Peru has much more to offer besides a unique culinary experience for the food lovers and a solid dose of adventure for the backpackers. It has hidden treasures of a colourful and ancient cultural history waiting to be discovered by the world. The Sacred Valley of the Incas which lies between the former Incan capital of Cusco and the impressive citadel of Machu Picchu is teeming with such riches. Take a one-day tour of South America’s most renowned valley with us and discover the untouched treasures of Peru. Here’s everything you need to know about the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
The Peruvian Wonderland
The Sacred Valley of the Incas can easily be classified as the Peruvian wonderland for it has preserved till date the country’s ancient history and unique culture in its most raw form. This fertile river valley which is known as the Rio Urubamba Valley to the natives is the breeding farm of the ancient Peruvian civilization, the Incan history and spiritual heritage and the Andean wildlife set against the scenic backdrop of the majestic alpine peaks of the Willkabamba range. The Sacred Valley has a soul of its own. It is inhabited by the indigenous Quechua tribes, the ruins of the ancient Incan architecture, farmlands and sanctuaries, and has the marks of the Spanish conquest engraved in its very land. This valley which is watered by the mighty Willka Mayu river was the agricultural, spiritual, architectural and artistic base of the formidable Inca Empire. It has treasures of past glory and continual evolution of the Andes and Peru embedded in its land, enriching its soul. It is a true Peruvian wonderland.
The Sacred Valley of the Incas is vast and it has some magnificent ruins, numerous indigenous villages and stunningly beautiful sceneries in every corner. We have selected some sites for our 1-day tour of the Sacred Valley for you to enjoy every bit of its life in a short time. The sites we shall visit (by the given order) on our tour are as follows:
- Qochawasi animal sanctuary
- Sacred River (Willka Mayu river) bank
- Pisaq ruins
- Pisaq market
Our 1-day tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas is a full day tour which means that we start off our day as early as 08:00 A.M. in the morning. The valley is located 15 kilometres in the north of the main city of Cusco. We will pick you up from the hotel where you are staying in the city and head towards our first destination, the Qochawasi animal sanctuary. Exotic native animals from all around the Andean valley are brought to this animal rescue centre where they are taken care of. You will be able to see in-person the unique indigenous animal species at the sanctuary.
You will have a fun time feeding the llamas, alpacas, pumas, south American bears, condors etc.
From the Qochawasi animal sanctuary, we drive deep into the Urubamba Valley to find ourselves a beautiful spot to gaze at the beautiful Urubamba river which is the infamous Sacred River of the Incas. This historic river which is the primary source of water and has allowed the Peruvian Andes to live since ancient times. It is known as the Willka Mayu which literally means “the sacred river.” This river has irrigated the fertile soil of this valley since ancient times. It continues to aid the cultivation of indigenous corn species and other crops to date. We stop at an exclusive river-view point to have exotic views of this Nile of the Andes.
We continue our journey across the Sacred Valley and head towards the magnificent ruins of Pisaq. We will take a bus from the Willka Mayu sightseeing point towards this ancient village. The magnificent ruins of an ancient Incan fortress shadow the village. You will be amazed to see the fine stonework, remnants of a temple dedicated to the worship of the Sun God, agricultural terraces and fort structures embedded in caves. There are natural holes which form the ancient Incan cemeterial complex. These ruins showcase the craft of Incan engineers and builders at best.
From the ruins, we drive down towards our next stop which is the historic Pisac market. This market was the primary commercial arcade during the colonial period and speciale during the last century. farmers from all over the Sacred Valley make way towards these markets to sell their harvest. However, this market is the cultural hotspot in the valley. Artists from all around bring their best work using the indigenous Peruvian art forms, some influenced by the colonial Spanish aesthetics. It has now transformed into a colourful and culturally rich Peruvian souvenir market in the valley.
Our final destination on our 1-day tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas the ancient town of Ollantaytambo. This town is now the lone-standing urban design of the Inca architecture and design in its original form. It is an example of the comprehensive and advanced urban planning of the Inca civilization. The ancient town finds its character in the erect cobblestone designs, efficient canal system which is still functional and a gridded urban town layout. In the north end of this town, there stands a beautiful temple of sun which was partially demolished during a decisive Spanish expedition during the sixteenth-century conquest. Ollantaytambo is a fascinating place in its own right!
What Is Included?
Our package for a 1-day tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas in the Cusco region includes the following:
- Tour guide(s) proficient in English and Spanish
- Small-group personalized service
- Tickets to archaeological sites
It is advised to be wear hiking boots or any comfortable footwear which can support walking across various sites in the valley. Please ensure that you bring raincoats and umbrellas in case of a downpour, personal water supplies and sunscreen.
Our able team will put in their best effort to ensure a completely personalized and enjoyable Sacred Valley experience for you.