IN THE HEART OF VALLE DEL VILCANOTA, 68 KILOMETERS FROM CUSCO

May 5, 2018
Yucay - 2018

Yucay

Yucay is at the heart of the Vilcanota valley, at 68 km from the city of Cusco. It has a beautiful landscape, good farming lands and a mild weather (sunny through the day and not so cold at night.) This is why, the Incas and Spanish settled down in these lands.

The history says that this town was the favorite of the Pachacutec Inca (the ninth Inca that ruled from 1438 until 1471) and afterwards of Huayna Capac (from 1483 until 1525.) It was precisely, this last Inca who took these lands as a personal patrimony and built palaces for his panaca and andenes that serve to secure agricultural production. These andenes and the remains of the irrigation and drainage systems can still be seen today md travel by horse in an excursion that can be started in Huayoccari. You can tour in Peruvian Stepping Horses through the farming fields and hear the sound of water that is more relaxing than you can imagine. One thing, protect yourself from the sun because luring the day it can be a bit strong so you also must take with you water to freshen up. Once they were conquered by the Spanish, the viceroy Toledo gave Yucay as an “Encomienda” The Colony left in this town important samples of urban design and of architecture as the Santiago Apostle church, the first Catholic Church that was built in the valley (1650.) Its high or major altar is covered in gold leaf and has silver embedded; in six lateral altars. The church is located in the middle of the ichu plain that is the central square. There are two squares where the fairs and communitarian meetings take place. At each side of the church there are two huge and centennial pisonays. In one of the corners of this esplanade we find the so called Ñusta House, because it lodged one of the women that belonged to the panacas towards the end of the Inca Empire. On top of the Inca base was built a house with colonial balconies. At the other side of the esplanade you can see the palace of Sayri Túpac, one of the Incas of Vilcabamba, son of Manco Inca that ruled in said valley from 1545 until 1558 and was succeeded by Titu Cusi Yupanqui. In what used to be a convent, it has been adapted and is the Posada del Inca Hotel, of the Sonesta chain.

In the Huayoccari hacienda in the town of Huayllabamba, 3 km from Yucay, you can have lunch, with previous notice, in the delightful scenery of the hacienda gardens with a view to Urquillos and afterwards you can see the pre-Hispanic and colonial art collection of the family. Also, you can hire horses to horse ride through the town and field crops or stay in the garden drinking a pisco sour. In Yucay, you can also find an excellent hotel offer, so you can have it as base of operations for your traveling around the valley. As we said in the beginning, this is one of the most beautiful towns of the valley because of its tranquility, good weather and beautiful landscapes.