Knowing the Sacred Valley of the Incas in two days

The Inca Sacred Valley is situated in the Peruvian Andes, formed by many rivers that descend from the small valleys. These valleys, in turn, aggregate various archaeological monuments and indigenous villages.

Due to its climatic and geographical qualities, the region was one of the most prosperous in ancient times and where is produced the best corn of Peru.

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The Sacred Valley of the Incas lies between the villages of Pisac and Ollantaytambo. The main river that crosses the region is the Urubamba River, parallel to the Vilcanota or Wilcamayu (the sacred river).

Pisac

A guided tour of Pisac takes about 2 hours before returning to the valley to visit Cusco’s most colorful and traditional local market, where you can buy traditional fabrics at low prices, continuing the journey along the beautiful Sacred Valley, the barn, which still produces large quantities of maize on the Inca terraces.

 

Urubamba

Leaving Pisac, the next destination is Urubamba. Enjoy the lunch buffet at the local restaurants! The food is amazing!

From Urubamba it is just 30 minutes to reach the last Inca ruins known as Ollantaytambo (Inca palace); This ruin was built with pink granite stones and is another striking example of Inca architecture. It is also the site of the second largest rock of the Inca times (90 tons) that was used as part of the Temple of the Sun.

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After the tour you will have free time to stroll around the place before dinner at any of the local restaurants.

 

Aguas Calientes

If you want to travel to Aguas Calientes at night, you should go to the train station, which is a 15-minute walk away. The train leaves at 19:00 for Aguas Calientes and is a two-hour trip. When you arrive in Aguas Calientes (6561ft to 19685,04 ft above sea) you will feel a slight difference in altitude, so consider sleeping for the next day’s adventures. Aguas Calientes hotels are modest but guarantee a comfortable stay.

 

 

Machu Picchu

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, take the 25-minute bus to the return road to the ruins of Machu Picchu. Buses start  at 5:30 am and work like a bus, as soon as they get full, they go.

If you do not take the bus and prefer to hike the Inca trail, simply advise the guide so that he can show the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, which will take about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

It is advisable to hire a local guide or local agency for this tour (Find local trips / Peru Hop). If you have tickets to climb one of the incredible mountains of Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu, your guide will direct you to where to begin this hike after the tour.

 

Some Tips

  • Try to organize this tour at least 2 months in advance. Tickets are sold in advance, especially to Huayna Picchu.
  • Once at Machu Picchu Park, you will have a two-hour guided tour. Then you will have extra time to explore the ruins on your own.
  • If you have booked a permit to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu, this will be your next adventure.
  • The Sun Gate is a 1 hour climb (and it is free and available to everyone), which is great for getting these postcard photos of the ruins from above.
  • After the tour, you will have free time to walk around the citadel to take photos and enjoy this mystical place.
  • After returning to Aguas Calientes, you will have lunch at the restaurant of the same village, and then return by train to Ollantaytambo.

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Semíramis F. Alencar Moreira – Redação Hurb – semiramis.moreira@hurb.com

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