Curious about the Sacred Valley Cusco and reasons why you should visit Machu Picchu
? The Sacred Valley is a treasure trove of history, culture, and breathtaking landscapes.
Nestled in the heart of the former Inca Empire, this valley offers a glimpse into Peru's rich past but also serves as a gateway to an array of unforgettable Peru tours
Quick Facts About the Cusco Sacred Valley
Before you embark on your journey to the Cusco Sacred Valley, here are some essential facts to enhance your visit to this historical and natural wonder.
Quick Facts About the Cusco Sacred Valley
Stretching from Pisac to Machu Picchu in Peru
Approximately 100 kilometers in length
Stable temperatures with two distinct seasons - wet and dry
Average Daytime Temperature
Varies, generally mild to warm
Average Nighttime Temperature
Cooler, especially in higher altitudes
Heart of the Inca Empire, with numerous archaeological sites
Pisac Market, Ollantaytambo Ruins, Moray and Maras Salt Pans
Hiking, cultural tours, adventure sports
Best Time to Visit
May to September (Dry Season)
9 Top Attractions and Activities in the Sacred Valley
Cultural and Historical Sites
Delving into the Sacred Valley is like stepping back in time, where each site whispers tales of a bygone era. Here are some must-visit cultural and historical landmarks:
1. Pisac Market & Inca Ruins
Begin your journey at the vibrant Pisac Market, a bustling hub where local artisans showcase their crafts and produce. Just a short drive away, the Pisac Ruins await.
These ruins are a testament to the Inca’s architectural prowess, featuring military, agricultural, and religious structures sprawling over a large complex.
The ‘Royal Sector’ offers a particularly stunning view, making it an ideal spot for history buffs and photography enthusiasts.
2. Ollantaytambo Ruins and Town
Ollantaytambo, a living example of Inca town planning, offers a unique glimpse into the past. Wander through its cobbled streets, lined with quaint cafes, before exploring the remarkable Inca ruins.
Originally a royal residence, these ruins exhibit some of the finest stonework outside of Machu Picchu, making them an unmissable stop in the valley.
Moray, often likened to a dug-out amphitheatre, continues to baffle scientists with its purpose. This intriguing site, surrounded by picturesque landscapes, offers a unique look into Incan innovation.
Nearby, the Maras Salt Pans, a network of terraced salt evaporation ponds, present a stunning and unusual landscape, reflecting centuries of Incan ingenuity in resource utilization.
Adventure and Outdoor Activities
The Sacred Valley isn’t just a historical marvel but also a playground for the adventurous. Here’s where you can get your adrenaline fix:
4. White River Rafting and Mountain Biking in Ollantaytambo
Ollantaytambo offers thrilling whitewater rafting experiences along its dynamic rivers for those craving excitement. Complement this aquatic adventure with mountain biking across varied terrains, offering a blend of challenge and scenic beauty.
Elevate your adventure by paragliding over the Sacred Valley. This activity offers unparalleled views of the valley’s deep gorges and lush landscapes, providing a unique perspective of this ancient land with a sneak peek of Machu Picchu animals
roaming around the area.
6. Ziplining in Action Valley
For an ultimate rush, head to Action Valley. Here, you can experience South America’s highest bungee jump and an exhilarating 110-meter zip line. This heart-pounding adventure, combined with lush jungle treks and optional quad bike tours, makes for an unforgettable day in the valley.
Aside from hiking to Machu Picchu
, for travellers seeking authentic Peruvian experiences, the Sacred Valley offers unique opportunities to connect with local customs and flavours:
7. Weaving Cooperative in Chincheros
Visit Chincheros, a village celebrated for its weaving heritage. Join the local weaving cooperative, where you can learn the art of traditional Peruvian weaving, a craft passed down through generations. This hands-on experience provides a deep appreciation for the region’s cultural richness.
8. Culinary Adventure with Cuy
Embrace the local cuisine by trying Cuy
, a Peruvian delicacy known internationally as Guinea Pig. Sample this traditional dish, which has been a staple in Peruvian diets for over 5,000 years, in various preparations across the valley’s restaurants.
Book a night at the Skylodge – glass rooms suspended on the side of a cliff for a truly unique stay. This experience combines the thrill of height with unparalleled views of the valley, offering a night under the stars like no other. It is ideal for those seeking both luxury and adventure.
Here are the answers to some burning questions about the Sacred Valley.
Is the Sacred Valley worth visiting?
Without a doubt, exploring the Sacred Valley is a must-do while on your way to Machu Picchu from Cusco.
How do you get from Cusco to the Sacred Valley?
Most tourists reach the Valley through an organized tour. However, if you prefer an alternative way, you can board PeruRail's trains from Cusco to Ollantaytambo and then hire a taxi to take you around. Another option is to hire a taxi from Cusco.
How much time should I spend in the Sacred Valley?
We suggest you spend around 2 days in the Sacred Valley. This gives you ample time to explore all the sites and attractions and adjust to Machu Picchu altitude sickness
How do you get around in the Sacred Valley?
Local buses, typically small combis or colectivos, are the most convenient and cost-effective means of transportation to and within the Sacred Valley. These buses are often full of local charm, but they may not offer much in the way of comfort.
With so many exciting things to do in the Sacred Valley, we highly recommend adding this fascinating site to your Peru tours
. With great Machu Picchu travel insurance
, Skyhook Adventure
and our vetted guides by your side, we promise an adventure catering to all types of travellers.
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