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CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS

It is a valley located within the region of Cusco includes the towns of Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero, Maras, Calca, Urubamba, Yucay and Machu Picchu itself (One of the 7 wonders of the world today).

Valle Sagrado de los Incas 1024x768 - CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS
View of the Sacred Valley of the Incas

The main characteristics of the Sacred Valley of the Incas are:

  • Geographic scope
  • Climate
  • Altitude
  • Fertile lands
  • Ancestral traditions

This valley called “The Sacred Valley of the Incas” is located between 600 to 700 m.a.s.l. below the city of Cusco, making it one of the most important and fertile places in the Inca period and up to our times.

  • Geographical scope: Throughout its journey you can appreciate magnificent landscapes, surrounded by mountains such as the Nevado de la Veronica, waters that flow through their land as the Vilcanota River. 
  • Climate: The city of Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas has two climates or marked seasons which are:

Rainy season, between the months of December to March with a minimum temperature of 14°C and a maximum temperature of 27C°.

Dry season, between the months of April to November with a minimum temperature of 9°C and a maximum temperature of 22°C.

  • Altitude: The Sacred Valley of the Inkas has an altitude between 2200 and 2900 meters above sea level (m.a.s.l.).

Calca: This town or district has an altitude of 2926 meters above sea level (m.a.s.l.).

Ollantaytambo: This town or district has an altitude of 2860 meters above sea level (m.a.s.l.),

Urubamba: This town or district has an altitude of 2871 meters above sea level (m.a.s.l.), located in the “heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas

Moray: This town or district has an altitude of 3385 meters above sea level (m.a.s.l.).

Chinchero within the Sacred Valley is the town which has the highest altitude with 3772 meters above sea level (m.a.s.l.).

  • Fertile lands:

The Sacred Valley of the Incas was one of the main suppliers of foodstuffs such as corn, potatoes, quinoa, beans, strawberries, oranges, etc. This allowed the supply of food in Inca times, today the corn of the Sacred Valley is considered one of the best corn in the world, this has the quality of an export product, which together with the constructions made by the Incas in the form of terraces or platforms used agricultural techniques managed to develop and adapt products in agriculture throughout the Sacred Valley.

Here also highlights the famous Maras salt that are used for consumption, marketing of the same.

  • Ancestral traditions:

The population of the Sacred Valley of the Incas still maintains its traditions, the same that are transmitted from generation to generation, such as barter (way of trading or exchange of product without the use of money).

Traditional markets, where the main artisans (artists) sell their products at affordable prices, such as the elaboration of textiles, ceramics, jewelry, etc.

Traditional festivities and celebrations of masses in the Quechua language that are carried in the churches of the localities that form the sacred valley of the Incas such as: Pisac, Lamay, Coya among others. These masses are carried with the inhabitants of the area and high Andean communities.

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