All the highlights of the Sacred Valley – ruins, scenery, charming Inca villages, and more – plus a few local secrets. The best way to get to and from Machu Picchu if you have limited time.
Maximum group size:
3 3 days
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The trip in detail
The sunny floodplain between Pisac and Ollantaytambo in the valley of the Urubamba River is known as the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Our first stop here is Pisac, a tiny, cobbled Inca village which is home to the largest handicraft market in the region and a huge Inca fortress. We’ll explore both, then set off through the Sacred Valley. We’ll need frequent photo stops as we pass still-working Inca terracing, irrigation canals, fertile farmland and awesome mountain vistas. Our destination for the night is Ollantaytambo, perhaps the most charming and perfectly preserved of all Inca towns, a maze of cobbled alleyways and sun-drenched plazas presided over by a spectacular, llama-shaped ruin.
Meals: Lunch and dinner included
Accommodation: Cosy, family-run hotel in Ollantaytambo
Today starts with Chinchero, a quiet little town best known for its outdoor weaving studios, terraced Inca ruin, and intricately-frescoed colonial church. Next is Moray – three massive Inca amphitheatres of incredible engineering precision and stern, magnificent beauty. Then an easy stroll (or ride in the bus if you prefer) through rolling farmland and views of the high Andes brings us to Salineras – a surreal and beautiful patchwork of pools and paths that still produces salt using Inca technology.
Later we’ll catch the train to Aguas Calientes, where we’ll spend the night.
Meals: All meals included
Accommodation: Comfortable hotel in Aguas Calientes
An early start rewards us with sunrise at Machu Picchu – a peak moment for anyone. A spectacular stone city surrounded by incredibly steep, incredibly green mountains, Machu Picchu needs no introduction and is deservedly one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. A guided tour is a necessary start to orient you in this massive site, then you’ll have plenty of time to explore the stone complex and some of the surrounding peaks on your own before we catch the train back to Cusco.