Explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas 1 day

AUG 2022 - DEC 2023 Price from $ 60 USD pp $ 78 USD
Trip Type foodCulture & Adventure
Difficulty Level Leisurely/Moderate
Group Size 8-20 people
BOOK NOW ONLINE Or call +51 981488207
Call us +51 981488207

Tour Sacred Valley of the Incas is an attraction that you can not miss if you visit the city of Cusco. The most famous artisans of Peru, and sacred mountains of the Incas. In its route a great diversity of Inca ruins of different styles and cultural value can be appreciated. The first place to visit is the Chincheros site, famous for its typical market and textiles. Then you will meet Moray’s agricultural experimentation laboratory. In the afternoon we arrive at the mythical town of Ollantaytambo, and to finish we visit the agricultural platforms of Pisac.

INCLUDED IN THE SACRED VALLEY  OF THE INCAS

  • Tourist bus for the entire journey
  • English / Spanish tour guide
  • Entrance Tickets for the atractions
  • Buffet Lunch

 

 

  • The scenery is the perfect backdrop with towering mountains glistening with glacial peaks.
  • Chinchero Archaeological Park has beautiful Inca terraces, a colonial church, and a large plaza. Chinchero is known for as a weaving community, and their artisanal handicraft items are very much sought after. In the main plaza of the Chinchero Archaeological Park, you can find local woman proudly selling items.
  • Park of Ollantaytambo is another splendid Inca site. It can be found looming over the adorable hamlet of Ollanta (for short). This charming village again boasts charming cobblestone streets with lovely Inca water canals.
  • The small village of Maras is the gateway to the Moray Archaeological Park. These three unusual terraces are often referred to as the “agricultural experimental laboratories of the Incas. Also, you will visit the Maras Salt Flats.
  • Pisac it’s the closest village to the Sacred Valley in Cusco. It boasts a gorgeous Inca ruin that towers over the whole village, lovely artisanal market. The powerful mountains tower in the backdrop and the mighty Urubamba River rushes nearby.
  • This tour is a ‘join in’ group departure, which means you are not accompanied by an Andean Great Treks group leader – our local representative fills this role – and the configuration of any fellow travellers in the group might change during the trip. There may be up to 16 people sharing the services.
  • This trip will run with a minimum of one person so you may be joined by other travellers (some possibly booked through different companies) booked on the same date as you, or you may be on your own.
  • This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Medical and health information’ section of the Essential Trip Information for more important details about altitude sickness.

Max Elevation 2792 m
Approximate walking time 2 hrs

The tour starts with pick up from your hotel at 6:30 am, then we head to the first Inca attraction. CHINCHEROS is an urban center that still has walls and temples of the Incas, you can also see the 16th century colonial temple. Chinchero is known for its weavers who in their homes will be able to teach the techniques and customs inherited from the ancestors.

Afterwards we moved to the MORAY agricultural experimentation complex, it is a system of terraces, whose purpose was the adaptation of new tropical species to the Andes. Near this place is another very famous attraction SALT MINES OF MARAS, this place is open all year round, was used since the Inca times as a natural source of salt, there it is possible to learn about its extraction process and uses. In the route to the sacred valley you can enjoy a beautiful landscape, dominated by the snowy mountains of Vilcanota, the most important are CHICON, PITUSIRAY, SAWASIRAY, VERONICA.

Continuing the route we arrive at the living Inca city of OLLANTAYTAMBO, this place does not change in more than 500 years, still maintains the urban designs and traces of the Incas, in this place we will visit the temple of the sun, agricultural sector, temple of the moon, Ceremonial fountain, and the hill TUNUPA.

At noon we return to Urubamba where we will have a stop of 1 hour to have lunch, in this city there are many options of menu or buffet.

During the afternoon we will visit the archaeological complex of PISAC very famous for its agricultural terraces, and the largest Inca cemetery in South America, in this town you will also be able to know more about its history and very beautiful crafts. Another attraction is the typical market where many farmers come from various regions bringing their products such as fruits, vegetables, meat, animals, etc.

After having enjoyed the best of the SACRED VALLEY we will be back in Cusco at 7:00 pm.

WHAT TO BRING TO THE SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS

TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY warm jackets
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY Hydration bladder
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY wool socks
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY camera
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY scarf
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY first aid kit
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY hiking shoes
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY Dry bags
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY Trekking Poles
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY sun cream
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY Snack
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY sun hat
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY bathing suite
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY rain coat
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY Sandals
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY insect repellent
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY Passport
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY Down Jackets
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY toilet paper
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY daypack
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY Wool cap
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY head lamp
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY gloves
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY sun glasses
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY cap
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY extra cash
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY Trekking pants

  ALL ABOUT THE TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS

WHERE IS LOCATED THE SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS?

Located just 30 km north of the ancient Inca Capital of Cusco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas was formed by the Urubamba River that cuts through the valley. The Sacred Valley, or as it is known in Peru ‘Río Urubamba Valley’, was an important site for the Inca Empire and remains a hugely popular site for tourists today.

Anyone who has traveled to Machu Picchu would have probably visited the Sacred Valley. The valley is often a good place for tourists to begin their Machu Picchu adventure as the altitude is not as high as it is on the Inca Trail or at Cusco.

Standing at 3,400 metres, landing in Cusco often brings on altitude sickness and a popular way for tourists to avoid this and acclimatize properly to the altitude is to descend down into the Sacred Valley for a day where the altitude is much lower (average 2,400m).

Tucked away amidst formidable foothills, the valley is home to a number of isolated villages and colonial towns. In ancient times, the surrounding hills acted almost like a buffer against the violent Andean jungle tribes that would often raid the highlands.

Although there is evidence to suggest the valley was inhabited as far back as the Stone Age, it was only farmed by the Incas. In fact, even today the valley is an important agricultural area and many forms of crops are still grown there and supplied to Cusco.

