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Sacred Valley Day Tour

Cusco and its surroundings have a lot to offer. Visiting Inca and pre-Inca sites and places like Moray, the fortress of Ollantaytambo, Pisac and the Maras salt ponds. As well as the traditional textile production process of the alpaca wool. Alpaca based products like sweaters, ponchos, rugs and many others are one of the main sources of income for local families. This is a tour full of culture and Peruvian tradition that everyone will enjoy.

The sites: brief overview

Chinchero

This town is known for its agricultural and Colonial architecture. As a matter of fact Spanish colonizers constructed a Church and several buildings over intricate Inca structures. Giving a unique combination that fused both cultures seamlessly. Chinchero is also popular for its varied woolwork textiles. As you visit a workshop, you´ll hear a brief but interesting explanation about the cleaning and coloring of the alpaca and sheep wool. You´ll get the chance to buy products from their original place of making.

Moray

This archeological site worked as place for agricultural experimentation. Using different levels and heights, which resulted in a small change in temperature, creating a microclimate for each sublevel. Each level was destined for a different kind of crop. Being the center the hottest part, and gradually getting colder when reaching the outer rim of the construction. With this system, the Inca people were able to adapt the site and simulate up to 20 microclimates.

Maras

This small town is known for its mesmerizing salt ponds. This ponds were made by hand since the time of the Incas, and are still in use to this day. It is one of the 4 places in the world where pink salt is obtained. The system consists of terraces and mineral rich water streams which flow down to each of the salt pools. With the help of the sun, the water-salt solution evaporates and this mineral is gathered by the people of the town. In fact, each pool is owned by the local families.

Ollantaytambo

Here, we can find a lovely town and the marvelous Inca fortress with impressive pre hispanic architecture. Ollantaytambo is located along the Urubamba river, surrounded by tall mountains. The archeological site is composed of terraces for agriculture and religious temples. It is the only place that preserves its original Inca urban composition. There, you can learn about some techniques that the Inca people used, like high positioned barns, using the cold wind as a form of food preservation.

Pisac ruins (P’isaq)

Name after the town it’s located in, Pisac ruins are one of the most attractive sites, next to Machu Picchu. It is famous for its tombs containing impressively well preserved corpses. In fact, it is the largest Inca cemetery and the oldest in South America. Aside from that it has a wide housing complex where you can appreciate the traditional Inca way of living, as well as the intricate underground water distribution system. The town of Pisac has a lot to offer as well. You can visit one of the many silver and stones workshops where you can learn about their craftsmanship, as well as being able to tell pure silver and natural stone appart from imitations sold in touristic markets.

When is the best time to do it?

The dry season in Perú is from April to October, of which the busiest and driest months are June, July and August. Rainy season lasts from November to March. Any time is good to do it, since the tour is mostly by bus. Although, if you want to make the most of it, we recommend going on the dry season and be aware that December, January and February, are the most rainy months.

Itinerary

This town is known for its agricultural and Colonial architecture. As a matter of fact Spanish colonizers constructed a Church and several buildings over intricate Inca structures. Giving a unique combination that fused both cultures seamlessly. Chinchero is also popular for its varied woolwork textiles. As you visit a workshop, you´ll hear a brief but interesting explanation about the cleaning and coloring of the alpaca and sheep wool. You´ll get the chance to buy products from their original place of making.

  • 6:45 - 7:00Pick up each passenger.
  • 7:00 - 8:00Ride to Chinchero.
  • 8:00 - 9:30Arrival at Chinchero and guided visit through the archeological sites and textile workshop.
  • 9:30 - 10:00 Ride to Moray.
  • 10:00 - 12:00Visit Moray ruins and Salineras de Maras.
  • 12:00 - 13:00Ride to Urubamba.
  • 13:00 - 13:30 Buffet lunch.
  • 13:30 - 14:00Ride to Ollantaytambo.
  • 14:00 - 15:00 Guided visit in Ollantaytambo fortress.
  • 15:00 - 16:30 Ride to Pisac.
  • 16:30 - 18:30 Guided visit in Pisac ruins and silver workshop.
  • 18:30 - 19:30Ride back to Cusco.
  • 19:30 Arrival at Cusco center.

What to take

  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat or cap
  • Cash for souvenirs
  • Jacket for the cold
  • Walking / Comfortable shoes

Tips & advice

  • Double check with your tour operator what's included in the tour you booked
  • There are two kinds of tickets for visiting archeological sites around Cusco. One day ticket (4 places for 70 soles), or 10 day ticket (14 places for 140 soles). Also, the Salineras de Maras ticket is 10 soles. They may or may not be included in the tour price.
  • Make sure the lunch is included in the price. Otherwise it may cost up to 30 soles or more.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. The archeological sites have steep paths and many stairs.
  • Ask your tour operator about the extension to go by train to Machu Picchu from Ollantaytambo. (Pro tip: train tickets are less expensive from there than from Cusco)
  • It's always a good idea to bring extra cash in Soles for souvenirs, snacks, and buying products from the locals that you’ll see along the way.

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