The Urubamba river runs through the mountains east of Cuzco, carving a fertile river valley that fed local populations from before the Inca Empire to the present time. Along the hills overlooking the river, the Incas built fortresses to protect the river wealth, not knowing they created fascinating places for modern day visitors to tour.
GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION AND CLIMATE
Located in the heart of the Sacred Valley, Urubamba (2 871 msnm), is to 78 km to the northwest of the city of the Cusco in the route towards Pisac (1 hour 25 minutes in car) or to 57 km (45 minutes in car) of Cusco by route to Chinchero.
Its altitude is of 2.800 m.s.n.m., which confers a more benign climate to him. As it happens in earth located to this height, its climate is marked by two stations: rains and drought. The humid season happens between the months of November to April. Then a heavy shower can untie in second and, unfortunately, not always it is enjoyed a blue sky. But the time of rains also has its advantages, because the hills are covered with green an intense one and the temperatures usually are tempered. During the period of drought the colors of the sky are shining, but the air usually is so dry that the skin seems to become broken. The night is generally very cold and can freeze at dawn. The starred sky is a true spectacle during this season. The Sacred Valley is, climatically speaking, an ideal place. Thus the Peruvians recognized old that went up to here to cure itself. In spite of reaching high temperatures and of being a full zone of vegetation, the valley is free of mosquitos by the altitude in which it is. In addition, it is difficult to choke, because a fresh breeze always blows.
Yucay, namewhich was known the Sacred Valley, was a privileged place in pre-Hispanic times: there the Incas and their descendants were the owners of this land. These possessions were recognized by the Spanish authorities, who granted a payment to the incaica nobility, allowing them, thus to enjoy the wealth of one of the more fertile valleys of Peru. As testimony of those times has remained the palace of Sayri Túpac in Yucay.
The valley was populated with plataforms used to cultivate the most important and significant andean product: the corn.
The Sacred Valley of the Incas is one of greatest attraction for tourists who are interested in the Andean region because of its impressive landscape, its imposing mountains, its pleasant climate, its fertile lands with abundant water, its megalithic cultural evidences and because it offers diverse possibilities for the practice of tourism adventure. It can be accessed from Cusco by highway or by railroad.
The Sacred Valley has become one of the most important tourist centers of the country. Besides to count with historical wealth, expressed in multitude of archaeological rest and dispersed colonial monuments throughout the valley, the region of the Urubamba offers infinite possibilities of entertainment to the tourist: thermal baths, long walks,trips in rafts or kayacs by the river, flights in a glider or paragliding, cavalcades, mountain climbing, etc. In the last years it has developed programs of participatory tourism ,inviting for example the traveller to work in a platform or to collect the salt of a salinera. The Sacred Valley lodges, in addition, to two of the most important artisan markets of the Cusco: Písac and Chinchero.
Although in the last years the tourist infrastructure in the area has grown significantly and today it counts with an important supply of lodgings and restaurants, the valley has known how to preserve its charming natural peace.
- Town of Pisaq
- Town of Chinchero
- Town of Maras
- Town of Yucay
- Salineras de Maras
- Archaeological set of Moray
- The Fortitude of Ollantaytambo
- Historical sanctuary of Machu Picchu
WHEN TO TRAVEL:
The best time to visit it is between April-May or September-October, the busy time is from June to August. The rainiest season is October which is cheaper and quite pleasant.