Because of its naturally rich soil, many Inca people settled in the valley and started producing maize on a large scale. The number of archaeological Inca remains still visible today attest to this fact.

HOW IS THE WEATHER IN THE SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS?

The highland climate of the Sacred Valley has rather consistent temperatures throughout the year. Atop high mountain summits, like Salkantay, temperatures are cold enough to sustain snow year round. The climate is much more temperate far below on the valley floor where towns such as Pisac, Urubamba and Ollantaytambo reside.

Dry Season Vs. Rainy Season

Distinct to Peru’s Andean region, the Sacred Valley has a dry and rainy season.

The dry season is from April to October.

  • During these months, sunshine is regular with a minimal chance of rainfall.
  • At night, temperatures drop significantly.
  • Daytime Average: 68-72°F (20-22°C)
  • Nighttime Average: 35-40°F (1.7-4.4°C)

The rainy season is from November to March.

  • Cloudy mornings with light showers are typical and afternoons and evenings can bring heavier rains.
  • January and February usually receive the most rainfall.
  • On average, nighttime temperatures are warmer in the rainy season, colder in the dry season.
  • Daytime Average: 68-70°F (20-22°C)
  • Nighttime Average: About 45°F (7.2°C)

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT THE SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS?

Peak travel season in the Sacred Valley coincides with the dry season: June, July, and August. During this time, the weather is usually sunny and conveniently coincides with the summer months for travelers coming from the northern hemisphere. Given the high demand for services and limited Machu Picchu train and entrance tickets, it’s best to plan your trip early to ensure specific date availability.

Low season coincides with the region’s rainy season: December, January, February and March. Rainfall and storms are unpredictable, so flight delays going in and out of Cusco are more common. However, there are perks to traveling during the low rainy season. Sites tend to be less crowded and the Sacred Valley Mountain are beautiful shades of green.

WHY IS IT CALLED THE SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS?

It is called this way to the extreme of the extensive valley of Urubamba, between the towns of Pisac and Ollantaytambo, near to city of Cusco.

The valley is characterized by very special conditions, such as an excellent climate, very fertile lands and the waters of the sacred river of the Incas, Vilcanota (Quechua voice, sacred or wonderful thing), upstream in the town of Urubamba, changes its name and is called Urubamba river.

It is possible to appreciate and magnify the high technological development that the Incas achieved in agriculture through systems of andenerías (set of land terraces in staggered form on the mountains to be used in the sowing) that today are in full production, accompanied of sophisticated designs and works of hydraulic engineering that they used for their irrigation. Also noteworthy are the centers of worship to the Pachamama (mother earth).

Today, every town in the Sacred Valley of the Incas has the fusion of the Inca and Spanish architectural style. The wealth of its people in its folklore and crafts, its way of life, its clothes, make it a place that will leave you unforgettable memories.

 

HISTORY OF THE SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS

The history of the Sacred Valley weaves closely together with the Incan capital city of Cusco. The Inca Empire rose to power during the 14th century and expanded across ancient Peru and into Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Colombia. However, all trails led back to the Inca capital city of Cusco where the king resided. The surrounding fertile fields of the Sacred Valley served as the civilization’s breadbasket, yielding varieties of fresh grains, fruits and vegetables. Skilled Inca stonemasons also constructed religious temples and outposts in the valley, which today you can visit at archaeological sites in Pisac, Ollantaytambo and Chinchero.

Before the Inca, the Sacred Valley was home to the Wari Culture around 500 to 1100 AD approximately. The Inca started inhabiting the valley around the 12th century, with Manco Capac as the first Inca king. The Spanish Conquest of the valley began in 1531 when Francisco Pizarro arrived with 168 soldiers. In 1535 AD, Manco Inca organized a rebel force to try to overthrow Spanish rule, and led the Incas’ greatest military victory over the invading Spaniards in Ollantaytambo.

Despite some victories, in 1572 the last Inca king, Tupac Amaru I, was captured in Vilcabamba and taken to Cusco. Upon the orders of the Viceroy Francisco Toledo, Amaru was beheaded in the city’s main plaza in front of a crowd of thousands. During the 16th-18th centuries, Cusco became an economic node of the southern Andes as well as the frontline for the religious evangelization and acculturation of indigenous populations. During this time, many churches are erected in the Sacred Valley.

In 1911, Yale historian and professor Hiram Bingham arrived at the ruins of Machu Picchu. National Geographic chronicles Bingham’s expedition and turns the world’s attention to this remote Andean region of Peru. In 1999 Peru Rail began offering tourists train service to Machu Picchu. In 2004, Potato Park, or Parque de la Papa, was established to protect hundreds of native potato species and agrobiodiversity in the Sacred Valley region. Today, tourism in the Sacred Valley is on the rise, but local movements and projects are at work to help preserve ancient Quechua traditions.

HOW TO GET TO SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS

The traditional access point to the Sacred Valley is Cusco, so you need to get there first. Luckily, Cusco is well-connected with all major cities in Peru.

Buses run to Cusco regularly from Lima, but it’s actually better to fly in from Lima to save time.

From Cusco, you can either take an organized tour to Sacred Valley or public transport. The only downside of taking public transport is that every destination in Sacred Valley has a different bus station.

So you always have to figure out which bus station is the right one. Also, when pressed for time, it is better to take a tour and see more places in one day as visiting all sites separately would take you much longer.

THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS

Visit an Archaeological Site

The Sacred Valley is a wellspring of important archaeological sites and beautiful natural landscapes. A classic tour of the Sacred Valley takes you to some of the most impressive ruins in the area, including the Pisac Archaeological Park and the Ollantaytambo Fortress. The Pisac ruins consist of ceremonial baths, residential quarters and the largest Inca cemetery. They are stunning in that they are perched atop a mountain that overlooks the village and its sweeping terraces where the Inca grew their crops. Ollantaytambo Fortress is another magnificent site. It is one of the most sophisticated examples of Inca architecture and town planning, and the site of the Incas greatest defeat against the Spanish.

