All information a traveler needs to know before visiting the Sacred Valley.
For years and years, Peru has kept a special place in the hearts of adventure tourists.
The Sacred Valley of the Incas was the middle of Tahuantinsuyo, the most important recognized empire within the Western Hemisphere, spanning from Colombia and Ecuador, passing by Peru and Bolivia to the northern part of Argentina and Chile. Its capital is Cusco, which was referred to as the “navel of the world.”
If you plan your trip to Peru and are fascinated by the Incas’ history, you must add Sacred Valley to your to-do list in Cusco.
Stretching for greater than 60 miles east to west, the Sacred Valley encompasses many of the most stunning surroundings in all of Peru. There’s a lot of history, culture, and natural beauty to be discovered there that should rank on the record’s prime for any world traveler. Here is what you’ll want to know earlier than you go.
And so it ought to be! Brimming with historical past and wonder, the Sacred Valley of Peru is the most beautiful and unforgettable experience you can tackle. In this article, I will provide all the information a traveler needs to know before visiting Sacred Valley.
Location of Sacred Valley
The Sacred Valley of the Incas is located 15 km northeast of Cusco city, and a paved highway can reach it. You can plan a trip by car to one of the nearest villages, which will only take 40 minutes. You can proceed to the other villages in the Valley by local transportation. The Sacred Valley wasn't only built for its agricultural value and in the image of the stars. This highlights how important the sky was to the Incas and the religious importance of cosmology.
History of the Sacred Valley
In the fifteenth century, two Inca leaders, Pachacuti Yupanqui and Tupac Yupanqui constructed an infinite empire in South America. This empire ran an unbelievable distance from the middle of Chile, all the best way to Southern Colombia. It occupied a lot of Peru, most of Ecuador, and parts of Argentina and Bolivia.
With the conquest, the Spanish distributed the fertile territories of the Valley. The primary temples had been destroyed, and Christian church buildings had been constructed in their place. As a result, many components of Inca archaeological sites are in disrepair, both due to the climate and the harm brought on by the Spanish. Even so, the Sacred Valley of the Incas is an extremely visited vacationer vacation spot. The inhabitants protect many ancestral traditions, even from the Inca interval.
And Cusco was the center of all. Cusco was part of the Sacred Valley and had a rare quantity of monetary and agricultural wealth. It remained protected via Inca fortresses.
Most Important Towns to see in the Sacred Valley
The Pisac is mainly known as the door to the Sacred Valley and is located 33 kilometers from the city of Cusco. Pisac is the small yet most beautiful village on the very top, where you will find a diverse set of Inca ruins. Viceroy Toledo, a Spanish conquistador, founded this beautiful village of Sacred Valley.
The Pisac is world-famous for the artisan market. It has an "Indian Market," a good spot to pick up handcrafted jewelry, textiles, glass, and other unique objects. Pisac also has the Archeological Park; you can also visit there and see it full of history in bricks. Moreover, you can explore a military fortress and observatories. It also has the "biggest Inca cemetery "in South America, so you better save your time and pay respect to it.
Ollantaytambo is one of the best places to visit in the sacred Valley, and it is located 97 kilometers northeast side area of the city of Cusco. It has the most original and the top-preserved Inca and pre-Inca ruins in all of Peru.
This town is also known as the "Living Inca City." It was a strong city with temples, defense walls, and urban and agricultural sectors during the Inca time. You can get to this village in approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes by car. You can also go to the hillside and hit the Inca fortress; it is truly a sight that will give you the most beautiful experience and takes your breath away. It is also an important archaeological place in Peru and South America.
This beautiful town, "Moray" of Sacred Valley, is 74 km from the city of Cusco and plays a central role in Inca agricultural production. It is 1 of the Inca empire's main agricultural research centers. The most amazing feature of Moray is that its terraces are constructed in concentric circles.
It was committed to experimentation and planting crops from various places. The completely different climates and altitudinal flooring range in temperature by roughly 20 ° C (from the primary to the final) have been constructed to create its potential to plant merchandise from the coast and jungle in colder climates and at an increased altitude.
