Experience rural life and local traditions in the timeless Sacred Valley
The Urubamba Valley, known as The Sacred Valley of the Incas lies just north of the Inca capital of Cusco and today is one of the best places in Peru to see Inca traditions and the descendants of a once great civilisation. The dramatic landscape is charactarised by steep mountains, snow-covered peaks and traditional agriculture, small towns come to life in colourful bustling markets and outstanding Inca ruins, particularly those at either end of the valley in Pisaq and Ollantaytambo, demonstrate the enduring brilliance of the Inca people and their customs and ways of life. The people still speak the native Quechua language and conserve ancient customs and ancestral rites.
See our options for walking in the Sacred Valley, including the Inca Trail
Visiting the Sacred Valley
Sacred Valley of the Incas - Visiting the Sacred Valley
The Sacred Valley of the Incas can be visited on a day trip from the nearby city of Cusco, or when staying within the valley itself, at one of the excellent lodges or hotels here.
Our typical Sacred Valley excursion is a comprehensive day of travelling within the valley, starting with the colourful and authentic market of Chinchero. Here people from the surrounding communities congregate to trade their goods, mostly agricultural produce, not only trading in money, but also bartering. The day continues to Maras pre-Inca salt pans and we walk down the ravine to the Urubamba River for lunch by the river. The car drives round while you walk to meet you at the restaurant; or you can stay in the car if you prefer not to walk.
We then visit the fortress of Ollantaytambo, the archaeological complex believed to have been a gigantic agricultural, administrative, social, religious and military centre. Late in the afternoon we reach Pisac, a small colonial village built by Viceroy Francisco de Toledo where there is a tourist market with weavings and handicrafts. We drive up the mountain above the town to visit Pisac ruins, affording superb views of the surrounding countryside and sunset. You then return to your hotel in the evening.
There are further options which allow for more detailed exploration of the surrounding area, including hikes and horse-riding options.
After your time in the Sacred Valley you can travel to the lost Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. Two dedicated trains run from Ollantaytambo, with the Hirham Bingham - the most luxurious - starting from Poroy station in Cusco.
Sacred Valley of the Incas - Remote Villages
The Valley is also home to some of the finest Inca ruins and villages, still inhabited by Quechua-speaking people. A few days in the Valley offer the traveller the unique opportunity of slowing down and mingling with the living Inca culture while experiencing the spirit of the region. The more remote villages also offer the opportunity to experience the Inca traditions as they have been practiced for hundreds of years.
Urubamba Valley Agriculture
Sacred Valley of the Incas - Urubamba Valley Agriculture
The Urubamba Valley, due to extremely fertile land, is the bread-basket of the region, producing some of the best-quality corn in the world. Driving along its single main road, with farms and agricultural terraces on either side, you can see that essentially this is the way that the people of the valley have been living for centuries. Since ancient times, the fertile lands, ancient terraces and the waters of the Urubamba river have been used to grow the staple diet of Quinoa, potatoes, cereals and to breed livestock.
The perfect starting point for planning your trip
14 Night Itinerary from £3,472 from €3,266 from $3,513
Our comprehensive journey through Peru. Discover Andean landscapes, ancient civilisations, stunning ruins and the magnificent islands of Lake Titicaca
Lima - Arequipa - Colca Canyon - Lake Titicaca - Sacred Valley of the Incas - Machu Picchu - CuscoView Tour
Chasqui Active Tour
14 Night Itinerary from £3,349 from €3,118 from $3,353
Active Tour of Peru, with day walks in the Colca Canyon, Sacred Valley, and finishing with the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
Lima - Arequipa - Colca - Lake Titicaca / Puno - Sacred Valley - Inca Trail - Machu Picchu - Cusco - LimaView Tour
" Valle Sagrado de los Incas - Urubamba valley near Pisaq, Peru, " by Jason Hollinger - licensed under CC BY
10 Night Itinerary from £2,597 from €2,216 from $2,376
Our essential tour of Peru, including the most important sites of Cusco, Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley of the Incas & Lake Titicaca
Lima - Lake Titicaca / Puno - Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu - CuscoView Tour
Pacaya Cruise Tour
14 Night Itinerary from £4,466 from €4,459 from $4,805
From the comfort of a river boat, we explore the pristine rainforest of the Amazon, combined with Ancient Civilisations of the Andes
Lima - Amazon Cruise - Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu - Cusco - LimaView Tour
Machu Picchu Tour
7 Night Itinerary from £2,317 from €1,880 from $2,012
Our basic tour of Peru focuses on Cusco, capital of the Inca Empire, and Machu Cicchu, their lost citadel and ancient stronghold.
