The Sacred Valley of the Incas: Chinchero

Chinchero was located on the plains above the left hand slope of the Sacred Valley, on the road between Cusco and the town of Urubamba. This site once controlled access to the Sacred Valley. According to historians, this village was established around 1480 as one of the palaces of Inca Tupac Yupanqui. 

Weaving Demonstration Chinchero Sacred Valley Peru
Chinchero’s church (building on the right side of this photo) was built in 1607 over the walls of the palace of Tupac Inca Yupanqui, the front wall of which can still be seen, with its twelve niches.

Weaving Demonstration Chinchero Sacred Valley Peru

Just like in Ollantaytambo, many of these villagers live over the foundations of the original Inca settlement. A large number of agricultural terraces cover the slopes of nearby hills and throughout the site lie the remains of stone buildings. The most interesting feature of Chinchero is the Inca wall with its series of trapezoidal niches, located in the village’s main square.

The main square is also dominated by the charming Our Lady of Monserrat church, built on the site of an Inca palace. The inner walls and roof of this church are covered with bright murals, and the main altar is covered in gold leaf, in the baroque style.

Weaving Demonstration

Weaving Demonstration Chinchero Sacred Valley Peru

Weaving Demonstration Chinchero Sacred Valley Peru
Each region in Peru has their own style of traditional clothings. This is unique to Chinchero – the hat that they wear is called Montera.
Weaving Demonstration Chinchero Sacred Valley Peru
I really love and treasure this photo even though it was so blurred. She requested to take a photo with me and having me wear her hat 🙂

The photography expedition with Great Escape Publishing include a visit to local weavers. We were treated to an incredible weaving demonstration by Quechua artisan women. The weavers explained how they prepare, dye and finish the wool, how they make soap, and more.

The visit to the weavers is one of the highlights during my time in Peru. They welcomed us with a song in Quechua, another song halfway through the demonstration and a good bye song in Quechua too. I have no idea what they were singing but somehow the songs moved me…I got so emotional and choked with tears listening to them. The goodbye song got me rather teary too. Apart from being moved, the lady who demonstrated the whole weaving process was very entertaining! All of us had good laughs! We laughed, we cried during this 2-3 hours visit 🙂

It is very heart warming to see how dedicated and hard working they are. I was not planning to buy anything from this visit because I still had three weeks in Peru and I did not want to drag the things around for another three weeks! But they are one of the most sincere people I have met, so kind-hearted and have great attitude. I ended up with a bag full of scarfs and blanket – it was impossible not to buy something from these weavers.

Have you been to Peru? I’d love to hear your experiences! Leave your comments below. If you haven’t, I hope this post would encourage you to explore this beautiful country.

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Photography Information:
Camera: Nikon D800 with Tamron 24-70mm F/2.8 (photos) and iPhone X (videos).
Post-processing: Adobe Lightroom Classic CC (photos) and Final Cut Pro (videos).
Music for the videos are licensed from Soundstripe.

All videos above were taken using iPhone X. I used DJI Osmo Mobile 2 to stabilize the iPhone especially for long hours of shooting. DJI Osmo Mobile 2 definitely helps to reduce the shakiness of my hands, if I were to do it hand-held. This produces better video quality. I love using it! You should get one too if you like taking videos using your smart phone. Click on the image below to find out more about DJI Osmo Mobile 2.

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