The Sacred Valley of the Incas is composed of numerous towns and rivers that descend by ravines and small valleys. There are numerous archeological monuments and indigenous peoples.
This beautiful valley was much appreciated by the Incas because of its special geographic and climatic qualities. In the Sacred Valley of the Incas, there are beautiful colonial towns that were created, and today they show their miscegenation in architecture, art and living culture. There are the villages of Chinchero and its weavers, Písac and its handicraft fair, Urubamba and its cosmopolitanism, Ollantaytambo, with its fortress and Maras Moray with its dazzling Salineras. In these territories of the Sacred Valley, the diverse communities have created products of rural and observational tourism that astonish visitors. Each one of them is a world in itself, and together, they make up an unprecedented way of knowing the most traditional region of the South American Andes.
The Sacred Valley is at 2700 meters above sea level and extends along the Vilcanota River. It includes the towns of Písac and Ollantaytambo, it has wonderful landscapes, where its inhabitants, native of the ethnicity Quechua, conserve many customs and ancestral rites.
The villages of the Sacred Valley of the Incas have fused Inca and Spanish architectural style. The wealth of knowledge its people have in its folklore, crafts, way of life and clothes, make it a place that will leave you with unforgettable memories.
The valley is characterized by very special conditions, such as excellent weather, very fertile lands and the waters of the sacred river of the Incas, Vilcanota (Quechua for sacred or wonderful thing), which flow upstream in the town of Urubamba where its name changes to the Urubamba river.
The Sacred Valley in an area where it is possible to appreciate the advanced technological development that the Incas achieved in agriculture through systems of andenerías (set of land terraces in staggered form on the mountains to be used in the sowing) that are still used today, accompanied by sophisticated designs and hydraulic engineering works that they used for irrigation. Also noteworthy are the centers of worship to the Pachamama (mother earth).
In this area important hotels have been established, which allow visitors to enjoy the Andean nature of Cusco, a better climate and lower altitude above sea level in relation to the city of Cusco.
|Seasons||Temp Min (C)||Temp Max (C)||Humidity|
|Rainy Season (Dec- March)||15||27||65%|
|Dry Season (April- Nov)||10||22||46%|
Between the months of April to October, once the sun goes down the temperature drops considerably, then once the sun rises the temperature gradually increases until after midday.
- Pisac 2980 masl.
- Calca 2929 masl.
- Urubamba 2870 masl.
- Ollantaytambo 2850 masl.
Villages of the Sacred Valley of the Incas
Pisac is a picturesque village located in the foothills of the hill Intihuatana (place where the sun is moored) and possesses the best system of andenería achieved by the Incas in all the Andes. Near the village there is the Archaeological Park of Pisac. An Inca archaeological sites full of finely assembled polished stone buildings, a citadel, turrets, military fortresses, astronomical observatories, etc. It emphasizes the cemetery incaico, the biggest one of all America.
A village immersed in the beauties of the Andean landscapes, in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility, which has a backdrop of the beautiful snow-capped Pitusira and Sahuasiray. Near the village are the medicinal baths of Machacancha (sulphurous hot springs) and Minasmoqo (gaseous cold waters). Near Calca is the Inca archaeological complex of Huchuy Cusco.
The beauty of its landscape and the benignity of its climate was what made Inca royalty chose Yúcay as the perfect place for rest and relaxation, to which they also attributed a mythological character and powers over the human spirit.
Another ancient Inca town, located in fertile valley was once a great agricultural center for the Incas, and today a beautiful countryside, with great production of fruit trees.
Urubamba is located in the foothills of the majestic Chicón which is very easy to ascend.
Urubamba is also called the “Archaeological Capital of Peru”, due to the rich Inca archaeological sites that exist in the area. It is also called “La Perla del Vilcanota”, for the incomparable landscapes that surround it, natural scenes of an indescribable beauty. There are indigenous communities with marked ancestral customs who still reside in Urubamba.
At present, the town of Ollantaytambo has many houses built on the bases of the old Inca town, where they still uphold deep-rooted ancestral customs.
The complexity and beauty of Inca buildings alongside the contemporary people, the vast agricultural complex and the great administrative and social center is considered by many scientists and historians to be one of the most important living museums in the world.
Ollantaytambo is located 97 km (60 miles) from Cusco, 2,846 m.s.n.m. (9,337 feet) and is where most people take the train from to Machu Picchu.
Sustainable and Participatory Tourism
In the area of the Sacred Valley, excellent opportunities are emerging for tourists to carry out tourism of living culture, having the possibility to stay in native houses and share their customs, traditions and daily tasks.
If you enter the Sacred Valley through the Písac area, it is recommended to visit the Awanakancha South American Camelid Theme Park, located in Taray, 23 Km. From the city of Cusco in the district of Taray. You can see camelids such as llamas, vicuñas and alpacas in their natural environment and make fabrics with fibers extracted from wool. In addition, it is possible to observe some agricultural platforms of the Inca period and species of flora of the zone. In this area there are several viewpoints at the edge of the road offering breathtaking views of the Sacred Valley.