The Essence of the Sacred Valley – Full Day Tour
The Essence Sacred Valley of the Incas
A key area of settlement to the ancient people. It has a beautiful weather and fertile plains make a rare and fruitful combination in the high Andes. It was also the route to the jungle and therefore an area with access to the fruits and plants of the tropical lowlands. The Sacred Valley served as a buffer zone, protecting Cusco from incursions of the Antis, the fierce jungle tribes who from time to time raided the highlands.
Highlight: Pisac ruins and market, Inka fortress in Ollantaytambo.
Location: Sacred Valley, Cusco. (Pisac, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo, Chincheros)
Duration: Full day
Adventure Rating: This is a traditional tour.
Departure Dates: any day with two people. We offer affordably priced tours for 2 people so that you can depart when it suits you best.
You will be picked up at 8:00 from your hotel in Cusco or the Sacred Valley by private transportation, there is a 45 minute drive through beautiful mountains and farmlands to Awanacancha a farm where we can see and feed llamas, alpacas and vicuñas and even take selfies with them!
Then we will drive one hour to the majestic ruins at Pisac where we will visit terraced Inca ruins that are situated high on a mountain. From here, we will climb to the top of the ruins and take in amazing views of the Sacred Valley.Your guide will teach you about the religious, astronomical and military functions of the site and see the terraces that allowed the Incas to grow food above 11,000 feet. After visiting the Inca ruins, there will be a chance to hike on a little known, seldom used original Inca trail and through a tunnel that was built by the Incas. One of the largest Inca cemeteries is also located in the ruins at Pisac and we can tour this part of the site as well.
We will then drive one hour to the town of Urubamba where we will have lunch in a local restaurant. After lunch, we will go to the local authentic non-tourist market in Urubamba. Here we will see local families selling things such as fruits, vegetables, flowers and natural medicinal plants. Your guide will give you a tour of the market and you can taste Peruvian fruits and foods such as passion fruit, lucuma, and chirimoya. We will also learn about the ingredients needed to make chicha, a corn beer that has been an important part of Peruvian culture since Inca times.
We will then drive for half an hour to visit the Inca ruins at Ollantaytambo, which was the lodging of the Inca emperor Pachacutec and later served as a military checkpoint for the Incas trying to protect the roads to Machu Picchu from the invading Spaniards. Enjoy a guided tour of the terraced ruins, fountains and aqueducts and see storage houses that were used by the Incas to maximize winds to keep crops cool and preserved. We will then have time to wander the streets of one of the oldest towns in Peru, where many 15th century Inca buildings still stand today.
If your hotel is in Cusco, we will stop on the way back at Chinchero in order to visit the textiles workshop where we will watch a demonstration of local weavers who are using Inca techniques for dyeing fabric and for weaving traditional patterns. Here you will have time to browse the shop which sells Inca style purses, tablecloths, wall hangings, and many other colorful and exquisitely patterned artesanal goods.
- Professional, English speaking guide.
- Collection from your hotel in the morning of tour departure.
- Private Transport as described in itinerary.
- Lunch at a Sacred Valley restaurant.
- Admissions (Cusco Partial Tourist Ticket for Sacred Valley Tour sites)
- Snacks and Water.
You should bring:
- A light day pack to carry your things.
- Your Boleto Turistico (Tourist ticket).
- Water bottle and water.
- Money for snacks, souvenirs and tips if you wish to tip.
- Hat, sunscreen and sunglasses.
- Jumper (sweater).
- Rain protection (or plastic poncho).
Cusco region can experience “all seasons in one day” therefore its wise to take a warm hat and gloves, as well as s sunhat, when you leave in the morning, in order to be prepared for all eventualities.