We were met at the airport in Cusco by our two naturalists/guides
for the week and boarded our buses for the drive to Urubamba in
the Sacred Valley. Our guide, Kathy, spoke beautiful, clear English.
With both an Inca and Spanish heritage, she had many interesting
stories to tell about the Inca people, the Spanish conquest of the
Incas and life in Peru today.
Our first stop was the market in Chinchera. Every Sunday, the locals
come to Chinchera to buy their produce, sell their crafts and socialize
with their neighbors. It was our first look at the colorful dresses
and unique hats worn by the Peruvian women. And the beautiful, wide-eyed
We learned that it is customary to ask if you can take their picture
and then to give them $1 Sol which is the equivalent to about 30
Urubamba is the largest town in the Sacred Valley with around 20,000
people. The Sacred Valley lies along the Urubamba River and was
very important to the Incas. Here they built their retreats, palaces
and sacred places. It is called sacred due to the glacier topped
mountains, the fertile soil and the corn which was grown for the
nobility during Inca times. The
main occupation of the people living in the Sacred Valley is agriculture,
followed by tourism. Farming is done during the wet season from
October thru April. From May thru Sept. in the dry season, the main
occupation is construction and porters for the hikers treking to
Machu Picchu. Taxis in Urubamba are cute little covered 3 wheel
motorized tri-cycles. On top of the roofs of houses and businesses
we noticed two ceramic bulls , sometimes with a cross. This is often
given as a gift to signify prosperity.
arrived at our lodging for the next two nights in time for a wonderful
buffet lunch on the back lawn, complete with fancy food carvings
decorating the buffet table.
The Sol y Luna Hotel consists of individual round huts along gorgeous
flower lined paths. Each hut has a large bedroom with two queen
sized beds and a large bathroom with marble tub and shower. After
so little sleep and alot of hours on planes and airports to get
here, the beautiful surroundings were a welcome site.
short nap after lunch and we were ready for our visit to the Pablo
Seminario ceramic workshop and gallery. Seminario pieces are sold
all over the world and we enjoyed a demonstration of the way the
pieces are hand painted. Naturally we had to bring home a few souvenirs.
Dinner at Sol y Luna that evening was delicious but the best part
was the exquisite (and delicious) dessert offerings.
Fred had a chocolate concoction that was shaped like a baby grand
piano, complete with music and keyboard. Barb
had an exotic dessert with several ice cream scoops.
To view additional photos from the Sacred Valley around Urubamba,
go to the Urubamba Photo Gallery.
Descriptions Photos Map