Sacred Valley Tours
Sacred Valley tours explore the area between Cusco and UNESCO site Machu Picchu. This is a beautiful area of mountain landscapes, Inca ruins and traditional Peruvian towns. While it is possible to take a Sacred Valley tour from Cusco for the day, we recommend staying at least a night (preferably two or even three) in the valley itself as there is a lot to see and do. Read on to learn about the Sacred Valley and the most popular tours and destinations. Every Sacred Valley tour can be customized and combined with other places to make your ideal Peru travel package.
Update: Peru Coronavirus Travel
Peru has reopened to tourists and we’re delighted to be operating trips again.
|Entry requirements include:|
|PCR or antigen test taken no more than 72 hours before departure|
|Complete an online form|
|See full details at IATA Travel Centre|
|Many international flights have already resumed, including flights from the USA|
|Flights from Europe are resuming over the coming weeks with Madrid first|
|Domestic flights are operating|
|Surgical masks and face visors are required on flights to, from and within Peru, and on public transport.|
|Masks required in all public places|
|Most restaurants operating at 50% capacity|
|There is currently a curfew from 11pm to 4am throughout the country|
|Updated Nov 17, 2020|
Top 3 Sacred Valley Tours
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Popular Sacred Valley Tours
Ollantaytambo Ruins TourRising above the town of the same name, Ollantaytambo ruins are among the most impressive in the Sacred Valley. A series of large terraces lead up to the ruins which were both a fortress and temple during Inca times. This is one of few places where the Incas won a significant fight against the Spanish invaders. A tour will see you explore the ruins and usually spend some time in the town itself too. Ollantaytambo is the main train station in the Sacred Valley and a tour is a good way to spend a morning before catching an afternoon train to Machu Picchu.
Pisac Market and Ruins TourThis is a good place to pick up handicrafts or a wooly alpaca sweater made by the indigenous Quechua community. The best day to visit is a Sunday as this is when the market is largest and locals come to sell their produce. Tuesdays and Thursdays are also major market days, so second choice after a Sunday. If you can’t visit on one of these days, the handicraft market is daily, so there is always something to see. Pisac market is one of the most famous in Peru and as such can get busy with tour groups. Above the town of Pisac, Pisac ruins lie along a ridge overlooking the valley below and had a defensive role. There are also agricultural terraces here which are still used to this day.
Chinchero Market TourThe Sunday market in Chinchero is well worth visiting. It is an authentic market where locals in traditional dress sell maize, potatoes and other produce. As in Pisac, there are also markets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Chinchero is a little less visited and more traditional than Pisac.
Maras & Moray TourThese two historic sites are often visited on the same tour as they are not far apart. Maras is pre-Incan. Salty water emerges from a spring and the water is evaporated in a series of several hundred salt ponds which cover the hillside. The salt ponds are still used to this day. Moray is one of the lesser visited Inca sites in the Sacred Valley, and makes for a fascinating tour. Here you’ll find circular, terraced depressions in the ground. It has been found that soils have been brought in from different regions. While the exact purpose is not known, it is thought Moray may have been a center for Incan agricultural development, a kind of laboratory.
Adventures in the Sacred ValleyThe Sacred Valley is a great area for adventure tours. Options include mountain biking between Chinchero, Maras and Moray, horseback riding on fine Peruvian paso horses and numerous day hikes as well as multi-day treks (in fact the Inca Trail starts from the Sacred Valley). White water rafting, zip-lining and paragliding are all possible too. Given all this choice, if you are interested in an active trip, the Sacred Valley is a good place to stay several nights.
Top Two Hikes in the Sacred Valley
Huchuy Qosqo TrekThis Sacred Valley trek can be done either in a long day, or two days with a night camping. Walk through mountain scenery passing llamas and alpacas to Piuray lagoon, cross a mountain pass at 4,500 meters (14,700 feet) and descend along a trail used by the Incas to the village of Pukamarca and into a canyon and the ruins of Huchuy Qosqo - an Incan complex with views over the Sacred Valley. Following a tour of Huchuy Qosqo, hike onwards to the town of Lamay where your transport awaits. This trek needs a good level of fitness.
Patacancha Valley TrekThe Patacancha Valley leads off the Sacred Valley to the north-east of Ollantaytambo. The trek goes through several weaving communities, passes potato farms, waterfalls and Inca terraces. A bonus is that this hike is almost entirely downhill and quite easy.
Community tours in the Sacred ValleyThere are a number of options for meeting and learning about local communities in the Sacred Valley and these can be good opportunities to get away from the main tourist destinations. Near Urubamba is the community of Chichubamba. About 180 families live here. A community tour here will see you learn about the way of life here and try a traditional activity such as ceramic making, chocolate preparation, beekeeping or preparation of Chicha de Jora - maize beer. Another option is to take a walk with alpacas and have a traditional Andean lunch prepared by a local family in the communities of Paru Paru (near Pisac) or Tauca (near Chinchero). For something really different, take a potato tour in the Sacred Valley! The first potatoes were cultivated up to 10,000 years ago in the Peruvian Andes. The country has well over 4,000 varieties. On this tour, you’ll learn about the Watia cooking method, meet a farmer and researcher, meet a local family and cook your own traditional Andean meal.
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Sacred Valley Travel FAQ’s
Thinking about a vacation to the Sacred Valley? Here’s a list of frequently asked questions we often hear from our guests.
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