Overview

Introduction

The Sacred Valley is one of Peru’s most beautiful and atmospheric places. The scenery is breathtaking and the region is well worth including in your itinerary. Between Cusco and Machu Picchu there are a number of interesting small towns and villages and historical sites. It is an ideal area for those considering self drive.

The Sacred Valley follows the Urubamba River as it winds its way through Inca terraces, traditional villages, fields and rocky gorges towards Ollanta and Inca fortress, Ollantaytambo, an imposing Inca fortress with fabulous views of the valley.

Urubamba village is charming and peaceful, It is situated close to the river and is particularly good for activities including walking, low level white water rafting and horse riding. Moray is remote but beautiful, with numerous agricultural terraces known locally as the green houses of the Incas. During the harvest months of May and June, the crops turn golden and Moray looks stunning against the snow capped mountains. Salinas and Maras, cascades of ancient rectangular salt basins, are nearby and also worth visiting.

The Valley is also know for the colourful, vibrant markets, in particular Pisac Market (main day Sunday) and Chinchero Sunday market.

The Sacred Valley is aptly named for the number of fascinating Inca ruins and fortresses that can be explored through self drive itineraries or full day excursions. These can also be combined with a number of hikes varying in difficulty and duration.

From the Pisac ruins in the higher regions of the Valley you can hike to Pisac market. Alternatively, the Ollantaytambo Inca fortress is a dramatic engineering feat by the Inca’s with beautiful terraces. In ‘Ollanta’ town all trains to Aguas Calientes stop here.

A few kilometres before Urubamba lies Moray, a very different Inca site. Used as an agricultural experimentation by the Inca’s, it consists of many different levels and terraces in a circular shape to acclimatise crops to different temperatures. Studies have shown that there have been recordings of up to 15°C difference from the top to bottom terraces.

Nearby to Moray lies the ‘Salineras de Maras’, or Salt pans of Maras. A naturally high concentration salt spring is diverted to make hundred of small pools on the terraces owned by local villagers which are then blocked off and the sun is left to evaporate the water leaving piles of pure white salt. This is a fascinating sight creating good photo opportunities, back-dropped by green mountains and blue skies.

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Traveller Tips

-Good area for acclimatising (lower altitude than Cusco)
-Enjoy the excellent choice of activities in the region including walking, white-water rafting and horse-riding
-Visit the colourful and vibrant markets
-Relax and unwind at the many comfortable hotel spa’s

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Peru boasts wonderful archaeological sites such as an Inca city suspended high in the cloud forest and its rainforest is home to an amazing diversity of plants and wildlife. It is also the foodie hub of South America.

Will Rist
Will Rist
Best time to go
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC
Time Difference

GMT - 6 hours

Currency

Nuevo Sol or US dollar

Language

Spanish

Average flight times

12 hours 30 minutes. BA direct flight from London Gatwick

  • Average temperature

    Average rainfall

Note: Map is for guidance purposes only.

Talk to our Peru expert

Will Rist
Will Rist

Peru boasts wonderful archaeological sites such as an Inca city suspended high in the cloud forest and its rainforest is home to an amazing diversity of plants and wildlife. It is also the foodie hub of South America.

Call one of our experts to discuss your next holiday with Sunvil on

020 8758 4774

We're open today till 5:30 PM

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The Sacred Valley

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

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