The Sacred Valley of Cusco was very important to the Inkas - here cities were built to ease the administration of the empire, and you can find impressive remains of cultivating terraces, fortresses, palaces and cemetaries. The towns lie next to inka trails that follow the Vilcanota river to Machu Picchu. According to archeoastronomy the layout of the constructions in the Sacred Valley mirrors the constellations of the Milky Way.
The sheer natural beauty of the valleys, with it's rivers, green hills and surrounding snow capped mountains, is reason enough to take a tour in the surrounding areas of Cusco. Throw in spectacular inka ruins, colourful textile markets, picturesque villages, terraces of salt pans and you have yourself a perfect field trip.
Duration: 1 day
(may be combined with other tours and treks)
Activity level: Easy
Season: All year
Early in the morning, we beat the crowds to go to the impressive ruins of Pisaq. The views are spectacular, and if you are lucky you can see a lonely deer grazing in one of the many inka farming terraces. The extensive archeological site includes temples, recidencies, altars, water channels, carvings and cemetaries. If we feel like doing some shopping, the traditional market in Pisaq is worth a stop.
Urubamba - Ollantaytambo
We enjoy a delicious lunch in Urubamba, so that we are ready for the magic that awaits us in Ollantaytambo. A lovely town in its self, with picturesque narrow streets and channels of running water from the inka's time. This is home to the Temple of the Sun with huge, perfectly carved and polished blocks of granite and amazingly steep farming terraces.
Maras Moray - Salineras de Maras
From Ollantaytambo we continue to two very spectacular sites. The Maras Moray, a group of circular terraced constructions, believed to be an experimental farming area where the inkas cultivated and acclimatized all sorts of plants and grains for cultivating all over South America. The Salineras de Maras is a collection of salt pans terraced within a steep crevace in the mountains overlooking Urubamba Valley. The salt pans are still in use, and have been used to harvest salt since the Inka time.
Last, but not least, we visit Chinchero, and stroll around the terraced inka structures in the golden afternoon light. We can find here a beautiful Catholic church, built on a foundation of Inka stones. The site of Chinchero truly displays the transition from Inka to Spanish empire. Here too is a colourful textiles market, so there is time for some shopping before we return to Cusco, arriving at Plaza de Armas around 6:30 pm.
This package is an outline of how one tour may be like. Of course we can customize this tour to match your specific needs. We are flexible during the tour, so that we may make changes to the itinerary along the way if that suits you better. Contact us for more detailed information on options and we will work together on creating the perfect experience for you!