NATIONAL PARKS TOURS PERU

ALL CULTURAL HIGHLIGHTS COMBINED WITH FABULOUS NATURE EN ROUTE

 

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN THE SACRED VALLEY PERU

OR URUBAMBA VALLEY

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO: SACRED VALLEY PERU / URUBAMBA VALLEY: Info & pix Saqsayhuaman, Q'enqo, Pucapucara, Pisac, Tambomachay, Chinchero, Ollantaytambo, Salinas

 

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO: SACRED VALLEY PERU: MAP.

 

10 Best Things to do in Sacred Valley, Peru

In fact, the Sacred Valley of Peru, or, the Urubamba Valley was the heartland of the Inca Empire with a concentration of incredibly interesting Inca monuments, including those of Cusco and Machu Picchu.

 

Why consider booking our  Peru National Parks Tour? Because for the same price, our tour gets you to ALL places for which Peru is so famous, and on top of that, you get to see 9 National Parks/Reserves accompanied by a naturalist guide. There is nothing similar on the market. As Peru can be combined with other countries, we organize tours in modules: Lima Cusco, Machu Picchu module, Manu National Park module, National Parks Module, All modules.

Destinations Overview:  World Heritage Site Lima,  World Heritage Site Cusco, Amazon park Manu National Park,  World Heritage Site Valle Sagrado/Sacred Valley, World Heritage Site Machu Picchu, Cloud Forest Machu Picchu Sanctuary, Highland wetland Titicaca National Reserve, Uros floating islands, Altiplano wildlife park Salinas & Aguadas Blancas National Reserve, World's second deepest canyon Colca Canyon, Word heritage site Arequipa, World heritage site Nazca Lines, Pampas Galeras National Reserve, San Fernando National Reserve, Paracas National Reserve, Ballestas Islands National Reserve.

 

Several ruins are only a few minutes away from Cusco, whereas others are no more than an hour's ride away. As the Andes has very little land suitable for agriculture, this valley offered the relatively mild conditions, necessary to feed the large population of Cusco and its surrounding towns.

The Valley was also the access route to the tropical region of the Amazon, including to the region which is now Manu National Park, from where tropical products, like fish and fruits, were being brought in to Cusco.  

 

The different monuments showcase the incredible skills in engineering, stonework, and architecture:

  • Many of the underground aquaducts actually cross valleys and some are still fuctionimng;

  • The walls from hewn stones without mortar have proven to be remarkably resilient to earthquakes;

  • The remaining buildings show that they were beautiful and harmoniously built.

 

Including the Sacred Valley into your itinerary is an absolute must, as it gives you a far better understanding of the Inca Empire that a visit to Cusco and Machu Picchu alone. Each one of the sites has an amazing story to tell and by visiting the valley's highlights, you complete your picture of what the Incas stood for.

 

Saqsayhuamán

The walls at Saqsayhuamán are famous for their gigantic as well as for some of their extremely complex stones,carved into irregular shapes that fitted with such precision that a sheet of paper cannot be inserted into most seams. The complex included two watch towers. As it was used as a defensive fort during the battle with Manco Inca, Saqsayhuamán is believed to have served as a defensive structure.

 

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: Saqsayhuamán wall.

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: The perfectly fitting twelve-sided stone is the ultimate showcase of the precision carving.

The walls at Saqsayhuamán.

The perfectly fitting twelve-sided stone is the ultimate showcase of the precision carving.

 

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: Saqsaywaman inca stones.

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: Saqsayhuamán wall with gigantic Inca stones.

Some of the walls are built with gigantic stones, some of which weigh several tons.

 

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: Saqsaywaman trapezium entrance gate door.

This doorway is an example of the trapezoid shape in which both doors and windows were built, a trade the Inca's had in common with the Mayas.

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU:

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: Saqsayhuaman Inca slide.

The altar stone at Saqsayhuaman.

Still today the Inca slides at Saqsayhuaman have an irresistable attraction to the youth.

Tambomachay

 

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: Tombomachay entrance.

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: Antes altiplano Polylepis incana trees.

The entrance to the Tambomachay monument.

The entrance road is lined with Polylepis incana trees that are endemic in the Andes. They can grow as high as 4,000m and were important for construction and firewood.

 

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: Tambomachay Inca Temple wall

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: Tambomachay ancient Inca fountain.

Tambomachay is has several working fountains.

 

Still only minutes away from Cusco, Tambomachay is has several working fountains, fed by still perfectly functioning aqueducts. Some speculate this may served as a spa for the Inca emperor and his women.

 

Puka Pukara

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: Puku Pukara entrance

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: Puka Pukara ruins.

Puka Pukara  is believed to have been for food storage as well as a defense complex.

 

Q'uenqo

Q'uenqo - meaning red stone - may have been a sanctuary or the tomb on an important Inca.

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: Hidden in a cave of Q'uenco you will find the altar.

