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South America / Peru

The Ultimate Guide for the Sacred Valley in Peru

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The Sacred Valley in Peru is incredible, mind-blowing, magical, and simply unmissable. There are so many amazing things to do in the Sacred Valley, also known as Valle Sagrado. From grand Inca ruins in sprawling Archaeological Parks, snow-capped mountains, salt mines, and hundreds of hiking trails to explore there is no shortage of breathtaking and worthwhile experiences.

The Sacred Valley is only an hour away from Cusco, yet it feels as if you are stepping into another world, another realm. With whispers of dimensional portal and Inca ruins scattered along the hillside, the Sacred Valley of Peru is simply otherworldly, an experience that feels as if you’re stepping back in time.

This ultimate guide for the Sacred Valley focuses on both the popular highlights and hidden sites of the Urubamba Valley from the adorable villages of Pisac to Ollantaytambo, and everything in between. Get inspired for some serious wanderlust in this magical region. Find useful tips like how to reach Peru’s Sacred Valley, what to see, where to eat, how to use the convenient public transportation, and where to stay in the Sacred Valley in Peru. The main focus of this ultimate Sacred Valley guide is to help travelers create their own customized Sacred Valley tour.

Discover off-the-beaten-path Inca ruins, tackle some of the best Sacred Valley hikes, and fall in love with the Sacred Valley in Peru.

Table of Contents

Useful Information About the Sacred Valley in Peru

Find all the logistics of the Sacred Valley in Peru, from where is the Sacred Valley, detailed directions how to reach it, where to base, and other useful tidbits.

Where is the Sacred Valley in Peru

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Sunset views from Saywa Mountain in Urubamba

Peru’s Sacred Valley lies just north of the Imperial City of Cusco. The Sacred Valley is the area usually referenced between the two village of Pisac and Ollantaytambo. The Sacred Valley in Peru can also be referenced as Urubamba Valley, as the Urubamba River flows through the fertile valley. Be mindful, the Urubamba River changes names as it flows through the Valley.

The two villages of Pisac and Urubamba are the easiest ways to access the Sacred Valley from Cusco. While Pisac is less than 20 miles from Cusco, the Sacred Valley has quite a different climate than its neighboring city.

Cusco sit at a towering altitude of 11,152 ft. (3,400 m), whereas the villages in the valley hover closer to 9,000 ft. (2,743). The weather here is usually temperate and maybe it just feels that way, but the sun seems to shine a little more here than in Cusco.

Cusco Travel Planning Resources | The Perfect Week in Cusco & the Sacred Valley | Unique & Famous Places to Visit in Peru | 5 Unique Cusco Itineraries | Where to Eat in Cusco

How to Reach the Sacred Valley in Peru

There are multiple ways to reach Peru’s Sacred Valley, with the two most popular access villages being Pisac or Urubamba. Collectivos, small mini buses service these popular destinations, and many places in-between. The collectivos are safe, fast, and luggage can be strapped on top of the roof. If visiting during rainy season, luggage is covered with a tarp.

Large and roomy buses also run from Cusco to Urubamba. Buses are cheaper, but take a little more time.

It’s important to note that prices may vary between drivers, so use these fares as a loose reference point. Be observants as to how much other drivers are charging and what other passengers are paying. Check the interior of the collectivo, as sometimes the fares are posted in the van. Generally speaking, pay for collectivos and buses upon exit.

How to Reach the Sacred Valley | Cusco to Pisac

Find the Collectivos in Cusco to Pisac on Puputi Street, near the Garcilaso Monument (roundabout). There are multiple vans departing from both sides of the street. Collectivos drop in Pisac near the main bridge, but some continue all the way to Calca or Urubamba for a higher fare

🚐 Collectivo Logistics | Average Fare: 4 PEN ($1 USD) | Duration: 45 minutes | Depart: frequently, when collectivo is full | Hours: 6:00 – 19:00

How to Reach the Sacred Valley | Cusco to Urubamba

Collectivos and buses depart frequently from Cusco to Urubamba’s primary bus station. Both forms of transportation pass by the popular villages of Chinchero and the busy Maras Transit Hub.

🚐 Collectivo Logistics | Average Fare: 8 PEN ($2 USD) | Duration: 1 hour | Depart: frequently, when collectivo is full | Departure Location: Av. Grau 510 | Hours: 6:00 – 19:00

🚌 Bus Logistics | Average Fare: 6 PEN ($1.50 USD) | Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes | Depart: frequently from Jirón 21 de Mayo 944 | Hours: 6:00 – 19:00

Which Village is the Best to Explore Peru’s Sacred Valley?

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The best place to base in the Sacred Valley in Peru is centrally located Urubamba

There are no shortage of adorable villages in the Sacred Valley in Peru. Each village offers its own unique charm. Personally, Urubamba was my favorite village to explore all the highlights of the Sacred Valley.

Urubamba is centrally located in the Sacred Valley and has a slick main bus terminal. This makes it super easy and convenient to explore all the highlights of the Sacred Valley! Not only is it centrally located, but some of the best Sacred Valley hikes like Saywa and the hidden alpine lake of Laguna Juchuycocha are right in Urubamba’s backyard!

A Quick Overview of Urubamba’s Bus Terminal

All of the popular destinations of the Sacred Valley in Peru are reachable via public transportation from Urubamba. Buses and collectivos run frequently from the main terminal in Urubamba from 6:00 – 19:00. There are taxis and motos, but the public transportation in the valley runs so efficiently and is cheap. So, save your money, and enjoy the local mode of transportation.

There are two departure sides of the main terminal. One side mostly services buses while the other side is filled with collectivos.

Don’t worry, there will be plenty of eager drivers shouting out their destinations, just listen!

Planning Tips for Exploring the Sacred Valley in Peru

Create your own self-guided Sacred Valley tour.

It is totally feasible to explore the Sacred Valley without a tour or guide. In fact, a self-guided Sacred Valley tour allows you to personally explore places that interest you the most. Want more nature? Perfect! Focus on the multiple hiking trails in the Sacred Valley! Fascinated by the Incas? Get off the beaten path and visit free Inca sacred sites in the form of Archaeological Parks!

Purchase the Cusco Tourist Ticket

In the Sacred Valley of Peru are the four notable Archaeological Parks of Pisac, Chinchero, Moray, and Ollantaytambo. These four parks are included on the Cusco Tourist Ticket, or the Cusco Boleto Turistico. If interested in touring these sprawling parks, it’s best to purchase the 10 day ticket.

There are 16 sites in total on the Cusco Tourist Ticket. All sites can be found between Cusco and the Sacred Valley.

Travel Deeper | How to Tour all 16 Sites of the Cusco Tourist Ticket Independently

Rainy vs. Dry Season | Sacred Valley Cusco

When is the best time to explore the Sacred Valley in Peru? Well, there are two very distinctive seasons, rainy and dry. Rainy season typically runs from November to April, while dry season is from May to October.

