Exploring the Sacred Valley in Peru
After almost a week in Lima, it was a relief to arrive in Cuzco and begin touring the Sacred Valley in Peru. We’d planned three nights in Ollantaytambo and one night in Cuzco. It sounded reasonable, but in retrospect, we should have added another few nights and cut short our return trip through Lima.
After landing in Cuzco, we hopped in a car with the guide we’d arranged through our hostel and began our tour of the Sacred Valley.
On our way out of Cuzco, we stopped at the largest Jesus statue outside of Rio, Christo Blanco. Yep. It was a big statue of Jesus. With some great views of Cuzco.
After the statue, we continued onto Pisac, most famous for it’s touristy artisinal market and for it’s Inca ruins. Bertrand suffered no ill effects from the altitude; however, I was quite ill. We stopped for cocoa tea and breakfast. Despite our attempts to convince Victor that we were looking for street food, we stopped at a very nice restaraunt. Surprise, cocoa tea really works! After my head had cleared, we explored the market.
After the market, we continued onto the ruins at Pisca. They were the highest altitude we reached while in the Sacred Valley, and were well worth the time we spent exploring.
Archiologists believe the concentric circals at Moray were an Incan agricultural laboratory for exploring how crops grew in microclimates. In the Sacred Valley, both temperature and humidity varied considerably with atltitude, and scientists believe that this site was used to test different crops whose seeds were imported to the area from all over the Inca empire.
It was impressive and beautiful.
Salinas was perhaps my favorite site of the long day of exploring the Sacred Valley on our way to Ollantayamba. The area used to be covered by an ocean and is quite salty. Peruvians have been using the pools here to harvest salt for milinnea. We walked from one end to the other, a walk that became terrifyingly slippery as night began to fall.
We did eventually make it back to the car, and I got some great shots of the salt as the sun set.