Vallée Sacrée des Incas: Si vous visitez le Pérou et que l’histoire des Incas vous intéresse, la Vallée Sacrée dans la région de Cusco est une destination à mettre en première ligne de votre liste de voyage. La Vallée Sacrée des Incas est un endroit exceptionnel rempli d’histoire et de culture. Découvrez ci-dessous les sites à ne pas manquer lors de votre séjour ici.
À environ 15km au nord de Cusco, se trouve la Vallée Sacrée des Incas. Elles comptent de nombreuses villes parmi lesquelles Pisac et Ollantaytambo sont les plus connues. Elle est l’un des lieux historiques les plus importants d’Amérique du Sud.
La Vallée Sacrée des Incas est la vallée qui est traversée par la rivière d’Urubamba. On y trouve les villes de Pisac, Calca, Yucay, Urubamba et Ollantaytambo. Le Machu Picchu n’est pas le seul site important du coin. Il y a des ruines à Pisac et Ollantaytambo qui démontrent elles aussi, toute la prouesse des incas pour la maçonnerie en pierre et l’architecture. Ces villes ont été construites pour garder les frontières de la Vallée et empêcher les attaques des ennemis.
La Vallée Sacrée a longtemps prospéré car ses terres étaient le centre agricole de tout l’empire Inca. Aujourd’hui encore, vous pouvez observer les techniques et les innovations employées par les Incas pour produire leur nourriture. Le site de Moray, servait de laboratoire agricole. Les Incas l’utilisaient pour déterminer les conditions idéales pour faire pousser chaque plante. Ils cultivaient principalement du maïs, des fruits et des légumes, des cacaoyers et des avocats.
La vallée n’a pas été développée uniquement autour de l’agriculture. Son occupation a été influencée par les constellations d’étoiles. Cela montre l’importance de la cosmologie dans la culture Inca. Vous pouvez trouver des temples, des palais et une forteresse cachée dans un recoin de cette vallée aux paysages magnifiques. Les traditions incas sont toujours perpétrées par les locaux. Vous n’aurez donc pas de difficulté à vous immerger et à apprendre de cette culture.
In the 15th century two Inca leaders, Pachacuti Yupanqui, and Tupac Yupanqui built an enormous empire in South America. This empire ran the unbelievable distance from the center of Chile, all the way to Southern Colombia. It occupied the entirety of Peru, most of Ecuador, and parts of Argentina and Bolivia. This incredible empire was known as the Tahuantinsuyo Empire. At a mind-blowing 4,000 kilometers from North to South and covered with a road network of 40,000 kilometers, this was one of the biggest empires of South American history. And the center of it all? Cusco. Cusco was a part of the Sacred Valley and had an extraordinary amount of financial and agricultural wealth. It was protected by Inca fortresses. The valley extended up to the Vilcanota and Urubamba Rivers. Vilcanota River, in particular, was sacred to the Incas, as it represented the Milky Way.
The Sacred Valley of the Incas is located at 2,800 meters above sea level and has one of the best climates in the highland region, which is one of the reasons that plants flourished and allowed agricultural research and experimentation, and the rich and the religious of the Inca empire settled here. During the days, the temperatures range from 19° to 24°C. It is also slightly lower in altitude than Cusco, and so a great place for travelers to acclimatize before taking on Machu Picchu.
During the wet season, the minimum temperature in the Sacred Valley is around 15°C, with the maximum temperature being a high 27°C. The weather is mostly rainy, but every so often the clouds will part and a burst of bright sunshine will bless the day. The average humidity is 65%.
The minimum temperature through the dry season in the Sacred Valley is around 10°C, with maximum temperatures reaching roughly 22°C. The weather can be cloudy but is mostly sunny. Humidity is about 46%, making it comfortable, not sticky as is often found on the coast.
A beautiful little village just 33km from Cusco and simply full of history and marked by its traditional values, Pisac is the entrance hall to the Sacred Valley. Built over an Inca settlement, the village was founded by Viceroy Toledo, a Spanish conquistador. While you visit you can take part in a Quechua Mass alongside the indigenous people and mayors of the regions. You can also visit the Archeological Park of Pisac, which is full of history in bricks. You can explore a military fortress, observatories, and plenty of other polished stone constructions while you are there. Take the time to pay your respects to the biggest Inca cemetery in South America while you are here.
Calca is well known not just for its location in the Sacred Valley but also for the peace and the quiet that comes hand in hand with beautiful landscapes and the natural sulfurous water of Machacancha, and the cold gas water of the Minasmoqo Springs.
Typically, Yucay is not included on tours through the Sacred Valley but it is certainly worth a visit as it is home to the Inca palace of Inca Manco Sayri Túpac the Second. It was also the Inca center of agricultural production.
High up in the fertile valleys, Urubamba was also used for food production, even today being famous for its fruit. There are many indigenous communities to be found here still, and the town proudly boasts the name “La Perla del Vilcanota” or “The Pearl of Vilcanota”, all thanks to the jaw-dropping scenery that surrounds it.
One of the best places to visit in the whole of the Sacred Valley, Ollantaytambo holds both the most original, and the best-preserved Inca, and pre-Inca ruins in all Peru. There’s not just one or two of these buildings, many of the buildings date back this far, meaning that the town has come to be known as « the Living Inca City ». You can also head up the hillside and visit the Inca fortress, it is truly a sight that will take your breath away.
If you are a real adventure lover then you won’t want to miss out on some white water rafting during your trip to the Sacred Valley. Ollantaytambo is the perfect place for a great experience on the water, and you can even see some Inca ruins from your raft.
You can’t miss the mountain biking on your visit, it is a truly unforgettable experience in this region of Peru. You can choose to start from Qenqo, Pucapucara or Tambomachay and you will wind your way along lovely trails and dirt roads, with unforgettable sights accompanying you the whole way.
The town of Pisac is world-famous thanks to the craft market and its impressive archaeological remains. Take your time while visiting this historical place and do a little shopping for local arts and crafts, as Pisac offers the top market in the whole region. Nowadays, Pisac has also become the spiritual center of the Sacred Valley making possible to have all different kinds of experiences, like spiritual retreats. Just twenty minutes drive from the town Inca ruins can be found. You’ll see military, agricultural and religious buildings, all of which are spread over one large complex; it is an absolutely amazing sight to see.
This is one of the most interesting and beautiful destinations to visit during your trip to the Sacred Valley. The Inca ruins of Moray were designed similarly to a dug-out amphitheater but there is no a certain explanation of their creation and use. It is said that the Incas used them as a laboratory to experiment with different combinations of plant species, but the true reason is still unknown. Come and discover the mystery, and theorize for yourself what it was used for.
No list of things to do would be complete without trying one of the most famous peruvian dishes: cuy (guinea pig). Sample it fried or roasted, both are delicious. Delight your palate with this succulent traditional dish that has been loved in Peru since the Incas. Almost every restaurant serves it, so give it a try!
For all the mentioned above, the Sacred Valley is a must-see destination during your visit to Peru. Discover these ancient villages, beautiful towns full of culture and tradition. The Sacred Valley Peru will win your heart from the moment you step foot here. Start planning your trip now by finding the best way to get from Lima to Cusco and get ready to begin your adventure!