Maras & Moray Tour

The Maras Salt Pans and concentric terraces of Moray are two lesser visited examples of Incan ingenuity in the Sacred Valley. Though unrelated in purpose, the sites are near neighbors in a remote region that’s not served by public transportation. For this reason, Maras and Moray ruins are often bundled together on a Sacred Valley tour. Scholars believe the Moray terraces once served as an elaborate agricultural laboratory for the Inca; each terrace having a unique microclimate. Today, the mountainside salt pans at Maras, started by the Wari culture and expanded by the Inca, are owned and operated by local residents. You can get to this site by car, foot, bike or even horseback.

Water Rafting Tours

White water rafting in the Sacred Valley is an adrenaline-packed adventure! On a one-day trip, get picked up at your hotel and driven to the starting point along the river. Gentle parts of the river at the beginning of the journey builds to more fun rapids. After about two hours on the river, you’ll enjoy lunch and then be driven back to your hotel. Rafting trips run along different upper and lower sections of the Urubamba River. Rapids along these sections of the river vary from introductory to class II and III plus.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Stand up paddle boarding is a fun way to play on the water and get exercise. Enjoy a half day stand up paddle tour in the Sacred Valley to placid Lake Piuray near the town of Chinchero, about a one-hour drive from Cusco. It’s a great water sport for all ages and athletic abilities! To get started, your guide will demonstrate basic paddling techniques and fit you with the proper equipment. Then set out to paddle and explore along the lake shores while taking in the surrounding natural beauty.

Zip Lining and Mountain Climbing

In the Sacred Valley, halfway between Urubamba and Ollantaytambo, exist a series of professionally operated zip lines that you can visit on a full day tour. Climb a series of steel ladders and cables – called Via Ferrata – up a steep rock face. At the summit, you reach the different zip lines ranging from 300 to 1500 ft (100 to 500 m) in length that you ride down. The Via Ferrata requires a lot of physical exertion, so folks who take part in the activity should be in good physical condition and had time to adjust to the altitude.

ATV Tours

Want more adventure? Get your adrenaline pumping on a full-day ATV/Quad or motorcycle tour. While riding off-road in the Sacred Valley, you and your guide will make stops at key landmarks. Don’t forget to bring your sunglasses, sunblock and a jacket for the ride! Contact our travel experts for information about the best motor tour for you and your travel companions.

Independent and Guided Hiking

The Sacred Valley is a mountainous playground filled with world-class hiking trails. The classic 4-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is hands down the most sought after trek in Peru. But hiking in the Sacred Valley doesn’t have to be a multi day adventure. Day hikes in the region are great alternatives for travelers with limited time. There are day hikes that can take you to Pisac ruins, Ollantaytambo ruins or Huchuy Qosqo ruins. There are also hikes to natural splendors like Trail from Chinchero to Urquillos.

Llama Trek

Any trek in the Sacred Valley is bound to be beautiful, why not make it adorable as well? This is a 3-4 hour hike that opens your eyes to the role that llamas play in daily life in the Andes and what the Llama Pack Project is doing to help local families thrive. Start on a trail 15 minutes from the quaint town of Urubamba and stroll uphill to find a spot for the llamas to graze. Enjoy a picnic against an incredible mountain backdrop and then begin the descent. This walking tour covers 1 mile and is a perfect option for families.

Pachamanca Experience

In Quechua, Pachamanca means “earth cooking pot,” and is the epitome of traditional cooking in the Andes. This culinary tour gives you a front row seat to how the ingredients of this special dish, featuring a variety of vegetables, meat, and potatoes wrapped in banana leaves, are prepared and then buried underground, cooked to perfection over hot stones. Afterwards, enjoy your Pachamanca feast. This is the most unique and special culinary experience you can have during your time in the Andes.

Pachamama Ceremony

Join in a Pachamama Ceremony, or an “Offering to Mother Earth.” Among the Andean people, the Pachamama, or Mother Earth, is one of the most revered and honored deities. During this ceremony, a shaman from a local village prepares a “despacho” cloth with various items to offer the earth goddess – chief among them the sacred coca leaves. Participants sit in a semi-circle around the “altar” to make offerings as well and give thanks for the years’ abundance. This ceremony is an example of the traditional Andean idea of “ayni” or reciprocity with the mother earth to restore balance.

HOW TO GET TO SACRED VALLEY FROM CUSCO?

You need to a car from Cusco via Pisaq, via Chinchero, or Huaroncondo. Depending on where do you want to go, you need to choose one of the routes.

  • If you visit Pisaq, Calca, Lamay, or Huaran, you need to travel from Cusco via Pisaq.
  • If you travel to Urubamba, Yucay, Ollantaytambo, you can take a shorter route through Chinchero.
  • If you are traveling to Ollantaytambo or are going to take the Train to Machu Picchu, the fastest way to arrive is via Huarcondo following the train route. This route is closed during January, February due to the heavy rains.

IS SACRED VALLEY WORTH VISITING?

The Sacred Valley is a must-see place in Cusco. You need to take a day or 3 days to explore these beautiful Inca Sites and local markets.

HOW TO GET FROM SACRED VALLEY TO MACHU PICCHU?

If you plan to visit The Sacred Valley of the Incas and then take the train to Machu Picchu, this is a great idea. You must arrive in Ollantaytambo and go to the train station to board the trains to Aguas Calientes town (also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo)

HOW MANY DAYS SHOULD I SPEND IN CUSCO AND SACRED VALLEY?

Before going to Machu Picchu, whether on a hiking tour or by train, we recommend 1 day in Cusco and 1 day exploring the Sacred Valley. This time will also help you adapt to the altitude as you rest for the big trip to Machu Picchu.