During rainy season, many of the hiking trails can be muddy and unmaintained. The nights are warmer than the dry season, but expect rain. Sometimes rain comes in the form of a simple drizzle, while other times it can be a torrential downpour. The weather is inconsistent. There are chances of dangerous mudslides and trails and roads can completely shutdown. However, the Sacred Valley is so green and lush. There are wild flowers everywhere and a lot less tourists.

The dry season is busy and many of the trails are filled with independent hikers and tour groups. The skies are usually vivid blue and conditions are dry and fair. Although it’s dry season, the nights become much colder.

Places to See in the Sacred Valley of Peru

Now that all of the logistics are out of the way, here are all the amazing places to see Peru’s Sacred Valley.

Each village is detailed into things to do, where to eat, how to reach the village, and of course where to sleep!

Want more information on each specific village?

Jump to | Pisac | Calca | Chinchero | Maras | Urubamba | Pachar | Ollantaytambo


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Pisac Elevation: 9,751 feet (2,972 m) | Pisac Population: close to 10,000 people, includes the small surrounding communities

Pisac is a favorite village on the Sacred Valley circuit and only 45 minutes from Cusco. The Pisac Archaeological Park is often a favorite highlight of the Cusco Tourist Ticket. In Pisac, find a large expat community, bringing plenty of meditation and spiritual work shops, plant medicine retreats, cute coffeeshops, garden cafes, and vegan eateries. There is still a local feeling, but the expat community adds a thriving bohemian spirit.

Jump to | Pisac Restaurants | Public Transportation Tips | Where to Sleep in Pisac

Things to Do in Pisac

Pisac Plaza de Armas & Artisanal Market

In the Plaza de Armas, find a daily artisanal market. This market is a great place to snag some Peruvian souvenirs from sweaters, pillowcases, jewelry, and wallhangings.

On Sundays, the market is booming and has more of a local feel. Villagers that live up in the mountains come down to sell. Find women in traditional clothing selling fresh fruits, veggies, and gorgeous flowers. In the square, vendors set-up pop-up food stands serving up traditional food. Locals come here to stock up on supplies for the week.

Pisac Peru Market

Pisac’s main market is small, but has plenty of vendors selling produce, chocolate, coffee, flowers, juices, and every day food items. Upstairs, find a few stalls selling sweaters and other souvenirs. On the outside of the market are food stands that serve up delicious menu del dia. Most of these hearty meals comes with a starter, main plate, and tea and are under s/10. The last stall (across from Antica Osteria) is always packed and served up some of my favorite meals in Pisac.

🚐 Public Transportation Tip | Near these food stalls is where to catch the buses to Mask’a (the back entrance to the Pisac Archaeological Park).

Pisac Archaeological Park

In addition to the lovely artisanal market, Pisac’s main draw is the massive hilltop ruins, which are included in the Boleto Turístico Cusco. This park can usually be accessed behind the Plaza de Armas; however, this main pathway can be closed due to damage from mudslides. It’s best to use the back entrance near Mask’a and walk down to the Plaza.

The Pisac Archaeological Park is large and takes at least a half-day to explore. Upon entrance, there is signage and information boards for a self-guided tour. The Pisac ruins have four main sectors: P’isaqaInti WatanaQalla Q’asa, and Kinchiraqay. These ruins also have their own Temple of the Sun, some possible ceremonial baths, and terraces that line the mountain. Look out the hillside cliffs for old Inca tombs, don’t forget to savor those epic mountain views. The Pisac ruins are really quite spectacular!

Kinsa Cocha

Kinsa Cocha is a stunning natural area located above Pisac that boasts three scenic lakes. It’s kind of a small mountain community that opens its doors to tourists. The taxi ride takes around 45 minutes from Pisac and winds up the bumpy mountain road.

Kinsa Cocha Logistics | Entrance Fee: 3 PEN (75¢ USD) | Duration: 3 hours

Although it’s not a direct hiking circuit, it’s a magical place that offers a few trails that can be explore leisurely. There are many alpacas roaming around. If you’re lucky, you may spot some children playing with their dogs around the lake. There are usually a few women at the entrance selling authentic handicrafts from bracelets, wallets, to belts.

Detailed Travel Guide | How to Visit Kinsa Cocha from Pisac

How to Get to Kinsa Cocha Pisac

Taxi Logistics | Average Fare: 150 PEN for roundtrip fare, up to 5 people can share a taxi | Taxis wait a few hours while you explore, make sure to negotiate this part!

Stroll by Pisac’s Other Church

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Take the scenic stroll past this church to see Pisac in another perspective

Tucked away a few blocks from Pisac’s main Plaza de Armas is another small church, which offers a lovely dirt path that makes a perfect morning or evening stroll. Follow along with an old Inca water canal, past the rolling corn fields, and get another perspective of this sleepy village, away from the tourist shops.

Pisac Restaurants

Pisac has a large expat community, which has brought is some lovely cafes, coffeeshops, and restaurants. Here’s a few different ideas when looking for some different Pisac Restaurants.

Remember, the market is always a great place to eat traditional Peruvian cuisine.

Bon Appetit Cafe Paris

Bon Appetit is an incredible little coffeeshop that specializes in French pastries and baked goods. It’s run by a local woman who puts her love into cakes, croissants, quiches, and more! Find them here.

La Ruta del Sabor

La Ruta del Sabor is a cozy and authentic restaurant that serves up hearty plates of food made from scratch. Everything is made fresh, right down to the sauces that are served with the main course. A true gem in the middle of town, but with a nice outdoor area closish to the river. Find them here.

Antica Osteria Pisac

One of the best Pisac restaurants hands down is Antica Osteria, a cozy pizzeria boasting incredible overall Italian food. The interior of this restaurant is inviting, the service on par, and the desserts a must. Find them across from the main Mercado de Pisac here.

Sacred Sushi & Curry

Sacred Sushi & Curry is a vegan hotspot that only opens on Sundays. This Pisac restaurant has a beautiful garden, low tables, hippy vibe, and homemade vegan goodies, making it a popular spot with the expat community. A must-visit for those looking for something a little different, but still seeking delicious food. Find them here.

Pisac Public Transportation Tips for the Sacred Valley in Peru

Collectivos run frequently to Pisac not only from Cusco, but also between Calca and Urubamba.

Collectivos from Cusco drop at the orange bridge in Pisac before they continue onwards into the Sacred Valley. Pay upon exit. The Plaza de Armas of Pisac is a few blocks from the bridge.

Pisac to Calca

🚐 Collectivo Logistics | Average Fare: 3 PEN (75¢ USD) | Duration: 40 minutes | Depart: frequently, when collectivo is full on the main road towards Calca

Collectivos drop in front of the main terminal of Calca where buses frequently depart to Pisac. There are two terminals in Calca. The main terminal is located on the primary road, whereas, the other terminal is located more in town, next to the stadium.

Some collectivos continue onto Urubamba (total fare 5 PEN, $1.25 USD), or make a quick transfer at the Calca terminal.

