We are now back to Cusco after our journey to Machupicchu. We hav two days left before we leave to our next stop in Arequipa.
Because we cannot visit in two days all the sites of the sacred valley, we book for the first day a touristic excursion by bus including a guide, while we will spend the second day by foot exploring the sites close to Cusco.
We are visiting 3 main sites on day one : Pisac – Ollantaytambo – Chinchero. We would have loved doing Moray and Tipon, but time (and maybe organisation) were against us….
We started so with Pisaq ruins which are located above the village of Pisa qat 3,300m.
There is apparently a great market at the village every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
At the entrance of the ruins, we bought our famous Boleto Turistico which allows us to enter all the sites of the sacred valley plus Cusco public museums.
Pisaq village has nothing Inca in it as it has been destroyed around 1530 by the conquistadors and rebuilt in 1570.
The Inca site above the village has been built around 1440 like Machupicchu. We are not sur why it has been built. Some historians says it was a way for Pachacutec Inca to celebrate his victory upon some pre-Inca ethnies while other say it is only because the site has a strategic position in the valley.
The site of Pisaq used to fill three different purpose : military, religious and agricole with the terraces.
Some of the farming terraces are still being used today. At this time, they were so well designed that the Incas could get more food from them then from farming on a flat field at the same altitude (i.e 3,330m).
More pictures below:
The following site is Ollantaytambo made of a city, terraces and a temple hill. The city was completly rebuilt when Pachacutec Inca won against the Tambos ethny.
The city used to be as well the temporary capital of the Inca empire when Cusco fell to the Spanish.
Today, the inhabitants of Ollantaytambo are the direct descendants of those who lived there 500 years ago.
Above the city is the temple hill made of impressive and massive straight cut stones coming from the other side of the valley.
The majority of stones came from the other side of the valley… which is quite impressive when you are looking at the distance to travel plus the size and so the weight of some of them.
Finaly, this site used to be a very strategic by it position in the valley. From a religious point of view, the Incas went up to cut part of the mountain facing Ollantaytambo to represent Tunupa face, the messenger of the creator Inca god.
Here a few more photos about Ollantaytambo
Finally our last site for the day was Chinchero.
It is a former agricole site, with a nice market to visit every Sunday and an Inca Church build over the ruins of the Inca Tupac Yupanqui temple.
We arrived a bit late at this site, so we couldn’t really appreciate the view from the Church. Indeed it faces two lakes and the Vilcanota range with a peak averaging 6,294m.
That is it for our short visit of the remote sites of the sacred valley. Obviously I would advise to anyone with a bit more money and time to spend more time than we did. (along with a guide)
Blog you soon for our last visita round Cusco.