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Sacred Valley, Peru: Complete Travel Guide (2024) – The Ultimate Guide

Sacred Valley is just an hour’s drive from Cusco, but you’ve entered another area. The Sacred Valley of Peru, with Inca ruins scattered along the Andes Mountain slopes, is a surreal experience that makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Discover off-the-beaten-path Inca ruins, tackle some of the best Sacred Valley hikes, and fall in love with the Sacred Valley in Peru. Explore the Inca ruins on a beaten track and experience some of Peru’s Sacred Valley’s beauty.

The Sacred Valley in Peru is incredible, unique, and magical. The Inca Valley is also known as the Sacred Valley of the Incas. There are many great activities to do in the Sacred Valley. Explore magnificent Inca ruins in vast archaeological parks, snow-capped mountains, salt mines, and hundreds of hiking trails. There is no shortage of unique and breathtaking experiences.

The best guide to the Sacred Valley focuses on the Urubamba Valley’s famous and hidden sights, from the beautiful town of Pisac to Ollantaytambo and everything in between. Let yourself be inspired by the strong desire to travel in this magical region. Find valuable tips such as how to get to the Sacred Valley of Peru, what to see, where to eat, how to use convenient public transportation, and where to stay in the Sacred Valley of Peru. The main objective of the leading guide to the Sacred Valley is to help travelers create personalized Sacred Valley tours.

Where is the Sacred Valley in Peru?

Peru’s Sacred Valley is located north of the city of Cusco. The Sacred Valley is usually the area between the two villages of Pisac and Ollantaytambo. The Sacred Valley of Peru is also called the Urubamba Valley because the Urubamba River flows through the fertile valley. The Urubamba River changes its name as it flows through the valley towards Machu Picchu and Quillabamba.

The three cities of Pisac, Urubamba, and Ollantaytambo are the easiest ways to reach the Sacred Valley from Cusco. Although Pisac is less than 30 kilometers from Cusco, the Sacred Valley has a remarkably different climate than the city of Cusco.

Cusco is at an elevation of 3,400 meters (1,152 feet), and the Sacred Valley city reaches 2,743 meters (9,000 feet). The weather here is generally mild and can feel that way, but the sun seems to shine more here than in Cusco, which has a decent and excellent climate.

How to get to the Sacred Valley in Peru?

There are several ways to get to the Sacred Valley of Peru, with Pisac, Urubamba, and Ollantaytambo being the most popular gateway towns to the Sacred Valley. Local colectivos and minibuses serve these popular destinations.

Transportation is safe and fast, and luggage can be secured on the roof of local vehicles. Cover your bags with a waterproof tarp when visiting during the rainy season.

Travel agencies or hotels organize private transportation services so travelers can travel safely and directly to the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

How do you get to the Sacred Valley from Cusco to Pisac?

The Cusco to Pisac local vehicles are on Puputi Street near the Garcilaso monument (intersection). Several vans depart from both sides of Puputi Street. Colectivos go to Pisac to drop off passengers near the main Pisac bridge, but some continue to Calca or Urubamba for a slightly higher fare.

Sacred Valley Tour Moray

Sacred Valley Tour Moray

How do you get to the Sacred Valley from Cusco to Urubamba?

Local transport and buses heading to Urubamba towards the Sacred Valley frequently depart from Cusco, the central bus station on Calle Pavitos near the Grau Bridge.

The transport passes through the beautiful towns of Chinchero and Maras. The trip takes 60 minutes; the vehicle leaves the travelers at Urubamba’s central bus terminal.

How do you get to the Sacred Valley from Cusco to Ollantaytambo?

Local transport and buses to Ollantaytambo depart from the central bus station on Calle Pavitos in Cusco. Frequent services are available from 03:30 to 22:00. The journey passes through Izcuchaca to descend to Pachar through the Pomatales valley. The local tour takes 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Local transport drops travelers off at Ollantaytambo Train Station. To return, travelers should go to the Ollantaytambo train station or the main square in Ollantaytambo to board a local bus to return to Cusco via Pachar.

Alternative Ollantaytambo Tour

Alternative Ollantaytambo Tour

Which town is the best to explore in the Sacred Valley of Peru?

Charming towns abound in the Sacred Valley of Peru. Each city offers its unique charm.

