Officially known as the Urubamba Valley, the Sacred Valley of the Incas lies in the Peruvian Andes, about 10 miles north of the former Inca capital of Cusco. The historic gateway to Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley draws many thousands of visitors each year, although many seem to pass through the valley quickly in order to reach Machu Picchu. Though it is definitely worth it, spending a couple days in this fertile valley to visit the many ruins, small towns and markets that can be found in this region. Those sites can be visited with regular transportation, but also on horseback or mountain bike for those who are more adventurous.
The Sacred Valley is as well the starting point for many of the treks that lead to Machu Picchu, the Inca Capital. Make sure to include this colorful valley in your Peru tour, these travel professionals and Class Adventure Traveler do definitely agree with this statement. See and read what they have to say about a guided visit to the Sacred Valley and the Inca culture below:
Founder Sol & Luna Lodge – Spa
We wanted to have a place where you walk in and feel that you can relax here, a quiet and peaceful property. Most of our guests stay 3, 4, 5 nights, it’s about the Valley. ‘What can I do in the Valley? Can I go horseback riding, can I go paragliding’? So we started to add on those kinds of activities, we also added those on because it’s our life. Both my husband and I are paragliding pilots. So, that’s also one of the reasons we’re here, to fly! So, I think that we should share that with our guests.
Professional Guide Cusco & Sacred Valley
I feel very connected to the Inca’s, I’m a Spanish mix, but I know that I have a lot of things to share with the people. I grew up with my grandparents working on the fields, I learned about living in the farming areas and that is something I’d like to share with the people.
Class Adventure Traveler
This is my first experience of traveling with a guide, and that definitely makes a difference in your vacation. Because you learn a lot and you will receive an immediate and in depth information about the place you’re experiencing. And that to me was awesome! I would really want to come back to Peru, it was incredible!
The Incas built some of the most important buildings in all of pre-Columbian South America and the main attractions in the Sacred Valley are the fortresses of Pisac and Ollantaytambo. Pisac is also a colonial village of the same name lying below the ruins and is the easiest place to start your visit to the sacred valley, as it’s only 20 miles from Cusco. Ollantaytambo on the other end of the valley is the best surviving Inca city, having been inhabited by Incas and their descendants from the year 1200 onwards.
Explore the diversity of the Sacred Valley, apart from trekking and the archaeological ruins, the Valley is also fast becoming an adventure sports mecca, thanks in large part to the river of the same name flowing through it. With rapids up to class IV, the Urubamba River is a fantastic place for white water rafting and canyoning. Mountain biking, paragliding and bungee jumping are also on offer.