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The Sacred Valley

The Sacred Valley is the valley west of the sloping edges of the mountain town of Cusco. This area is rich, not only in fields, farms and views, but also in ancient Inca ruins, particularly Pisac and Ollantaytambo Compared to the chilly city of Cusco, the Sacred Valley is a sunny paradise where travelers can explore the remains of numerous Inca palaces, fortresses and temples, and wander through charming Andean villages that continue to produce some of the country’s finest handicrafts. Carefully sculpted by the Incas, the valley and its major attractions constantly echo the importance of lunar and solar movements in Inca culture. The temple fortresses of Pisac and Ollantaytambo both exemplify the Incas ability to integrate nature with magnificent feats of human engineering.

Due to its lower elevation, the Sacred Valley area is also an ideal place for travelers to acclimatize to altitude, before tackling any of the major mountains around Cusco. Soroche, or mountain sickness is a real threat in the area, and should be taken seriously by anyone arriving by plane from sea level. Adventure travelers will especially love this section of Peru. Not only are there wonderful hiking opportunities, but a number of adventure sports are also on offer: rafting, biking, horseriding, to name a few. With spectacular Inca ruins and countless colonial churches and modern markets, this area has plenty to see and do while you prepare to surmount the area’s higher-altitude attractions. Even if you don’t plan to see all the attractions in the Sacred Valley area, it is recommended that you purchase the Cusco Tourist Ticket, which covers many of the main ruins’ entrance fees. If you make your arrangements through a tour operator, the entrance and trek fees are usually included.

20 Apr 2012

Places to Go in the Sacred Valley


102419Pisac (32 kilometers or 20 miles northeast of Cusco) is popular due to both ancient and modern attractions. The ancient ruins at the top of the mountainside-featuring a small Inca village with ...
Pisac, Peru


102420Poised in the northeastern end of the Sacred Valley, about 97 km (60.2 mi) from Cusco, this little town is a cultural haven well worth the visit. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks on both sides, ...
Ollantaytambo, Peru


Located a few kilometers east of Urubamba, Yucay is a peaceful town with a few interesting colonial homes and the restored colonial church of Santiago Apóstol. Inside the church, you\'ll find ...
Yucay, Peru


Located precisely in the middle of the Sacred Valley, Urubamba is an attractive little town, making it a good base for traveling around the area, exploring the countryside and visiting the Inca ...
Urubamba, Peru

Hotels in the Sacred Valley

Hotel Urubamba

When visiting a country where the majority of the population lives in poverty, it may not be fair or kind to criticize the efforts of its citizens who are trying to do the best they can with limited ...
Urubamba, Peru

Hospedaje Linda Flor

108596Hospedaje Linda Flor offers a clean place to sleep-and little else. Prices are low though, even for rooms with private bathrooms. Register in the convenience store below, and walk up a dirty stairway ...
Pisac, Peru

Hospedaje los Jardines

A little bit away from the Plaza de Armas in Urubamba, but closer to the foothills of the looming mountains of the Sacred Valley, the Hospedaje los Jardines is a very pleasant and reasonably priced ...
Urubamba, Peru

Hostal Varayoq

Hostal Varayoq calls itself a two-star hostel but this brand-new facility, right in the heart of the village of Pisac, has the look and feel of three-star hotel. Yet the prices are indeed hostel ...
Pisac, Peru

Hospedaje El Artesano

Hospedaje El Artesano is probably the most minimal of hostels in Pisac. You have to walk through a soiled corridor with exposed wiring coming out the walls to access the reception. It ...
Pisac, Peru

Hostal El Bosque

This hostel is about a two-minute walk from the train station. It has small and comfortable rooms with private bathrooms and hot water. The inviting courtyard and gardens are a great place to ...
Other Hotel
Ollantaytambo, Peru

Hospedaje Los Andenes

This pleasant hostel offers comfortable rooms, with colorful, heavy wool blankets for warmth once night falls. Rooms have private bathroom and free Wi-Fi. For those looking to save a few dollars, opt ...
Ollantaytambo, Peru

Hospedaje Pumamarka

With only four rooms in an old rustic building, the Hospedaje Pumamarka evokes a pioneer spirit of a romantic past. In terms of budget accommodation, if you are looking for cheap but quality, this is ...
Ollantaytambo, Peru

Hospedaje Mach'a Wasi

In the town of Urubamba, Mach'a Wasi is a convenient and comfortable place for visitors to stay while exploring the natural, historic and cultural wonders of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. At an ...
Urubamba, Peru


Perched on a very slender piece of land between the road and the river, K'antuyoc may be as close to sleeping in a grove of eucalyptus as it gets without actually swinging from a hammock. From the ...
Ollantaytambo, Peru

Hotel Pakaritampu

Lodging in Ollantaytambo doesn\'t get much swankier or much more relaxing than Hotel Pakaritampu. Located on Avenida Ferrocarril, which links the railroad station with the town center, the hotel\'s ...
Ollantaytambo, Peru
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