trees and ornamental plants. In the area is common to find deer, chinchillas, viscacha, foxes, Andean pigeons, and lots of birds and beautiful hummingbirds. In the Vilcanota river can fish delicious salmon trout and rainbow, especially between the months of April to October. All villages are connected by a good road, facilitating his visit.
The varied and original scenery of snow-capped mountains, flowering meadows, and deep blue lakes with a unique flora and fauna make the Valley the main base for adventure tourism in South America. The Urubamba River passes through Pisaq. In this area the river is not very powerful, sometimes reaches about 25 m wide and gentle though almost all the way, there are torrential sectors used by intrepid tourists for boating.
Pisac is located 32 km from Cusco, 2 972 meters above the sea level. It is located in the foothills Intihuatana, has the best system of terraces made by the Incas in the Andes. Near the village stands the Archaeological Park of Pisac, Inca archaeological locations, constructions in polished stone, citadel, turrets, military fortresses, astronomical, etc. Stresses the Inca cemetery which is the largest in America. Every Thursday and Sunday takes place in the main square the “Indian market” the fair of crafts, outstanding beautiful ponchos, textile crafts, sweaters, bags, etc. and ceramic crafts, the queros (ceremonial glasses), necklaces, etc. Artisans and indigenous merchants of many towns attend this fair to stock and market their products.
Pisac is famous for its astronomical observatory. This is a town built on the indigenous remains by Viceroy Francisco Alvarez de Toledo. In Písaq you have the opportunity to attend a mass in Quechua among indigenous and varayocs or regional mayors. Similarly, we can see how Incas agronomists resolved the problem of planting on the slopes of the hills.
Sacsayhuaman is at 3,490 meters, is a very important archaeological site because it has many buildings in limestone which is one of the hardest rocks. Sacsayhuaman covers an area of 3,093 hectares. The valley is surrounded by mountains Ausangate, Pachatusan and Cinca Mountains, and is bathed by the river Tullumayo. This area has a beautiful landscape, abundant flora and fauna, among which stand out the llamas and hawks. The area where is the fortress is the head of the sacred animal. Pachacutec Inca Yupanqui, the ninth Inca, redesigned the city and gave it form of puma lying. What catch the attention is the three stone walls that suggest the figure of the fortress. There are figures designed in stones and rocks, entrances to underground tunnels, amphitheatres, and ritual constructions, probably related to the worship of water. This site played a major role in Incan ritual activities. This is where the annual festival takes of the Inti Raymi takes place, which performance the Inca ritual of worship to God Sun or Inti. People villager moves with colorful costumes and dances. Visitors come from around the world who book their places well in advance.
Is an archaeological site, consists of two sites: the Great, located at the foot of the road leading from Sacsayhuaman to Pisac, and Small, which is 350 meters west of the former, on the hillside. This shrine is located on what is now known as the Socorro hill and covers an area of slightly more than 3,500 square meters. At the time of the Inca Empire was another center dedicated to the rite and is of particular interest as its semi circular amphitheater and underground galleries.
It is known for its canals and waterfalls that show the progress of the Inca architects and hydraulic engineers. Tambomachay was considered a center of worship and homage to water. It consists of a series of aqueducts, canals and several waterfalls that run through the rocks. The surprising thing is that of a main waterfall, the Incas created two secondary cascades, which are exactly the same. That is, if you place two empty bottles, one in each cascade, the two are filled simultaneously.
The importance of this town is originated by salt extraction, since the time of the Incas was very important for the mineral, in colonial times continued its importance, is demonstrated by the large installed Jesuit community in the area, today you can see the beautiful carved doorways in houses that belonged to the priests. Was a crop experimentation center used by the Incas for acclimatization of product brought from other areas. At present this district keeps pre-Hispanic, colonial and republican attractive, highlighting people in the colonial doorways with coats of nobles and caciques from the sixteenth and twentieth centuries.
The Maras Salt Pools is an impressive complex of salt exploitation, located in the area known Qoripujio, a distance of approximately 4 km, compared to the town of Maras. It has salt mines, which were already exploited since Inca times as a means of economic exchange and securities. From Maras can go to visit the salt mines by a bridle path, where it is common to find mules that carry the sacks of salt extracted from natural salt.
It is located 7 miles from Maras in the Sacred Valley, 38 km northwest of Cusco. It is possible to reach Moray across the road from the village or directly from a detour from the main road. It is 47 kilometers from Cusco. In Moray can see the greenhouse or Inca agricultural laboratory, consisting of four platforms amphitheaters or overlapping concentric circular stones and a depth of 150 meters, like rings that are expanding as they ascend. Locally adapted plants into new ecosystems. Some argue that these buildings may have served as a theater for religious and civic ceremonies not only for agricultural purposes.
Ollantaytambo is located 97 km from Cusco, 2846 meters. The archaeological site of Ollantaytambo is another monumental work of Inca architecture. It was built on two mountains in a strategic location overlooking the entire valley. It was a military, religious, administrative and agricultural complex. The entrance is by a gate called Punku Punku, made of stone and imperial double jamb. Ollantaytambo is the only Inca town that remains almost intact and houses still serve as homes where their descendants live. The design of the city, its axles, its urban structure, the beauty of the volumes and their play of light and shade attract visitors. The main temple has a front with six monoliths of pink granite brought from elsewhere and assembled on the stone perfectly.
The legend says that Ollantay (the titan of the Andes) of plebeian origin loved the princess Cusi Coyllor (Star cheerful) Pachacutec Inca king’s daughter, who disagreed with this love. Pachacutec sent the princess to a house of Virgin, Ollantay attempted kidnap her from there, but failed and escaped. From the fortress commanding Ollantay had rebelled against Pachacutec, and after bloody battles was defeated, but the generosity of Pachacutec made Ollantay spare his life.
It is a town that also preserves the style of the time. Well is here where lies the tourist area, to buy items, clothes, accessories and more. Located 28 kilometers from Cusco and is surrounded by beautiful snowcapped Chicon and Veronica. It is a charming town, because of its Hispanic constructions and because is was a major agricultural center for the Tawantinsuyo. In their place still appreciate the stone walls with trapezoidal niches that frame for the traditional Sunday market, which is still practiced barter or exchange. Anecdotally, women comb their hair with many braids. Mirador area is recommended to practice hang gliding and paragliding.
Calca is located 50 km from Cusco, 2 928 meters. Town immersed in beauty of Andean landscapes, in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility, which are the beautiful snowy background, Sahuasiray and Pitusira. Near the town are Machacancha medicinal baths (sulfur baths) and Minasmoqo (carbonated cold water). Calca is located near the archaeological Inca complex Huchuy Cusco.
During the Inca Empire, Calca was a major population center with an amazing administrative organization; this is demonstrated by the presence of pre-Hispanic beautiful walls in the streets and squares of the current population, and also by the great archaeological monument Huch’uy Qosqo. They also emphasize the perpetual snow of Sawasiray and Pitusiray, which were important deities and gave rise to the legend of Pitusiray.
It is located 68 km from Cusco, and 2 857 meters. The beauty of its landscape, and its benign climate Yucay made the place chosen by the Inca royalty for rest and recreation, also attributed to a mythological character and powers of the human spirit.
The fertile land made it one of the main centers of agricultural production in Inca times, large terraces. There are many Inca buildings, among which the Sayri Túpac Inca palace, built of stone and adobe walls decorated in high and low relief.
In the village there is a small museum, there are comfortable and good hotels in the area.