In the Sacred Valle of the Inca there are various communities that represent Cuzco's living culture. The Sacred Valley and Raqchi communities typically allow visitors to help with their various agricultural activities. Yucay, Urubamba and Pumahuanca all produce delicious sweet corn with large kernels, grown on the Inca terraces (agricultural terraces built into the side of hills). The Mara community operates over 3,000 salt mines from where salt is extracted using traditional methods.
Chinchero specialises in fabrics and Raqchi is a living museum where you can enjoy pottery, dance, music and excellent cuisine.
The Inca town of Ollantaytambo offers seven trekking routes that guide you to archaeological sites, quarries, terraced cultivation areas and one of the main producers of Quechuan textiles (Wílloc). Visitors can stay with local families, and learn ancient cultivation techniques by helping with agricultural work, watering and harvesting of salt and, at festival time, participating in walks and Andean rituals.
Finally, the Wiracocha temple in Raqchi is the tallest known Inca building, with a large "ushnu" or truncated pyramid of great Andean religious significance, as it was used for worshipping the Sun. It is said to have been a pilgrimage centre. Despite its age, several of the original walls remain intact, evidence of the quality of Inca engineering.