The Sacred Valley of the Incas or el Valle Sagrado was a very important area during the time of the Incas as the cities were used for strategic viewpoints, food production, vegetation areas and much more. Many of the ruins and archaeological sites in the Sacred Valley are still visible in these towns and should not be missed by any visitor. For all of the following sites, except Maras, the Boleto Turistico is required.
Pisac is home to famous ruins, that overlook the valley and the Urubamba river, and also the well-known Sunday market which has something for everyone with its large variety of vendors and items for sale. It is assumed that the ruins were built at the same time as Machu Picchu. High up on the hill, the Pisac ruins are filled with artificial rivers created by the Incas and the location of the ruins provide a beautiful view into another part of the Sacred Valley.
Because of their close proximity, Maras and Moray should be visited at the same time. Maras contains approximately 3,500 salt pools, where salt has been harvested for hundreds of years thanks to the continuous flow from a natural stream containing salt. The impressive slope is worth the visit and doesn’t require a “Boleto Turistico." Moray’s uniquely shaped ovular- almost avocado-like- Incan terraces are assumed to have been an agricultural experiment station for plants and vegetables in Incan times. Take a stroll through the different levels of the terraces and view the amazing ingenuity of the Incas that this agricultural site exhibits.
In this city the Spanish retreated after taking over Cusco. This town is laid out in the same way that it was in Incan times. The Incan terraces with complex stone formations are worth the visit. Taking a tour with a guide is definitely worth your time because hidden within the ruins in Ollantaytambo lie various stone formations that were used to calculate the time of year, the position of the stars, the solstices and many other incredible things that aided the Incan farmers in harvesting their crops. Additionaly, The view of the valley is astonishing and should be visited by everyone!
The Incas believed it was the birthplace of the rainbow. Today, this typical village in the Andes combines a colonial church with Inca ruins that are surrounded by wonderful mountains and colorful smaller markets. A "Boleto Turistico" is required, and it is not recommended to stay there overnight as it can become freezing and there are not many hotels in the area.