The Sacred Valley of the Incas is located halfway between the city of Cusco and Machu Picchu. It is different from both places, and offers sites that can not be seen either in Cusco or Machu Picchu. Many travelers take the Valley as a base to explore the region of Cusco, only venturing to stay overnight one or two nights in the city.
Many attractions are located in the valley, including a number of Inca and pre-Inca ruins, colonial buildings, markets, and more. It has a warmer climate than Cusco, and is at a lower altitude than Cusco also. Some of the most popular places to visit in the valley are Pisaq, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero and Urubamba. The valley is not far from the city of Cusco, so it is easy to get there for people staying in Cusco, and there are great mountain views in the valley.
In Chinchero it is possible to see the remains of the royal estate of Tupac Inca Yupanqui and a colonial temple. You can also see the well-preserved Inca Walls at the main plaza. Ollantaytambo was built to guard the entrance to this part of the valley and to protect the Incas themselves from possible invasions. Pisaq is known for its market, agricultural terraces, Inca cemeteries and royal Inca buildings.