26 May 2010

The Sacred Valley

The Incas thought of Cusco as the center, or naval, of the world. They certainly made it the center of their world. Within a hundred kilometer radius of Cusco lie a plethora of Incan ruins. Their gods and royalty all lived here. The structures remaining bear witness to the architectural achievements of these people. The Sacred Valley is the epicenter of this mesmerizing realm of rock wonders.

First, we made friends with the locals and their alpacas and llamas. Well, except for the llama in the back right of the photo.

Intensive Incan terracing allowed the farmers to produce enough for themselves and help supply Cusco.

Mountaintop housing was reserved for the royalty.

Another site in the Sacred Valley, illustrating the perfect landscaping layout and intensive terracing.

Local colors. The braided hair signifies that she is single.

Uncertain weather at the end of our day. This is just outside a church that has am mix of Catholic and indigenous beliefs. 

A stone wall that was part of a former Incan compound. As usual, many Incan sites were destroyed by the Spanish, and then many of the stones were used for construction of Catholic churches. 

Enjoying the soft, flat ground and the breathtaking views afforded by the high location of these ruins. 

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