Tour to Sacred Valley

Trip Start Oct 26, 2009
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9
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Trip End Nov 26, 2009


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Flag of Peru  , Sacred Valley,
Thursday, November 19, 2009

In this tour we visited the towns of Pisac, Urubamba (for lunch), Ollantaytambo and Chinchero.
It was a really wonderful day and we had the fortune to have a great guide that explained us many things, with many details and the experience was really great! We passed from various places by the bus but the places where we stopped and had our tour explications were the following:

First of all we visited the town of Pisac. After Ollantaytambo, the most significant Inca ruin is at Pisac. Inhabited since the 10th or 11th century, it became an important regional capital once the Incas arrived. Researchers believe the town began as a military post to guard against invasion but grew into a ceremonial and residential center. Agricultural terraces and steep paths lead up to the hilltop fort, which has huge walls of polished stone. Pisac Ruins comprising military, residential, and religious buildings show that the Incas were masters at architecture, especially building in difficult places.

Therefore, spectacular Ollantaytambo is described as a living Inca town. The residents still strive to maintain ancient traditions such as tilling their fields with foot ploughs. The place takes its name from Ollanta, the Inca general who fell in love with the ninth ruler Pachacútec's daughter. He was forced to flee the city but was united with her after Pachacútec's death. Significant in Peruvian history for the greatest Inca victory over the Spanish, the town was reconquered by the Spaniards in 1537. People have lived in these cobblestone streets since the 13th century. Originally named Qosqo Ayllu, this Inca town is divided into individual "canchas" (courtyards). Each courtyard has one entrance. A series of carved stone terraces, built to protect the valley from invaders, lead up the hillside to the fortress, Araqama Ayllu. The fort comprises the Temple of the Sun, the Royal Hall, or Mañacaray, the Princess Baths or Baños de la Princesa, and the Intihuatana, used to trace the sun's path. Although unfinished, the Temple of the Sun is one of the finest examples of Inca stonework. Six pink monoliths, designed to glow as the rays of the rising sun hit the structure, fit perfectly together. The T-joints, filled with molten bronze, hold the wall in place, and traces of puma symbols can still be seen on the surface. Stones for the fortress were quarried from an adjacent hillside, moved down one mountain, and up another by ramps.

Last but not least, the city of Chinchero. Dubbed the birthplace of the rainbow, Chinchero is perched 3.772 meters above sea level on the Anta plain, surveying the Sacred Valley. The tenth Inca, Tupac Yupanqui, reportedly built his palaces here. In the mid-16th century, Manco Inca, the puppet king appointed by the Spanish conquistador Pizarro, burned down the village thereby cutting off his Spanish pursuers' supply lines. Chinchero did, however, finally succumb to the Spanish by the end of the 16th century, Viceroy Toledo established a plantation here, putting local Indians to work on it, and built an adobe church just above the square over Inca foundations. The ceiling and walls are covered in floral and religious designs. A massive stone wall in the main plaza, featuring ten trapezoidal niches, recalls the Incas, as do extensive agricultural terraces, seats and stairways carved into rocks just outside the village. Quechua-speaking locals preserve the Inca customs, wearing traditional dresses, farming the terraces, and weaving. Every Sunday, residents from the surrounding villages gather at the main plaza and exchange their agricultural products and handicrafts using a pure barter system.

Enjoy the pics!!! :-)
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