Calca to Urubamba

🚐 Collectivo Logistics | Average Fare: 2 PEN (50¢ USD) | Duration: 20 minutes | Depart: frequently

Where to Sleep in Pisac

Pisac is truly an adorable hamlet which is best explored in the early morning and afternoon, when all the day trippers from Cusco return to the Imperial City. The city is quiet in the evenings with the soft flow of the Urubamba River in the backdrop.

There are plenty of guesthouses and hostels to sleep at in Pisac, but El Parche Rutero Hostel, is a great hostel option a little outside of the city. There’s an excellent rooftop terrace with plenty of hammocks, a kitchen, hot showers, and lots of nice common spaces.

On the backroad to the Pisac Archaeological Park are a ton of awesome places to stay. The first small neighborhood farther past the popular Royal Inca Hotel is nicknamed “Gringoville” and there are a wide range of guesthouses to stay in. For a great local guesthouse with tons of green space, stay at Casa Camacho Hostel.

Find the perfect place to stay in Pisac


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Calca Elevation: 9,600 feet (2,926 m) | Calca population is around 9,732

Calca is one of the most overlooked villages in the Sacred Valley of Peru. The town itself has two lovely main plazas which are a delight to relax in. Calca has some peculiar ruins, Urqo, that are an easy half hour stroll from the center. If up for a challenging hike, village has its very own mystical mountain, Pitusiary in the backdrop that can be climbed by experienced hikers.

Calca has two busy bus terminals that make it easily connected to the entire Sacred Valley in Peru and also the nearby Lares Valley. Just down the road, it’s possible to access one of the routes to Huchuy Qosqo, or “Little Cusco.” This hilltop Archaeological Park is often overlooked, but played a significant role in the Inca empire. The village of Lares is three hours from Calca, but en-route find stunning Inca ruins, unlimited hiking trails, and stunning scenery. At the end of the road, find the local Lares hot springs.

Jump to | Lares Valley | Calca Restaurants | Public Transportation Tips | Where to Sleep in Calca

Things to Do in Calca

Relax in Calca’s Main Plazas

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The cute Plaza de Armas in Calca

Calca’s two main bustling plazas, Plaza de Armas and Plaza Sondor are beautiful. The thoughtful gardening and landscaping, the lovely fountain, and that backdrop of the surrounding mountain, make sure to grab a bench and relax. The plaza has lots of street food vendors selling goodies, and both plazas are surrounded by cafes and restaurants. Both of the plazas surround the main church. Take a moment to appreciate Calca, one of the least visited villages in the Sacred Valley of Peru.

Visit the Peculiar Urqo Ruins

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The unusual fountain spout in Urqo Archaeological Park

Urqo, or Urco, is a sacred site that is rarely frequented by tourists and is less than a half hour walk from Calca’s main bus terminal. The Urqo Archaeological Park boasts a peculiar and unusual carving on one of the main rocks. Although some say this “figure” may be the head of a snake or a puma, it appears to resemble more of an alien…. What do you think? Besides the main draw of the figure, there are some small buildings still standing. It’s unsure what Urqo was officially used for, but it is apparent that it had strong ties with water.

The trail of Urqo can be completed as a 2.25 mile loop, or as a simple stroll from Calca or from the Inkariy Museum, via the back trail.

Calca ruins Urqo Map Snippet, Urco ruins in Calca
Click here for the Urqo ruins interactive map and a basic overview hiking guide

Climb the Challenging Apu Pitusiray

There’s a lot of mysticism and buzz around the jagged Apu (God of the Indigenous) Pitusiray Mountain. Experienced hikers may wish to spend the whole day climbing up the mountain where a stunning alpine lake sits. Pitusiray is a tough climb and it should be noted that many people have gone missing while hiking this trail. Hire a guide, or hike with a buddy. If looking for a hiking companion, try searching in Hike Club Cusco.

Huchuy Qosqo Trek

The Huchuy Qosqo trek has many routes, but one of the most “straight forward,” and possibly straight up routes can be accessed just down the road from Calca in the tiny village of Lamay. The climb will take a few hours, but the reward at the top is truly spectacular. This may have been the palace grounds of the Inca Emperor Viracocha and there are terraces, a ceremonial fountain, and views for days from “Little Cusco.”

Those travelers who want to explore a little deeper should head towards the community of Puca Marca. This add-on out and back trail is 4 miles in total, but one of my favorite hiking trails in the Sacred Valley.

Lares Valley

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The Lares Hot Springs are authentic and popular with locals

Lares is a little bit of a haul from Calca, but the Lares Valley has its own special charm. Most people venture here to soak in their authentic and sizzling hot springs. The journey is a long, just shy of 2 hours for a one way trip, but the stunning views of the valley make it completely worthwhile. Grab a window seat to see ruins scattered. Get out and explore the Ancasmarca ruins covering the hillside, or just enjoy the stunning scenery of waterfalls gushing down the hills at every corner. There are thousands of alpacas and llamas running wild and glaciers showing off their beautiful snow-capped peaks.

✈ Travel Planning | 14 of the Best Hot Springs in Peru

Hiking in the Lares Valley

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Women weaving in the Lares Valley

There are multiple routes in the Lares Valley, including the “Weaver’s Way.” This hike is gaining more popularity as an alternative route to Machu Picchu. The trek begins near Lares and finishes in 3 or 4 days in Ollantaytambo. However, there are tons of trails that can be explored.

One day Lares Valley trek via Huilquijasa Pass

Calca Restaurants

Calca has many restaurants surrounding the two main plazas. These two I kept coming back to.


Kawsaytika is an amazing little cafe serving up a rotating vegetarian or vegan menu del dia. The ambiance is inviting and don’t miss the lovely garden in the back. There’s an extensive coffee list and pastries available! Find them here.

El Huarique del Negro

El Huarique del Negro is an authentic Peruvian restaurant that serves up traditional plates of food. This establishment boasts a wide range menu including ceviche and in the afternoons homemade pizzas. The portions are huge and the price is more than fair. Find them here.

Calca Public Transportation Tips for the Sacred Valley in Peru

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Private cars and collectivos connect Lares Valley and Calca. We stopped here to change a flat tire (in under 5 minutes)

Calca has two main bus terminals. The main connects Calca to Pisac and Urubamba and can be found here. To reach the tiny hamlet of Lamay for the Huchuy Qosqo trek, head in the direction of Pisac.

Calca to Urubamba

🚐 Collectivo Logistics | Average Fare: 2 PEN (50¢ USD) | Duration: 20 minutes | Depart: frequently

Calca to Lares

Collectivos to Lares depart from Calca’s other terminal that can be found at Mariano de los Santos Street. Note: During the Covid Pandemic the collectivos and cars were temporarily departing from Calca’s main terminal. Double check before walking in towards the stadium.

