The Quechua are the indigenous people of the Andes, and their language is also called Quechua. The Inca used the Quechua language to unify their empire, fanning out from Cusco, where the language was also influenced by Aymara.
The word Quechua was used to describe an area of land that was suitable for growing maize, and it remains the ideal word to describe the fertile Sacred Valley.
Today the Quechua villages provide a window into the past, inhabited by the Inca descendants who have preserved the handicraft traditions of their forebears.
Visit a Quechua village like Pisac, Pisco or Chincheros on market day and you’ll get a real feel for daily life in these Andean mountain towns. Bartering and haggling are the norm, and the stalls are filled with colorful woven clothing, rugs, ceramics and toys.
To join in community life in a Quechua village, join a Sacred Valley Community Small Group Tour to Pisac and Ollantaytambo. Along the way you’ll visit a traditional Quechua village and have the chance to meet the locals and join in a community activity if you like - depending on the time of year, it could be fishing, farming, sport, cooking or teaching.
The Quechua villages of the Sacred Valley are an easy day trip from Cusco, best visited on a tour.