The 5 magic ruins of the Sacred Valley
The Sacred Valley was for the Inca Empire a natural extension of its capital, Cusco. In this valley the optimal geographical and climatic conditions were given for cities and large agricultural areas to develop. Of this splendor and wealth today are traces in the form of numerous ruins that symbolize the Inca culture and its great achievements that still surprise today.
Not everything is Inca in the Sacred Valley. This fertile place was also the one chosen by the Huari civilization between the 6th and 9th centuries to build one of its main cities, no doubt with a very good urban planning judging by its straight streets, squares and constructions. Unlike the Incas, the walls are made of uncarved stone joined with mud and mortar. The city has an aspect of fortification for its imposing walls that reach 12 meters. In these ruins 700 buildings were counted and it is believed that many of the agricultural knowledge and techniques were absorbed by the Incas.
These circular terraces are unique and it was a real enigma for archaeologists and historians. The most plausible theory is that this place was a center of experimentation for Inca agriculture. It is believed that the form allowed them to create different microclimates that would later be interpreted as crops at different heights. There are even studies that conclude that they represented all areas suitable for the cultivation of the Inca Empire. In any case, these concentric rings have the point of uniqueness and mystery that make them worthy of a visit. Some of the tours that go to Moray also have a stop at the nearby and impressive mines of Sal de Maras. An excellent combination.
What was the capital of the Inca resistance after the conquest of Cusco by the Spanish, is a monumental complex of exceptional complexity. This is one of the best places to admire how the Incas carved the stone with a mastery difficult to understand with the technology available to them. A clear example: with the strong earthquake of 1950, Cusco and the towns of the Sacred Valley were devastated and the ruins intact.
At the top of the access stairway, there is the Temple of the Sun with three huge and exceptional monoliths. The views from up there are simply spectacular. This is also a common visit, since the train that connects with Aguas Calientes (closest to Machu Picchu) stop in the beautiful town of Ollantaytambo, at the foot of the ruins.
Undoubtedly one of the most visited archaeological sites in the Sacred Valley for its spectacularity and proximity to Cusco, just 30 kilometers away. In these ruins many typical constructions of the Inca architecture can be distinguished: walls, aqueducts, differentiated districts in uses with great palaces and temples, in addition to 40 platforms or terraces that allowed to cultivate the land despite the great unevenness. As a differentiating element, the ruins conserve about twenty pucaras or turrets, many of them with function of watchtowers, and at the top of the mountain, one of the largest pre-Columbian cemeteries in America can be seen.
These little known and visited ruins, represent the greatest exponent of the formidable management of water by the Incas. At 3,600 altitude, the 240 hectares of the Tipón complex were built, with 13 terraces magnificently irrigated by ditches that have been considered marvels of civil engineering. In addition to their practical utility, the Incas gave these water sources a ceremonial and liturgical use in the squares near the terraces. The famous Inca Trail passes through these and many other ruins.