Cusco Peru Sacred Valley in Family – Itinerary
Our visit to the gem of the Sacred Valley was the perfect warm up to Machupicchu for our family. Visiting Ollantaytambo with kids was the highlight of this day. What to see there? I will tell you now:
Sacred Valley – Urubamba
The Urubamba Valley or Sacred Valley is impressed, not just for the natural beauty, also because it has one of the prettiest cities build by the Incas – Ollantaytambo. This town was the royal estate of Inca Emperor and it was built with sumptuous constructions and undertook extensive works of terracing and irrigation in the Sacred Valley.
Exploring Sacsayhuaman with kids
Our next stop, on our way to the Sacred Valley, was Sacsayhuaman, a place where Incas constructed walls with huge stones. On this place, the workers carefully cut the boulders to fit them together tightly without mortar. The most amazing part is that Sacsayhuaman was built on the shape of Puma looking from high. It is a labyrinth made of beautiful huge stone that kids love to admire.
Next, we made a quick stop at a local market, to get some snacks as well as suveniers and pictures of course:
Sanctuary Animal Cochahuasi
Then, we visited the Sanctuary animal Cochahuasi, which is an organization that has dedicated itself to the Rescue of Animals that have been abused of or come from the Illicit Traffic of Wildlife. Therefore we found many species of beautiful animals like Lama, Alpaca, Vicuna, a Puma, Andean geese, flying condors, guinea pigs. Therefore, most of them are rescued and we enjoyed learning about their rescued stories. Most important we were very grateful for the labor of love of this organization. And the best part was when Condors flew over our heads! so impressed!
Following our trip on the Sacred Valley, our next stop was Visit Pisaq Qantus Raqay. This was a small town where the working class used to live, we found a terrace where the Inca people used to grow a different kind of food for their daily needs
Finally, we arrived in Ollantaytambo and kids were right away impressed by the terrace!
the highlight of our visit to the gem of the Sacred Valley – Ollantaytambo is known as an ancient Inca fortress built around the middle of the 15th century and is the second most well-preserved ruin in Peru. It was built with terraces for farming and irrigation system. This terrace is called fortress or temple Hill. The town was home of Inca Nobility. originally built for religious purpose became the center of battle when Inca Manco chooses to retreat from Spanish invasion for its strategical location. Unfortunately didn’t last long.
Ollantaytambo is separated into 4 distinct areas: The ancient town, the temple hill, the ceremonial area, and the agricultural sector. You probably will need the whole day to visit ruins, but since we were with kids we respect the altitude of 2,792 meters and we took it easy. The terrace is taller and wilder of the average man, and when in the top you find the Temple of the sun, The wall of the six monoliths and the Enclosure of the ten Niches.
We took our time hiking to the top. The severe height will take away our breath and we need several stops. The views around you are just so beautiful. At the top, the wall of the Six Monoliths will dominate the view.
Terraces of Pumatallis
Ollantaytambo is surrounded by mountains, and the main access routes run along the Urubamba Valley. The Incas built roads connecting the site with Machu Picchu to the west and Pisaq to the east. The terraces where the Inca once had planted corn and potatoes. which start at the bottom of the valleys and climb up the surrounding hills.
The Andenes permitted farming on otherwise unusable terrain; they also allowed the Incas to take advantage of the different ecological zones created by variations in altitude. Terraces at Ollantaytambo were built to a higher standard than common Inca agricultural terraces; for instance, they have higher walls made of cut stones instead of rough fieldstones.
Terraces of Pumatallis
Pinkullyuna is the hill with Incan storehouses overlooking the town and facing the main ruins. They made the access to the storage hard due to the value of food for low temperature on a high hill and for military purposes. It is impressive how the build in such a steep hill.
To get to the path up to these ruins, follow the road closest to the base of the hill. After a short but steep hike, you can admire the breathtaking scenery of the Sacred Valley, the mountains that surround the town and the Inca ruins. Pinkullyna Hill is really a perfect viewing point.
The purpose of the storehouses was to store the food items harvested from the terraces. The grains were poured into the windows and the high altitude and windy conditions produced a microclimate that helped to prevent the decay of crops. The storehouses even had their own ventilation systems – holes in the appropriate places in the walls created drafts that dried the agricultural products.
Templo del Sol
We finally reach the Templo del Sol – a temple to worship the sun. Each stone is said to weigh more than 50 tons. How these monoliths were transported to this spot from the quarry in one piece remains a mystery. This area is unfinished and there are several theories for it, but nobody really knows what on when they stopped it.
Temple de Aguas
Going all the way down we visit the artificial channels and fountains to the Templo de Aguas. There is a deeper story to the hydraulic masterpiece the Incas created here.
So much to see, the next day we were ready for Machupicchu!