My Trip to the Sacred Valley
My Trip to the Sacred Valley
Early Saturday morning at 08:00 am, my friend and I were picked up from our residence in the heart of Cusco by the van that would take us on a day trip to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The morning started off cold and quiet, but knowing what was ahead of us this day, gave us all the energy we needed.
We had our first stop at the market of Pisac, about 40 kilometers from the city of Cusco along the Urubamba river. Various items such as sweaters, bags, jewelry and paintings were being sold. The market was not too big, but it did have a nice vibe to it. The huge variety of colorful items, the friendly Peruvian people, the small restaurants and cafes located on the sides of the streets and of course the stunning landscape of mountains and greenery surrounding the area, made it a lovely morning. I couldn’t believe how beautiful this place was. The green surroundings with tiny houses on the hills, along with the old ruins, made for a perfect view, just like a classic painting.
Our guide told us about the history of the Sacred Valley. The Incas were self-sufficient and lived a rural lifestyle based on agriculture. They strongly believed in the power of mother nature (Pachamama), because she provided them with water and food, basically everything they needed to live. For the Incas, maize was the most important crop.
Through a biological process called fermentation with the maize, they produced the organic beverage called Chicha. They consumed this drink especially during ceremonies and religious celebrations. Even today the Chicha is a mostly consumed drink in Peru.
It was around 12.30 when we completed our visit in Pisac. For lunch, we went to a restaurant called Maizal in Urubamba. There was a big buffet with many dishes to choose from, and we tried a little bit of everything. There was a wide range of desserts available, which we did not leave out of course 😉 We had a good time relaxing at Maizal.
The next stop after lunch was at the archaeological site and village Ollantaytambo. In Inca times, this Inca town was owned by the Emperor Pachacuti. He had conquered this place and built a center for important ceremonies that the Incas used to perform. Today, Ollantaytambo is a significant tourist attraction in Peru because of its rich history, the ancient ruins and it is also one of the most frequent starting points for the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Our guide took us all the way up to the ruïns and from there we enjoyed the most stunning view!
Right outside of the archaeological site there was a nice little market where you could buy typical Peruvian souvenirs.
After having admired the beauty of Ollantaytambo, we went to our last destination for the day which was the town of Chinchero. The majority in Chinchero consisted of people of indigenous descent and grew up speaking Quechua. However, many of them also speak the Spanish language. Here we visited another small market with a weaving demonstration by the local women of Chincheros.
We arrived back in Cusco around 19.00. We certainly felt we had trained our legs a lot that day – the tour involved quite a lot of walking. It was a lovely day, and I can recommend this tour to anyone. It made me realize how rich the cultural heritage of Peru is. For everyone traveling to Peru, you just have to visit the Sacred Valley. You won’t regret it!
By Sidrah Qureshi
For more info about this tour, you’re free to contact us 🙂