Sacred Valley of the Incas: It is 27 km (1 h) to the NE of Cusco on an asphalt road in good condition. This sacred valley stretches along the Vilcanota (same downstream takes the name or Willcamayu Urubamba) river. It covers the area between the towns of Pisac and Ollantaytambo. You can access it through three paved roads A succession of picturesque towns (some with splendid colonial churches), Incan platforms and other archaeological remains themselves as excellent broad fields where corn is planted an exceptional climate, make this valley a must for anyone visiting the destination Cusco. Among the tourist activities that can develop at the site include mountain climbing, practiced on Chicon, Wakay Willca (part of the massif Veronica), Pitusiray Sawasiray, Terijway and snowy Sun- chubamba (all peaks of the Cordillera Vilcanota more than 5000 meters high); walking or trekking; canoeing (in Calca Pisac-Ollantaytambo-Huarán-sections); horseback riding and mountain biking. In the villages of the valley there are numerous hotels and traditional restaurants. It is recommended to stay overnight in one and then visit the beautiful villages around the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Pisac – Peru Inca Trail
Picturesque village and important archaeological site located 30 km (1 h) to the NE of Cusco by paved road. Pisac, which is the gateway to the Sacred Valley of Urubamba, has an “old town” (archaeological site considered one of the most beautiful Inca monuments) and a “modern village” of colonial origin. To access the “old town” or archaeological site, which was one of the most important fortresses built to guard the empire’s capital from attack by the antis or inhabitants of the Amazon region, it is necessary to ascend a hill (on foot, via Pisaqa or road sector, through the top of the valley Canchisracay Chongos) whose slopes there is one of the most spectacular terraces in the area. The site of Pisac is what scholars call a typical strategic enclave pucara or fortress for the defense of a large populated area. It is possible to find splendid walls (comparable to the Koricancha in Cusco), some towers, intihuatana or sundial (in Quechua, ‘place where the sun Moors’) and several enclosures and tanks built of stones finely carved through the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
In the “modern people” are the Plaza de Arms crowned by lush trees pisonay, the colonial church, in which even the traditional Mass in Quechua is performed, and the colorful Sunday market, which recommend going (fairs are also held children on Tuesday and Thursday). It is very scenic ride of vamyocs or mayors, who leave the church around 11:00 am dressed in their traditional costumes and typical wooden scepters chonta and carved silver. Also of interest are the Folk Museum (in the main square) and several facades of great beauty (we suggest visiting the street Grau). A 21 km E of Pisac, taking the dirt road to Colquepata and Paucartambo, the hamlet of Chayhuatiri (3350 m), home of great weavers (like Illa family) still using traditional looms and dye the fabrics is native plants.
Office Hours in Pisac:
The ruins are open to the public between 7 AM and 15 h 30 min. If you do not have the tourist ticket, the cost of admission is $ 2.5. Sundays recommend going early, early in the morning, and that day come dozens of tourists fill the mid-morning show.
Calca – Peru Inca Trail:
Quaint and quiet town of Inca origin, dominated by the imposing mountains and Sawasiray Pitusiray, located 48 km (1h) to the NE of Cusco tarmac road (via Pisac), in the sacred valley of the Incas Urubamba. Calca, like Yucay, maintained its two seats, unusual in colonial towns. At the time of the Conquest was Manco Inca barracks, housing their armies during the rebellion. Currently Calca is the most important center of trade in the region due to its strategic location q.ue links it to the fertile valley of Lares in the tropics. It has a beautiful colonial church and its buildings are common Inca foundations. In the vicinity is the archaeological complex Huchuy Qosqo, sulfur baths termomedicinales Machacancha (8 km en route to Amparaes) and aerated water source Minasmoqo colder. Your travel services are basic.
Yucay – Peru Inca Trail:
Town of Inca origin located 67 km (1h 15 min) to the northeast of Cusco (17 km N of Calca) paved road, in the Sacred Valley of the Incas Urubamba. Friendly and lively people, very nice and surrounded by farmland that give the place a peculiar beauty climate. Account, like Písac, with two adjacent pisonayes dominated by large squares. It is said that Yucay Valley was originally settled by native meadows of Amazonian origin, who were expelled by Manco Capac. Subsequently a “privileged population by the Incas were the garden and place of her delicacies” (Garcilaso, 1609) was established there.
It highlights the remains of one of the best terraces in the region and, on the opposite side of the square, the remains of the palace of Inca adobe SayriTúpac (one rebel Incas of Vilcabamba) built upon his return from the jungle , in 1558, is also worth visiting the beautiful colonial church of St. James, with beautiful altars and colonial paintings, and a small museum.
Urubamba – Peru Inca Trail:
Town of Inca origin located 69 km (1h 15 min) to the NE of Cusco via Pisac, and 57 km (45 min) via Chinchero. Its name derives from the Aymara and Uru voices bamba, meaning ‘pampa a day’s journey.’ It is located in the heart of the Urubamba valley, surrounded by the snowy landscape of Chicon and picturesque countryside itself. It was one of the major agricultural centers of the Inca empire. In its place there is an interesting colonial church. There are several hotels and lodges, plus the famous and crowded taverns and rural restaurants. In recent years they have proliferated near the eco-lodges or rustic lodges operated by local or foreign and in which the possibility is given traveler to participate in making crafts or agricultural work (we recommend Yuyarisun Cultural Centre, 3 km village, owned by a singular cusqueño-German couple). A 6 km NW of the town is Tarabamba and 3 km ahead, rising by a dirt road that crosses the river and goes to the left, the spectacular Maras salt exploited since Inca.
Ollantaytambo – Inca Trail Peru:
It is an attractive town of Inca origin located at the end or the Sacred Valley of the Incas Urubamba, 78 km (1h 30 min) to the NE of Cusco by paved road. Named after the famous legend of the rebel general Ollantay. Both their design and the basis of most of the buildings are for the original path (llaqta) of the time of the Inca (the Inca streets still retain their names), during which he was a strategic military, religious and agricultural center. Are remarkable cobblestone streets, canals and temple dedicated to St. James, built in 1620 in the upper part an impressive ceremonial center of cult to the water and a fortress that guarded the access to the bottom of the valley and protected him from rising potential invasions of the jungle races (called antis). The archaeological site includes a series of superimposed terraces, which is accessed by a steep staircase. Are admirable large finely carved stone blocks of the upper terrace (Temple of the Sun).
The mountain that dominates the field E of the village, known as Pinculluna or Tunupa also has remains of Inca buildings, apparently, had the function of storing food. Ollantaytambo has numerous hotels, lodging houses and restaurants, is an ideal place to start the tour of the valley.
Trains to Machu Picchu stop here, so many tourists prefer to download and complete the journey back to Cusco by bus (which is faster). The village is also a meeting place for farmers in nearby communities, most notably the huayruros Willoc with their colorful ponchos and hats that make them resemble huayruro, the seed of red and black commonly used as an amulet.
Important festivals are the Carnival (January 6), the Ollanta Raymi (the Inti Raymi following Sunday) and the feast of the Lord of Choquequilca, June 11, the most important people. The latter recalls the day when, a century ago, was found floating in the river Vilcanota a miracle wooden cross, in honor of which a chapel was built in the plaza of Ollantaytambo.