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Sacred Valley

Panorama from Pisac Ruins

The area east of Cusco is called the Sacred Valley, because there are many ancient Inca ruins. We had just come back from Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu, on our way back to Cusco, and we almost passed the Sacred Valley but it seemed it would have been stupid, not to look. Although I was a bit tired of all the Inca ruins, which we had already visited, including Machu Picchu, which is of course difficult to beat, However, from the beginning of the travels I had wanted to see the Sacred Valley. So, we ignored our fatigue and the desire to recover at Casa de Mama a little longer and explored this famous area.

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Machu Picchu

The final destination of our Salkantay Trek, was of course the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. I think Machu Picchu itself needs really no introduction… For us, it was the culmination of five rough days in the mountains, and for me: many years of dreams and wondering what such a place could actually be like. I have marveled at the possibility of this place since I was quite young, and came a across some photo in a book somewhere long forgotten. The image stayed in my mind for many years and every time since I came upon a photo of Machu Picchu my childhood wonderment and curiosity never ceased.

Panorama of Machu Picchu Complex

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Lena Admiring Tipon

Our very last weekend in Cusco! We had finished our Spanish classes and have been busy preparing for our upcoming journey to Machu Picchu via Salkantay. But our Spanish teacher had organized an excursion to nearby Tipon and convinced us to come along.

Tipon is an ancient Inca site in the Sacred Valley located about 15km from Cusco. It is believed to have been a hold place for upper class members of the society and a center of agricultural importance. There is also a very impressive Intiwarwi (Sun Temple) high above the agricultural terraces. This was one of the most advanced of the Incan cities in the area in terms of engineering, and there is an impressive system of canals and fountains that still function to this day- many hundred of years later.

Tipon Panorama

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Jason at Pisac Market

After we were already two and a half weeks in Cusco and never had time on the weekends to get out of Cusco to see something of the surroundings, we finally made it last Sunday to Pisac. Pisac is located in the “Sacred Valley”, as the surrounding area is referred to around Cusco, because so many Inca ruins are found here. And on every Sunday there is the spectacle of a huge handicraft market in Pisac, attracting both tourists, and locals alike. One can really get lost in this market. The entire marketplace of Pisac and all the little streets around are studded with stalls, selling all imaginable kind of handicraft products of Peru: Scarves and sweaters made of alpaca wool, colorful caps and sleeves, Jewellery, ornate carved gourds, Ponchos, Masks and much more.

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