Day 3 - Sacred Valley
FD Pisac Market, Pisac Ruins & Ollantaytambo fortress with Lunch (Private)
Today have the opportunity to visit Pisac ruins, famous for its ruins which lie atop a hill at the entrance to the valley and separated along the ridge into four groups: P'isaqa, Inti Watana, Q'allaqasa, and Kinchiraqay. Visit the Inti Watana group which includes the Temple of the Sun, baths, altars, water fountains, a ceremonial platform, and an inti watana - a volcanic ritual stone used as an astronomic clock or Inca calendar to define the change seasons. The Incas constructed agricultural terraces on the steep hillside by hauling richer topsoil by hand from the lower lands, enabling the production of surplus food, more than would normally be possible at altitudes as high as 11,000 feet. The narrow rows of terraces beneath the citadel are thought to represent the wing of a partridge (pisaca), from which the village and ruins get their name.
Continue to the Pisac Markets, which was the place of reunion for all artisans of the region to get together and exchange or buy and sell their products. Originally held only on Sundays, but due to the increase of tourism in the area during the 16th century, it became increasingly popular to the point that now it is held daily. It is a favorite destination for visitors from all over the world who don’t want to miss the opportunity of enjoying the colorful ambience in this marketplace.
Lunch is enjoyed in the Wayra Gardens among the native plants, served in a modern environment. We are enveloped by the aroma of freshly baked bread coming out of the wood-burning ovens, tasty empanadas with different fillings and an amazing assortment of native potatoes from remote communities that have preserved them along with their stories. After lunch visit the Inca fortress and citadel of Ollantaytambo. This fortress was believed to be constructed in order to guard the entrance to this part of the valley and protect it from possible invasions of tribes from the jungle lowlands. Later, it served as a temporary capital for Manco Inca, leader of the Inca resistance in 1,537 during the Spanish conquest of Peru, who fortified the town to stop the advance, as Cusco had fallen under Spanish domination. Ollantaytambo also features the vestiges of the town built by orders of Inca Pachacutec and thought to be not only a strategic military place to control the Sacred Valley of the Incas but also for agricultural and religious purposes. Additionally, this place is a ceremonial center dedicated to the purification and worship of water with 150 steps built with perfectly carved stones. The archaeological site includes a series of superimposed terraces and stunning finely carved stone blocks located on the upper terrace or Temple of the Sun. The main settlement has an orthogonal layout with four streets crossed by other seven parallel streets and at the center, the Incas built a large plaza about the size of four blocks.
The town of Ollantaytambo is referred to as a "Live Inca Town" because inhabitants still live according to customs and traditions inherited from their ancestors. Take a journey in time through its straight streets with perfectly laid stones that feature a canal for water to run through the town. After the tour, return to your hotel. Accommodation at Tambo del Inka Luxury, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa hotel. Today includes Breakfast, Lunch, hotel tax and service charge.