The Sacred Valley of the Incas is part of an impressive Andean landscape that shelters important archaeological sites and picturesque towns that keep their ancestral culture intact. Maras, Moray, Pisac, Chinchero and Ollantaytambo are a sample of its cultural richness but, in addition, they have incredible natural beauty, ideal for practicing outdoor sports or simply resting.
The Sacred Valley promises days of discovery and adventure at the foot of the great Machu Picchu.
Located in the Urubamba region in Cusco, its incredible ecological floors of different altitudes made the Sacred Valley the source of food for the Inca culture.
Its main crops are: white corn, potatoes, coca, fruits and vegetables, products that continue to be harvested to this day. Currently, crops such as lucuma, avocado, peach and the best corn grains in Peru are added to the list.
What to do in the Sacred Valley of the Incas
The Sacred Valley is a territory that develops along the Vilcanota-Urubamba river and unites the towns of Pisac and Ollantaytambo. In this place, the traveler will have fun doing adventure sports with a majestic landscape in the background. Mountain biking, paragliding, trekking and rafting are some of the activities that every adrenaline lover will experience in the heights.
It was the most extensive fortress of the Inca civilization. Peculiar for having a picturesque town located at the foot of the Intihuatana hill, at 2,972 m above sea level. Pisac has the best terrace system developed by the Incas.
This town is famous for the mass held every Sunday, the «catu» (native fair where agricultural products are exchanged, also called truque), its craft market and the imposing Pisac Archaeological Complex, known for its grandiose buildings considered Inca jewels.
This little town has a beautiful Andean landscape with two snow-capped mountains that adorn it: Pitusira and Sahuasiray. You can also enjoy the relaxation of Machacancha (medicinal hot springs) or Minasmoqo, (cold gaseous waters). Very close to Calca is also the Inca Archaeological Complex of Huachuy.
Its fertile and agricultural land makes it one of the most important cities in the Valley. This territory was highly appreciated by the Incas due to the excellent cultivation that their land generates. Urubamba, known as the pearl of Vilcanota, has the meaning of «pampas one day from the road» and is an important area for extreme sports such as: paragliding, canopy, canoeing, hot air balloon flights, etc.
The origin of Ollantaytambo is given with the legend of Ollanta, a commoner who was in love with the princess Cusi Coyllor, daughter of the Inca emperor Pachacutec, the same one who disagreed with that relationship.
The Inca decides to punish her daughter by sending her to the house of Virgins, for this reason, Ollanta desperately tries to kidnap her and when he fails he decides to flee from her. With the passage of time, Ollanta decides to rebel against Pachacutec, causing bloody battles, the Inca being victorious decides to spare the commoner’s life.
The Ollantaytambo fortress, located in the same town, was built at the time of the Tahuantinsuyo and buildings such as the Temple of the Sun and its monoliths, such as Mañaracay, Incahuatana and the Princess Baths stand out.