Things to do in the Sacred Valley, Peru

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Apus Peru FOCUSThings to do in the Sacred Valley, Peru

This series is a collection of travel tips and stories shared by other bloggers and traveler’s around the web.

We hope these tips and stories will inform and inspire you to visit the Sacred Valley. If you have already been, please share a tip on things to see and do in the Sacred Valley.

 

 

 

Sacred Valley Travel Essentials – What You Need To Know About a Visit To The Sacred Valley

Exploring The Sacred Valley – While this article does not provide a lot of text, what it does provide is many pictures to help paint an image of the region, especially for those who have never been. I find images to be helpful to gain a sense of what the culture, and community is like.

The Symbolism Is Strong With This One – This is a fun read that highlights the story of how the beloved ruins of the Sacred Valley came to be.

The photo below is just one example of these ruins. It shows a close up of the God Tunupa
overlooking the city of Ollantaytambo

Things To Do In The Sacred Valley

Hiking With Llamas…And Kids! – Peru is known for its many incredible trekking trails. This one just so happens to be kid friendly! You get the chance to get to hang out with some pretty cool llamas as well as hike with them – who wouldn’t want to do that?!

To Market, We Will Go – It’s no secret that the Cusco region hosts one of the world’s most famous markets drawing many tourists and visitors! As it is a tourist destination, it can be a little hectic at times, remain patient and take your time as this is one stop worth waiting for! Also, please note that some of the vendors may not enjoy having their photo taken, so please ask before doing so!

 

 

Festivals Galore – The Sacred Valley hosts some incredible and exciting festivals throughout the year! This is a great, and helpful calendar of sorts that highlights when each festival takes place as well as a short description of each. The festivals provide a chance to not only see but to take part in the culture.

Learning On Vacation – While visiting, why not take up a few fun and exciting classes? These are just a few that are offered through this particular group. You can take cooking classes, learn how to weave and even learn Spanish!

 

 

Another Path Less Traveled – Speaking of weaving, Apus Peru offers a tour designed to take you away from hiking the dirt trails and instead give you a glimpse at another village tradition – weaving! (don’t worry, we still go hiking). This particular village is one of three that our NGO Threads of Peru works with!

Where To Stay in the Sacred Valley

A Family Friendly Stay – If your looking for somewhere family friendly to stay – look no further! This blog post has you covered! Please note that these suggestions are not limited to just families – anyone can stay! I found this post to be helpful as it highlighted the pros and cons of each of the three main towns located in the Sacred Valley

 

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Photo via www.worldoftravelswithkids.com

 

 

The Best Of The Best – This is a longer list of suggestions on where to stay when visiting the Sacred Valley. Again, these are family friendly but not limited to just families. Each hotel has a fantastic little description along with it, as well as a photo!

Don’t Break The Bank – If you are a solo hiker, or even a couple looking for a quick and clean place to stay, this is a list of many hostels located in the region. With affordable prices, they might be a worthwhile option! I love that this site provides reviews of those who have visited previously so that you know what to expect from each.

Sacred Valley Hotel – recommendations from the folks at Apus Peru. These hotels have been tried and tested by people that work in the area.

 

 

 

 Where To Eat In The Sacred Valley

Looking For Food Fuel In The Sacred Valley – A fantastic travel website that breaks the restaurants down by not only area but cuisine type too! It uses a simple dollar sign to show the range of prices for each restaurant – how helpful! When clicking on each restaurant it will open a new page which has a short description, address, phone and website of each restaurant should they have one.

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Off the Radar Ruins!

I recently hiked our unique to Apus Peru ‘Inca Traditions Weaving and Pumamarca’ one day hike. Here’s my blog.

Pumamarca was supposedly a control point allowing access to the Inca town of Ollantaytambo from multiple valleys and above the site is part of the old original Inca trail which is now not accessible.

The ruins themselves are still well hidden from most of the popular trails and thus rarely visited by any tourists.  They also happen to be extremely well preserved.

Rumira Sondormayo

From Cusco, the drive to Ollantaytambo is around 90 minutes, then it is less than a 1 hour journey to get to the first stop, the weaving village of Rumira Sondormayo. Rumira  is one of three villages that our sister NGO Threads of Peru works with on weaving revitalization with the women. http://www.threadsofperu.com/weaving-culture/communities/

ruins at Pumamarca

After some explanations and weaving demonstrations we have a local lunch before heading out to the ruins

The Valley

There are several ways to get back from here as it can be hiked or biked from the top to bottom!

Scenic!

There is plenty of time to admire the view of the Patacancha valley which is simply beautiful!

By Matt Waugh, March 10th, 2015

To book this trek with a visit to the weaving village of Rumira, please see our link at – http://www.apus-peru.com/treks/inca_traditions.html

Chicharrones de chancho

Delicious chicharrones (deep fried hunks of succulent pork), served on a bed of Andean accompaniments such as ‘choclo’ (huge niblets of Corn), red onion, mint and locally grown potatoes. Associated with many traditional events throughout the year such as Corpus Cristi, Inti Raymi and Qollor’iti around the Cusco region, not seizing the opportunity to try this very Cusqueñan dish would be an opportunity missed.