The most beautiful towns in the Sacred Valley of the Incas are:

  • Pisac
  • Taray
  • Coya
  • Lamay
  • Calca
  • Huaran
  • Yucay
  • Urubamba
  • Maras
  • Yanahuara
  • Ollantaytambo

Between Yucay, Urubamba, Yanahuara, and Ollantaytambo, make exploring all the highlights of the Sacred Valley of the Incas easy and convenient! It has a central location and some of the best hiking and tourist circuits in the Sacred Valley.

When is the best time to explore the Sacred Valley in Peru?

Rainy season and dry season of the Sacred Valley, Cusco

The Andes of the Sacred Valley of the Incas have two seasons: rainy and dry. The rainy season usually lasts from December to mid-April, while the dry season lasts from May to November.

The nights in the rainy season are hotter than in the dry season, but it rains often. Sometimes, the rain in the Sacred Valley comes as a simple drizzle, while it can be torrential at other times.

The weather is unstable during the rainy season, and landslides are unlikely. However, the sacred valley is lush and green after the rainy season.

During the dry season, skies are usually bright blue, and conditions are dry and fair, with breathtaking views of the Andes and the Sacred Valley. Despite being the dry season, the snow-capped mountains in the Sacred Valley make the nights even colder.

Places to see in the Sacred Valley of Peru

The most amazing places with incredible views in the Sacred Valley of Peru and their respective branches are as follows:


Pisac is a famous colonial town on the Sacred Valley tourist circuit. Pisac is 45 minutes from Cusco. Pisac Archaeological Park is a popular spot on the Sacred Valley circuit.

Several communities around Pisac offer a variety of outdoor activities in the valleys and mountains of the Andes.

Things to Do in Pisac

Pisac main square and craft market

Find the daily artisan market in the main square of Pisac. Pisaq Market has a variety of Andean textiles to buy Peruvian souvenirs. Pisac’s market, with a more local folk atmosphere, is booming on Sundays. The inhabitants of the Andean Mountains come to the town to sell their agricultural products and handicrafts. On Sunday, too, local people come to buy supplies for the week.

Pisac Archaeological Park

The main attraction of Pisac is the massive Inca ruins of Pisac, built on top of a mountain. The Archaeological Park of Pisac is generally accessible behind the central square, the “Pisac Inca Trail.” While traveling, it is better to choose a road to reach the ruins of Pisac.

Pisac Archaeological Park is a large park built around a large mountain with various trails leading to various Inca temples.

Pisaq ruins have four main parts: P’isaqa, Inti Watana, Qalla Q’asa, and Kinchiraqay. The ruins also have their own sun temple, with beautiful Inca Empire architecture on the walls. The Pisac Ruins offer breathtaking views of the Sacred Valley, the Andes Mountains, the Inca terrace system, and Inca structures.

Kinsa Cocha o Paru-Paru Potato Park

Kinsa Cocha is an impressive nature reserve near Pisac, with three picturesque lakes dominating the Andes Mountain range. Kinsa Cocha of Paru Paru is a small mountain community open to tourists. Residents of Paru-Paru display the preservation of more than 3,000 varieties of potatoes.

Kinsa Cocha offers a variety of potato experience tours. First, we’ll show you the different types of potatoes and how to identify them, then dance and plant using traditional Inca tools, and later go to the communal hall for a delicious lunch of potatoes.

Walk through the Chapel of Pisac in the colonial town of Pisac

A few blocks from Pisac’s main square, we have a colonial chapel—”we’re looking for the colonial chapel, not the main church”—that offers morning or evening walks in the fresh air with panoramic views of cornfields. Follow ancient Inca aqueducts, meander through cornfields, and get a different perspective on this lovely town.


Calca is one of the most beautiful towns in Cusco’s Sacred Valley. Calca has two beautiful colonial-style main squares. On the outskirts of Calca, find the ruins of Uno Urqo, which are a half-hour walk or 5 minutes using local vehicles. If you are up for a challenging hike, Calca has the Pitusiray mountain, the “sacred mountain of the Incas and the beginning of Inca ancestral mythology.”

