Travelling through the Urubamba Valley, starting at the town of Pisac, gives tourists the chance to visit an archaeological site in the highest mountain areas. Here there are many different areas, plazas, temples, pools and other structures, all built between the 10th and 11th centuries A.D. Inca architecture continues to stun admirers with the techniques used to build its enormous walls, palaces and turrets with stone blocks, all without any type of cement.
The Intihuatana solar observatory receives the greatest admiration for the fine quality of the stones that have been carved into the shape of many hands forming a semi-circle.
The terraces that encircle the mountain are impressive due to the fact that they are between 3,000 and 3,450 metres above sea level (9,843 and 11,319 feet). There are 14 different styles of broad terraces. To manage their water supply, the Incas carried out engineering works to create many channels that run along the length of the terraces and, despite the altitude of these structures, they even included decorative fountains.
Pisac is one of the few archaeological areas with two open tunnels cut into the hills, one of which heads north for approximately 15 metres (49 feet), and the other is 3 metres (10 feet) long and leads to the summit.
Location: 33 km (20 miles) from Cusco (approximately 1 hour).
Average temperature: 12°C (54°F) between November and March, and 9°C (48°F) between April and October, with cold nights and sunny days.
Season: Cusco has two well-defined seasons: a rainy season, between November and March, and a dry season (the best time to visit), between April and October.