If you are game, street stalls sell it for less than $2US! or you can try it prepared at a Quinta style restaurant. It is ready on the spot so there’s never a lot of waiting time for your (usually huge) plate to be served. You could even venture out to the village of Saylla, south of Cusco, renowned for their Chicharron.

For information on one of our one day cultural/gastronomy hikes see this link: http://www.apus-peru.com/treks/wari_al_fresco.html

by Matthew Waugh 2014

Agricultural jewels of the Incas, Salineras and Moray

The Sacred Valley can be reached from Cusco in less than 70 minutes by car.

“What is so special about the Sacred Valley anyway?” people may ask. For anyone who gets out and explores the area on foot, or bike for that matter, they will soon understand the answer to that question!

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The Incas thought the Sacred Valley was an impressive and holy place.  As such, it is a place where many of their ruins are prominent features, strong and proud against the mountainous back-drop.

Most of the Sacred Avlley ruins were built in strategic, agricultural or sacred places. Almost every smaller valley heading out of the Sacred Valley hosts something rare and unique.

On one side of the Urubamba river, just outside of the town of Urubamba, sit the Saltmines (or Salineras) of Maras. They offer the visitor a unique photographic opportunity, nestled into the Canyon, featuring a fascinating mix of colors.

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Moray also offers something special to the visitor with its conundrum of concentric cylindrical terraces, which is very different to other Inca sites across the Andes. This is thought to have had an agricultural purpose, possibly test-farms but there are many other theories to the origins of this complex. 

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There are several ways to get to this wonderful place, it can be hiked or biked from the top to bottom!

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As part of the trip Apus Peru clients have the choice to do some down-hill mountain biking through the specatular surrounds, to get you down to the Sacred Valley floor. 

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Here is one of our guides, Jose, showing Apus Peru trekkers around.

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Many thanks to Thayer Allyson Gowdy http://thayergowdy.com/ and her partner for the great shots of this location from our Apus Peru ‘Shapes of the Past’ hike http://www.apus-peru.com/treks/shapes_past.htm that they took with us this year. We offer this hike on any day of the year, as well as a number of other one day hikes all within close reach of Cusco. For more information, please drop us an email at reservas@apus-peru.com . Happy Trekking!

No Frills Trekking Group departures

Guide Domingo on the Ausangate trek, another wonderful photo from Michael Mossop.

Apus Peru  are the alternative trekking specialists in Cusco – we pioneered many of these routes and are a local operator who runs the most adventurous options frequently, like the Choquequirao to Machu Picchu trek or the Ausangate Sibinacocha trek.

The further Apus Peru have entered the world of certified eco tourism, fair trade travel and ensuring our staff are properly paid, we have realised that “eco friendly” and environmentally conscious travel tends toward the mid to upper Price range.

We strongly feel that all travellers, whether they are backpackers on a shoestring or people who prefer a rugged trekking experience, should have the opportunity to do our innovative and creative treks.

We would like that these treks and adventures are more financially accessible -so are offering a once-a-month No Frills Featured Adventure Trek.  To make these treks possible we need to get a minimum of 6 people. 

Full details of what is included, and not included is found at this webpage:

http://www.apus-peru.com/make-a-booking/no_frills_adventure_treks.html

PLANNED TREKS
CHOQUEQUIRAO TO  MACHU PICCHU 7 DAYS
http://www.apus-peru.com/treks/choquequirao_machu_picchu_7days.html
DEPARTS 4TH APRIL, RETURNS 10TH APRIL
PRICE PER PERSON  $495
ISIC discounts available.  No other discounts apply.

** This trek now has two people confirmed – Needs 4 more to operate! **

CHOQUEQUIRAO TO VILCABAMBA WITH MACHU PICCHU EXTENSION
http://www.apus-peru.com/treks/choquequirao_vilcabamba.html

15th May – 24th May – after you finish the trek you might like to visit the Señor de Choquekillka Celebration on Pentecost Sunday (27th May) in Ollantaytambo. **
PRICE PER PERSON  $595

** This trek now has one person confirmed – Needs 4 more to operate! **

DEPARTS  27TH MAY RETURNS 1ST JUNE
VILCABAMBA TO MACHU PICCHU TREK
http://www.apus-peru.com/treks/vilcabamba_machu_picchu.htm
** SPECIAL 6 DAY ITINERARY **  Please email us for more details.
PRICE PER PERSON  $Please enquire.

** You can participate in Choquekilla celebrations before this trek, and then participate in the Qollor Riti Pilgrimage afterwards.
** Transport from Cusco to Huancacalle is both expensive and long, so therefore for our No Frills clients we are breaking our 5 day itinerary’s Day 1 into 2 days, and you spend a night in Quillabamba. The campsites depend on the group’s hiking speed.

10 DAY CARABAYA TREK, STARTING IN CUSCO
http://www.apus-peru.com/treks/carabaya.htm
DEPARTS FRIDAY JUNE 8, RETURNS FRIDAY 15 JUNE
**Timed to coincide with Corpus Christi on June 7th in Cusco! **
PRICE PER PERSON:  $495.00

Trekkers on the Ausangate Circuit, by Michael Mossop.