The Sacred Valley of the Incas or Urubamba Valley (elevation 9,400 feet) is close to the Inca capital of Cusco and below the ancient sacred city of Machu Picchu. The valley is home to many points of interest for visitors, including Písac and Ollantaytambo. The valley was formed by the Urubamba River, also known as Vilcanota River or Wilcamayu. The valley was appreciated by the Incas due to its special geographical and climatic qualities. It was one of the empire's main points for the extraction of natural wealth, and continues to be one of the most important areas for maize production in Peru.