Calca has two beautiful colonial-style main squares. On the outskirts of Calca, visit the ruins of Uno Urqo, which can be reached on foot in half an hour or 5 minutes by public transport. If you’re looking for a challenging hike, Calca is home to Pitusiray Mountain, “the sacred mountain of the Incas and the beginning of the legend of the Inca ancestors.”

Calca has two busy bus stations connecting you to the entire Sacred Valley of the Incas towards Pisac, Urubamba, or Ollantaytambo. Calca is also the main gateway to the Lares Valley for walks through the Andes to discover the ruins of Ancasmarca and the thermal baths of Lares.

In the area of ​​Lamay near Calca, we have the hiking trail of Huchuy Qosqo ruins, “the royal palace of the eighth Inca ruler.” The archaeological site of Huchuy Qosqo was built on a mountain in the middle of the slope.

Things to Do in Calca

Relax and stroll through the main squares of Calca.

Calca’s two main plazas are beautiful, with manicured gardening and Sacred Valley landscaping. There is a lovely water fountain.

Many street food vendors selling sweets, cafes, etc., surround the two main squares in Calca.

Both sections surround the main church. We appreciate the beautiful colonial-style architecture of Calca. Also, Calca is the capital of the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

Visit the ruins of the Uno Urqo temple.

Uno Urqo, or Uno Urco, is a sacred site of the Incas. Getting to Uno Orqo takes less than half an hour on foot from Calca’s main square.

The Urqo Archaeological Park has a peculiar and unusual carving on one of the primary rocks, which shows the figure of a snake and the ritual head of a puma. However, the scouts mention that it looks more like an alien face.

Apart from the main temple of Uno Orqo, there are small rustic buildings that, in Inca times, were used by priests and guardians.

Before entering the archaeological site of Uno Urqo, we find a circular building with window designs in the shape of an Inca cross that ends with trapezoidal windows. The building was used for meditation and spiritual work.

Challenging Hike to Apu Pitusiray Mountain from Calca

There is a lot of mysticism surrounding Mount Pitusiray. Experienced hikers can spend the day trekking through the Andes to beautiful Pitusiray Lake.

Pitusiray Mountain presents impressive panoramic views of Calca, the Sacred Valley, the Andes, and the beautiful corn plantations.

In the winter and summer solstices, in a sequence of shadows, you can see the figure of the awakening of an Inca guardian, “ancestral Inca mythology.” That is why the Pitusiray walking circuit area emanates a positive mystical energy ideal for people who seek energetic experiences of the Andes.

Spectacular walking circuit of Huchuy Qosqo Trek

The Huchuy Qosqo trek has several trekking routes, such as the Sacsayhuaman, Tambomachay, Cupper Alto, and Ccorccor trekking routes. Even so, one of the most accessible trekking circuits can be accessed by walking short and directly from Lamay, ascending towards Huchuy Qosqo for 2 hours.

Huchuy Qosqo was the royal palace of the eighth Inca emperor, Viracocha. In Huchuy Qosqo, we find support terraces for all the Inca architecture. There are ceremonial fountains, Inca streets, a lodging system, and several Inca trails that go to different areas of the Andes.

Enjoy the thermal baths of Lamay.

The Lares Thermal Baths are a two-hour drive from Calca. Most hikers will dip in hot springs before hiking the Lares Trek’s trails.

The coloration of the Lares hot springs is orange due to natural minerals; there are several pools of different temperatures to enjoy some good dips. On the outskirts of the thermal baths of Lares, they sell snacks, coffee, food, etc.

Enjoy fantastic hiking trails through Lares Trek.

There are multiple hiking trails through the Valle de Lares in Peru. The Lares Trek is one of the alternative routes to Machu Picchu. There are walks between 1 and 5 days.

We have several circuits of the Lares Trek Walk, such as:

  1. Lares Trek via Quiswarani: “Pachacuteq Pass, Cancha Cancha, Huaran, Machu Picchu”
  2. Lares Trek via Patacancha “Paso Ipsay, Patacancha, Ollantaytambo, Machu Picchu”
  3. Lares Trek via Pumahuanca “Paso Pumahuanca, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo, Machu Picchu”
  4. Lares Trek via Yanahuara: “Paso Aurora, Yanahuara, Ollantaytambo, Machu Picchu”


A must-see in the Sacred Valley is the ancient city of Chinchero. Chinchero is 28 km from Cusco. Chinchero is also called the Land of Rainbows. You will see the remains of the Tupac Yupanqui Inca palace. Also, it is an iconic Sunday show internationally recognized for its craftsmanship. There is a lot to see in Chinchero, so it is essential to plan your itinerary according to your time.