HOW LONG IS EACH ATTRACTION VISITED IN THE SACRED VALLEY?

In an organized group tour to the sacred valley, there are short visits to each attraction, but enough to take the best photos at each archaeological site. Since if we wanted to walk all the archaeological sites completely, we would have to spend a full day for each attraction, which in a group tour is not possible for the best use of your time in Cusco, spend in a single day all the remains archeological in just one day.

An alternative option where you can visit the ruins of the Sacred Valley of the Incas more calmly is to plan individual excursions to each attraction, on different days with a private tour.

HOW IS THE TRANSPORTATION USED FOR THE TOUR TO THE SACRED VALLEY

Our company works with vans of 15, 20 seats. And if they are large groups we have buses with up to 30 seats.

They all have their permits from the Ministry of Transport, and active accident insurance. The drivers have the highest preparation to operate tourist service vehicles. Almost 90% of the route is asphalt, only when you visit the ruins of Moray and salt mines of Maras, is the route gravel. All seats are reclining for your comfort. They also have air conditioning.

In case you hire a private tour to the sacred valley, we will provide you with the most comfortable vehicle just for you and your friends or family.

HOW IS THE LUNCH BUFFET IN THE TOUR TO THE SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS

Andean Great Treks works with the best tourist restaurants in the Sacred Valley circuit. Most of them are located half way through the city of Urubamba. Our tourist restaurants offer you a buffet lunch with many options, from salads, soups, main dishes, desserts. That they are prepared by the most qualified chefs in Cusco, if something is going to leave you a good memory apart from its beautiful landscapes in Peru; is its gastronomy, since our country is considered one of the best culinary traditions in the world. This distinction is due to the fusion of flavors and styles, as well as the ingredients that this wonderful country of Peru has.
If you have a special diet, don’t worry, our guides will be able to recommend the most suitable dishes for you.

HOW ARE THE GUIDES IN THE SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS CIRCUIT

Andean Great Treks works with the best guides of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, who have been working on this noble task of informing and guiding our visitors from all over the world, for more than 15 years. Each route guide is unique, since they were trained in each discipline of the Cusco guide schools. We have archaeologists, ethnohistorians, archaeoastronomers, biologists and tourism graduates. In fact, a very outstanding characteristic of our guides is their love and passion for their work, this is reflected in each smile and curious information that they will give you to brighten up your vacations in Peru.

HOW MUCH MONEY SHOULD I BRING TO THE SACRED VALLEY TOUR

For the Sacred Valley tour it is recommended that you take an approx. of 200 soles, to buy some handicrafts and food.
But if you would like to have more cash, there are ATMs where you can get more bills, in the sacred valley they are located in Ollantaytambo, Urubamba, Calca and Pisac.
It is not recommended to carry dollars, since the change is less outside of Cusco.

THERE IS A LOT OF WALKING DURING THE SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS TOUR

During the tour to the Sacred Valley of the Incas you do not walk much, the archaeological site that has the most stands is Ollantaytambo. Since to go up to the temple of the sun you have to climb more than 500 steps, if you are not used to demanding physical efforts like this. It is best not to go up to this attraction, but only to walk around the Inca precincts that are in the lower part, such as the baths of the princess, or the temple of the condor.

WHAT ARE THE DEPARTURE AND RETURN TIMES IN THE SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS TOUR

To go through the complete tour of the sacred valley, you must leave the city of Cusco at 6:30 am. The first attractions to visit are Chinchero, Moray and Salienras de Maras. Lunch will be in the city of Urubamba, at noon. In the afternoon we visit the ruins of Ollantaytambo, the last place is Pisac. The tour ends in the Cusco square at 7:00 p.m.

HOW MUCH OF TIP SHOULD I GIVE MY ROUTE GUIDE

The topic of tips is quite personal, since if you liked the work of your guide, during the tour to the sacred valley, you can give him the amount of money you like. This gesture is highly appreciated by the guides, since it is like an assessment of their work.

PISAC RUINS & PISAC TOWN

Famous for its pre-Colombian agricultural terracing, this colonial village is a great overnight stop to escape the crowds in the city of Cusco, just a 40-minute drive away, with a small but enticing selection of hip restaurants and hotels.

Most come here for the famous Sunday market in the town plaza, a great place to buy knitted alpaca wool clothing, ceramics and finely wrought silver. The village almost bursts at the seams as foreigners and local street vendors crowd the narrow cobbled streets.

Yet just a fraction of visitors ever make to Pisac’s greatest claim to fame: the hilltop Inca fortress towering over the village.

The fortress includes stone water channels and what archeologists believe was an Inca bathhouse. The summit is a small triangular plateau featuring dazzling views and a kind of Inca altar made from solid granite called an intihuatana or “hitching post of the sun.”

A road actually leads up the rear side of the fortress, allowing visitors to arrive by car, taxi or bus and then explore the site.

However, as with most things Inca, the best way to appreciate Pisac, at least for those feeling energetic and unafraid of heights, is by donning walking shoes and ascending by foot from the village square below.

The walk up the original narrow stone staircases is steep and typically takes a couple of hours. The mountain sun can also beat down. But the views of the village below, the terracing and the valley beyond make it thoroughly worthwhile.

Pisac Market

8:30AM-4:30PM (Monday to Sunday)

​Depending on what time you start the day and your interest level, you can make the drive to the town of Pisac, which will add about an hour or so of driving time plus the amount of time spent in the town.

The main draw here is the artisans market that has every type of art piece you can imagine. From colorful clothing to beautiful pottery, Pisac will have it all.

If you are here on a Sunday you will get to see the more authentic market where locals sell their fruits, veggies, animals and all. The everyday market has tons of clothing, jewelry, pottery and the like.

