The city of Cusco is situated at latitudes 13°30’ south. It is located in the valley of the Huatanay River at an altitude of around 11,150 feet and is surrounded by hills. The average anual temperatura is 51.4 °F. The seasonal rains (760 mm) begin in November and end in April and the dry season lasts from May to October.
The Urubamba Valley, also known as the Sacred Valley of the Incas or the Vilcanota Valley, lies at an average altitudes of 9,180 feet. Its average anual temperatura is 57.7 °F, with 624 mm of rainfall. The Urubamba River is bordered by many narrow valleys that descend from the snowline, and the rich vegetation in these ravines is a traveler’s delight.
The Cusichaca ravine is the first to be climbed on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. It starts at the ruins of Llactapata at around 8,200 feet and ends at the Warmiwañusca Pass at 13,770 feet. The traveler will note how the vegetation varies with changes in altitude.