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Cordillera Real Luxury Tour
14 Night Itinerary from £5,544 from €5,752 from $6,207
Our Luxury Tour of Peru showcases the very best hotels and lodges on offer, while taking you to the most exclusive locations with immersive experiences
Lima - Amazon - Sacred Valley - Machu Pichu - Cusco - Lake TiticacaView Tour
Ninos Incas Family Tour
15 Night Itinerary from £3,455 from €3,246 from $3,491
Family-Orientated tour of Peru: Discover ancient cultures, mountain landscapes and the diversity of the Amazon rainforest with your little explorers.
Lima - Amazon - Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu - CuscoView Tour
Inca Group Tour
14 Night Itinerary from £3,109 from €2,830 from $3,041
Explore the Inca Empire including the remote Colca Canyon and staying in the "Sacred Valley", taking the trains to Machu Picchu and along magnificent Andean landscapes from Lake Ti…
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Moneda Group Tour
17 Night Itinerary from £4,735 from €4,782 from $5,155
Step back in time to explore landlocked Bolivia and the riches of Potosi. Cross mysterious Lake Titicaca perched at the top of the Andean mountains, travelling by train to Cusco an…
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Viracocha Landmark Tour
21 Night Itinerary from £5,147 from €5,276 from $5,691
Cross continent from coast to the high Andean mountains with remote villages; Cosmopolitan Cities, Inca archaeology and dramatic landscapes
Rio de Janeiro - Iguazu Falls - Buenos Aires - Santa Cruz - Sucre - Potosi - La Paz - Lake Titicaca - Sacred Valley of the Incas - Machu Picchu - Cusco - LimaView Tour
Shaman Landmark Tour
28 Night Itinerary from £9,643 from €10,671 from $11,535
Cross Continent with a cruise deep in the Amazon Rainforest, Cosmopolitan Cities, Colonial Heritage and magnificent Iguassu Falls, combine with stunning Andean Landscapes.
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Montecristi Landmark Tour
17 Night Itinerary from £4,166 from €4,099 from $4,415
The stunning setting of Rio de Janeiro, Copacabana on the Beach and high on Lake Titicaca, with a luxury train journey across Andean mountain landscapes to Cusco, Sacred Valley and…
Rio de Janeiro - La Paz - Lake Titicaca - Train - Cusco - Machu Picchu - LimaView Tour
Encantada Landmark Tour
17 Night Itinerary from £5,394 from €5,572 from $6,012
Cruise the Galapagos Islands. experience the Andean mountains, colonial heritage and Inca civilisation. Option to continue to Lake Titicaca, La Paz and the stunning setting of Rio …
Quito - Galapagos Cruise - Lima - Cusco - Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu - Lake Titicaca (optional extention) - La Paz (optional extension) - Rio de Janeiro (optional extension)View Tour
Laguna Landmark Tour
21 Night Itinerary from £5,768 from €6,021 from $6,498
Expedition into the remote salt flats and lagoons with flamingoes in the high Andes and Atacama desert, across mountains and valleys to Machu Picchu
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Pachamama Landmark Tour
21 Night Itinerary from £3,751 from €3,601 from $3,876
Oasis and rivers of Pacific coastal desert, lead us to High Andean lagoons, lakes and a train journey from Lake Titicaca to Cusco and Machu Picchu, then explore the Amazon forest.
Lima - Paracas - Nazca - Lima - La Paz - Lake Titicaca/ Sun Island - Lake Titicaca/ Puno - Cusco - Machu Picchu - Cusco - Amazon Rainforest - Lima -View Tour
Quechua Landmark Tour
17 Night Itinerary from £4,204 from €4,144 from $4,465
The descendant of the Empire of the Incas maintain their identity and traditions blending with colonial history, in a setting of impressive mountains landscapes and the riches of P…
Lima - La Paz - Sucre - Potosí - Lake Titicaca - Train - Sacred Valley of the Incas - Machu Picchu - CuscoView Tour
Sacred Valley of the Incas
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Trekking in Sacred Valley - Mountain Lodges of Peru by Senderos - licensed under CC
Walks and Treks in the Sacred Valley
Our guide to the best day walks and longer treks in the Sacred Valley of the IncasLearn More
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