CHINCHERO

Located 30km from Cusco, the small village of Chinchero sits high atop the plains of Anta at 3,762 metres. The village boasts incredible views across the region with three of the major mountains in the region dominating the skyline – Cordillera Vilcabamba and the snow-capped summit of Salkantay.

Known locally as the “birthplace of the rainbow,” Chinchero is another picturesque colonial village renowned above all for its intricate traditional textiles.

Life in Chinchero generally moves at a slow pace. But on Sunday the town hums with activity during its popular local market. Vendors sell locally grown produce, artisan goods, and most notably, handwoven blankets, ponchos, belts, and rugs. Andean weaving has been practiced in the Sacred Valley for generations, but no town celebrates this centuries-old tradition more so than Chinchero.

Entrance to the main plaza and the Inca ruins at Chinchero requires an admission ticket. To one side of the plaza, Inca stone structures and agricultural terraces sweep down the hillside. On a clear day you can see Apu Salkantay, a famed Inca peak, off in the distance. A white 16th century church built on the stone foundation of a once Incan structure boasts tall ceilings and beautifully painted walls.

Chinchero is far less touristy than Pisac and Ollantaytambo. But it looks like this may soon change. To meet the growing demand of people visiting Machu Picchu, the construction of a new airport in the Sacred Valley near Chinchero is underway.

OLLANTAYTAMBO

Ollantaytambo is a small town with very big attractions. Shortly after noon the town turns into a lively hub as the first travelers arrive. After visiting the Inca Fortress, browse the souvenir shops or relax at a local cafe and admire the Andean scenery surrounding you. There are some very unique and memorable things to do in Ollantaytambo.

The well preserved archaeological site at Ollantaytambo is built along the slopes of a narrow mountainside. Stone steps up a terraced-laced hillside lead to the impressive main complex. The panoramic views at the top are a photographer’s dream!

The train station in Ollantaytambo is an important transit point for travelers taking the train to Machu Picchu. Since there’s not a direct road that goes all the way to the famous citadel, Ollantaytambo is quite literally the end of the road in the Sacred Valley.

This village is where most travelers from Cusco to Machu Picchu jump off the bus and on to the train. Its grid of cobbled streets is also the finest surviving example of Inca urban planning while the village was the scene of a rare and short-lived Inca victory over the Spaniards.

It was here, in 1536, that a force of Conquistadors led by Francisco Pizarro’s rebellious younger brother was showered with arrows and eventually routed after the Incas used their irrigation system to flood the valley floor, bogging down the horse-riding Spaniards.

The narrow streets can jam up with buses during the morning and afternoon rush hours to and from Machu Picchu but the village is pretty quiet for the rest of the time. It’s also home to two stunning Inca ruins, including another terraced fort.

The huge walls are impressive but so too, is the large Inca “shrine” carved into the rock on the lower far right of the site as it blends ethereally with the stone’s natural features.

MARAS & MORAY TERRACES

MARAS SALT MINES

The only place in the Sacred Valley, which is not a ruin, are salt mines in Maras, but it still has a connection with the Incas, who used this place to mine the salt more than 500 years ago.

Nowadays, there are still thousands of salt ponds belonging to hundreds of families who live nearby.

Traditionally the salt mines had been available to any person wishing to harvest salt; the person had to be a member of the community and the size of the pond he got depended on the size of the family. Despite the fact that the salt mine is still in use and it is possible to buy the salt in the nearby shops, today the principal source of income is tourism.

MORAY

Like an amphitheater. That’s also what scientists at first thought when they discovered Moray Ruins; that Incas probably played a theater here.

Although terraces of Moray Ruins have a circular shape, they had a different purpose.

It is not a secret that Incas were geniuses in agriculture and plant cultivation, and nowadays, it is believed that they used those ruins as an agricultural laboratory.

Each level of the terraces has a different temperature, different microclimate, and the design and orientation to the sun suggest that Incas experimented with plants and crops here.

Experiments have also shown that the soil comes from several Peruvian regions, and although this region of Peru suffers from flooding in the rainy season, Moray Ruins never flood.

TOP SACRED VALLEY LUXURY HOTELS

There is something about pausing during your time in the Andes that allows you to embrace the wonder of being there. And there is no better place to pause than in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The superior amenities of these Sacred Valley luxury hotels – such as relaxing spa services, fine dining and stunning natural surroundings – make each property a true gem.

Tucked majestically between Cusco and Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley is renowned for its vibrant local markets, adventure excursions, impressive Inca sites and unparalleled natural beauty. While there is an exciting array of tours and experiences to keep you on the go, it is important to schedule time to slow down and luxuriate in the landscape. Experiencing the Sacred Valley at a slower pace, while staying at a premier hotel, provides the opportunity to unwind, connect with your travel companions and treat yourself to deep relaxation.

#1 HACIENDA URUBAMBA (5 STAR HOTEL)

Tucked in a valley of the Andean countryside, Hacienda Urubamba by Inkaterra is a Spanish-style estate with Inca decor throughout. The Casa Hacienda main house and stand alone Casitas offer opulent lodging with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and meadows. Here you can immerse in the local charm with a book from your private porch. Or, you can visit the earth-to-table restaurant, wander through the healing garden and enjoy a rejuvenating spa treatment. There are also excursions included in your stay that allow you to fully take in the natural landscape. This is a PFL favorite when it comes to Sacred Valley Luxury Hotels.

HACIENDA URUBAMBA HIGHLIGHTS

  • Earth-to-table restaurant featuring local ingredients grown at the hotel’s ecological farm. The restaurant and its terraces behold inspiring views of the valley and mountains.
  • The rustic, Andean-inspired Mayu Spa features therapies and treatments using 100 percent natural botanicals. The healing garden features over 20 medicinal plants, and treatments include deep tissue massage, hot stone, facial hydration, cranial massage and more.
  • Exclusive excursions for guests include a visit to the ecological farm, a sunset walk with teachings about Andean astronomy, a class to make and try chicha de jora – a traditional Andean beer made from fermented corn, a birdwatching outing to see the winged residents of the land, and a challa huasi trail hike featuring viewpoints, medicinal plants and birds.