You can start your tour with a visit to one of Chinchero’s weaving centers. Learn the traditional, ancient techniques of weaving and dyeing textiles. The conventional know-how of fabrics is preserved from generation to generation. Another tourist attraction is the colorful Chinchero Sunday market in the main square.

The Tupac Yupanqui Palace is another visit not to be missed in Chinchero. The royal palace of Chinchero was built in 1480; the extensive archaeological complex of Chinchero contains the main square, which includes an Inca wall with 12 trapezoidal niches. You will also find the Church of Our Lady of Montserrat, built in the 17th century, housing baroque-style altars and numerous frescoes.

Things to Do in Chinchero

Explore the archaeological park of Chinchero.

Chinchero Ruin is the palace of the Inca ruler Tupac Yupanqui. The Inca complex of Chinchero includes architecturally preserved terraces, a holy temple with various ceremonial functions, an Inca trail, and the Chinchero Church built on the temple of the sun.

Enjoy the experience of the Chinchero artisan weaving market.

Chinchero is known today as the route of traditional Inca textiles. In Chinchero, there are several textile centers to observe the process of making textiles, such as extraction, dyeing, and spinning, using ancestral Inca techniques.

Enjoy a walk in the open air from Chinchero to Urquillos Trek.

An Inca trail begins at the ruins of Chinchero. Before starting the walk, we will explore the sacred temples of Chinchero. The trek from Chinchero to Urquillos through the Poc-Poc waterfalls is a light trekking experience to enter the Sacred Valley of the Incas towards Wayllabamba.

The ancient Inca Trail of Urquillos descends along a spectacular panoramic route through the beautiful Poc Poc Waterfalls. Continue walking to Urquillos, where the tourists’ vehicles usually wait to continue their adventures toward the Sacred Valley of the Incas.


Explore the spectacular maras with the Inca salt mines. Maras and salt mines are located 50 km from Cusco city. Maras and Salineras are a natural visual spectacle that will amaze you with the landscapes of the salt mines in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

The Maras Salt Mines are a large area with approximately 5,000 natural salt wells fed by an underground salt spring. The history of the salty waters of Maras dates back more than 100 million years since their formation. Salineras are essential to the salt supply in Cusco and the Sacred Valley. It is a valuable source for the export of this primary cuisine in Peru.

Things to Do in Maras, Peru

Explore the magnificent archaeological park of Moray

The Moray Ruins are four large and strange terraces, one of which is larger than the others. The large archaeological site of Moray highlights the Sacred Valley of Peru.

Several easily accessible hiking trails on the terrace lead to different viewpoints and areas for short walks with breathtaking views and archaeological sites.

During the Inca period, Moray Circular Terraces were used as laboratory greenhouses for the genetic adaptation of plants to different altitudes in the Andes, coasts, and forests of the Inca Empire.

Visit the impressive salt mines of Maras.

The salt ponds of Maras are pretty striking for hikers visiting the Sacred Valley of Peru. The viewpoints of the salt mines in Maras have excellent photographic angles.

There are several ways to get to the salt mines of Maras, such as coming on foot from the town of Maras, from the Urubamba River through the Pichingoto area, by a vehicle following the dirt road, or descending through different bicycle routes.

Combine your vacation to the salt mines of Maras with the ruins of Moray for a full day of exploring the Sacred Valley, Peru. Start early and walk to the salt mines of Maras.

A worthwhile hike from Moray to the Salineras in Maras

  • Distance: 11.3 km (7.01 miles)
  • Hiking time: 2 hours and 49 minutes. Hiking from Moray to Maras Urubamba River
  • Minimum Altitude: 2,841 m (9,324 ft).
  • Maximum Altitude: 3,514 m/11,529 ft.

A beautiful walking trail leads from the ruins of Moray to the banks of the Maras, Minas de Sal, and Urubamba rivers. During the hike, you can see beautiful views of the Sacred Valley and the Andes Mountains.

