The first stop on our Sacred Valley day trip was the sleepy Andean town of Chinchero about 40 minutes away from Cusco, legend has it that the rainbow was born here.
The main attractions here are a market (said to be more authentic, though smaller, than Pisac) and ruins. Free to enter, the market was empty on an early weekday morning, but it would start to fill up as we left.
Ladies in traditional garb ready to sell their wares handed us some mate de coca and offered a weaving demonstration. The demonstrator showed us traditional ways to wash wool and make different colors out of natural items such as corn and flowers.
It was amazing to see the vibrant colors come to life – the same which would dazzle the marketplace. She then showed how to weave with an alpaca bone. Don’t forget to check out the guinea pigs, or cuy, after seeing them I couldn’t bring myself to eat the local delicacy.
We were trying to say goodbye to our new friends, but before we could they started dressing us up in wild traditional duds and asking to take pictures, we couldn’t refuse!
Across the way are the ruins, possibly the countryside resort of Inca Tupac Yupanqui. Atop the ruins is a Spanish church built in 1607. Use your Boleto Turístico to explore the site.