Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba is perched on an Andean hillside in the heart of southern Peru’s Sacred Valley, which runs between the towns of Pisac and Machu Picchu Pueblo. The lodge overlooks the valley floor, a vast patchwork of verdant farmland intersected by the meandering flow of the Urubamba River. Modern-day Quechua people farm the area’s fertile soil, just as indigenous people did hundreds of years ago. The valley is still dotted with the stone ruins and agricultural terraces of these early Inca inhabitants, and the traditional colonial towns built by the Spanish conquistadors are now home to local farming and weaving communities.
The Urubamba River naturally irrigates the Sacred Valley’s alluvial plain, creating fertile soil that has been used in agriculture for centuries. Farmers here grow an array of crops on the valley floor, including corn, potatoes, quinoa, and tropical fruits. As the plain gives way to Andean slopes, the landscape transitions to one of verdant forests and high grasses, punctuated by prickly cacti and colorful wildflowers. The area is rich with wildlife, including rare bird species like the bearded mountaineer, sparkling violetears, and Andean parakeets.
The Quechua make up the largest group of indigenous people in Peru. The Quechua of the Sacred Valley subsist primarily on agriculture, with some villages also reviving traditional Inca weaving techniques to make textiles and other handicrafts. Many other Inca traditions continue to live on in the music, food, and religion of these communities—customs that have largely died out in urban centers.
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