The Sacred Valley of Peru should not be overlooked when visiting Peru. It’s an incredible place to be, with so much to do and see! You won’t be bored here, with centuries-old Inca ruins, rural villages, and pink salt mines. So, here is a complete guide to Peru’s Sacred Valley, including everything you need to know before going.
The Sacred Valley is a village located between Pisac and Ollantaytambo, just a few kilometres from the ever-loving Cusco. The Sacred Valley in Peru is famous for being Peru’s agricultural centre during the Incan era.
The fertile rich soils were ideal for growing crops such as potatoes, grains, and other fruits and vegetables. Numerous temple ruins and architectural marvels can also be found at Ollantaytambo, Moray, Pisac, and Chinchero.
There are various ways to get to Peru’s Sacred Valley. However, the most popular routes are from Pisac or Urubamba, where you can easily get into a “collectivo” – they are convenient, safe, and can effectively carry your luggage.
Large buses are also available, and they can be less costly. You can also take a taxi to the Sacred Valley, which is the quickest but also the most expensive option.
The Sacred Valley of Peru has two seasons: dry season and wet season. The dry season, which lasts from April to October, is the best time to visit the Sacred Valley because the weather is ideal, with little rain, clear blue skies, and plenty of sunshine.
The wet season, which lasts from November to March, is not the best time to travel because the roads are muddy, slippery, and wet from rain, and visibility is poor most of the time.
However, the Sacred Valley will be less crowded during the wet season. Whatever season you visit, you must acclimate to the surroundings by staying in Cusco for 1-2 days before your trip.
One of the best places to start your trip in Peru’s Sacred Valley is Ollantaytambo. It is a 15th-century Inca fortress with distinctive architecture and massive stone structures that stood firm despite Spanish invasions.
You can also go to the Pisac ruins, which are over 3000 meters above sea level. These Pisac structures are thought to have been built between 1438 and 1472 by Inca Emperor Pachacuti. When you visit today, you can see Incan cemeteries, ceremonial baths, agricultural terraces, and much more.
The Moray ruins are more exciting than the Pisac ruins. The Moray ruins are made up of three groups of circles with 12 levels of great depressions and platforms that have varying temperatures as you descend. While the exact reason for the construction is unknown, many researchers believe it was used by the Incas as a ceremonial site or to experiment with different crops.
Don’t miss the Maras Salt Mines, which have over 6000 salt ponds used by local families to collect and sell salt at markets. The Chinchero village and market are also worth a visit, where you can buy everything from fresh local produce to handmade items, Peruvian fabrics, and alpaca wool.