on April 27, 2005
As the name suggests, the Sacred Valley of the Incas was definitely a key area of their civilization. It is generally regarded as the area along the Vilcanota River between Pisaq and Ollantaytambo, surrounded by the Andes Mountains. There are a series of picturesque towns in the valley, some with beautiful colonial churches from when the Spanish settled in the valley. Many mountainsides are lined with terraces and other archaeological remains, as well as the most famous corn in the world. The corn is simply HUGE (about three times the size of corn grown in United States). Due to all of this and its exceptional climate, the Sacred Valley has become a beautiful area of Peru no one should miss.
Aside from the valley being impressive in terms of agriculture and location, it also contains a rich history. The ancient ruins of Pisaq and Ollantaytambo can be seen on many tours through the area, both of which were important strongholds for the Inca civilization. See my other entries for a description of these places.
The easiest way to tour the Sacred Valley is to join one of the many Sacred Valley tours offered by many hotels and tour companies in and around Cusco. Look around the Plaza de Armas in Cusco for these operators. The average cost of these tours is $25, plus the $20 Tourist Ticket (a ticket for admittance to 16 historical sites in Cusco and the Sacred Valley, including the Pisaq and Ollantaytambo historical sites). Most tour companies also include a buffet lunch with the tour. Tours last all day, departing Cusco around 9am and returning around 6pm.
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