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: Altar hidden in the catacombs of Q'uenco.

Well hidden in the catacombs of Q'uenco you will find a fascinating altar.

   

Chinchero

Chinchero is a little village, where, as one approaches the church captures the eye. In fact, the church has been built on the walls of an Inca building, thus integrating the colonial and Inca architecture. The Plaza de las Armas show an impressive inca wall, lining the courtyard of the church.

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: Church entrance at Chinchero.

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: Plaza de las Armas in Chinchero shows a beautiful Inca wall.

Church entrance at Chinchero.

Plaza de las Armas in Chinchero shows a beautiful Inca wall.

 

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: Woman in traditional clothes in the Sacred Valley.

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: Women in traditional clothes in Chinchero are selling their woven products.

Women in traditional clothes in Chinchero are selling their woven products.

   

Moray

Moray is another ingenious Inca agricultural construction, though it is no longer in use. While it resembles a giant amphitheatre with concentric terraces leading to the ground, it was created for agricultural experimentation.

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: The amphitheater shaped agricultural terraces of Moray.

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: A trail takes the visitor around the crater-shaped mountain in which Moray was built.

The amphitheater shaped agricultural terraces.

A trail takes the visitor around the crater-shaped mountain in which Moray was built.

 

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: The Salinas de Maras are hundreds terraces of salt pans.

The Salinas de Maras are hundreds terraces of salt pans. Built by the Incas, Peruvians continue to extract their salt. Visitors can buy the salt from vendors at the location.

 

Pisac

High above the present town of Pisac located 32 km east of Cusco, the Q'Alaqasa ruins showcase superb construction and design. Though smaller than Machu Picchu, this site too is one of the "must see" places in the Sacred Valley.

 

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: Q'Alaqasa ruins at Pisac.

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: Terraces at Pisac.

Q'Alaqasa ruins at Pisac.

Terraces at Pisac.

   

Ollantaytambo

While most travellers to Machu Picchu spend the night in Aguas Calientes, at the foot of the Machu Picchu monument, alternatively, one can spend the night in Ollantaytambo and take the early morning train, while marveling at the Ollantaytambo archaeological site first. One can also start a trek on the Inca Trail to get to Machu Picchu at a distance of 43km.

 

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: Inca water duct at Ollantaytambo.

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: Trail along terraces leading to the Ollantaytambo ruins.

Inca water duct at Ollantaytambo.

Trail along terraces leading to the Ollantaytambo ruins.

 

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: Fountain at the Ollantaytambo monument.

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: Walls built from one single rock, called a megalithic rock, at Ollantaytambo archaeological site.

Fountain at the Ollantaytambo monument.

Walls built from one single rock, called a megalithic rock, at Ollantaytambo archaeological site.

 

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: The most common way to reach Machu Picchu is taking the train from Cuzco or Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes.

The most common way to reach Machu Picchu is taking the train from Cuzco or Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes. Most tourists take the afternoon train and spend the night in Aguas Calientes, which allows you to visit the park before the worst of the crowds.

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: Walking the Inca Trail. 10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: Hummingbird.

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: Spectacled Bear.

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: White Angel's Trumpet, an Andes endemic flower.

Above: Walking the Inca Trail.

Below: Spectacled Bear.

Above: Hummingbird.

Below: White Angel's Trumpet, an Andes endemic flower.

 

The Inca Trail takes you through landscapes varying from traditional farming land, cloud forests and Andes paramo with views of snow capped mountains and gorgeous flowers and with some luck fantastic wildlife.

 

Each day the scenery is totally different as the trail sometimes takes you on Inca-built stone pathways and steps, but most of the times over a regular trail. The trail is now government regulated and only a limited number of visitors per day is allowed on guided walks.

 

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is one of the world's most famous archaeological sites. It is less known that it surrounded by a beautiful 37,000 ha mountain rainforest or cloud forest in the Machu Picchu historical Reserve, a visit of which, of course is part of the 10 Unique things to do in the Sacred Valley of Peru.

 

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: Partiallly hidden in the clouds, a view of Machu Picchu during the rainy season, when it is much more mysterious.

10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN SACRED VALLEY, PERU: Some of the most fascinating structures of Machu Picchu is the Temple of the Condor.

Partially hidden in the clouds, a view of Machu Picchu during the rainy season, when it is much more mysterious.

Some of the most fascinating structures is the Temple of the Condor.

   

NATIONAL PARKS-WORLDWIDE is a brand name of the World Institute for Conservation & Environment, registered in the Netherlands with headquarters in the USA, a social responsibility and conservation company. About CO2 emission offset for your travels.

Phone:

(++)(1) 304 - 581 - 7740

Email:

Talk or chat with us on Skype in English, Spanish or French. Our Skype name:

ecotravelworldwide

A picture is worth a thousand words. We have hundreds of high resolution pictures on this website, that you can see enlarged by clicking on them. Read our disclaimer.