Why visit the Sacred Valley
The Sacred Valley of the Incas is a fertile valley that follows the Urubamba River from Pisac in the east to Ollantaytambo in the west. At a lower altitude to the dizzying heights of Cusco, the Sacred Valley offers a welcome place to stay for a few days, acclimatise and enjoy an old world charm whilst exploring traditional market towns and impressive Inca sites. For those seeking adventure, the Sacred Valley can also be explored on horseback or by raft along the raging rapids of the Urubamba River. It also serves as the starting place of many trekking routes, including the celebrated Inca Trail.
About the Sacred Valley
To the Incas, the Urubamba River symbolised the flow of life and was therefore guarded by the watchful gaze of numerous ancient citadels perched on the lofty mountain ridge above. Constructed for worship and astronomical observation, the first of these is at the lively market town of Pisac. Etched out of the terraced hillsides, the ruins comprise some of the finest examples of Inca masonry in the valley with the Templo del Sol (Temple of the Sun) being the most impressive. Further feats of formidable Inca engineering can be explored at Ollantaytambo, which marks the final settlement before Machu Picchu. Further highlights include the intriguing Inca ring-terracing at Moray and the ancient salt mines of Maras.
- Try to combine your stay with one of the Sunday markets or better still one of the many fiestas
- Marvel at the Inca stone masonry at the fortress of Ollantaytambo
- Brave a mountain bike and spend the day racing around the valley
- Start your trek to the base of Machu Picchu, enjoying the comfort that the ‘lodge to lodge’ option offers