This morning, drive to the charming community of Chinchero. Its main attraction is the Sunday market that traces its roots back to the Incan time when barter or ‘trueque’ existed. Today, the market takes place in the main square at the foot of an Inca wall, vibrant with color and movement, with a fascinating range of handicrafts, especially textiles. Join a local weaving family in their courtyard for an overview of the Andean weaving process. Watch as wool is carded, spun, and dyed and learn about the different techniques used to create belts, ponchos and shawls.
Before lunchtime, drive to Hacienda Huayoccari. Nestled in the Sacred Valley, about one hour from Cusco, this is one of the best places to eat and relax. Experience the warm hospitality, feel the flavor of the past and the history of the haciendas of Cusco, and enjoy an impressive view of the Sacred Valley. After admiring the family’s vast collection of folk art, savor a meal in the hacienda’s garden prepared with fresh local products.
After lunch, drive past ancient farming terraces that are still in use today to grow barley, wheat, and corn to reach the town of Ollantaytambo where the Temple of the Sun and the Terrace of the Ten Niches stand out. Tonight, enjoy a relaxing and soothing time in the Andean Spa at the hotel, complete with a massage session.
Overnight in Sacred Valley.
Cusco is a city in southeastern Peru, near the Urubamba Valley (Sacred Valley) of the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cusco Region as well as the Cusco Province. The city has a population of 348,935 which is triple the figure of 20 years ago. Cusco is the historic capital of the Inca Empire and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1983 by UNESCO. It is a major tourist destination and receives almost a million visitors a year. It is designated as the Historical Capital of Peru by the Constitution of Peru.
Ollantaytambo is a town and an Inca archaeological site in southern Peru some 60 kilometers northwest of the city of Cusco. It is located at an altitude of 2,792 meters above sea level in the district of Ollantaytambo, province of Urubamba, Cusco region. During the Inca Empire, Ollantaytambo was the royal estate of Emperor Pachacuti who conquered the region, built the town and a ceremonial center. At the time of the Spanish conquest of Peru it served as a stronghold for Manco Inca Yupanqui, leader of the Inca resistance. Nowadays it is an important tourist attraction on account of its Inca buildings and as one of the most common starting points for the three-day, four-night hike known as the Inca Trail.
The Sacred Valley of the Incas or Urubamba Valley is a valley in the Andes of Peru, close to the Inca capital of Cusco and below the ancient sacred city of Machu Picchu. The valley is generally understood to include everything between Písac and Ollantaytambo, parallel to the Urubamba River, or Vilcanota River or Wilcamayu, as this sacred river is called when passing through the valley. It is fed by numerous rivers which descend through adjoining valleys and gorges, and contains numerous archaeological remains and villages. The valley was appreciated by the Incas due to its special geographical and climatic qualities. It was one of the empire's main points for the extraction of natural wealth, and the best place for maize production in Peru.