🚐 Collectivo Logistics | Average Fare: 10 PEN ($2.50 USD) | Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes | Depart: frequently

  • Collectivos drop at the Plaza de Armas in Lares AND the entrance of the Termales
  • Hours: 6:00-18:00. From Lares, the final departure time back to Calca is at 18:00!!
  • Collectivos and small cars run alternatively for the same price.
  • Departures from Lares are only from the Plaza de Armas.

Where to Sleep in Calca

Calca is a very authentic town in the Sacred Valley in Peru. It is centrally located and also boasts two well connected bus terminals. This would make an ideal place to base if you’re searching for something a little more off the beaten path.

Find the perfect place to sleep in Calca


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Chinchero elevation: 12,342 feet (3,762 m) | Chinchero district population: 9,379

Chinchero is a popular stop for those with the Boleto Turístico Cusco. At this Archeological Park find Inca ruins and a small museum onsite. The main focal point is the colonial church, which requires an additional fee.

Jump to | Public Transportation Tips

Things to Do in Chinchero

Chinchero Archaeological Park

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The terraces found at the Chinchero Archaeological Park in the Sacred Valley in Peru

The Chinchero ruins are included on the popular Cusco Tourist Ticket. This sacred site is believed to be the former palace of Tupac Inca Yupanqui, the Inca’s most notable conqueror. The Chinchero ruins include some terraces and on the outskirts of the park some interesting stonework. To appreciate this site, it’s best to arrive early in the morning before the tour buses show up at around 9:00. There is a small but informative museum onsite.

The main focal point is the colonial church that was built on top of the main site of Chinchero. This church can be visited for an additional 3 PEN (75¢ USD).

Due to the activities surrounding the Chinchero ruins, it’s best to visit independently.

Chinchero Weaving Handicraft Market

The small community of Chinchero is best known for their weaving capabilities and handicrafts. In the main plaza of the Chinchero ruins, find local women proudly setting up their work. This is a great place to score an authentic souvenir that helps support the Chinchero weaving community.

Chinchero to Urquillos Hike

From the Chinchero ruins there’s a chance to follow an old Inca Road. This hike starts from the Chinchero ruins near the Waka Chincana sector, an area that sees little foot-traffic. Look for a faint footpath below and follow the trail away from the main site of Chinchero. This old Inca Road goes downhill along a scenic path through the Sacred Valley in Peru. Continue down to the tiny hamlet of Urquillos. From here, it’s possible to walk down to the main road that connects the entire Sacred Valley.

Chinchero Public Transportation Tips for Maneuvering the Sacred Valley in Peru

🚐 Collectivos from Cusco | Fare: 4 PEN ($1) | Duration: 35 minutes | Collectivos run frequently | Catch the mini vans on Av. Grau 510 | Depart when full and exit in the Village of Chinchero

🚐 Buses and Colletivos from Urubamba | Fare: 3 PEN (75¢) | Duration: 50 minutes | Public Transportation runs frequently | Depart when full from Urubamba main bus terminal | Exit at the Village of Chincheroafter the Maras Transit Hub

Buses drop off on the main road of Chinchero. Tell the bus driver that you would like to go to the Chinchero ruins. They are usually great at yelling out the stop, but it’s smart to follow along with an offline map.

Pay upon exit. The main ruins and market of Chinchero are a few blocks up the hill. To return to Cusco or the Sacred Valley, simply wave down a bus or collectivo in the direction you wish to go.


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Maras Peru Elevation: 11,106 ft (3,385 m) | Maras District population is around 7,167 people

Maras Peru is a small village that acts as the gateway to the impressive Moray ruins, another highlight on the Boleto Turístico Cusco. In Maras, find a lovely church with incredible views of the Sacred Valley of Peru. The Maras Salt Mines, or salineras de maras are another wildly popular spot on a Sacred Valley tour.

Jump to | Where to Eat in Maras | Public Transportation Tips

Things to Do in Maras Peru

These interesting terraces were used by the Incas with the most accepted idea was that these terraces were used as an exploratory agricultural site. With all Inca ruins, this is just speculation. Maras is also home to the famous Peru salt mines. The Moray ruins can be combined with a trip to the Maras Salt Mines, or salineras de maras, for a full adventure packed day trip.

Moray Archaeological Park

The Moray ruins are three large and peculiar terraces. This fascinating site is included on the Cusco Tourist Ticket and is a highlight of Peru’s Sacred Valley. The terraces include an easy to follow circuit. While most people relate these terraces to agriculture, it really can’t be certain what they were used for.

There are no direct buses from Maras to the Moray ruins. The only options from the village of Maras is to take a taxi, a guided tour, or hike a mostly flat and enjoyable 3.5 mile trail. A popular guided tour includes 4 wheelers.

Maras Salt Mines

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The Popular Peru Salt Mines in Maras

The Maras Salt Ponds are another popular excursion in the Sacred Valley in Peru. Although the mines can no longer be walked through, there are some nice viewpoints and plenty of women selling the popular Maras salt.

The easiest way to access the hike is from the back entrance. This includes a short half hour hike from the small hamlet of Media Luna.

Maras Salt Mines | Admission Ticket: 10 PEN ($2.75 USD) | *Not included on the Cusco Tourist Ticket

Full on Adventure Day | Maras Peru

Combine the Maras Salt Mines and the Moray ruins for a full day of hiking in the Sacred Valley Peru. Start out early and hike to the Maras Salt Mines. Exit out the main entrance and continue through the hillside to Maras. From here it’s easy to to hike from the village of Maras to Moray.

Detailed Guide | The Maras Salt Mines to Moray ruins Sacred Valley hike

Maras Church

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Maras Peru Church

Before departing from Maras, stop at the large Colonial church. The views here of the Sacred Valley are mind blowing and free!

Where to Eat in Maras

On the road that leads to the trailhead to Moray is a large restaurant complex. Restaurant Mama Mecha is a great place to snag a beverage or food before or after the trek to the Moray ruins. There are a few different options, but make sure to grab an outdoor table that has excellent views of the Maras church. There’s more than one restaurant to choose from here.

Maras Public Transportation Tips for the Sacred Valley in Peru

Collectivos and buses run frequently from Cusco to Urubamba and will stop at the Maras Transit Hub. At the Maras Transit Center, taxis run frequently to the village of Maras. For an extra fare, taxis will drop at the Moray ruins. Always make sure to negotiate the fare.

🚐 Collectivos from Cusco | Fare: 6 PEN ($1.75 USD) | Duration: 50 minutes | Collectivos run frequently | Catch the mini vans on Av. Grau 510 | Depart when full and exit at the Maras Transit Hub | Take a Taxi to Maras for 1 PEN (30¢) / 5 minutes

🚐 Collectivos from Urubamba | Fare: 2 PEN (50¢) | Duration: 30 minutes | Collectivos run frequently | Depart when full from Urubamba main bus terminal | Exit at the Maras Transit Hub & take a Taxi to Maras for 1 PEN (30¢) / 5 minutes

Maras Transfer Hub Information: How to reach the actual village of Maras
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Maras Peru Transit Center, just a stop on the side of the road that connects Cusco to Urubamba
  • Taxis from this transportation hub to Maras village should only cost 1 PEN (30¢)
  • Reach the Plaza de Armas of Maras in under 5 minutes
  • There are no public buses that run past the Moray Archaeological Site. There are two options to reach Maras.
    • Take a TAXI from the Maras Plaza de Armas for 20 PEN ($5.25 USD) for the entire taxi
    • HIKE the 3.5 mile flat and enjoyable pathway.


