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Sacred Valley of the Incas
and Machu Picchu
The Sacred Valley of the Incas runs from Pisac to Ollantaytambo along the Urubamba River. Beyond Ollantaytambo, the land descends along a narrow valley to Machu Picchu. MP is at about 8500 feet above sea level, down from 11,300 feet at Cusco.
From the many different people in the region arose the Inca. Their empire was in full swing by 1450 CE and they were in control of western Peru plus parts of Ecuador, Bolivia, Columbia, Argentina and Chile.
This was possible because the Incas were masters of administration and engineering. They were able to build roads to connect the empire. Expansion was both by peaceful assimilation and more violent conquest. The empire lasted until 1572 when, after 19 years of conflict the Spanish finally defeated the Inca.
The temple and terraces at Ollantaytambo
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The Market at Pisac