Travel

Exploring the Sacred Valley in Peru

Exploring the Sacred Valley, PeruAfter almost a week in Lima, it was a relief to arrive in Cuzco and begin touring the Sacred Valley in Peru. We’d planned three nights in Ollantaytambo and one night in Cuzco. It sounded reasonable, but in retrospect, we should have added another few nights and cut short our return trip through Lima.

After landing in Cuzco, we hopped in a car with the guide we’d arranged through our hostel and began our tour of the Sacred Valley.

On our way out of Cuzco, we stopped at the largest Jesus statue outside of Rio, Christo Blanco. Yep. It was a big statue of Jesus. With some great views of Cuzco.

Sacred Valley in Peru

Pisca

After the statue, we continued onto Pisac, most famous for it’s touristy artisinal market and for it’s Inca ruins. Bertrand suffered no ill effects from the altitude; however, I was quite ill. We stopped for cocoa tea and breakfast. Despite our attempts to convince Victor that we were looking for street food, we stopped at a very nice restaraunt. Surprise, cocoa tea really works! After my head had cleared, we explored the market.

Sacred Valley in Peru

After the market, we continued onto the ruins at Pisca.  They were the highest altitude we reached while in the Sacred Valley, and were well worth the time we spent exploring.

Sacred Valley in Peru

Sacred Valley in Peru

Moray

Archiologists believe the concentric circals at Moray were an Incan agricultural laboratory for exploring how crops grew in microclimates. In the Sacred Valley, both temperature and humidity varied considerably with atltitude, and scientists believe that this site was used to test different crops whose seeds were imported to the area from all over the Inca empire.

Sacred Valley in Peru

Sacred Valley in Peru

It was impressive and beautiful.

Salinas

Salinas was perhaps my favorite site of the long day of exploring the Sacred Valley on our way to Ollantayamba. The area used to be covered by an ocean and is quite salty. Peruvians have been using the pools here to harvest salt for milinnea. We walked from one end to the other, a walk that became terrifyingly slippery as night began to fall.
Salinas, in the Sacred Valley in Peru

We did eventually make it back to the car, and I got some great shots of the salt as the sun set.

Salinas, in the Sacred Valley in Peru

20 thoughts on “Exploring the Sacred Valley in Peru

  1. This is an adventure near the top of our list. Altitude sickness is something that worries me, so crossing my fingers and glad you got feeling better. Such spectacular scenery!

    1. Yes, all in one day. We rented a car and guide in Cuzco, then drove from site to site until we reached our hostel in the evening. It was a really full day, but amazing too!

  2. The markets in Pisca look like a lot of fun to do some shopping! Wouldn’t mind a trip to Peru someday! It would be interesting to learn more history about the Sacred Valley, the photos are very lovely, I like the ones at Moray!

  3. I loved the Sacred Valley. We had a personalised/private tour from Cusco through the valley, to Ollantaytambo and then onto MAchu Pichu. Loved every minute of it. Loved the Pisac markets !!!!

  4. I love visiting the local markets when I travel to new places! Really wish coca tea wasn’t banned here in the U.S. Thanks for sharing the tidbit about the Incan agriculture practices from years past – very interesting!

  5. Absolutely stunning! We never had the chance to visit the sacred valley while in Chile- just Lima for a long weekend. I hope we can return at some point. These are such beautiful photos! Seems like Cusco alone is worth the return visit.

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