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Chinchero was more like a summer palace for Incas. As the Spanish invaded the village, they demolished the palace of Inca Tupac Yupaqui and constructed a church on its remains. Knitting is still a craft the locals are known for. People here have preserved their decades long traditions till date. This makes Chinchero one of the richest villages in traditions and customs in South America.
Moray used to be a prominent site for Incas. It is home to the circular shaped agricultural terrace that somewhat resembles the Roman amphi theatre. The Incas were experimenting the impact of growth of crops in different weather conditions. Each level of the terrace has a distinct temperature.
Maras is home to over 5000 salt puddles those sit on a hill side. These geometric shaped salt puddles are supplied with natural spring water and are left to evaporate. Once the water evaporates they scrape out salt crystals. The salt of Maras is somewhat pinkish in colour and has a distinct texture and taste.
Ollantaytambo is a charismatic village that has held its prominence since Incan rule. The archaeological site here sits on a hill top. Ollantaytambo ruins once served as a military, religious and agricultural centre to Incas. The name comes from Quechua word Ollantay “which was the name of a warrior, whose story was saved as an oral tradition, and written as a drama of Antonio Valdez Urubamba priest in mid-eighteenth century”.
During the Incan civilisation, the village used to be a Tambo , which means a place where the travelers such as Chaskis or messengers, Quipucamayoc or accountants, runners, warriors, etc. Could get accommodation, food and water. Basically a resting place of travelers in the past.
The town is very colorful every day, the streets fill to overflowing with artisans selling their goods.
The Sunday is the best and busiest day to visit by far. Local people from miles around pack up their llamas and donkeys in the early hours of the morning in order to arrive and set up stalls; where they trade vegetables and other products. Even if you’re not a shopper, the market is worth a visit. It’s a great place to take photos and people-watch.
The quality of the goods can be a little imperfect, and, if you’re looking to get a good quality on any one item, you’re better off in a fine gallery or store in Cuzco. On the other hand, the prices are low and it is a great Andean market to buy beautiful souvenirs from Pisac.
The second biggest city after Machu Picchu is one of the most incredible place in Cusco. Its name comes from a very common type of Bird in this area known PISAQA or Partridge. Because the pre-Columbian city has a shape of a Andean bird representing the local fauna. Also there is the biggest cemetery of South America, the agricultural terraces, the sundial or Inti-hautana, Qolqas or granaries, water canals, the tunnel and neighbourhoods.
Carrying out the Sacred Valley VIP tour you will see the most outstanding places of Pisaq but taking a 1 day hike from Pisac town to citadel is very impressive and you will get to see all Inca city.
Cusco Hotel Transfer
Sacred Valley of the Incas combined with a trip to Salt mines of Maras and the agricultural terraces Inca of Moray is an unforgettable tour for people who have little time in the city of Cusco.
You will appreciate the beautiful Inca Valley and snow-capped mountains, fields of culture and villages full of colours and tradition.
We start the tour with the pick up from your hotel at 06:30 hours to go to the picturesque town of Chinchero where we will appreciate the remains of the royal hacienda of Tupac Inca Yupanqui, a beautiful colonial temple with interesting frescoes on the porch (this place was built on the foundations of an Inca construction). We can also admire the Inca walls in the main square of the village, etc.
Continuing with our tour we will visit the town of Maras, located 52 km from Cusco at an altitude of 3,380 m; the importance of the place is given by the mines of salt that it possesses; these salt mines are composed of about 3000 small wells of approximately 5 m ² from which the salt is extracted. The production of salt follows the process of extraction and drying of the salt water from an underground spring. The “Salinas de Maras” have been exploited since the time of the Incas in which it was used as a means of economic exchange.
We then proceed to the Archaeological Group of Moray, located about 7 km. Of Maras. Moray is a group of terraces or circular platforms of different sizes, which at the time of the Incas were used as an agricultural experimental center; this was where they performed their studies of adapting plants to new ecosystems. In Moray 1 observes how the overlapping of the concentric rings of stone widens as it rises; the total depth is one 150 m.
Our lunch will be a buffet style in a tourist restaurant in the city of Urubamba.
In the afternoon we head to the village of Ollantaytambo; There we will go up first to the Inca archaeological complex that was built to guard and protect against invasions, then there will be time to walk the streets of this small town and thus have a clearer idea of how this military, religious and cultural center was during the period of the Inca Empire.\
Then the bus will take us to the town of Pisaq to visit the local market; we will immediately ascend the archaeological complex of Pisaq and appreciate the agricultural terraces, cemeteries and real Inca constructions.
Continuing, we will pass by the viewpoint of the Sacred Valley of the Incas; here we can take excellent views and photos of the Andes Mountains and the Sacred Valley itself.
Finally, we will return in the bus to the city of Cusco and arrive around 19:30 hours.