An excursion to the Sacred valley of the Urubamba
(also called Vilcanota)
river is a must. Here the wealthiest Inca families had their
country estates, a first experiment with private property in
the Inca Empire . although the circuit, which has excellent
highway to most sites, can easily be made in one day, this
does not leave much time for lingering, for seeing some of the
archeological sites which are away from the roads, or simply
for taking in the view. The towns of Pisac, Calca, Yucay,
Urubamba and Ollantaytambo offer several hotels and
restaurants which allow the more inquisitive visitor to reside
in the area without daily trips back to Cusco.
Normally, tours drive to Pisac thirty
kilometers from Cusco and then fifty-seven kilometers down the
valley through the towns of Calca, Yucay Urubamba and
Ollantaytambo. However, there are several sites upriver from
Pisac which are less frequented by tourist, like the towns of
Pikillacta, Andahuaylillas and Urcos. Chinchero is also in the
returnroute to Cusco on this circuit.
town of Pisac , dating from colonial times, has a
Sunday market which has become a favorite of the tourist.
Above the town there are Incas ruins, including a stone
fortress with an impressive view of the valley. On colonial
town of Pisac, which conserves its Incas foundations, rises
the hill known as the Intiwatana with one of the finest
terraces (andenes ) in the region. On the summit the Incas
built an astronomical tower with nice carved stones from which
they could observe the of the sun.
Calca which is surrounded by the Pitusiray
and Sawasiray snow capped mountains, has a
beautiful landscape. The archeological remains of Huchuy Qosqo
is also in this province as well as the medicinal hot mineral
baths of Machacancha and Minasmoqo.
Yucay is a pretty valley inhabited by
the Runas of the Tahuantisuyo who built impressive
works of agricultural engineering. This village is important
for the palace of the Inca Sayri Tupac II, a construction made
of stone and adobe mud bricks.
Urubamba, located 78 Km. From Cusco via
Pisac, is the heart of the sacred Valley of the Incas and it’s
known as the "Pearl of the Vilcanota", whit
beautiful countryside and a very healthy climate, it is a the
foot of the majestic snow- capped peaks Chicon and Pumahunca.
Urubamba is also known as Archaeological
Capital of Perú, and it has many
possibilities for tourist activities, specially adventure
tourism because of its natural beauty. In the rain season
there is an abundance of seasonal fruit. The area was also a
pre-Hispanic agricultural center.
Ollantaytambo,45 miles from Cusco, was
a favorite residence of the Inca, with is terraces running up
the steep slope to the top where a carved stone throne allowed
the ruler a magnificent view of his holdings. Many of the
buildings in the town itself date from Incas times. Walking
through the village’s streets can give you a gut feeling of
what it must have been like at the height of the empire.
Chinchero, a picturesque town near a pleasant
small lake on a high plateau with an attractive church built
on a Inca temple and recent excavations there have revealed
many Incas walls and terrace. It has become very tourist-
oriented but nonetheless the Sunday market and Indian mass are
more authentic than a Pisac. At the market, there is a wide
selection of handcrafts, including waving, pottery and alpacas
goods. Celebrations are held in Chinchero on September 8th.
Which is the day of the virgin.
Departure of Cusco, in the
morning we go in direction to the Sacred Valley of the Incas,
these trip will take us to visit pinturesque towns
characterized for its colorful handicraft markets and
archaeological sites and beautiful colonial constructions.