Urubamba Plaza de Armas, Urubamba Peru, villages in the Sacred Valley in Peru, Peru's Sacred Valley, Urubamba Church, mountains, sky, clouds, plaza, people, trees
Urubamba Elevation: 9,420 ft (2,870 m) | Urubamba population: 2,700 people, but there are many small communities so it feels bigger

Urubamba Peru is an excellent village to discover all the highlights of the Sacred Valley in Peru and is my absolute favorite village to base from and explore all the treasure of the Urubamba Valley.
From here, it’s possible to independently tour the four impressive Archaeological Parks of valley that are included on the Cusco Tourist Ticket. On top of the Inca Sites, Urubamba boasts some of the best hikes in the Sacred Valley.

Urubamba has an authentic market, artisanal shops, delicious restaurants, and the popular salt ponds are just a few minutes away via collectivo.

Jump to | Urubamba Restaurants | Public Transportation Tips | Where to Stay in Urubamba

Best Things to Do in Urubamba Peru

Psst…. There are so many incredible things to do in Urubamba, check out my “loveletter” to this magical village.

Authentic Urubamba Market

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The Urubamba Market is most lively on Wednesdays

Urubamba is home to one of the most bustling markets in the Sacred Valley in Peru. The Urubamba market runs on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Wednesday is the busiest day where many local people from the mountain communities come in to sell their goods, including livestock. The people of the mountain communities are always dressed in their beautiful and colorful traditional clothing.

Even if you miss the market day, head to Urubamba’s central Market. This is a large and bountiful market that is worth a peak. Across the street from Central Market is a smaller market with vendors, flower stands, and lots of women selling fresh juice.

Best Sacred Valley Hikes in Urubamba

Urubamba has some of the best hiking trails in the Sacred Valley in Peru, right in their backyard. See why Urubamba makes a perfect playground for those looking to hike in the Sacred Valley.

Saywa Archaeological Park
Saywa, Saywa Archaeological Park, grass, rock pillars, mountains, Urubamba, Sacred Valley, clouds, haze, sky, Sacred Valley hikes, things to do in Urubamba, Peru's Sacred Valley, hiking in Sacred Valley Peru
The incredible views above Saywa Archaeological Park

On of the best hikes in the Sacred Valley in Peru can be found in the backdrop of Urubamba, Saywa Mountain. On top of Saywa, find two ancient pillars, remnants of the mighty Inca dynasty, or maybe before. Saywa Archaeological Park is free to enjoy and sees little foot traffic. This hike showcases some of the best views of Urubamba and the entire Sacred Valley.

Laguna Juchuycocha
Laguna Juchuycocha, mountain, Mount Chicon, glacier, grass, sky, cloud, day trip from Urubamba, Sacred Valley hikes, things to do in Urubamba
Hidden in the mountains is the stunning Laguna Juchuycocha

Also, from Urubamba, take the challenging climb to Laguna Juchuycocha. This alpine lake sits at over 15,200 feet and offers jaw dropping views of Mt. Chicón and its glaciers. This is a full day climb that can be reached from the small village of San Isidro. Be mindful that it is extremely remote and challenging.

Secret Valley
Secred Valley, hiking in the Sacred Valley Peru, mountains, grass, hiking path, sky, plants
Shhh… it’s a Secret

There are multiple secret hiking trails throughout Urubamba.

One of my favorites was through Secret Valley. This is an adventurous trek and is best done with a guide or someone who knows the area and can only be done during the dry season. The path includes some bushwhacking, but eventually overlooks the beautiful Chupani ruins.

Visit Free Inca Ruins in Urubamba

Besides the free Inca ruins of Saywa and Chupani, there are other interesting Inca sites that are scattered nearby Urubamba and aren’t as hard to reach. Head up to Las Chullpas, which are located on the hillside closer to the community of Moccopata. The Sacred Valley is literally littered with free Inca ruins!

One of the more unique free Inca ruins in Urubamba is actually the cemetery. The Urubamba cemetery is worth a visit as it’s built on top of an Old Inca Site. See the remnants of Palacio de Huayna Capac and the fusion of the beautiful cemetery.

➯ Detailed Guide | 35+ Inca Sites to Visit in Peru (20+ are FREE!)

Urubamba Restaurants

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The makeshift red flags in the Sacred Valley in Peru means this building houses an authentic Chicharía!

Urubamba is filled with incredible places to eat. Here are a few Urubamba restaurants you’ll want to check out. Also, on the main street of Avenue Mariscal Castilla there are wide range of local restaurants, bakeries, and pizza places.


For a truly authentic menu del dia, head to Colmeiras. It’s a few blocks out of town, but it’s worth the walk. This place gets crazy busy during lunch, where locals fill the tables to eat a reasonably price menu in a garden setting. There are a few menu items to choose from and all the portions are large. Find them here.

Da Colektor

Da Colektor is a hip cafe serving up delicious food made with love. The whole cafe is decorated with funky art in cozy open air building. They also sell purses and unique clothing. On top of their delicious sandwiches, salads, find an extensive coffee, juice, and cocktail menu. Find them here.

Migas del Valle

One of the best bakeries in the entire Valley is Migas del Valle. There is one in Pisac, but this one in Urubamba also offers a menu del dia. This is THE place to come for sourdough bread, or any bread in general. Find them here.

Pizzeria Quinua

Another great place to score a menu del dia (10 PEN) is Pizzeria Quinua. There’s a simple garden setting and the food is simple, fast, and delicious. At night, this is a popular place to grab a Pizza. Find them here.

Pakakuna Posada Gourmet

Although they have recently moved a little out of Urubamba, those looking for some delicious food and excellent pastries should seek out Pakakuna Posada Gourmet. They served me one of the best burgers I had in my entire year in Peru. Find their new location here.

Visit an Authentic Chicharia

Notice all those make-shift red flags lining the streets of Urubamba and other Sacred Valley villages? These are home to authentic Chicharías, a small establishment that serves up the fermented beverage corn beverage, chicha.

Urubamba Public Transportation Tips for the Sacred Valley in Peru

Again, Urubamba is one of the easiest villages to access from Cusco. Multiple collectivos and buses run from Cusco to Urubamba. Urubamba connects the entire Sacred Valley of Peru with a busy main bus terminal which has frequent bus and collectivo departures.