#2 HOTEL RIO SAGRADO BY BELMOND (5 STAR HOTEL)

Flanked by mountains and set on the banks of the Urubamba River, guests of Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado enjoy luxurious accommodations and a privileged location. The sandstone-orange main house and free standing structures for the villas and suites are sprinkled throughout the property – akin to a small Andean village. Sit in the gardens beside the rushing river, dip into the climatized swimming pool, enjoy local fare at the elegant restaurants or join a traditional Andean ceremony at the Mayu Wilka spa.

RIO SAGRADO HIGHLIGHTS

  • Spa Mayu Wilka offers relaxing, 30 to 150-minute massages as well as facials, body scrubs, wraps, and yoga. Amenities include a sauna, steam room, and an indoor and outdoor jacuzzi.
  • The two restaurants have something to offer everyone. Enjoy a delicious lunch at El Jardin and the sophisticated atmosphere of El Huerto Restaurant with local and international cuisine.
  • The hotel organizes special activities, like joining a mystic ceremony with an Andean shaman, visiting the resident llamas and alpacas (great for kids), and traversing by foot or horseback to surrounding attractions.

#3 TAMBO DEL INKA (5 STAR HOTEL)

Tambo del Inka, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, is the first hotel in the Sacred Valley to be granted the prestigious LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. The picturesque hotel is located on the banks of the river. It offers amazing epicurean experiences as well as spa and pool to unwind. The well-appointed rooms and suites are adorned with sliding glass doors, marble bathrooms and warm Andean design accents. Also, as a plus, Tambo del Inka is the only hotel with a private train station offering daily service to Machu Picchu.

TAMBO DEL INKA HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Spa at Tambo del Inka is an extension of the hotel’s luxurious services. Among many unique treatments, ask about the Andean Chocolate Facial, the Firming Coca Massage, and Quinoa Therapy.
  • Hawa Restaurant serves innovative novo-Andean dishes. After your meal, cozy up to the fireplace in the lounge with a cocktail from Kiri Bar.
  • The superior indoor/outdoor pool is heated, so you can enjoy a swim any time of the year.

#4 HOTEL SOL Y LUNA (5 STAR HOTEL)

Hotel Sol y Luna offers all the services you need to relish an extended getaway in the Sacred Valley without ever leaving its sweeping 37 acre (15 hectares) property. The hotel is part of the prestigious Relais and Chateaux Collection, an association of luxury hotels that span 60 countries on five continents. At Sol y Luna, each of the distinct casitas is a private sanctuary. They are constructed of local stone, and decorated with original pieces of Peruvian folk art. Premium Casitas feature a wood-burning fireplace, floor heating, and jacuzzi on a private garden terrace – an idyllic spot to soak in the stunning scenery.

SOL Y LUNA HIGHLIGHTS

  • The gourmet restaurant Killa Wasi serves Peruvian cuisine cooked with a touch of fusion and best paired with wine from the extensive list.
  • Wellness experiences include treatments at Yuca Wasi Spa, morning yoga, and the sauna and gym adjacent to the swimming pool.
  • Since its opening in 1996, the owners have worked with local communities and established the Sol y Luna Association. This raises money for important educational and recreation programs to improve the quality of life for local residents.

#5 EXPLORA VALLE SAGRADO (5 STAR HOTEL)

This award-winning luxury hotel is embedded in the spectacular Sacred Valley landscape with design flourishes reminiscent of the times of the Inca. In fact, Explora Valle Sagrado is located just beside an ancient corn plantation and directly facing the majestic Andes. The standard rooms and guest suites hold a simple elegance and have views of the fields, valleys and mountains. Each room is complete with a private bath with a jetted tub, robe and slippers, heating and local infusions. The experience is complete with access to the onsite Spa Pumacahua Bath House and a restaurant with a menu developed by world-renowned Peruvian chef Virgilio Martinez.

EXPLORA HIGHLIGHTS

  • The 17th century hotel is located on ancient corn plantations with Inca architectural statements throughout, which allows you to pay homage to the rich history of the land while relaxing in luxury.
  • The gorgeous Spa Pumacahua Bath House was built in the 1600s and has rustic finishes and stone archways. It features massage services, saunas, steam room and outdoor swimming pool.
  • Onsite restaurant features an exclusive top tier gastronomic experience, with a menu developed by world-renowned Peruvian Chef Virgilio Martinez, owner of Central Restaurante in Lima, which is considered the 6th best restaurant in the entire world on the 2019 list.

#6 ARANWA SACRED VALLEY HOTEL (5 STAR HOTEL)

Aranwa Sacred Valley resides on the sweeping property of a 17th century hacienda overlooking the Urubamba River. Each of the deluxe rooms and suites have a terrace or balcony and a private restroom with a jacuzzi bathtub. We consider this hotel a basic 5 star, but is still an excellent place to relax and renew. According to Peru for Less’ Melissa Dreffs, “It has everything that is expected of a 5-star but it is not quite as impressive as the other 5-star hotels in the area. However the nice part is that is reflected in the price as well; so Aranwa is a great choice for those who want the services of a 5 star without the soaring price tag.”

ARANWA HIGHLIGHTS

  • Unwind at UNNO Spa with a massage or facial treatment that incorporates essential oils made from native Peruvian plants like quinoa, camu camu, or coca.
  • Have your choice of several dining options. Head to Restaurant Gourmet Pukawi for haute versions of the country’s traditional dishes or try Japanese-Peruvian fusion at Kusi Pisco Bar & Sushi Bar. For lighter fare, visit Restaurant Rikhuna and then order from the extensive wine list at Cava.
  • Aranwa’s art gallery features reproduction prints of Peruvian photographer Martin Chambi. He was the first to photograph Machu Picchu after its discovery by Hiram Bingham in 1911.

