The Sacred Valley of the Incas was a key area of settlement to the Incas. Its agreeable climate and fertile plains make a rare and fruitful combination for the high Andes. Today the Sacred Valley, thought to have been the centre of agricultural production for the Incan Empire remains a lush agricultural region which supplies the city of Cusco with much of its produce but also offers visitors interesting historical sites and beautiful views.
The Sacred Valley is made up around the towns of Pisaq, Yucay, Urubamba and Ollantaytambo which are the most visited. Beautiful towns have individual Incan heritage and architecture and each one has its own draw; Pisac, for its handicraft market, Urubamba for its art, and the imposing forts at Ollantaytambo and Moray.
Just one hour from Cusco, The Sacred Valley of the Incas is located between Písac and Ollantaytambo, parallel to the Vilcanota or Urubamba River. Either a day trip or staying for a couple of nights is recommended.
The drive from one end of the valley to the other (Pisac to Ollantaytambo) is about one hour. Some sights are closer to one end or the other, but sights and hotels are pretty evenly spread throughout the valley and are all easily accessible. Ollantaytambo is the closest town to the train station if you are taking the train to or from Cusco or Machu Pichu.
The Sacred Valley sits at an altitude of 2800 metres above sea level and has a moderate climate.
With its elevation, the valley has mainly two seasons – wet and dry. It rains during the months of November through to April. It is actually a pleasant time to visit with high temperatures but a cool breeze. From May to October, the valley experiences the dry season with its blue and clear skies. The stars are a magnificent sight, but nights can be very cold.
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