The Sacred Valley of the Incas (Valle Sagrado de los Incas);or the Urubamba Valley is a valley in the Andes of Peru, 20 kilometres (12 mi) at its closest north of the Inca capital of Cusco. It is located in the present-day Peruvian region of Cusco. In colonial documents it was referred to as the "Valley of Yucay." The Sacred Valley was incorporated slowly into the incipient Inca Empire during the period from 1000 to 1400 CE. The scenic and historical Sacred Valley is a major tourist destination. In 2013, 1.2 million people, 800,000 of them non-Peruvians, are estimated to have visited Machu Picchu, its most famous archaeological site. Many of the same tourists also visited other archaeological sites and modern towns in the Sacred Valley.
The valley, running generally west to east, is understood to include everything along the Urubamba River between the town and Inca ruins at Písac westward to Machu Piccu, 100 kilometres (62 mi) distant. The Sacred Valley has elevations above sea level along the river ranging from 3,000 metres (9,800 ft) at Pisac to 2,050 metres (6,730 ft) at the Urubamba River below the citadel of Macchu Piccu. On both sides of the river, the mountains rise to much higher elevations, especially to the south where two prominent mountains overlook the valley.