Monday, October 12, 2015

Valle Sagrado Peru

Valle Sagrado
We had a great experience with a super driver named Max who took us from Cusco City into the ancient and beautiful Inca Sacred Valley or Valle Sagrado.

Sacred Valley
The Sacred Valley of the Inca or the Urubamba Valley is a valley in the Andes of Peru, close to Cusco and the ancient city of Machu Picchu which is only reachable by train. The Valley is located in the present Urubamba province. 

Village of Chinchero
The beautiful Sacred Valley was the heartland of the Inca Empire. The Valley was formed by the Urubamba River, also known as Willkamayu in Quechua, the ancient Inca language still spoken today, 

Ch'iqun Andean Mountain 5,530 m (18,140 ft)  
Urubamba means the Sacred River. It's fed by numerous other rivers which descend through adjoining valleys and gorges, and contains many archaeological ruins and villages. 

 The Sacred Valley was appreciated by the Inca due to its special geographical and climatic qualities. It was and is today one of the most important areas for maize production in Peru north of the the Inca village of Pisac. 

Top of the Hill Ollantaytambo
We had an interesting day trip to the sacred valley which took us through Urumbamba and to Ollantaytambo where the road ends. Our driver Max made sure that we saw Chinchero, the Urubamba River and the Ollantaytambo ruins along with hidden old city gates. Urubamba is kind of a modern functioning town so we didn’t spend much time there and headed to Ollantaytambo.

Unfinished Ollantaytambo Principal Temple
Once a country retreat for Inca royalty and nobility, Ollantaytambo is where the Inca also fought some of their last battles, resisting Spanish conquest from the still intact fortress and staggered terraces rising up around the town

Inca Fountain
The huge, steep terraces that guard Ollantaytambo’s spectacular Inca ruins mark one of the few places where the Spanish conquistadors lost a major battle.

Old Ollantaytambo City Gates
The Spanish tried to capture Inca Manco but he flooded the plain below the fortress and Spaniards’ horses bogged down in the water. The Spanish ordered a hasty retreat, chased by thousands of Manco Inca’s victorious soldiers

The Inca victory was short lived though. Spanish forces soon came back with a much larger cavalry force and forced Manco to flee to his jungle stronghold in Vilcabamba.

Inca Carved Granite
All in all we had a fantastic day in the sacred valley of the Inca. It was beautiful, historic and at 2,700 m (9,000 ft), the Valley is lower than the Cusco area which helps if you're not acclimatized yet. We were but we still liked the lower altitude.

Highly recommended!

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