Between the lofty Andes mountains, with peaks of over 5,000 meters (16,400 feet), lies the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Stretching from the town of Pisac in the east through to Machu Picchu in the far west, the Sacred Valley is over 100 km (63 miles long)
The Chanapata civilization first utilized this area starting at around 800 BCE because of the rich soil used for agriculture. The Qotacalla civilization lived in the Sacred Valley from 500 to 900 CE The Killke civilization then lived in the Sacred Valley from 900 CE until the Incan Empire took over the region in 1420. The Incan Empire ruled this area until the arrival of the Spanish. In Incan times, this valley was considered sacred because of the astronomical relation to the Milky Way, which at certain times of year, arcs high above the valley.
There are many Sacred Valley highlights, located in and around the valley, offering some of the finest Inca ruins in the region such as the vast agricultural terraces of Pisac, the large fortress of Ollantaytambo and the experimental deep circular terraces of Moray, to name a few.