Refresher | Cusco to Urubamba by Public Transportation

🚐 Collectivo Logistics | Average Fare: 8 PEN ($2 USD) | Duration: 1 hour | Depart: frequently, when collectivo is full | Departure Location: Av. Grau 510 | Hours: 6:00 – 19:00

🚌 Bus Logistics | Average Fare: 6 PEN ($1.50 USD) | Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes | Depart: frequently from Jirón 21 de Mayo 944 | Hours: 6:00 – 19:00

Where to Stay in Urubamba

Urubamba has some diverse places to stay from budget hostels, guesthouses, to even luxury hotels.

Some of my favorite places in Urubamba.

  • Las Chullpas Eco Lodge
  • Hampuy Valle Sagrado

Find the perfect place to stay in Urubamba

Pachar Peru

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Pachar Elevation: 9,321 ft (2,841 m)

In between Urubamba and Ollantaytambo is the tiny village of Pachar. The village is small, but it’s an awesome place to access some of the best adventure Sacred Valley hikes.

There’s the popular and small microbrewery of Cerveceria del Valle Sagrado. Cross the bridge to reach Ñaupa Iglesia. This powerful site houses some unique and interesting ruins, that may actually predate the Inca dynasty. Some even say there’s a dimensional portal carved into the side of the cave.

Pachar, Peru also is the gateway to the stunning Perolniyoc waterfall. Start this hike from the small village of Soqma. On top of the falls find the Raqaypata ruins. Adventure trekkers can take the two day trek to the stunning Laguna Ancascocha.

Jump to | Public Transportation Tips

Things to Do in Pachar Peru

Cerveceria del Valle Sagrado

One of the most popular microbreweries in the Sacred Valley in Peru is located right at the main bus station of Pachar. Cerveceria del Valle Sagrado has a lovely beer garden that sits right next to the river. The outdoor space is spectacular, the beer delicious, and the brewery does so much for the surrounding villages. There are bites of food to eat and appetizers to share with friends. Don’t miss this awesome little gem in Pachar. Find them here.

Old Inca Road to Ollantaytambo

Old Inca road, route Pachar to Ollantaytambo, Inca terraces, dirt path, mountains, clouds, sky, Sacred Valley, Choqana Ruins, Sacred Valley Hikes
The Old Inca Road turns into a dirt road just before Ollantaytambo.

Just across the bridge in Pachar is an Old Inca road that connects to the lovely village of Ollantaytambo. This ancient road is part of the Qhapaq Ñan, which was an advanced road system that connected the massive stretches of the Inca Empire. This section of road passes by the riverside Choqana ruins right before entering Ollantaytambo.

Ñaupa Iglesia

Ñaupa Iglesia, Choquequilla, alter, dimensional portal, Inca ruins, mountains, clouds, sky, cave, sacred valley highlights, unique things to see in the Sacred Valley in Peru, Peru's Sacred Valley
Enter into the the “wormhole” of Ñaupa Iglesia (Choquequilla)

Ñaupa Iglesia, also known as Choquequilla, is a hidden Inca site just down the road from Pachar. This casual half day hike showcases ruins that are built into an old cave. Ñaupa Iglesia translates from both Quechua and Spanish to “ancient church.” This magical place contains a peculiar alter, and some even say, a dimensional portal that has ties to Egypt. There is lots of energy at this Inca site and locals say that it may even predate the Incas. Don’t miss this incredible site in the Sacred Valley in Peru.

Perolniyoc Waterfall & Raqaypata Ruins

Perolniyoc, Inca ruins, cliff, waterfall, mountain, clouds, sky, grass, Sacred Valley Hikes, Raqaypata Archaeological Site, things to do in the Sacred Valley Peru, Sacred Valley Cusco
The Sacred Valley in Peru boasts many free Inca sites like Raqaypata, which sits on top of a waterfall

Farther down from Ñaupa Iglesia is the village of Soqma. From Soqma it’s possible to reach two awesome places in the Sacred Valley in Peru, the Perolniyoc Waterfall (Catarata Perolniyoc) and the Inca ruins on top of the waterfall, Raqaypata.

Ancascocha Trek

Ancascocha Lake, Laguna Ancascocha, mountain, waterfall, grass, red dirt, epic hikes near Cusco, Sacred Valley hikes, unique things to do in the Sacred Valley
One of the most off-the-beaten path Sacred Valley Hikes is the Ancascocha Trek

One of the most off-the-beaten path Sacred Valley Hikes is the Ancascocha Trek. This stunning multi-day trek twists and turns you through the mighty Andes to the untouched Laguna Ancascocha. This is one of the most challenging hikes in the Sacred Valley, but the rewards are incredible.

Coming Soon: Everything you need to know about tackling the Ancascocha Trek

Vilcanota Hike

Close to Pachar is the small hamlet of Yanahuara. From here, it’s possible to hike almost 7.5 miles through the village and towards the base of one of my favorite mountains, Apu Pumahuanca. The hike winds through the mountainside up to a stunning lake. Keep going farther and there’s another lake, and another…

This trail is in a small reserve called Mantanay and is part of the Vilcanota trek. The Vilcanota trek will lead you all the way to Lares in a few days if you wish. I only went as far as the Lake, but the trail is beautiful and is quite off the beaten path. Make sure to have an offline map and be prepared for the weather to change drastically.

Pachar Public Transportation Tips for the Sacred Valley in Peru

Pachar is conveniently located between Urubamba and Ollantaytambo and collectivos run frequently! The Pachar station is conveniently right in front of the Cervezeria.

Urubamba to Pachar

🚐 Collectivo Logistics | Average Fare: 2 PEN (50¢ USD) | Duration: 25 minutes 

Ollantaytambo to Pachar

 🚐 Collectivo Logistics Average Fare: 1 PEN (25¢ USD) | Duration: 5 minutes


Ollantaytambo Plaza de Armas, villages in the Sacred Valley in Peru, mountains, Sacred Valley Cusco, woman, buildings, clouds, sky
Ollantaytambo Elevation: 9,160 feet (2,792 m) | Ollantaytambo District Population: 10,165

Ollantaytambo is a lovely, picturesque Inca village. The biggest draw to this adorable hamlets are the Ollantaytambo ruins, which are included on the Boleto Turístico Cusco. However, there are plenty of free Inca ruins that can be explored right within the cobblestone streets of this adorable hamlet.

Ollantaytambo has some of the best Sacred Valley hikes including Pumamarca and Inti Punku, or the sun gate. The inviting cobblestone streets are a treat, with their Inca water canals chiseled perfectly through them. This little village has plenty of coffee shops, artisanal craft shops, and modern restaurants.

Ultimately, Ollantaytambo is THE gateway to Machu Picchu. Hop on a train, catch a shared collectivo, or start the official Inca Trail. All these are options from the village of Ollantaytambo.

Things to Do in Ollantaytambo

With all the excitement to reach Machu Picchu, so many people simply breeze past Ollantaytambo and the Sacred Valley in Peru in general. Don’t make this mistake!

Jump to | Ollantaytambo Restaurants | Public Transportation Tips | Where to Stay in Ollantaytambo

Things to Do in Ollantaytambo

Ruins, mountains, hiking trails, and more ruins, there are so many things to do in Ollantaytambo Peru. There are no shortage of stunning Ollantaytambo ruins, including free Inca sites. This town is a delight to stroll while appreciating the surrounding Inca runs and mountains.

