Latin America Travel & Tour Information
Sacred Valley Travel Information
The fascinating Urubamba RiverValley, known as the Inca Sacred Valley, offers many an option for pre or post Machu Picchu enjoyment. It is of easy access either by bus on your own or in a guided tour
Pisac lies 30 km north of Cusco, one of the most amazing spots in the acred Valley. It is a quiet village and owns one of the most renowm craftsmarkets in the area, located on the main square. Take as long as you need to go through it, because it is full of charms on all its corners and alleys. The crafts fair is rather large and diverse, a bit expensive though. It is on Thurdays and Sundays and it is also very touristry. Nearby town you may go up to the ancient ruins of Pisac, an imposing Inca fort to be accessed on a 10-km street from town leading straight to the ruins and then on foot through a clearing with an excellent view of the terraces. The architectural structures here are far better preserved than in Machu Picchu, and the bigger terraces still in use. While ascending the hill, keep in mind that there are 3 forts, but the third is the one that houses the temple. Donīt give up on ascend and you will conquer the dazzling view at the summit. The central section of the ruins is known as the "Intihuatana" cluster of temples, whose stone carvings show the Incasī mastery in this art. Beyond the summit, there is a trail along the cliff that leads to a group of old Inca residences and a large cemetery, located in a tiny valley to the north side. Get ready for a harder walk, but stay strong, it is worth every inch of the way.
This is another spot you should not miss in the Sacred Valley. Another tiny charming village, resting on the ancient foundations of an Inca settlement. It treasures an impressive and colorful archeological park and preserves terraces and farmyards in amzing conditions. You will feel transported to a different age while atrolling along the cobbled alleys and stone walls. The so-called "Ņustaīs Bath" (Princessī Bath) is made out of gray granite and located on a small plot in between the village and the fort-temple. Some 200 meters behind the "Princessī Bath", on the face of the mountain, there a gathering of smaller ruins known as "Inca Misanca". It is believed to have been a minor temple or observatory. Several passages and niches have been discovered along the cliff. There is a full irrigation system that includes a shoulder-high canal, consisting of various other canals carved in the rock. The terraces that overlook the village are simply astounding as well as the bent terraces that shape themselves along the boulders in the direction of the Urubamba River. It is possible to take the train from here to the Inca Trail.
Chinchero posseses a attractive church, built upon an Inca temple (church only open on Sunday). Recent excavations have brought to light many sections of Inca walls and terraces. The local market on Sunday shows a more authentic and traditional touch than that of Pisac. The craft and food fairs are independent: the food fair is on everyday, placed to the left side upon arrival in the village; while the craft fair goes exclusively on Sunday by the church.