The Sacred Valley is one of the calmest places in Cusco, and was the Inca's favourite site due to its location, geography and climate. There are vast archaeological and ethnical remains, and this is where the ancestral customs are preserved; it has always been the most important agricultural center in the region.
Daily departure: Duration: about 9 Hrs.
We will leave early in the morning, taking the road towards the Sacred Valley. On the way we will stop at Awanacancha (*), a research center for camelids, in which we will be able to appreciate lamas, alpacas and vicunas, to observe how traditional fabrics are made, using old techniques and tools, and to see the items that are now displayed all around the world. We will continue our tour between valleys, small towns and farms, typical of the high Andes. We arrive to PISAC a traditional village, with a Hispanic influence. Its narrow and cobbled streets, nice mestizo houses mostly made with "adobe" (sun-dried bricks) and with tiled red roofs, a church of the period with remains of the Colonial art, where the mass is still celebrated in Quechua, (the Inkas native language). Its square concentrates one of the most emblematic markets of the valley; every day takes places the artisanal market, which is very entertaining, colorful and with diverse items going from textiles to ceramics, through woodworking, leatherworking, fabric, and many products that attract people's attention. At the same place, we will find the local market, with products brought from the fields, vegetables, potatoes, corn and the big variety of fresh items of the region. We will see also the Mayors "Indian chiefs" with its typical ornaments and colors, who comes from diverse nearby communities to assist to the market and to the church.
One of the singular appeals of the city is the bakeries; some of them are very old, and you will find there wheat bread, and the well-touted cheese-and-onion empanadas (pies) that are a delight for the visitors. We will take the freeway as far as Urubamba, to enjoy a lunch buffet, with varied, fresh and delicious food, in an old farm.
In the afternoon, a walking journey at one of the most emblematic places of the Sacred Valley, OLLANTAYTAMBO, where the time has stopped. a small town full of local color and inhabited since Inka times in which we will visit the main temple used as a fortress during the Inca resistance. This is one of the few villages of South America that still has its original design since it was built, (more than 500 years ago). The descendants kept on living in the remains, large houses and Inca palaces. At the pass, we will find canals and sources of crystal-clear water still noisily flowing through the ancient streets. In the superior part of the village, we will visit the terraces, the Inka temple, structures that are colossal due to the size of its stones. Breathtaking views for amazing pictures.
At dusk we return by a different route to learn more about this destination, we will ascend about 3,800 m, passing through fertile fields with varied green tones and from this point enjoy a beatiful sunset, the surrounding snow and unsurpassed scenery. We will stop at CHINCHERO a Colonial & Inka town , famous for its weavers, its square, narrow streets and the warmth of its people. Trip back to Cusco.
(*) Visit to AWANACANCHA Camelids research center, is included in private services basis only.
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