The Sacred Valley of the Incas, Peru

The Sacred Valley of the Incas or Urubamba Valley is located in the Andes of Peru, near the capital of the Inca Empire, Cuzco, and over the sacred city of Machu Picchu; it includes all that is between Pisac and Ollantaytambo, parallel to the Urubamba River (sacred river that runs through this valley). It is fed by numerous rivers that descend from the adjoining valleys and gorges and includes many archaeological sites and villages. The Incas had chosen this place for its geographical and climatic characteristics; it was one of the main points for the extraction of natural resources, and there they found the Peruvian corn increased production. “Little Cusco” overlooks the Sacred Valley above the village of Lamay and the town of Calca. It was a former residence of the Inca rulers that can be reached on foot. You can also visit the site of Yucay; summer residence of the Sapa Inca. There is a great system of terraces and irrigation canals. There are the remains of the palace of the last Inca, consisting of a ‘cancha’ (enclosure surrounded by a stone wall and adobe) and several individual houses separated by courtyards and interior partition walls, the traditional Inca palace may cover several hectares. In addition of Ollantaytambo, the communities of Huilloc and Patacancha are the most accessible and welcome some tourists each year. There are also other small communities that live in the mountains that lead to the path of the Incas.

Tips

The best way to visit the Sacred Valley is taking a tour with a guide in your language to also experience the rich history of the Incas. On the same day they will show you 3 or 4 sites depending on what you would like to see. You can also visit the sites taking public transport but at that time, you will do your best and take directions and go with a map. Taking a taxi is another option, a little more expensive but you can agree with the driver for a fixed price of return.
Wear comfortable shoes or sports ones, take water, sunglasses, sunscreen and of course your camera.