Cusco – Sacred Valley

In the Sacred Valley of the Incas, several of the communities allow visitors to help with their agricultural work. Yucay, Urubamba and Pumahuanca all produce delicious sweet corn with large kernels, grown on the Inca terraces (agricultural terraces built into the side of hills). The Mara community operates over 3000 salt mines exploited by traditional methods.
Chinchero specialises in fabrics and Raqchi is a living museum where you can enjoy pottery, dance, music great cuisine, and the living culture of cusco.

The Inca village of Ollantaytambo offers 7 hiking routes that guide you to archaeological sites, quarries, terraced cultivation areas and one of the main producers of Quechuan textiles (Wílloc). Visitors can stay with local families, and learn ancestral growing techniques by helping with agricultural work, irrigation and salt harvesting, and at festival time, participating in walks and Andean rituals.

Finally, the Wiracocha temple in Raqchi is the tallest known Inca building, with a large «ushnu» or truncated pyramid holding great Andean religious significance for worshipping the Sun. It is said to have been a pilgrimage center. Despite its age, several of the original walls remain intact, homage to the quality of Inca engineering.

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