The colonial city of Maras offers beautiful houses with distinctive doors and spectacular iconography. Before reaching the Salineras salt pans, we have an incredible panoramic view of the salt areas.


Urubamba, Peru, is a charming village in the Sacred Valley where you can experience the highlights of various Sacred Valley Peru tours.

The Urubamba Valley is ideal for a few days to get acquainted with the high altitudes of the Andes or the city of Cusco. Visitors from Urubamba can plan trips to beautiful tourist sites in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

From Urubamba, it is possible to independently visit the four magnificent archaeological parks of the Sacred Valley, such as Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero, Moray, Machu Picchu, etc.

Best Things to Do in Urubamba, Peru

Sacred Valley, Saywa Archaeological Park Day Hike

One of the best treks in the Sacred Valley of Peru is the Saywa trekking circuit. To reach the Inca ruins of Saywa, we must climb Urubamba Mountain.

At the top of Saywa Mountain, find two ancient Inca pillars and the remains of the mighty Inca dynasty. The Saywa Archaeological Park has pedestrian access and incredible views of the Sacred Valley and Urubamba.

  • Distance: 5.2 km/ 3.26 miles
  • Hiking time: 1 hour and 18 minutes; hiking from Urubamba Plaza to Saywa Summit
  • Minimum Altitude: 2,869n/9,416 ft.
  • Maximum Altitude: 3,809 m/12,497 ft.

Experience the best hikes from Urubamba to the impressive Juchuycocha lagoon.

The picturesque alpine Juchuycocha Lake lies in the beautiful mountains behind Urubamba in the Sacred Valley of Peru. This strenuous hike is a long but rewarding day hike from Urubamba.

Start your trek with a gradual incline from San Isidro to the main hiking trail. Continue up the steep but scenic Juchuycocha Lagoon. The hiking trail runs along an impressive mountain slope with great views of Chicon Mountain and the glacier.

  • Distance: 9.6 km (6 miles)
  • Hiking time: 5 hours; hiking from San Isidro, Urubamba, to Juchuycocha Lagoon
  • Minimum Altitude: 3,329m/10,925 ft.
  • Maximum Altitude: 4,645 m/15,242 ft.

Pachar Peru

Pachar is a small town between Urubamba and Ollantaytambo. Pachar is the perfect location to access the best outdoor hiking trails in the Sacred Valley.

Explore the temple of Ñaupa Iglesia, a unique and exciting Inca temple in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The Ñaupa Iglesia construction contains a closed Inca window carved into the side of the cave that could be a dimensional portal.

Pachar, Peru, is also the gateway to the fantastic Perolniyoc waterfalls, “A short distance from Socma village.” Enjoy the panoramic view of the waterfall and continue along the path until you reach the ruins of Raqaypata or Perolniyoc. Socma is also the gateway to the Ancascocha Trail.

Things to Do in Pachar, Peru

Enjoy the craft breweries of the Sacred Valley.

Stop at one of the most famous microbreweries in Peru’s Sacred Valley. Pachar Brewery is located at the central bus station in Pachar. Sacred Valley Brewery has a beautiful beer garden next to the river.

The outdoor space at Pachar Brewery is spectacular, the beer is delicious in various flavors, and the brewery has long been a favorite destination for locals and foreigners alike to enjoy delicious craft beer, whether food to eat or appetizers to share with friends. Don’t miss this incredible adventure at Pachar, Peru’s Sacred Valley of the Incas.

Follow the incredible ancient Inca Trail from Pachar to Ollantaytambo

Across the Pachar, after the bridge, is the old Inca Trail that leads to the lovely town of Ollantaytambo. This ancient Inca trail is part of the original Inca trail.

The Main Inca Trail connected several significant parts of the Inca Empire. This section of the Inca Trail passes by the Choqana Ruins on the banks of the Urubamba River before joining Ollantaytambo.

Enjoy a short walk from Pachar to Ollantaytambo and admire the vast natural landscapes on the hiking circuit. During your adventure, explore some of the Inca terraces, where locals grow corn and other agricultural products.

