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by Orient-Express

North-West of Cuzco

Chinchero (3,762 metres above sea level) is on a direct road to Urubamba. It has an attractive church built on an Inca temple. The church is only open on Sundays for mass.

Recent excavations have revealed many Inca walls and terraces. The site is open between 7.00am and 5.30pm on the combined entrance ticket.

The food market and the handicraft market are separate. The former is held every day, the latter on Sunday only, and is by the church. There are few tourists, except on Sunday. Fiesta day of the Virgin is on 8th September.

Hikes from Chinchero
There is a scenic path from Chinchero to Huayllabamba, a village on the Rio Urubamba, between Yucay and Calca, offering fine views of the peaks of the Urubamba range and it takes about three to four hours. Another hike follows the Maras-Moray-Pichingoto salt mines route, reaching the main Urubamba valley road about 12 kilometres beyond the town of Urubamba.


At Moray there are three colosseums, used by the Incas as a sort of open-air crop laboratory, known locally as the 'greenhouses of the Incas'.

Peter Frost, exploring Cuzco, writes: "There are no great ruined structures here to impress visitors. Moray is more for the contemplative traveller with an affinity for such phenomena as the nasca lines, the stone rings of Avebury and the menhirs of Brittany."

The hotel Valle Sagrado de los Incas (Inkas) in Urubamba can arrange horses and guides and a pick-up truck for the return journey. Alternatively, wait for a pick-up on the bridge on the Chinchero road. At Tiobamba, near Maras, a fascinating indigenous market/festival is held on 15th August, where Sacred Valley yellow maize is exchanged for pottery from Lake Titicaca.


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