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The Incas’ Sacred Valley

Urubamba Valley

Named for being the main food supplier of the Inca empire, the Sacred Valley sits on the banks of the Urubamba River. This river in its beginnings has the name of Vilcanota, that comes from the Quechua word Wilcamayu or Sacred River. The Incas built archaeological centers, along their banks, that replicated the constellations that they knew of the Andean sky so this contributes, even more, to the beauty of this enchanting valley.


The Sacred Valley of the Incas is located 35 kilometers from Cusco, and about 600 meters below the level of Cusco. It covers the part of the basin of the Vilcanota river between the towns of Pisac and Ollantaytambo.

Important data:


Seasons Climate T min. (C) T max. (C) Moisture
Rainy season (December – March) Rainy 15 27 65%
Dry season (April – November) Dry 10 22 46%
Between the months of April to October, at night the temperature drops considerably, in the early hours of the morning the temperature rises gradually until after midday.


Altitude District
Pisac 2980 masl
Calca 2929 meters above sea level
Urubamba 2870 masl
Ollantaytambo 2850 meters above sea level
The altitudes shown in the previous table are in meters above sea level (msnm).

What to do:

Here are some suggestions of what you can do in the Sacred Valley

Practice canoeing in the sacred river of the Incas (Huillcamayo or Vilcanota).
Appreciate and buy handicrafts at the famous handicraft fairs of Pisac, Ollantaytambo and Chinchero.
Visit Moray, impressive agricultural laboratory of the Incas.

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