  • Distance: 5 km/ 3.13 miles
  • Hiking time: 1 hour and 15 minutes; hiking from Pachar, Urubamba, to Ollantaytambo
  • Minimum Altitude: 2,806m/9,209 ft.
  • Maximum Altitude: 2,854 m/9,364 ft.

Explore the temple of Ñaupa Iglesia

Ñaupa Iglesia, also known as Choquequilla, is an Inca site built halfway up the mountain of Pachar.

On the promenade of the Ñaupa Iglesia temple, the ruin is built in a natural cave where the ancient Incas built a fountain, trapezoidal Inca windows, and a dimensional window.

Ñaupa Iglesia translates to “old church.” This magical place has a lot of positive energy. Don’t miss this beautiful outdoor adventure in the Sacred Valley in Peru.

Lovely hike to Perolniyoc waterfall and Raqaypata ruins

Perolniyoc Waterfall is hidden away in the gorgeous Sacred Valley of Cusco. The waterfall is impressive and worth it. Also, explore the Inca ruins of Raqaypata or Socma.

Start your hiking adventure from Soqma to the beautiful Perolniyoc Waterfall and continue to the Raqaypata Archaeological Park. On the cliff where this Perolniyoc waterfall is located are the ruins of Raqaypata.

The Socma Trek in Peru’s Sacred Valley takes place year-round. Between the whimsical Perolniyoc waterfall and the intriguing Inca ruins of Raqaypata, the Socma hike is a must-do when exploring the Sacred Valley.

  • Distance: 6.2 km/ 3.90 miles
  • Hiking time: 1 hour and 34 minutes; hiking from Socma to Perolniyoc, Raqaypata
  • Minimum Altitude: 2,941m/9,652 ft.
  • Maximum Altitude: 3,611m/11,850 ft.


Ollantaytambo is a picturesque village located at the exit of the Sacred Valley. The Sacred Valley is home to the ruins of Ollantaytambo, one of the most visited tourist attractions. There are several exciting tourist routes just outside Ollantaytambo.

The Sacred Valley has some of Ollantaytambo’s best hiking trails, such as the Pumamarca Inca Trail and the Inti Punku Ruins of Ollantaytambo. Explore the cozy streets of the Incas in the city of Ollantaytambo. Native Inca streets and several perfectly carved Inca water canals are paved.

Finally, Ollantaytambo is the gateway to Machu Picchu. Take a train on the Peruvian Railways. The duration of the train journey is 1 hour and 40 minutes. “An epic adventure from the Andes to the cloud forests of Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley of Ollantaytambo.”

Things to Do in Ollantaytambo

Explore the entire archaeological park of Ollantaytambo.

Ollantaytambo is a strategic, religious, and agricultural center that will amaze any explorer. The archaeological site of Ollantaytambo dates back to the days of the Inca Empire. The Ollantaytambo ruins were briefly a refuge for Inca kings and nobles in the Spanish colony. The Ollantaytambo ruins are enormous boulders from the Cachicata Quarries, 6 km away.

The temple of Ollantaytambo is aligned with the city of Cusco due to the ancient Inca architects’ selection of the area for its underground water channels, location between three valleys, climate, and the entrance and exit areas of the sacred valley. At the top of Mount Ollantaytambo, six sizeable rectangular stone blocks belong to the Sun Temple.

One of the most striking details of Ollantaytambo is that the rocks found in the complex are entirely smooth, flawless, and undamaged, which means that the builders could lift and transport the stones without damage. Some. Ollantaytambo was built on a very high slope, which is quite an achievement. Undoubtedly, Ollantaytambo is one of the great wonders of Inca architecture, and questions still arise today, many of which remain unanswered.

Enjoy the nearby ruins of Ollantaytambo for free.

Many incredible Inca ruins are accessible while exploring the Sacred Valley of Ollantaytambo.


Discover the sacred mountain of Pinkuylluna. To get to the Pinkuylluna ruins, you have to go to the main square of the town of Ollantaytambo and look at the nearest triangular-shaped peak.


Before entering the town of Ollantaytambo, find the archaeological site of Qellorakay. At Qellorakay, you can see the main gateway of Ollantaytambo, Inca hanging houses built on the reefs of Pinkuylluna Mountain, and explore the agricultural terraces of Qellorakay on both sides of the Urubamba River.

Enjoy the trek through the Inca Trail of Pumamarca.