To reach Salineras, you must hike down into the canyon from Maras or up from the street connecting Urubamba to Ollantaytambo. From Maras, stroll in the direction of the sting of the Valley. If you have trouble finding Salineras, you can ask a local and find the correct path to Salineras. Salineras is located at a 4k hike to the site from Maras.
The term "sal" is Spanish which means salt, so Salineras are tarns through which saltwater flows and leaves salt crystals to be collected. Salineras are one of the four places where you can find pink salt.
Sacred Valley also has the village-like Chinchero, located 28 kilometers from the Cusco. In Chinchero, you will notice how locals extract, clear, and dye the alpaca hair and how they weave conventional handmade items. It is located at the highest altitude: 3,772 meters above sea level (12,375 ft). It also has an artisan market where you can still barter.
Chinchero has a wonderful Seventeenth-century colonial church with canvases of the "Cuzqueña school."
We would recommend that you must visit early in the day so that you have time to see both(textile production and archeological site).
When to Go to the Sacred Valley?
The weather of the Sacred Valley stays the same throughout the year. However, From November through March, there will be rainy days, cloud showers, and dark clouds.
During this time, the Sacred Vallet stays most peaceful and clear, although the weather makes it the least enjoyable time to be there.
It will be the hottest, driest, and most compatible weather between June and August.
Yes, it could rain or snow throughout these months; however, you may also discover days of sunshine and heat temperatures. Therefore, you should pack for various circumstances, and you won't be disappointed.
Weather in the Sacred Valley
Sacred Valley in January
January is one of the rainiest months of the year in Cusco and the Sacred Valley. Rains are expected almost daily; however, we can go almost weeks without rain in some years.
The temperatures will vary from highs around 72°F (22°C) and lows around 41°F (5°C). Despite the rains, travelers will visit this amazing place during January as the landscape is greener, there is fresh corn season, and less crowded sites.
Sacred Valley in February
Locals called this month the "Crazy February," fewer rainy days are expected than in January; however, rains are heavier this month, as is the heart of the rainy season.
The temperatures will vary from highs around 71°F (21°C) and lows around 43°F (6°C). The most famous Treks, such as the Inca Trail and Salkantay trek, are closed during February, but Machu Picchu is still open. Therefore, few visitors are expected this month which is an excellent option for those who would love solitude. The Sacred Valley landscapes are a beautiful green color.
Sacred Valley in March
The "Drunk March" is called this way since we will see the sun; however, the weather can change in minutes and start raining again.
March starts with the opening of the Inca Trail and the most famous Treks. The Sacred Valley also starts to change its color from green to yellow as we enter the harvesting season.
The temperatures in the Sacred Valley will vary from highs around 71°F (21°C) and lows around 39°F (4°C), and the number of visitors will start to increase during this month.
Sacred Valley in April
April's Shoulder season is one of the best months to hike to Machu Picchu and visit Cusco. This month is the transition between the rainy and dry seasons. It is expected to have less rain than in previous months and away from the cold weather of the dry season.
The temperatures in the Sacred Valley will vary from highs around 72°F (22°C) and lows around 38°F (3°C). This is because sacred Valley will start getting more travelers from all over the world; harvesting seasons start in the maize fields.
Sacred Valley in May
May is officially the start of the Dry Season. However, the weather in the Andes is unpredictable, and rains can occur at any time.
The temperatures in the Sacred Valley will vary from highs around 71°F (21°C) and lows around 37°F (2.7°C). The mountain landscape is still green, and the farming lands are getting grey as the wheat and barley farming season starts.
Sacred Valley in June
During June, little rain is expected; this month is one of the driest, together with July. This is a perfect month to hike in the mountains to Machu Picchu.
The temperatures in the Sacred Valley will vary from highs around 72°F (22°C) and lows around 34°F (1.6°C). The landscape starts turning yellow in the mountains and farming lands. Most Inca Sites ad local markets are full of visitors during this month.
Sacred Valley in July
July is the heart of the dry season, and almost no rain is expected, but you must b always be prepared for all kinds of weather, even in July.
