The Sacred Valley is one of the most well-known and well-visited destinations in Peru. It offers an immersive experience that blends culture, architecture, and magnificent scenes that have been crafted by time. It allows you to have a first-hand glimpse into an iconic architectural marvel that, if you listen closely, tells the story of an ancient people that have walked these lands long before any of us did.
The Sacred Valley in the Past
The Sacred Valley was one of the key places of settlement for the Incas. Due to the favorable climate and fertile soil found in its plains, the Valley has an extremely rare mix of environmental elements that made it easy for crops to thrive, and thrive well.
This area also serves as the pathway to the jungle. The Sacred Valley has a great geographically advantage, and this, coupled with the innate innovativeness of the people, allowed an ancient civilization to establish their own stronghold.
The Sacred Valley is one of the most important ancient settlements in South America, and its achievements and milestones will leave you in awe.
The Sacred Valley Today
At present, the Sacred Valley maintains itself as an abundant agricultural area that supplies Cusco with such produce as fruits, vegetables, and maize. Do not be fooled and think that the valley is nothing but an agricultural area; there are numerous options available to travelers who want to visit this destination, and most visitors prefer to incorporate the valley into an organized one-day excursion.
In general, the tour includes a visit to the magnificent Inca village and fortress of Ollantaytambo, a side trip to the marketplace at Pisac, and a stroll at the Quechua Village. Given that there are plenty of tour companies offer a varying range of tour configurations, you have to know how to divide your time. There are options that allow you to visit the ruins at Pisac, but this may shorten your shopping experience at the marketplace, and vice versa.
You can allocate an entire day or maybe a couple of days for your trip to the Sacred Valley. If you prefer to do it in a single day, there is a circuit that is more than 170 kilometers in length. Additional options include riding a taxi for a day or hiring a guide.
Due to the significant distances between Chinchero, Pisac, and Ollantaytambo, it can be such an exhausting journey, but it will always be worth your while. If you have the stamina to do it in one day, know that it is quite possible. However, experienced travelers strongly recommend allocating two separate days for the three destinations.
Important Notes to Keep in Mind When Visiting the Sacred Valley
First, make sure you have enough cash. Keep in mind that most of the places you will visit do not accept credit or debit cards, so make sure that you have cash in local currency for payments and guide tipping.
Second, you have to keep yourself hydrated. Despite the generally mild climate, it is very important to bring a flask of water or any other preferred drink to avoid dehydration and over-exhaustion. Take light snacks and have plenty of rest to prepare your body for the long walks and rides.
Aside from these reminders, it is very important to charge your gadgets whenever you get the chance. You don’t want to miss the moment taking pictures as part of the memories that you’ll have here. Adaptors, spare batteries, and the like should be properly juiced up.
The Sacred Valley is just one of the places you can visit when you’re in the region. However, it shouldn’t be missed; there are many things you will see there that will make you appreciate Peru all the more.