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Top 5 Highlights of the Sacred Valley

Top 5 Highlights of the Sacred Valley

Exuding peace and serenity, the beautiful Río Urubamba Valley, known as the Sacred Valley, is located 20 km (12 miles) north of the Inca capital Cusco. Tucked at the foot of the formidable Andean mountains, the region is long home to charming colonial towns, isolated weaving communities and impressive archaeological sites, such as the world-famous Machu Picchu. These fertile lands that nourished the Inca Empire follow the course of the Urubamba River, which starts in the high Andes and is called the Vilcanota River until it reaches the Sacred Valley. The diverse geography that combines the mighty Andean hills with the energetic Urubamba torrent allow for several micro-climates that give way to specializations in different types of fruit, maize and local plants. The Sacred Valley is understood to include everything along the Urubamba River with its extremities guarded by the exceptional ruins of Machu Picchu and the pretty Peruvian town of Pisac. Star attractions of the historical valley are the artisanal markets of the ancient Inca citadels of Pisac and Ollantaytambo, with the latter boasting an extraordinary construction incorporated right into the cliffside. Avoid making the same mistake as most travelers, too eager to see the main highlight Machu Picchu and altogether skipping the astonishing region of the Sacred Valley. Take some time to explore the stunning Inca sites and soak in the beauty of this historical and cultural Andean treasure. To enhance your Sacred Valley experience we have put together a list of our top 5 highlights of the Sacred Valley.

Machu Picchu

Admire the majesty of Machu Picchu

#1 Relive the Inca’s glory days in Machu Picchu

A trip to Peru is never complete without visiting the awe-inspiring ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. Perched dramatically on a mountain ledge, the ancient city overlooks the dizzying Andean slopes that plunge into a curve in the Río Urubamba. The Inca’s exploitation of the 250-million-year-old rocks of grey-white granite and construction of a secret elegant citadel accompanied by a mystical background continually stuns travelers from all over the world. Read more about Machu Picchu…

Machu Picchu

Gaze upon the stunning Inca architecture and breathtaking Andean summits at Machu Picchu

#2 Hunt for bargains at the Pisac Market

Sitting at the foot of an original Inca settlement, Pisac is a charming colonial town founded in 1570 that hosts a thriving market selling an impressive variety of goods such as ceramics, jewelry and textiles. Pisac Market is perfect if you’re looking to bring back some souvenirs as it offers an exceptional crafts and ceramics section where you can purchase beautiful hand-painted multi-colored breads. Read more about the Pisac Market…

Pisac Market

Hunt for a bargain in Písac’s endless sea of stalls /Source

#3 Witness a Paso Horse Show

The Peruvian Paso or Peruvian Horse is a breed of light pleasure saddle horse known for its smooth ride. Originally brought from Spain, the breed has maintained its desirable qualities through selective breeding and more recently through protection provided by the Peruvian government. Read more about the Paso Horse Show…

Peruvian Paso Horse Show

Experience the height of Peru’s modern culture by attending a Paso Horse Show / Source

#4 Time travel in Ollantaytambo

The enchanting village of Ollantaytambo, nicknamed Ollanta by locals, is the best surviving example of Inca city planning. Indeed, Ollanta’s organizational grid system can be seen from vantage points high above, especially from the hill opposite the fortress. Strategically placed at the entrance of the Urubamba Valley, the site was the only Inca stronghold to consistently resist Spanish attacks. Read more about Ollantaytambo…

Ollantaytambo Fortress

Admire the Incan fortress in Ollantaytambo / Source

#5 Delve deeper into the Inca Empire at Maras & Moray

The Sacred Valley displays a stunning amalgam of Andean natural beauty and incredible ingenuity of Inca industry. The Valley boasts some of the most famous ruins in the world and receives an immense influx of tourists. However some equally worthy marvels as the star attractions don’t quite make the mainstream map, so you might find yourself missing the wonders of Maras and Moray. Read more about Maras and Moray…

Maras Salt Mines

Tour the stunning Maras Salt Pans

Thanks for visiting our Central & South America Travel Blog! Feel free to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or contact one of our Travel Specialists via emailphone or chat to plan your perfect trip to the Sacred Valley & Peru.

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