DAY 1: SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS (Pisac + Moray + Maras + Salt mines + Ollantaytambo)
We will pick you up from your hotel at 7:30am with our private van and head to the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Just outside Cusco is an amazing farm with a collection of the Camelid family with 7 main species. The four species in Peru include the Llama, Alpaca, Guanacos and the Vicuna which is the National Animal of Peru.
Inside the farm, you get to pet, feed and take pictures with these weird and wonderful animals. Going through the center, you can watch the ladies in their traditional garments weaving different things, using wool from the camelids. You also get to experience the natural way in which they dye the wool, using roots and indigenous plants. At the exit, there is a museum with a souvenir shop. You can buy the most authentic alpaca garments and if your budget allows, the more luxurious and protected Vicuna creations. The Vicuna has the softest material, it feels lush and luxurious and because its a protected animal, all Vicuna garments come with a certification.
We stop at the mirador of Taray to enjoy a beautiful overhead view of the Urubamba valley which accents the surrounding mountain ranges. Next, we head to the archeological site of Pisac. This extensive site overlooks the green lush valley, it is the entry point to the valley. The Sacred Valley was agriculturally important to the Incas and still plays a major role in the sustenance of the Cusco region. Evidence of this can be found in the many food warehouse at the top of the hill, that were used for preservation because of the lower temperatures at the top. You also come across the biggest Inca cemetery with over 2000 tombs decorating the mountain side. It is said that if you visit these tombs, you can still find human skeletal remains.
We drive through the small indigenous towns of Coya and Calca before stopping at the foot of Urubamba for a delectible buffet lunch. The restaurant has an impressive spread of different foods and is vegan and vegetarian friendly. There is a variety of fresh vegetables, salads, protien dishes, desserts and tea and coffee. (Lunch is not included)
After lunch, we continue our journey to the colonial town of Maras, walking downhill to the pre-Inca salt mines. The locals have used over a thousand salt pans to extract salt since before Inca times and they still supply Peru with over 90% of its salt. A hot spring at the top of the valley trickles a stream of salty water, which fills the salt ponds and evaporates to produce salt.
The salt mines gives you a taste of an age-old tradition, that has no changed for many generations. The people in this community have been harvesting salt for many years. It’s a rich custom and tradition that has passed saltpans from one generation to the next. This has been their main source of income and they have exclusive rights to these mines. Salineras is one of the very few salt mines left in the world to have not switched to more modern techniques. The communal company of Maras (cooparative) packages and distributes the salt and splits the profits with the families according to the number of saltpans they own.
Later, we visit Moray, which was an experimental farming site built in the form of an ampitheater with different temperature at each level which grows different types of crops. These levels of terraces were carved before the Incas took control of the Sacred Valley and then used by the Incas to research optimal growing conditions for their crops. The Incas brought in different soil samples from other regions, to optimise their research. The locals were still using it for growing their crops, until the 1970s when it was preserved and protected for tourism
Finally, we drive to Ollantaytambo to explore this quaint Inca village and the amazing Inca Ruins on the hilltop above. These ruins is where the Incas fought their last battle with the Spanish conquerous, before they had to retreat and flee into the dense jungle. Most of the structures were unfortunately incomplete. There is a section with a number of bolders that were carved, but didnt make it to their destination. Another possibility, is that the battle was so intense, it caused a lot of damage to this massive Inca site.
To end the day, we drive back in our private van to Cusco, arriving at your hotel at around 6:30pm.
- Please Note: Its possible to end the tour in Ollantaytambo and the price will be the same.
WHAT IS INCLUDED FOR THE SACRED VALLEY TOUR 1 DAY?
- Private group
- Professional English-speaking guide
- Private comfortable transportation
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED FOR THE SACRED VALLEY TOUR?
- Entrance tickets to archeological sites: 70 soles (1 day only) or approximately $20 USD per person which can only be purchased in soles only at the first archeological site. (See the Boleto Turistico here)
- Maras salt mines entrance (10 soles)
The Sacred Valley Tour is available on any date as long as we have a minimum of 2 people to book.
|No. OF PEOPLE||PRICE|
|2 people||$ 65 USD per person|
|3 people||$ 55 USD per person|
|4 people||$ 50 USD per person|
|+5 people||$ 45 USD per person|
Price for a private Sacred Valley tour 1 day: US$187 in total for a group up to 4 people.
- Entrance tickets to archeological sites: 70 soles or approximately $20 USD per person which can only be purchased in soles at the first archeological site. ((See the Boleto Turistico here)
- Salt Mine entrance of (10 soles)
The Boleto Turistico (tourist ticket) for the Sacred Valley Tour 1 day
You have the option to purchase a 1 Day or a 10 Day Boleto Turistico.
The partial ticket, or 1-Day ticket costs 70 soles (about US $20) and is valid for 1 day. You can visit as many sites as you like in one day with no further charge. There are no discounts with this ticket.
Both tourist tickets, 1-day or 10-day, allows the access to different archeological sites in and around Cusco, the Sacred Valley, various museums in Cusco, the Main Cathedral, the Qoricancha and more. This is the best way to visit all the archeological sites of the region and the Sacred Valley. Most of the main archeological sites are not accessible for free.
The general ticket, or 10-Day Ticket is 130 soles (about US $35) and is valid for 10 days. This is the cheapest and most convenient way to plan to see different sites in a few days.
Here is a list of sites where you can use your Boleto Touristico:
- Puca Pucara
- Pachacutec Monument
- Cusco’s Native Art Center
- Museum of Popular Art
- Museum of Contemporary Art
- Museum of Regional History
Note : The entrance ticket to the main archeological sites such as Sacsayhuaman, Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero, Tipón and Moray cannot be sold individually; you must buy the Boleto turístico to visit them. You can get it in Avenida el Sol near our office or at the time you enter the first site that you are visiting. YOU MUST PAY IN SOLES, NO CREDIT CARDS OR US DOLLARS ARE ACCEPTED.
Important: These entrances are not included in the Boleto Touristico.
- The entrance to Koricancha or Santo Domingo Convent (15 soles)
- The entrance to the Cathedral (40 soles)
- Maras Salt Mines (10 soles)
*** Find the best information about Boleto turistico here!
WHAT TO BRING FOR THE SACRED VALLEY TOUR 1 DAY?
- Warm jacket
- Sun protection
- Some money for souvenirs and tips
- Money in soles to purchase boleto turistico and ticket for the Maras salt mine
- Original passport