The Sacred Valley (Urubamba River Valley), Cusco - Stein Travel

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Welcome to The Sacred Valley (Urubamba River Valley)

Known as the Sacred Valley of the Incas, this fertile valley of breathtaking beauty, stretching between the villages of Pisac and Ollantaytambo, is coursed by the winding Urubamba River, watched over by ancient Inca ruins perched high on the hilltops above, and sprinkled with little traditional settlements in between. Centrally situated Urubamba has the most tourist infrastructure and is becoming a popular base from which to explore the valley. The most well known sites are the citadel above Pisac and the fortress of Ollantaytambo, which receive the most visitors. The quaint village of Pisac is known for its interesting Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday morning markets, while overlooking the village are the ruins of the citadel, with its fine stonework and panoramic views over the valley. Agricultural terraces flank the steep sides of the mountain and have been in use for many centuries, and above them the alarmingly narrow trails that lead to the citadel hug the cliffs, with massive stone doorways, and steep stairways cut into the rock or a rock-hewn tunnel forming the only passageway between the sheer drop below and the vertical slopes above. At the far end of the Sacred Valley, the road terminates at the ancient traditional town of Ollantaytambo, where the temple-fortress clings to the nearby cliffs. Developed as an Inca administrative centre, the town's layout is one of the few remaining models of an Inca grid plan and the existing town is built on the remaining Inca foundations. The ruins include the Temple of the Sun, the Royal Chamber and the Princess' Baths. From the town the road leads to the start of the illustrious Inca Trail.

The site is part of the Cuzco Tourist Ticket that allows entry to all Inca sites around the city and museums; full ticket PEN 130, partial ticket PEN 40.
Spanish and Quechua are the official languages, but many other dialects are spoken. English is spoken only in major tourist centres and hotels.

The official currency is Nuevo Sol (PEN) divided into 100 céntimos. Visa is the most widely accepted credit card, but all major international credit cards, including Diners Club and MasterCard, are accepted in many, but not all, establishments. Outside Lima facilities may be more limited. Travellers cheques may also be difficult to exchange in small towns and villages, and travellers are advised to have cash on hand. US Dollars are the easiest currency to exchange and plenty of restaurants, hotels and shops in the main cities accept dollars for payment. Casas de cambio(exchange bureaux) often give better rates than hotels and banks and can be found in any town on the tourist circuit. ATMs are available in the main cities.

Opening Times
Ruins are open daily 7am-5:30pm.
Local time is GMT -5.

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