Cusco, the most important pre-Columbian metropolis on the continent, is the depository and heir to a cultural tradition, developed throughout the Peruvian territory since 18 thousand years before Christ. It is a living museum where in its atmosphere the greatness of ancient times is still perceived. Making a complete description or interpretation of Cusco and its privileged inhabitants would be a gigantic work of hundreds and even thousands of volumes. It is that fate has rewarded this "Navel of the World" with a privileged and excellent quality of nature, geography and people; capable of having developed one of the most advanced civilizations for its time.
CIRCUIT DESCRIPTION:From 07:00 to 19:00 Hrs.
We pick you up from your hotel in our private transport and then start with our guided visit to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, we will spend most of our tour surrounding the Vilcanota river and enjoying the panoramic view of this magical place. The places to visit are:
Chinchero, it will be the first archaeological center to visit, it is located northwest of the city of Cusco, over 3762 meters above sea level. Chinchero, the most typical population of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, is a distinctly Inca town that the ambitious conquerors wanted to civilize in order to implant their culture, but never fully achieved it. Its inhabitants inhabit almost intact Inca constructions, in the same place where their ancestors lived and formed the largest and most prosperous civilization in America. Chinchero has a rich monumental and cultural heritage. It is one of the few places that conserves the Inca urban layout in a visible way. The remains of the Inca palace, the colonial church built on a stone base, its impeccable terraces and a colorful Sunday fair are its main attractions.
Moray, at first glance it looks like a kind of amphitheater. Moray is a concentric platform system, built in three gigantic holes located at different levels. The largest hole contains 12 circular terraces with varying diameters. At the bottom of these holes there is a drainage system that prevents the storage of rainwater. What is striking is the mean annual temperature difference between the top and bottom of the depressions, which reaches approximately 15 ° C (59 ° F) in the main depression about 30 meters deep. For scholars, Moray was possibly an Inca agricultural experimentation center, where cultivation experiments were carried out at different heights (seed production). Moray could have served as a model for the calculation of agricultural production not only in the Urubamba Valley but also in different parts of the Tahuantinsuyo (domestication of wild plants).
Salineras of Maras, known as "salt mines", they consist of approximately 3,000 wells with an area of about 5 m² on average, built on one side of the slope of the "Qaqawiñay" mountain, which during the dry season are filled or irrigated every 3 days with salty water that emanates from a natural spring located in the upper part of the wells so that when the water evaporates, the salt contained in it gradually solidifies. This process will continue for about a month until a considerable volume of solid salt is obtained, about 10 cm. high from the ground, which is subsequently beaten and thus grainy; the salt will then be bagged in plastic bags (categories) and sent to the markets of the region; Today that salt is being iodized so its consumption is not harmful. The salt mines of Maras look like a white patch between the multicolored green of the Sacred Valley and the Urubamba mountain range. It is shiny and people work in silence. Then we will arrive to Urubamba (Lunch), always traveling near the Vilcanota River.
Ollantaytambo, located at an altitude of 2700 meters above sea level. Ollantaytambo is a compound Quechua word that derives from: "Ollanta" personal name of an Inca Captain whose story was kept as an oral and written tradition and as a drama by Antonio Valdez, priest of Urubamba, in the middle of the 18th century it was adapted for a play in 1780; and "Tambo" Spanish form of "Tanpu" city that offers lodging, food and comfort for travelers. Ollantaytambo was a very important fortified city, built as a "tanpu" to enable roads to the "Antisuyo" (jungle). According to many historians also to allow the protection of the great capital of the Inca from the attacks of the "Antis" who were his worst enemies. Today its name as "fortress" is common but inappropriate because it did not have a war duty, it was rather a complex city with a large urban sector and religious temples. The original names of the different sectors are unknown.
Pisaq o Pisac, It will be the last archaeological center to visit. The name "Pisaq" is genuine because it is recorded in some chronicles; Some scholars suggest that the pre-Hispanic city had the shape of a PISAQ or P'ISAQA, which means PERDIZ (a very abundant gallinaceous bird in this area). Písaq combines mystical Inca constructions and the natural wealth of the Urubamba Valley. The cities were built on the basis of figurative lines of animals. Písaq, had the shape of a partridge, as its name indicates. Today Pisac Arqueológico, is constituted as one of the most beautiful monumental centers of the valley since it combines the landscape with the impeccable finish of its constructions. We will also have time to visit the traditional market of Pisac; where we will have the opportunity to shop for handicrafts and souvenirs, we will enjoy their customs and traditions.
After Chinchero, we will return directly to the city of Cusco, arriving at approximately 19:00 hours.