Peru_08: The Urubamba Valley
Jul 11, 2008Public
Photo: At the airport in Lima, ready to fly to Cusco
Photo: Before we go any further, this is our guide Edgar Chucya. He loves sharing his native Quechua culture and is really good at taking care of every little detail. Can't recommend him enough.  He likes small groups (there were only 7 of us) and his prices are great. I've never used a guide, but I wouldn't do it any other way now. Email:; website:
Photo: And we're off on our 1 hour flight to Cusco ....
Photo: We land in Cusco. The altitude here is about 11,000 ft. Coming here directly from sea level is an invitation to altitude sickness.
Photo: We get on the road immediately and head down to the Urubamba Valley at 9,000 ft., where we will acclimate for a few days.
Photo: We stop at a place where we can see llamas, alpacas (above), and vicunas. These animals are no longer common in the highlands, at least in the areas we visited. The main use for them now seems to be as a draw for tourists. This place sells sweaters and other things made from fine quality alpaca wool.
Photo: llamas
Photo: baby alpacas - the source of the best wool
Photo: vicunyas
Photo: Our first view of the Urubamba Valley. Snow covered Veronica peak (19,100 ft.) in the background.
Photo: On the other side of the valley is Pisac - our first Inca site
Photo: According to Wikipedia: "With military, religious, and agricultural structures, the site served at least a triple purpose. Besides a country estate, it is thought that Písac defended the southern entrance to the Sacred Valley, while Choquequirao defended the western entrance and the fortress at Ollantaytambo the northern."
Photo: Marcia tries out the "flying steps"
Photo: nice flowers here, too ...
Photo: After, we visit a local bakery
Photo: nice warm bread ...
Photo: Ann and Emily
Photo: We reach the town of Urubamba, and our hotel the San Agustin.
Photo: hotel courtyard