The Pumamarca ruin is the most spectacular Inca site in Peru’s Sacred Valley. To get to Pumamarca, take a vehicle in the town of Ollantaytambo to go up the river from Patacancha in “20 minutes by car.” The trail to Pumamarca winds through a beautiful Andean forest in the Ollantaytambo valley.

This hiking route to Pumamarca is splendid for descending the Pumamarca mountain towards Ollantaytambo; during the walk, we find beautiful panoramic views; several ruins consist of a system of Inca platforms that cover almost an entire mountain, “Inca platforms of Pata-Pata.”

The walk ends on the colonial trail along the Patacancha River until you reach the plaza of Ollantaytambo. “Explore the Pumamarca Inca trail of the Sacred Valley in Ollantaytambo.”

  • Distance: 12.7 km (7.92 miles)
  • Hiking time: 3 hours and 11 minutes; hiking from Pumamarca to Ollantaytambo Plaza
  • Minimum Altitude: 2,844 m (9,331 ft).
  • Maximum Altitude: 3,397m/11,148 ft.

Reach the top of the Intipunku of Ollantaytambo with an impressive view

Walk along the beautiful Inca Quarry, hike the Inca Trail to the Sun Gate, and discover Intipunku in Ollantaytambo. Overlooking the Veronica Glacier, the Sun Gate, with a view directed towards the Veronica Glacier, Intipunku has one of the most astonishing views in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

Impressive sun gate in front and on top of Ollantaytambo village. As you reach the top of the mountain, you will see the panorama of Nevada Veronica (5682 m), the region’s highest and most visible mountain.

The best way to reach Intipunku is on foot or horseback, enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Sacred Valley and the snow-capped mountains surrounding the Andes region.

  • Distance: 8.8 km/ 5.47 miles
  • Hiking time: 2 hours and 11 minutes. Hiking from Ollantaytambo to Intipunku of Ollantaytambo
  • Minimum Altitude: 2,806m/9,209 ft.
  • Maximum Altitude: 3,888m/12,756 ft.

Stroll through the cobbled streets of Ollantaytambo

Ollantaytambo is a city that preserves colonial and Inca architecture. The combination of the two architectures is astonishing for Peru’s living heritage and culture. Ollantaytambo’s cobbled streets are lined with Inca aqueducts.

The Andes mountains of the Sacred Valley surround Ollantaytambo’s charming central square. Ollantaytambo is an ideal place to spend a few nights or have a great adventure and climb to higher altitudes, such as the city of Cusco or the Rainbow Mountain hiking trail.

Ollantaytambo: The Gateway to Machu Picchu

Ollantaytambo is the gateway to Machu Picchu. Most travelers arrive in Ollantaytambo to take the train to Aguas Calientes. Two rail companies, PeruRail and Inca Rail, travel to Machu Picchu. The town of Aguas Calientes is only accessible by train. When arriving in Aguas Calientes, take the bus to Machu Picchu.

Many travelers also visit Ollantaytambo and spend the night at various tourist routes such as Lares, Huchuy Qosqo, Pumamarca, Urquillos hikes, tours of the Sacred Valley, Maras Moray, etc.

The next day, many travelers continue their direct journey to Machu Picchu, traveling by train or connecting with the Short Inca Trail Adventure, Inca Jungle, etc. Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley is a focal point for several archaeological sites or spectacular excursion circuits.

How many kilometers does the Sacred Valley extend in Peru?

The Sacred Valley begins at Pisac with its beautiful Inca ruins. The Urubamba River passes through Calca, Urubamba, and Ollantaytambo. The Sacred Valley ends almost near Machu Picchu. The distance to the Sacred Valley between Pisac and Ollantaytambo is 100 km.

The Sacred Valley is about 1 km wide. Tall mountains surround both sides of the valley, some of which are permanently covered with snow.

What are the entrance tickets to the Sacred Valley?

BTG: Integral Tourist Ticket: The entrance ticket allows you to enter the archaeological sites and some museums administered by the Ministry of Culture in Cusco. The entrance ticket to the Sacred Valley is priced at S/130 Soles (approximately $45) for foreign adults; the integral tourist ticket is valid for ten days.

