After an hour of weaving our way around the mountains and over the hills on the route from Cusco, we will finally come to the beautiful Sacred Valley of the Incas. The Valley is home to various picturesque communities, colorful agricultural terraces and countless important archaeological sites.
The Urubamba River snakes its way all along the Valley floor and we will follow it from Pisac to Urubamba and all the way to the final hold out of the Inkas: Ollantaytambo. That is the highlight of the tour, which is amongst the most popular tours in Cusco (amongst the City Tour and the Inca Trail behind Machu Pichu), especially on Sunday due to the extra-large Marketplace in Pisac.
The town of Pisac is a significant site amongst all of the archaeological sites in the Cusco area. It is most famous for its colourful marketplace that is held every day, but is largest and most active on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays in the morning time. Here, we will experience the vibrant atmosphere of the bustling shopping area as there customers purchasing and bartering all around. This is a great place to glimpse the traditions of the pueblo. There are many handcrafted items and textiles there that you can buy (gifts and souvenirs).
After we have finished in the Marketplace, we will continue on to the ruins above the pueblo. These ruins are not as extensive as Ollantaytambo, but there is still much to learn about them. We will just have a short guided tour of this site before moving on to lunch in Urubamba. After a short while in Urubamba, we will continue on to the vast ruins of Ollantaytambo.
It is here, in this beautiful spot, 60 kilometers from Cusco, that the Inca Pachacutec built his fortress, Ollantaytambo. It is a beautiful setting nestled in amongst the hills that surround, protecting it from the elements of the surrounding area. These are the most impressive ruins of the entire Valley. It contains such important structures as the Temple of the Sun, the Royal Hall, the Incahuatana and the “Baños de la Princesa” (Princess’ Bath). This site is one of the few places where the Spaniards lost a battle during the conquest and that is due, in part, to its strategic location.
The remains of what was the royal home of Tupac Inca Yupanqui, as well as a beautiful colonial temple built on Inca foundations can be found here in this tiny, little village. There is also a Sunday market here, although it attracts far fewer tourists than the one in Pisac. Though, you can find many handcrafted goods and local produce here.