Ollantaytambo Archaeological Park

Ollantaytambo Archaeolgoical Park, things to do in Sacred Valley Peru, Sacred Valley Cusco, Inca ruins, Ollantaytambo village, Sacred Valley highlights, sky, clouds, Inca terraces
Ollantaytambo’s Archaeological Park is incredible

Perched on the hillside and lined with terraces, the Ollantaytambo ruins are a must see while visiting the village. The Ollantaytambo ruins are part of the Cusco Tourist Ticket and include sites like Temple of the Sun, Water Temple, and the viewpoint of Inkawatana. 

☛ Travel Tip | Visit all 16 Sites of the Cusco Tourist Ticket Without a Tour

Free Inca Ruins in Ollantaytambo

Pikuylluna ruins in Ollantaytambo, free Inca sites in Ollantaytambo, Inca granaries, mountains, Sacred Valley Cusco, what to se in the Sacred Valley, clouds, sky, grass, trail, crops
The Pinkuylluna ruins are believed to be granaries that stored food for the Inca dynasty

There are many free Inca ruins to enjoy in Ollantaytambo. The most popular are the old hillside granaries of Pinkuylluna. It’s possible to walk right next to these structures and access them for free via a small tienda. There’s awesome vistas of Ollantaytambo and the main site.

A few minutes walk from the Ollantaytambo cemetery is the Quellorakay site. This free site looks out over the Urubamba River and sees little foot traffic. It’s a tranquil place that you will probably share with a few grazing cows. At sunset there’s great views of the hillside mountains.

The Choqana ruins sit along the rive across the Orange Inca Bridge. This small site can be included in peaceful walk to Pachar.

Travel Resources | More Hidden Gem & Free Inca Sites in Peru

Sacred Valley Hikes from Ollantaytambo

Ollantaytambo also boasts jaw-dropping hiking in the Sacred Valley Peru.

Pumamarca Ruins, Pumamarca Trek, Sacred Valley Hikes in Ollantaytambo, Inca Ruins, Pumamarca Archaeological Park, grass, mountains, clouds, sky
The half day Pumamarca trek is breathtaking. The site is believed to be a mixture of Pre-Inca and Inca construction

Wind along the Patacancha River, walk next to Old Inca terraces, and reach the grand Pumamarca ruins. This site is said to resemble the shape of a Puma and boasts both Inca and Pre-Inca ruins. The scenic trail to Pumamarca is an enjoyable half-day hike from Ollantaytambo.

Pumamarca Logistics | Entrance Fee: 10 PEN ($2.50 USD) | This money goes to the surrounding communities | Hours: Daily, 8:00 – 17:00

Inti Punku Sun Gate
Inti Punku, Sun Gate, Mount Veronica, epic hikes in the Sacred Valley, grass, Inca ruins, clouds, sky, Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley Hikes, snow capped mountain, trail
The Sun Gate with Apu Veronica in the distance. One of the best hikes in the Sacred Valley in Peru

Take the steep climb up to Inti Punku, the inspiring Sun Gate of Ollantaytambo. This may be the most epic hike in the entire Sacred Valley. Inti Punku follows along the old Inca Quarry trails and leads to a small Sun Gate that has breathtaking views of Apu Veronica.

Note | This is a completely different sun gate than Inti Punku Machu Picchu. The latter is the entrance to Machu Picchu via the Classic Inca trail. Ollantaytambo’s Sun Gate can be reached right from the village and is free.

Wander the Cobblestone Streets

Ollantaytambo, Inca water canal, cobblestone streets, bike, buildings, mountains, clouds, sky, villages in the Sacred Valley, South American village in Peru
A picture-perfect street in charming Ollantaytambo

Those streets though! Ollantaytambo may be Peru’s most charming village. The cobblestone streets are lined with Inca canals. Keep your eye peeled for the little bikes that help transport goods throughout the village.

The charming Plaza de Armas of Ollantaytambo is encircled by green lush mountains and makes the perfect spot to watch the world go by. Only a block from the plaza, is a great little local market. The first floor has excellent fresh produce. Head upstairs to catch women serving up heaping plates full of traditional food.

The Gateway to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, Inca ruins, Sacred Valley, mountains, river, clouds, grass, trees, Cusco and Sacred Valley itinerary, woman
Hello, Machu Picchu!

Ollantaytambo is the gateway to Machu Picchu. Most people only pass through this quaint little village to either jump on the train that leads to Aguas Calientes, which is the base village to reach Machu Picchu. Two rail companies make the journey to Machu Picchu, both IncaRail and PeruRail.

Adventure seekers also depart from Ollantaytambo to start the famous Inca trail. Keep in mind, the Inca Trail is highly regulated and a guide and tour is required to complete the most famous trek to Machu Picchu.

Alternative Treks to Machu Picchu
Choquequirao plaza, Inca ruins, terraces, Choquequirao Archaeological Park, grass, trees, mountains, clouds, buildings, alternative routes to Machu Picchu, Choquequirao to Machu Pichhu trek
The Choquequirao Archaeological Park sees less than 20 visitors per day!

While the Inca Trails is the most popular (and most expensive) route to Machu Picchu, there are many ways to reach the “Lost City.” All roads really do lead to Machu Picchu!

Intrepid hikers will love the 9 day Choquequirao trek to Machu Picchu! This alternative trek to Machu Picchu sees little tourists and feel like a real expedition. This trek can be completed without a guide and passes through the impressive Choquequirao ruins and eventually meets up with the Salkantay trek.

Pack Like a Pro | The Best Peru Packing Guide for Multi-Day Treks

If you don’t have 9 days to complete the Choquequirao trek to Machu Picchu, consider simply taking the worthwhile out and back hike to Choquequirao.

While the Choquequirao trek may be one of the most challenging way to reach Machu Picchu, there are shorter trekking options like the Salkantay Trek, Lares Trek, or a 1 Day Inca Trail option.

Ollantaytambo Restaurants

There is no shortage of awesome Ollantaytambo restaurants. Besides the main market, here are a few places to enjoy in Ollantaytambo.

El Albergue

Located near the train station, El Albergue is a totally unique and top culinary experience in the Andes. Many of the ingredients are fresh and come directly from their very own farm. El Albergue also boasts its own distillery and has ties to the popular Chuncho in town. Find them here.

Psst… El Albergue Ollantaytambo also rents rooms. Book here.

Apu Veronica Restaurant

Apu Veronica Restaurant is locally run by a sweet woman who serves up huge portions of food for a reasonable price. The food is presented in a fun and unique way. Dishes are thoughtfully prepared and there’s a daily menu. If you’re lucky, she may tell you the Quechua legend behind Apu Veronica. Find them here.