On the other hand, partial tourist tickets are exclusive to visiting the ruins of the Sacred Valley, cost 70 soles (about $25), and are valid for two days.

Entrance tickets to the Sacred Valley can be purchased at any archaeological park in the Sacred Valley or Av. El Sol 103 in the town of Cusco. “Tourist Galleries” is half a block from Cusco’s main square.

Between what elevations does the Sacred Valley fluctuate?

In general, the elevation of the Sacred Valley is first taken as a reference; the Pisac ruins are at 3,347 meters, the midpoint of the Sacred Valley route.

Then there is the ruin of Ollantaytambo at 2800 meters. Between the ruins of Pisac and Ollantaytambo is a significant elevation to tour or stay overnight anywhere in Peru’s Sacred Valley.

Chinchero’s 3,800 meters above sea level are added if travelers take the full-day tour of the Sacred Valley to the highlands.

What is the weather forecast for the Sacred Valley throughout the year?

In May, June, July, August, September, October, November, and December, you will have good weather with an average temperature between 20 degrees Celsius (68°F) and 26 degrees Celsius (79°F).

What is the temperature like year-round in Sacred Valley, Peru?

It has mild temperatures all year round, ranging between 18°C (65°F) and 21°C (69°F).

Does Sacred Valley have a dry season?

May, June, July, and August are the dry seasons.

Which is the warmest month in Sacred Valley, Peru?

October has an average maximum temperature of 21°C (70°F) and is the year’s warmest month.

Which is the coldest month in Sacred Valley, Peru?

The coldest month is July, with an average maximum temperature of 19°C (66°F).

Which is the wettest month in Sacred Valley, Peru?

January tops the wettest month list with 158mm (6.2in) of rainfall.

Which is the driest month in Sacred Valley, Peru?

June is the driest month, with 2mm (0.1 in) of precipitation.

Which is the sunniest month in Sacred Valley, Peru?

July is the sunniest month, with an average of 257 hours of sunshine.

What is the geography of the Sacred Valley, Peru?

The high Andes surround the Sacred Valley; the Sacred Valley sits at an elevation that never falls below 2,042 meters (6,700 feet) and routinely rises well above 2,895 meters (9,500 feet). At that altitude, the air is thin and can create challenges for those who aren’t fully acclimated. The twin peaks of Sahuasiray and Veronica are even higher and dominate the horizon at over 5,791 meters (19,000 feet).

The Sacred Valley was formed over millions of years by the Urubamba River, fed by a loose mountain stream. Urubamba means “sacred river” and originates from the valley’s name. Lined with rolling green meadows, the river offers a refuge from the rugged and harsh Andes and the hot and humid Amazonia of Cusco.

History of the Sacred Valley, Peru

Archaeologists believe the Sacred Valley has been continuously inhabited for over 3,000 years. First, around 800-900 BC, the people of Chanapata arrived, and later, through Qotacalli, the Kilke civilization came 1200 years later. These groups were attracted to the rich and fertile land there, which enabled them to grow crops that could more easily feed their populations.

Around 1000 AD, the Incas appeared throughout the region, using their capital, Cusco, as their seat of power. Using a combination of diplomacy, military force, and administrative control, the Incas took command of the Sacred Valley, where their empire eventually expanded. They used the lush and fertile areas to grow corn and other vegetables, allowing their culture to thrive and grow. Forts were built throughout the region to become permanent monuments to their civilization.

The Incas would rule the region for over 400 years. Their dominance in the Sacred Valley collapsed with the arrival of the Spaniards, who were looking for gold, jewels, and enslaved people. However, carrying its Inca legacy, Cusco remains the region’s most prominent city.

What are the best personalized experiences in the Sacred Valley, Peru?

The best private tours within the Sacred Valley are the following:

  1. Private Sacred Valley Tour from Cusco, Peru
  2. Sacred Valley Tour from Urubamba, Peru
  3. Sacred Valley Tour from Ollantaytambo, Peru
  4. Maras Salt Flats Half Day from Sacred Valley, Peru

What are the best tour packages around the Sacred Valley, Peru?

We have several alternative tourist circuits to explore the Sacred Valley and its surroundings or spend the night in Ollantaytambo before entering Machu Picchu or leaving the Sacred Valley, Peru.

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