North of Cusco – the former capital of Inca empire-, along the Urubamba River, a number of picturesque villages come together, is called the Sacred Valley.
They are small towns frozen in time, which were the food pantry of the Incas, but also its resting place. Before the eyes of a traveler lies proof in the system of Inca terraces bordering each of these small cities, and more than 350 archaeological sites that appear scattered throughout the valley, including Machu Picchu.
To visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas there are two possibilities. The first is to head north of Cusco and enter two towns, Chinchero and Urubamba. These towns specialize in the wool of alpacas that live free in the valley. Inhabitants, using leaves, roots and other sources straight from the earth, manage to dye wool with gorgeous, vivid colors, 100% organic and natural.
The second option is to head north and enter through Pisac and continue to Calca. A good option is to begin in Pisac, with its adobe houses and rooftops, even some authentic Inca walls remain standing; then stop by the archaeological park and, if you arrive on a Sunday, dive into a colorful market where barter is still displayed.
Travelers should not overlook the town of Maras where you can observe the saltworks that form more than 500 salt pools built into the hillside, as well as and the agricultural laboratory of the Incas: Moray, a system of terraces that replicated diverse ecological systems and where experiments with cultivation of various products occurred. In short, picturesque villages, Inca ruins, colonial churches, thermal baths, people who have managed to receive the guidelines of modernity, and others who maintain ancestral customs. In the Sacred Valley the traveler can find peace, tranquility, and recharge: an exceptional climate.
The old center of the Inca world today has a different face, with first class tourist services, which provide not only luxury accommodations, but also intense experiences of wellness, gastronomy, experiential tourism that leave indelible marks on the memory of travelers.