The temperatures in the Sacred Valley will vary from highs around 74°F (23°C) and lows around 32°F (0°C). The Inca sites and local markets will get lots of travelers. Mountains start to get the yellow and grey color of the dry season. The farming season for corn starts.
Sacred Valley in August
August is when tourism in Peru reaches its highest number; thousands of travelers will arrive in Cusco and visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas and Machu Picchu.
The temperatures in the Sacred Valley will vary from highs around 75°F (24°C) and lows around 32°F (0°C). Places in Sacred Valley will be crowded; the days are sunny with windy afternoons.
Sacred Valley in September
September is expected to have the rains back; most farmers will wait to rain for their crops this month.
The temperatures in the Sacred Valley will vary from highs around 75°F (24°C) and lows around 39°F (4°C). The number of visitors to tourist places will be reduced this month, the nights will become cooler, and the landscaping will start getting green from the new crops.
Sacred Valley in October
The shoulder season is between the dry season and the beginning of the rainy season. Rains are seen more often announcing the return of the wet season. This is a perfect month to visit Peru, Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu.
The temperatures in the Sacred Valley will vary from highs around 78°F (25°C) and lows around 40°F (5°C). There are few visitors to all Inca sites, and the long lines for trains, Machu Picchu, and buses are over. The lush green landscapes of the Sacred Valley are back.
Sacred Valley in November
November is the beginning of the rainy season. However, it is still a good season to hike to Machu Picchu and visit the Sacred Valley.
The temperatures in the Sacred Valley will vary from highs around 69°F (20°C) and lows around 43°F (6°C). Few visitors will arrive in Cusco, which makes a good month to enjoy the beautiful places in the Sacred Valley.
Sacred Valley in December
At the end of the year, the number of travelers will increase. The Sacred Valley tours are available daily, and the fresh corn season starts in all of the Sacred Valley.
The temperatures in the Sacred Valley will vary from highs around 69°F (20°C) and lows around 44°F (7°C).
Best hotels in the Sacred Valley
Casa Andina Hacienda:
Located in the village of Yanahuara, the hotel has a good location to enjoy a quiet rest before or after the long trip to Machu Picchu.
Tierra Viva Valle Sagrado:
Located in the Village of Yanahuara, good prices and good locations. Perfect for staying before traveling to the Inca Trail or Machu Picchu
San Agustin Recoleta:
Located in Urubamba province, the hotel is a monastery built in the 17th century.
Sonesta Posada del Inca:
Located in the town of Yucay, just 20 minutes from Urubamba, another 18th-century monastery.
De Pilar Hotel:
Located in the village of Chilca, 30 minutes from the Ollantaytambo district. This is a perfect hotel if you start the 4-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu the next day.
The first hanging lodge in the world, perfect for those who love adrenaline and adventure.
Sacred Valley Map
Sacred Valley FAQs
How To Get To Sacred Valley From Cusco?
You need a car from Cusco via Pisaq, Chinchero, or Huaroncondo. You need to choose one of the routes depending on where you want to go.
If you visit Pisaq, Calca, Lamay, or Haran, you must travel from Cusco via Pisaq.
If you travel to Urubamba, Yucay, or Ollantaytambo, you can take a shorter route through Chinchero.
If you are traveling to Ollantaytambo or are going to take the Train to Machu Picchu, the fastest way to arrive is via Huarcondo, following the train route. This route is closed during January and February due to the heavy rains.
Is Sacred Valley Worth Visiting?
The Sacred Valley is a must-see place in Cusco. You need to take a day or 3 days to explore these beautiful Inca Sites and local markets.
How To Get from Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu?
If you plan to visit The Sacred Valley of the Incas and then take the train to Machu Picchu, this is a great idea. You must arrive in Ollantaytambo and go to the train station to board the trains to Aguas Calientes town (also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo)
How Many Days should I spend in Cusco and Sacred Valley?
Before going to Machu Picchu, whether on a hiking tour or by train, we recommend 1 day in Cusco and 1 day exploring the Sacred Valley. This time will also help you adapt to the altitude as you rest for the big trip to Machu Picchu.
How High Is Sacred Valley
The Sacred Valley has an average altitude of 3000 meters or 9842 feet.