#7 CASA ANDINA PREMIUM (4 STAR HOTEL)

This 4 star hotel has grounds as stunning as any 5 star hotel on our list, but more basic. Located in the lush countryside of the Urubamba Valley, visitors of Casa Andina Valle Sagrado can marvel at the panoramic mountain views and wander the landscaped gardens where adorable alpaca residents wander. The guest rooms, suites and villas come with a balcony, cozy robe and slippers, and regional design accents that round out your luxury experience in the Andes. The full service spa, Alma Bar and Restaurant, and onsite planetarium are excellent options to explore during your stay.

CASA ANDINA PREMIUM HIGHLIGHTS

  • The lovely guest rooms all have balconies looking out to beautiful mountains and greenery of the Sacred Valley.
  • In addition to the onsite restaurant and breakfast buffet, the hotel organizes Pachamanca experiences. This is a Andean earth oven preparation of potatoes, meats, herbs, and fava beans.
  • The onsite planetarium is a huge plus, and allows you to marvel at the stars twinkling over the valley. You’ll also learn firsthand about Andean mythology, astronomy and constellations.

#8 SONESTA POSADA DEL INCA YUCAY (4 STAR HOTEL)

For a more quaint experience, go to Sonesta Posada del Inca Yucay, an 18th century monastery surrounded by gardens and mountains in the distance. While this hotel does not offer a spa, it does have excellent dining, an eclectic Inca market, a colonial courtyard and charming chapel. The 88 guestrooms are equipped with climate control and a private bathroom with tub and shower. There are regional design flourishes throughout that connect the property with its heritage and history. Here you can sit back, relax and feel the love of the ancient Andes. A more modest of the Sacred Valley Luxury Hotels, but every bit as pleasant.

SONESTA POSADA HIGHLIGHTS

  • The polished, comfortable guest rooms and suites offer mystical views of the courtyard and countryside. All rooms have a bathtub as well, which is a wonderful way to relax after exploring the Sacred Valley.
  • There are four intriguing dining options right on site, including an elegant restaurant with Peruvian, novoandina cuisine; a spirited bar with live music, appetizers and refreshing cocktails; a eEuropean-style cafe with coffees, teas and desserts; and finally an Italian trattoria with pizza and pasta.

#9 SAN AGUSTIN MONASTERIO DE LA RECOLETA (4 STAR HOTEL)

If you want more of a historic luxury experience that surrounds you in the echoes of a colonial past, San Agustin Monasterio de la Recoleta is your spot. This religious monument and monastery was built in the 17th century. It features a traditional courtyard, rustic exposed stone finishes, and charming gardens and greenery. Stepping into the hotel you get a sense of stepping into an ancient chapel. The basic but comfortable rooms have warm Andean decor, hardwood floors, heating and private bathrooms.

SAN AGUSTIN MONASTERIO HIGHLIGHTS

  • The modern onsite restaurant serves up a mix of novoandino and international dishes, while the bar has a nice atmosphere and serves excellent Peruvian cocktails, like the signature Pisco Sour.
  • The historic feel of the property is a big feature. There are ample common areas that have comfortable seating where you can sit, slow down and take in the ancient surroundings of this Sacred Valley sanctuary. It is a wonderful place for quiet, quality time in reflection or with loved ones.

#10 WILLKA TIKA (LUXURY WELLNESS RETREAT)

For those looking to dive into wellness in one of the most magical places in the world, look no further than Willka Tika. This eco-friendly wellness retreat center with local Quechua staff is the ultimate place to connect with Pachamama, or mother earth, delight in farm-to-table vegetarian meals and partake in a traditional healing ceremony. You can come on your own for personal growth and exploration or come with loved ones. Or you can even join a scheduled group retreat or host your own. The gorgeous sustainable guest rooms enjoy lush mountain and garden views and are adorned by local artwork with fresh flowers. Don’t forget to visit the property’s gardens, yoga studio, ceremonial temple, and library/music cottage as well. A true community-inspired retreat center in the Sacred Valley for those seeking deep healing.

WILLKA TIKA HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Seven Chakra Gardens mystically meander through the Sacred Valley scenery and feature different symbols, sculptures and medicinal plants. A sacred lucuma tree for meditation and the spiral walk for healing are but a few highlights of this colorful oasis.
  • The Healing Arts at Willka Tika are incredible, with offerings by local therapists. The use use 100 percent natural ingredients from the medicinal gardens. Treatments include Andean massage and aromatherapy, medicinal solar baths beneath the stars, crystal light therapy and a range of yoga classes for all experience levels.
  • All guests have included in their stay herbal teas and infusions. There is also two included vegetarian meals per day: a buffet breakfast and organic three-course dinner.

#11 SKYLODGE ADVENTURE SUITES (DELUXE ADVENTURE EXPERIENCE)

If laying in bed while hanging off an Andean cliff in a glass pod sounds like luxury, this is the spot for you. Skylodge Adventure Suites is an exclusive retreat geared for adventurous travelers looking for a truly unique natural experience. To access these luxury glass suites, handmade out of aerospace aluminum, guests must hike, zipline and climb. The suite itself features a dining area, four beds, and private bathroom.

SKYLODGE HIGHLIGHTS

  • This was the first hanging lodge in the world, and attracts adventurous travelers from all over the globe. The sense of accomplishment after ziplining and climbing with steel cables, rungs and ladders is unparalleled. Especially when it ends with at luxury mountainside rooms with a 300 degree view of the Sacred Valley.
  • Your time in Skylodge is complete with private transportation, guides, safety briefing, equipment, snacks, gourmet dinner with a bottle of wine (and indisputably best views in the valley), and an energizing breakfast.