Ollantaytambo Public Transportation Tips for the Sacred Valley in Peru

Collectivos run frequently from Urubamba to Ollantaytambo. They depart from the main terminal in Urubamba and pass by Yanahuara and Pachar. Collectivos arriving in Ollantaytambo drop in the Plaza de Armas of Ollantaytambo or in a gravel lot a few blocks from the Plaza. Pay upon exit.

🚐 Collectivo Logistics  | Average Fare: 2 PEN (50¢ USD) Duration: 25 minutes 

Where to Stay in Ollantaytambo

A little off the main drag of Ollantaytambo find Casa Quechua Hostel Camping. This simple guesthouse offers private and shared rooms in a lovely garden space. The owners are incredibly sweet, breakfast is included, rooms are clean, and the showers hot. They also provide places to set up a tent.

The complete list on where to stay in Ollantaytambo for any type of budget

Beyond the Sacred Valley in Peru | Cusco & South Valley Resources

The Sacred Valley in Peru is amazing, but there are so many other cool things to see and do in Cusco and the overlooked South Valley.


Qorikancha, street, Inca canal, Inca ruins, stones, clouds, sky, things to do in Cusco
Fall in love with the magic of Cusco Peru

The Imperial City of Cusco warrants at least 3 days. Within the city limits, there are so many lovely plazas, markets, Inca sites, and charming streets to wander. Don’t miss the hip barrio of San Blas. The best views of the city can be seen at the top of Cerro Picol. Take a self-guided hike to other Inca ruins that aren’t included on the city’s popular Boleto del Turistico Cusco. From Cusco’s bustling markets, beautiful squares, and colorful people, it’s hard not to fall in love with this enchanting city.

Peru Trip Planning  | The Ultimate One Week Itinerary for Cusco & the Sacred Valley

Cusco South Valley

Waqrapukara Archaeological Park, Waqrapukara ruins, horned fortress, cliffs, unusual stone, grass, mountains, clouds, sky, path
The Cusco’s South Valley sees less visitors and is filled with hidden treasures, like Waqrapukara, “the horned fortress”

Besides all the amazing things to do in Cusco, explore the overlooked South Valley. This includes Tipón, Pikillacta, and the “Sistine Chapel of the Americas” in Andahuayllias.

Head deeper into the South Valley by tackling the stunning Ausangate trek. This circuit trip can includes a pit-stop at the must-see Rainbow Mountain. Don’t forget about the Waqrapukara trek, this “horned fortress” is South of Cusco and is double the height of Machu Picchu. Trust me, it will leave you breathless.

Final Thoughts | The Incredible Highlights of the Sacred Valley in Peru

The Sacred Valley in Peru is seriously a bountiful region filled with so many treasures. The lush Urubamba Valley has a wide range of highlights stretching from Pisac to the hamlet of Ollantaytambo. This magical place should not be missed on any trip to Peru! From incredible hikes, stunning views, to Inca Sacred sites this ultimate guide shows all the highlights of a self-guided Sacred Valley tour.

Have you visited any of these places in the Sacred Valley in Peru? Did you discover these places independently or did you take a Sacred Valley tour? What was your favorite place in the Sacred Valley in Peru? Do you plan on adding some different to your Sacred Valley itinerary? Let me know in the comments below!

Disclaimer: There’s a chance this post contains affiliate links, and I receive a small (but grateful) portion of the sale. There’s no extra cost to you, and I only promote things that I use and love.

About Author

Hey, my name is Megs! I'm an adventure-seeking, wanna be storyteller, with a wandering soul. I love immersing myself in diverse cultures and customs. I'm kind of obsessed with hiking in the mountains, soaking in hot springs, and seeking-out the most authentic travel experiences as possible! Find me savoring a good cup of coffee, eating at traditional markets, or catching a sunset with a glass of wine in hand. Experiences and memories are my most prized possessions.


  • Megan
    May 7, 2021 at 12:52 pm

    Thanks for giving so much love to the Sacred Valley!!

    • Megs
      May 8, 2021 at 9:21 am

      Always!! 💛💚💙 Hope to see you in the near future, maybe in the jungle this time? 🤗

  • Natalie
    May 8, 2021 at 9:47 am

    Wow there is SO much to do in the Sacred Valley! I’m so glad I read this before going to Peru (I really want to do the Inca Trail) so that I know to plan to spend a lot of time there 🙂

    • Megs
      May 10, 2021 at 1:23 pm

      Yeah!! I did the first 8km of the Inca trail by mistake 😬 It’s lovely, enjoy!

  • Madhu
    May 8, 2021 at 10:21 am

    I just watched this show Magical Andes on Netflix and I so want to visit South America.thanks for sharing this link belt post

    • Megs
      May 10, 2021 at 1:25 pm

      Love that show! I hope yu can make it to South America in the near future!

  • Tracy
    May 8, 2021 at 4:18 pm

    What a great detailed guide! Thank you for sharing!

    • Megs
      May 10, 2021 at 1:25 pm

      Thanks Tracy!! You’re welcome! Love Peru and hope that everyone can experience the magic there! 😊

  • Laurel | Bay Rosemary
    May 8, 2021 at 4:50 pm

    Thank you for sharing these resources, they will def help on my trip out there! It is going to be hard to only pick a few of these things.

    • Megs
      May 10, 2021 at 1:26 pm

      Of course! Enjoy Peru and the entire Valley! 💚

  • LInda Jane
    May 8, 2021 at 6:01 pm

    So much information! Your post brought back some great memories of my trip to Peru like waking up to church bells in Pisac in the Sacred Valley…..such a beautiful sound! Thanks for sharing!

    • Megs
      May 10, 2021 at 1:27 pm

      You’re welcome! The magic of Peru always stays with us… doesn’t it! 💫

  • Devin Held
    May 8, 2021 at 8:43 pm

    Wow. This is the most thorough guide I’ve seen yet for the Sacred Valley! I only spent about a day there when I was in Peru. Clearly, I missed way too much and I need to go back!! Thanks so much for sharing this!

    • Megs
      May 10, 2021 at 1:28 pm

      You’re welcome! I can’t wait to get back, either! There’s so much to see and do in this area 🌱

  • Katy Kuhlwilm
    May 9, 2021 at 4:43 am

    The views from done of the sacred valley hikes look incredible! I’d love to see it one day

    • Megs
      May 10, 2021 at 1:30 pm

      It’s a special place. Hope you can experience it in the near future! ❤️

  • Marine
    February 28, 2022 at 8:28 pm

    This is so helpful, thank you so much ! I was looking for stuff to do independently around Cusco and I could barely find any information in English, but this is a gold mine ! Most of the hikes mentioned here I haven’t seen on any other blog ! I’m going to be spending 2 months in Cusco, this should keep me occupied for a while on the weekends 😀

    • Megs
      March 1, 2022 at 3:12 pm

      Thank you so much Marine! ❤️ This ultimate guide was compiled when I was locked in Peru with closed borders, so I had lots of time to hike and really travel deep! You will have an amazing time, Enjoy!! I can’t wait to get back 🇵🇪


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