Sacred Valley of the Incas: Everything you need to know 2023

El impresionante Valle Sagrado de los Incas
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The Sacred Valley of the Incas is the owner of wonderful landscapes, where Andean communities live that preserve ancestral customs, it is undoubtedly a sample of the living culture of the city of Cusco.

Valle Sagrado
Distance from Cusco 1 hour and 20 minutes by car
Cost of entrance tickets Partial tourist ticket is 70 soles and a full ticket is 130 soles
Climate Temperate
Activities Hiking, Lunch in local restaurants, adventure tourism on ATVs, Visit to archaeological sites in the area: Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Moray, Chinchero.
What to bring? Small backpack, water, sun block, extra money, mosquito repellent, snacks.
Best time to visit Between May and October

This place is home to numerous archaeological monuments, a legacy of splendor, Inca wealth, agricultural areas, and beautiful towns.

Generally, travelers visit the sacred valley on the way to Machu Picchu, but many times this journey is not so valued. What’s more, if we are in the company of our family, with small children or older adults, this option is for you.

As soon as we get off the plane, we feel that altitude sickness is going to win the battle for us, between the soroche, headache and worries about what to do in the following days, we hardly have time to put together a good itinerary.

Don’t worry! We, your friends from Machu Picchu Peru Tours come to the rescue.

Currently, the Sacred Valley of the Incas receives the visit of many tourists who come from afar to see each of its corners and learn a little more about the time of the Incas. Keep reading this article and learn more about its history.

Where is the Sacred Valley of the Incas located?

The Sacred Valley of the Incas is an extensive valley that is located in the Peruvian Andes, in an area between the towns of Písac and Ollantaytambo, and that is irrigated by the Vilcanota-Urubamba River. It is located 15 kilometers northeast of the city of Cusco.

Ollantaytambo, joya arqueológica del Valle Sagrado de los Incas

How to get?

To get to the Sacred Valley of the Incas you must take a paved road trip from the city of Cusco. The tour will be approximately 40 minutes and ends before reaching Machu Picchu.

The Sacred Valley is characterized for being the place where the best grain of corn in Peru is produced.

What to see in the Sacred Valley?

The valley is characterized by having very special conditions, scenic beauty, excellent climate, very fertile lands and the waters of the sacred river of the Incas, the Vilcanota.

It has wonderful Andean landscapes, where its inhabitants, natives of the Quechua ethnic group, preserve many ancestral customs and rites.

The Sacred Valley of the Incas was highly appreciated by the ancient Inca empire due to its special geographical and climatic qualities, becoming one of its main production points due to the wealth of its lands.

History of the Sacred Valley of the Incas

According to history, the existence of the Sacred Valley of the Incas is thanks to the Inca Pachacuteq. During his government, the culture was divided into an empire of 4 suyos (Chinchaysuyo, Antisuyo, Contisuyo and Collasuyo) and allowed the triumph against the Chankas, thus expanding the limits of the Cusco Empire.

The Sacred Valley of the Incas is one of the greatest tourist attractions in the Andean region due to its incredible landscape, its imposing snow-capped peaks, its pleasant climate, its fertile lands with abundant water, its megalithic cultural evidence and because it offers various possibilities for the practice of adventure tourism that you can do here.

What animals are in the Sacred Valley of the Incas?

Among the characteristic animals of the area you will find the llama and the alpaca, they stand out for the quality of their wool that they possess and make them important for the Inca empire, even until today, they are the typical animals of the city of Cusco.

Llamas en Chinchero


Places you can visit in the Sacred Valley of the Incas

1.- Pisac

Pisac is a quite colorful place, located at 2,974 meters above sea level, in Cusco. This town is famous for its astronomical observatory. Here you will discover how the Inca agronomists solved the problem of planting on the slopes of the hills.

In the typical market located in the central square of this picturesque town, you can see the peasants who attend from different communities using the barter system, that is, they exchange one product for another.

sacred valley

2.- Moray

Moray is considered one of the main agricultural research centers, for the experimentation and planting of crops from different parts of the Inca empire.

The different climates and altitudinal floors vary their temperature by approximately 20°C (from the first to the last). They were built to make it possible to plant products from the coast and jungle in colder climates and at higher altitudes. Moray is considered a living museum.

sacred valley

3.- Maras

Here are the Salineras de Maras, also known as the salt mines, whose exploitation is as old as the Tahuantinsuyo. The salt mines of Maras are one of the 4 places in the world where pink salt can be obtained. The inhabitants sell this salt in the main markets of Cusco.

The use of Sal de Maras dates back thousands of years and is inherited in each family, but it is managed communally. There are about 5 thousand pools of about 6 square meters, the water filters into the pools and evaporates by the action of the sun, allowing thick salt crystals to sprout.

Maras, Valle Sagrado de los Incas

4.- Chinchero

Chinchero is considered a living culture, like Pisaq and Ollantaytambo, its inhabitants still practice a lifestyle very similar to that of the Inca times, with red and black being the colors that prevail among their clothing.

Chinchero, Valle Sagrado de los Incas


It is characterized by the uniqueness of its women’s hairstyles, the attractive colors that their clothes have. Here, most of the inhabitants are dedicated to weaving, dyed wool.


Chinchero, Valle Sagrado de los Incas

Parque arqueológico de Chinchero

5.- Ollantaytambo

The archaeological zone of Ollantaytambo is a monumental work of Inca architecture. It has been built on two mountains in a strategic place that dominates the entire valley.

The complexity and beauty of the Inca constructions and the contemporary town, the great administrative and social, religious and military center, is considered by many scientists and historians as one of the most important living museums in the world.

In the main temple there is a front with six pink granite monoliths brought from another place and perfectly assembled in the stone.

Ollantaytambo es uno de los increíbles destinos en el tour Valle Sagrado de los Incas

What sports to practice in the Sacred Valley of the Incas?

  • Trekking on the Inca trail.
  • Rock climbing in Urubamba.
  • Rafting on the famous Vilcanota River.
  • Cycling.
  • Zipline in the Maras area.

The best hotels in the Sacred Valley

Enjoying a night in the Sacred Valley is one of the best getaways you can have to relax among the trees on this incredible route. Here we tell you the best ones that you can choose

These are just some of the incredible hotels that you can visit in the Sacred Valley, if you want to know a little more detail about this, do not forget to check our blog: The best hotels in the Sacred Valley of the Incas

Sacred Valley tour for seniors?

The already well-known traditional Sacred Valley tour is many times the favorite of the passengers in terms of the duration of the tour.

Because? Well, travelers often prefer to take a little more time in the archaeological sites, visit them calmly and return to Cusco a little earlier.

With circuits that go by bus and stops at the main archaeological centers, this tour will be ideal for the elderly since there is not much walking but you can still enjoy the living culture of the archaeological centers.


If you are going to do tourism in the impressive Sacred Valley of the Incas, it is advisable to always bring your rain poncho, in case it rains. Taking incredible pictures in these beautiful places is a goal on your next visit to Cusco.

In Machu Picchu Peru Tours we have several options so that you just let yourself be trapped in this magical place.

You can review our Sacred Valley of the Incas Tour, an incredible opportunity to visit all these incredible places.

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