If you are planning your trip on visiting Peru and are fascinated by the Incas’ history, centuries-old Inca ruins, green terraces, picturesque colonial towns, and colorful markets, you must add Sacred Valley top of your to-do list in Cusco.
When you sift through other blogs about day hikes and a perfect Sacred Valley tour from Cusco, you’ll find that most of them offer the standard Sacred Valley tour.
Here, at Peru Spirit, we think a bit differently. Our aim is to provide genuinely useful information about the Sacred Valley for independent travelers seeking a truly different that are completely tailored to their needs, whether you travel alone, with family and friends, or in a group, and off-the-beaten-track experience.
If you want something different in your Sacred Valley experience, then look no further. Here is your guide to a truly exceptional and unique day or two through one of the world’s most famous valleys!
First things first, what is the Sacred Valley of the Incas?
The Sacred Valley of the Incas is a stunning and historic valley that was inhabited by the Runas, human beings in Quechua, of the Tahuantinsuyo or Incan Empire who built amazing Inca temples, sacred temples, storehouses, water channels, and impressive works of agricultural engineering admired by all of humanity.
On the other hand, Sacred Valley of the Incas is a region that forms a direct path between the altiplano and the Amazonian region, that is to say, between the different worlds of the Andean cosmos; this is why the area has unique historical importance.
It is also a circuit of small villages of Quechua-speaking communities and dotted with the surviving remains of great Inca family estates, with stunning landscapes and a mystic past, but most of its history is still unknown.
The Urubamba river
The Sacred Valley of the Incas, also known as Urubamba Valley, extends throughout the winding Urubamba River, which also goes by the name of the Vilcanota River or the Wilcamayu River, which is an important element to the ecosystem of the region.
Therefore, is important to mention the Urubamba river which in its journey, connects two of the most sacred mountains; Ausangate mountain and Salkantay Peak.
It is precisely on the edge of the Salkantay where the Incas built the ceremonial citadel of Machu Picchu.
So, Why the Valley is so important for the Incas?
Since a long time, the Sacred Valley has been a privileged region, due to its favorable conditions and fertile agriculture and for supplying the city of Cusco with a large part of its products such as corn, fruits and vegetables. Also, it was a corridor to the cloudy jungle where also the habitants used to farm coca leaves. Actually, this is still one of the most productive activities in Machu Picchu surroundings.
Some of the Inca ruins and archaeological sites in the Sacred Valley, portray the skills of the Incas to combine the forms of the natural landscape with the ceremonial architecture made of stone.
Also, the Sacred Valley is important because, during Inca and pre-Inca period, most of the sites in the area served for ritual ceremonies due to the proximity and sight of the surrounded peaks
Why are there so many fortresses in the Sacred Valley?
The Incas built fortresses along the Sacred Valley to guard the frontiers and prevent unexpected attacks by nomad tribes. Others believe that the aim of the design was to call reverential attention to neighbor ethnic groups such as the Chancas, who were the rivals of the Quechuas.
Are you looking for a Sacred Valley Tour from Cusco?
If you come to Cusco and look for a cultural immersion, the best way to do it is by taking a Sacred Valley tour. The Incredible Sacred Valley of the Incas or Urubamba Valley, is a vast valley that offers a lot of things to see: the Inca ruins of Pisac and Ollantaytambo are located at either end of the valley and in the middle offer recordings by ancient salt mines, Inca amphitheaters, local farms, and non-tourist markets and unique cultural and culinary tours.
Discover the Sacred Valley’s Private Group Travel Experience with Peru Spirit
At Peru Spirit, we offer new ways to experience the famous Sacred Valley of the Incas in small groups and private trips, to enhance the experience that gives the full attention of our guides and staff. That means whether you are staying at a Sacred Valley hacienda, or a cosmopolitan city hotel in Cusco, we are able to tailor your Sacred Valley Private tour exactly to your needs.
By private tour, we mean that you will have a car and driver at your disposal, as well as a guide to explain what you are seeing. However, describing these roles as guide and driver don’t do them justice, we’d prefer to call them travel companion or fellow adventurers. We like to think that they are local people sharing their culture with visiting friends. So you can do a tour Sacred Valley that is as typical or custom as you like! As we say, it’s completely private and your own car /group
Unique Travel Experiences to Cusco’s Sacred Valley: The Best Way to Travel
Enjoy the Sacred Valley Guided Tours, either traveling by the Cusco Pisac route or by the Cusco Chinchero route. It is important to keep in mind that these day trips from Cusco follow two different routes:
These day trips to the famous Sacred valley of the Incas are the perfect opportunity to connect with Incan history.
TOUR #1: The “alternative” Sacred Valley Tour by Chinchero Route:
This Sacred Valley Alternative option allow you to explore the other gems of the Valley such as Chinchero (ruins & Andean textile center), Moray Ruins, Maras Salt Mines, and Ollantaytambo, a bucket-list for everyone. This scenic day tour can be started from Ollantaytambo, Urubamba and finishing in Cusco or viceversa, see the details HERE
TOUR #2: The “standard” Sacred Valley Tour by Pisac Route:
This Sacred Valley Classic Trip allows you to explore some Incan sites in the region, as Pisac ruins and market, Inca fortress in Ollantaytambo, and Llama/ Alpaca farm. This Classic Cusco day tour can be started from Ollantaytambo, Urubamba and finishing in Cusco or viceversa, see the details HERE
TOUR #3: The Sacred Valley Absolute or Extended Sacred Valley Tour:
This is an absolute way to explore the highlights of the Sacred Valley in one day, not missing anything! It can be quite overwhelming. But, you will get to see all major Inca ruins in one day. This tour is perfect for ones who do not have enough time to visit it in more days or have very limited time, but still with huge desires to see complete Sacred Valley. See more details HERE