The Sacred Valley of the Incas, also known as the Urubamba River Valley, was once the heart of the Incan Empire, and it is still inhabited by Quechua-speaking people to this day. Since Pre-Columbian times, the valley has been an important hub for maize production and mineral extraction. The area begins just 15 kilometers north of Cusco City, but it feels peaceful and remote. The valley floor is dotted with a series of isolated weaving villages populated by indigenous people. Make sure to visit Chincheros, where you cant miss the view of the charming local church. While you're in the valley, consider making a trip up to the lofty Inca citadels of Pisac and Ollantaytambo, the latter of which resembles an impressive ancient stone fortress.