The Sacred Valley, Vilcamayo to the Incas, traces its winding, astonishingly beautiful course to the nort-west of Cusco. Known today as the Urubamba river - Valley of the Spiders - It's still easy to see why the Incas considered this a special place. In the upper, the stupendous ruins of Pisac dominate the broad alluvial valley floor: less than an hour by bus from Cusco, this is a site often compared to Machu Picchu in its towering elegance. Further downstream, beyond the ancient villages of Calca, Yucay and Urubamba, the road heads into the mountains at Ollantaytambo, a magnificient little town where a great temple-fortress clings to the sheer cliffs of the valley side. And eventually the valley twists below Machu Picchu itself, the most famous ruin in the South America and a place which no matter how jaded you are, and however commercial it may at times seem, can never be a disappointment.
The Classic way to arrive at Machu Picchu is from the three-five day hike over the stirring Inca Trail or Machu Picchu by train: 2 Days in Machu Picchu or Machu Picchu day tour.