The Sacred Valley of the Incas (Urubamba Valley) is a valley in the Peruvian Andes, close to the Inca capital Cusco and the ancient Machu Picchu. It is situated in the present-day region of Cusco, Peru. In colonial documents the valley is referred to as "Valley of Yucay." By a recent research it comprises the heartland of Inca Empire.
The Sacred Valley is generally understood to include all between Calca and Lamay, Pisac, and Ollantaytambo. It was formed by Urubamba River, also famous as Willkanuta River ("house of the sun", Aymara) or Quechua (Willkamayu). In Quechua, the still spoken lingua franca of Inca Empire, it means "sacred river". Urubamba River is fed by many rivers, descending through adjoining gorges and valleys, and contains a wealth of archaeological remains. The valley was appreciated by Incas because of its special climatic and geographical qualities. It was one of the main points in the empire for extraction of natural wealth, as well as one of the major areas for maize production in Peru. The early Incas are considered to have come from Wimpillay, because their mummies have been discovered there. Around 1400 started large scale maize production as Inca urban agriculture that was based on varieties bred in Moray, either a seedling nursery of Incas or a governmental crop lab.
Sacred Valley tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
Sacred Valley tours and excursions:
- Puca Pucara
- Sacsayhuaman Temple
- Ollantaytambo ruins
- glass-dome train travel to Machu Picchu (guided tour of the ruins)
- train travel back to Sacred Valley and Cusco (Santo Domingo Monastery tour)
- If the Sacred Valley tour is part of a Galapagos cruise package deal, there is a charter flight Cusco to Quito (local restaurant dinner) and Quito touring on the next day. On the next day of the itinerary there is a flight from Quito to Baltra island for embarkation.
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