Why visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas?

Terra Explorer
December 18, 2020

Visiting the Sacred Valley of the Incas is a must for anyone traveling to Cusco. The name itself is a call to immerse in this enchanting place, which was an essential and strategic location for the development of the Inca empire.

This valley has an impressive beauty and is guarded and protected, according to the Andean culture beliefs, by its majestic Apus (sacred mountains) such as Pitusiray, Sahuasiray, Verónica, and Chicón. Are you interested in taking a trip to the Sacred Valley? Then read on to learn more about this beautiful destination!

Its history

Approximately six centuries ago, two Inca sovereigns created the Tahuantinsuyo empire that stretched over 4,000 km from southern Colombia to central Chile. The Andean territories of Peru and Bolivia and northern Argentina also belonged to this vast empire.

The Sacred Valley, which stretches along the Vilcanota-Urubamba River, joining two of the most essential Apus: Ausangate and Salkantay, converged the most important center of this empire. This river had and continues to have great significance for the Andean worldview, as it is believed that the Milky Way is reflected in it.

The most well-known towns that comprise part of this valley are Pisac, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo, Maras & Moray.

It may interest you: Salkantay and Ausangate: Two majestic glacier mountains in the navel of the world

Perfect weather

The Sacred Valley (3000 m.a.s.l.), is surrounded by mountains that protect it from the cold winds coming from the flat highlands. This, among other factors, makes its climate ideal for agricultural activity. For this reason, to this day, we find vast and fructiferous fields where corn and potato crops stand out.

The climate and its fertile lands were the main reasons why the Incas chose this place as the most important center of the Tahuantinsuyo and why they called it “sacred”.

What activities can you do in the Sacred Valley?

  • Visiting the town and the archeological site of Pisaq is one of the most popular activities within the Sacred Valley. We start by touring the ruins of Pisaq, an ancient religious, agricultural, and military center of the empire. Then, we will descend through a very well preserved Inca trail to the main square that bears the same name, where the most famous artisan market in the entire valley is located. In it, there are different types of crafts and natural stones that fill this place with immense energy.
  • There are countless trails for trekking through impressive lagoons that are hidden behind the mountains that make up this valley. Some of them are the trek to Lares or the Ancascocha trek. You can also visit some local and remote communities, villages full of magic, history, and color.
  • The Sacred Valley is also a perfect location for practicing mountain biking on trails with spectacular views of snow-capped mountains, blue skies and lagoons, and vast fields of crops. The best known is the tour to Maras and Moray while enjoying the company of the snowy Verónica in some sections.
  • Visit the town of Ollantaytambo, the last stop before taking the train ride to the citadel of Machu Picchu; a place that takes you back in time, where we can find cobblestoned streets and ancient houses that have not changed since Inca times. Ollantaytambo was one of the most important royal sites built by the Inca Pachacutec in the Sacred Valley.
  • Visit the 4,000 wells of pink salt in the Maras salt mines. This salt is found only in 4 locations around the world, making this experience even more remarkable.

You may be interested in: Adventure tourism, exploring the inaccessible

What does Terra Explorer offer you?

The activities that can be carried out within the Sacred Valley are innumerable, whether they are adventure sports on ancient Inca trails or family walks with views that will leave you breathless.

Some of the activities we offer for people who like adventure are:

  • The Inca Trail. It lasts five days, it starts very close to the town of Ollantaytambo and ends with the arrival through the Puerta del Sol (Sun Gate) to the citadel of Machu Picchu.
  • Ancascocha trek, a 3-day trek to the lagoon of the same name located on the slopes of the Huayanay mountain (4600m.s.n.m.).
  • Mountain biking in Maras and Moray, where you will visit the Maras salt mines and then the Moray circular platforms, one of the most enigmatic archaeological sites in the valley.
  • Other hikes to some of the most impressive snow-capped mountains in Peru, such as Ausangate or Salkantay.

If you are in search of family activities, we have several experiences with less physical demand, which will also allow you to enjoy the outdoors and Peruvian cuisine, such as the following:

  • We can visit Huaypo lagoon, where you can take part in activities like lake kayaking, stand up paddle, sail ride, always accompanied by a luxury picnic.
  • If you want to spend the night in a million stars hotel, we have glamping and luxury camping located in strategic places of impressive beauty.

Now that you know more about the history of the Sacred Valley of the Incas and where it is located, do you want to visit this incredible place? At Terra Explorer, we have various itineraries for you. If you want to know that we will help you design the trip of your dreams!

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