This list of Sacred Valley Luxury Hotels beholds something for everyone. Maybe it’s a massage by the Urubamba River or quality time with loved ones in a villa in the mountains. Or perhaps it’s a yoga retreat in healing gardens or a historic experience at an ancient monastery. Or even a zipline adventure to a glass oasis or an epicurean rendezvous under the Andean stars. Whatever your idea of Sacred Valley luxury is, talk to your travel advisor and they will help plan the ultimate custom Peru vacation.

ESSENTIAL TRIP INFORMATION

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

The best time to visit Peru is during the dry season, between May and November, when the weather is dry and bright, with more frequent rainfall occurring between November and April.

JANUARY Warm - Heavy Rain
FEBUARY Warm - Heavy Rain
MARCH Warm - Heavy Rain
APRIL Warm - Light Rain
MAY Hot
JUNE Hot
JULY Hot
AUGUST Hot
SEPTEMBER Hot - Warm
OCTOBER Hot - Warm
NOVEMBER Warm - Light Rain
DECEMBER Warm - Heavy Rain

PRICE & AVAILABILITY

AUG 2022 - DEC 2023 Price from
$ 60 USD Per Person $ 78 USD
Note

To book this tour, a minimum of $ 60 USD per person is required, the remaining balance will be paid upon arrival in Peru, at the Cusco office.

Any other additional information, please coordinate with your travel agent.

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What our clients say about us

  • "Everything was perfect, from the office to the super Guide, Juve he was very careful with us ! Thank you! Raccomandatet!"

    Gino Di Tullio
    TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY
  • " A agência tem preço competitivo e cumpriu exatamente com tudo que foi combinado. O guia da trilha foi excelente. Muito conhecimento sobre a cultura Inca, muito divertido, ótimo fotógrafo!
    I made the short Inca trail 2D / 1N and Vinicunca (Rainbow Mountain) with them. The price is competitive and the agency has exactly matched everything that was agreed. The guide of the trail was excellent, he has a lot of knowledge about Inca culture, he is a lot of fun and a great photographer! "

    Cris G
    TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY
  • " We had Elmer as our guide and his knowledge about the culture, the ancient traditions and the trail itself is wide and deep at the same time. He was a pleasant and fun company throughout. His team of porters and Chef. Chino were amazingly hospitable in-spite of the strenuous trek. Always smiling and eager to serve. Our camping sites had the perfect view every single evening. We had rented the sleeping bags and trekking poles from them and all were in good condition. Tents were nice and warm as well. The food was something we did not expect at all. "

    Meena
    TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY
  • " Great coordination from Miriam starting with orientation meeting and individualized attention via whatsapp. The hike to MP from km 104 was tough but lovely and Javier was a great guide with humor and knowledgeable. After 11km hiking we arrived to the Sun gate around 2pm and went down for the 1st visit to MP. Dinner in Aguas Calientes and early wake up to enter MP at 6am which was still very peaceful. It cannot get much better. great vale for money! "

    David D
    TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY
  • " Amazing trek to Machu Picchu, with very knowledgeable guide and amazing Porter team! Beautiful views, great food, and good times!"

    Jeremy C
    TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY
  • " We made the 2d/1n trip to Machu Picchu this was very worth. Our Guide Osman was very friendly and kind. During the trek he explained us the landscape, flowers and the history of the ruins very interesting. We can really recomand this trip for the people who don't like to do the long trek. Many thanks to Osman for the wonderful hike! "

    Melanie U
    TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY
  • " We feel the genuine and warmth welcome of the city and the people in it, as if they treat us like family (especially our porters and our guide Alex). We are deeply grateful for all the help and patience they've extended to reach out to us. And forever grateful for the life's lessons learned and the experience. This adventure for sure will made an imprint in our hearts and in our life's journey, that we are very much willing to share it with our own family, friends and love ones. "

    Czarina 23
    TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY
  • " To be honest, at the very end I would have gone thru the whole experience a million times without changing anything at all. Also, returning to Cusco wasn't hard, train was booked and transfer bus was there to pick us up on time. The overall experience, amazing. "

    Dacil A
    TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY

Why travel with Andean Great Treks

TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY
LOCALLY INSPIRED, DELICIOUS FLAVOURS
There is something magical about artisanal farming in the Andes. The rich soils and unique climate give products an otherwise unattainable flavor. Our chefs serve local and international food. With unparalleled views of the fabulous Andean Mountains, amid the highland forests from your table, you’ll enjoy delicious gourmet food and new spins on classic Peruvian favorites. We use only local produce and fresh ingredients.
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY
OUR PASSIONATE TOUR GUIDES
Unlock the secrets of Peru’s most iconic adventure destination. Our team is passionate about making sure your experiences are unique —some thrilling, some relaxing, all awe-inspiring. Our private guides will let you explore the Andes and rainforest at your own pace, stopping for a snack if you’re hungry, or racing to the top of a hill if you’re up to it.
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY
YOUR SAFETY OUR PRIORITY
We work with certified guides, the latest high-tech equipment and satellite communication, to guarantee your safety every step on the trail. Each year we do the course of rescue and first aid with all our hiking team (guides, cooks, horsemen, drivers). The course is comprehensive and practical, including all of the essential principles and skills required to assess and manage medical problems in isolated and extreme environments.
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY
ENVIRONMENTAL SENSITIVITY
We have deep love and respect for our Mother Earth or Pachamama since we are a 100% Cusco company. We know the importance of our Andean culture, and like good children of the earth, we do everything possible to avoid contamination.
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY
CAMPING EQUIPMENT
It’s essential to have the best equipment when you’re walking in the mountains. Due to the constant climate changes in the region, we use tents suitable for all four seasons.
TOUR SACRED VALLEY OF INCAS 1 DAY
SMALL GROUPS & BIG ADVENTURES
With a maximum group size is 8 on most tours, it feels more like traveling with friends than being on an organized tour. You'll meet like-minded people where everyone is guaranteed to share a passion for travel.

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