Adventurous activities to do in Sacred Valley
Just north of Cusco, the Sacred Valley draws thousands of tourists each year. Visitors are keen to see first-hand the amazing agricultural experiments of the ancient Incas, and the ruins that lie scattered across the lush slopes in the valley. Here visitors come face to face with a culture that has lasted for hundreds of years, passed from one generation to the next.
You too can escape into the rich cultural life and amazing landscapes of Peru when you join us in a visit to the Sacred Valley. We’ve designed some phenomenal adventurous things to do in the Sacred Valley, Cusco Peru and we’d love you to join us in our exploits.
Visit Sacred Valley Historical Sites
The historical sites and engineering wonders of the ancient Incas show up all over the Sacred Valley. Here are just a few suggestions of what to do in the Sacred Valley.
Survey the Ancient Crop Terraces of Pisac
33km to the east of Cusco, lie the agricultural ruins of Pisac. Considered the gateway into the Sacred Valley, the famous terraces, ruins, and ancient paths were created by the Incas. A fortress, built high upon a mountain ridge, overlooks the village of Pisac.
The terraces are truly awe-inspiring, but the real journey of discovery is in the hike through the ruins, and ceremonial buildings. There is also an enormous cemetery, last resting place to over 1,000 ancient Incas. The Sun Temple in the area is every bit as good as Machu Picchu but with fewer visitors. Don’t miss the Sunday market in Pisac. It’s legendary.
Discover Ollantaytambo’s Ancient Ruins
Known as the “Living Inca City,” Ollantaytambo is the only ancient Inca village still inhabited today. Here you can enjoy the ancient Inca culture passed on and still alive in the town.
Located on the outskirts of the town of Pisac, Ollantaytambo is the site of the only Inca warrior defeat of the Spanish in Peru. The ruins go back 3,500 years and they’re architectural wonders. The aqueducts still work today. The area’s main attraction is the fortress ruins located next to the town. You’ll get brilliant views of the valley below from the Inca citadel was built atop a steep hill.
Visit the Town of Chinchero
The Incas called Chinchero “The Birthplace of the Rainbow.” At 12,375 feet above sea level the village is high up in the Andes. From this vantage point you’ll enjoy amazing views of the surrounding countryside with its terraces and snowcapped peaks.
The town of Chinchero is famous for its colorful weaving, samples of which you can buy at the lively outdoor market. Plan to visit the town’s beautiful Spanish-built adobe church that dates to 1607. While you’re in the town make sure to explore the ruins of the village palace destroyed by the Spanish.
Marvel at the Moray Inca Ruins
The Moray ruins is an amazing archeological site that looks like a giant amphitheater. It features circular terraces believed to have been used by the Incas as an agricultural laboratory. The Incas used the terraces to create several microclimates so that they could experiment with crops under different climatic conditions.
The ancient engineering at this site is astonishing and includes innovative drainage. The drainage is necessary to ensure that the terraces never flood despite forming a huge circular depression.
Visit the Ancient Salineras de Maras Salt Mines
Your visit to the Sacred Valley would be incomplete with a stopover Salineras de Maras Salt Mines. They really are something special and a remarkable sight. Here over 3,000 salt ponds cling to the steep mountain slopes.
They’re connect by a network of underground canals that fill the ponds with saltwater. Though little is known about the origins of the mines, they have been around for at least a thousand years, passed from one generation to the next. The salt extraction methods remain unchanged.
What to do in the Sacred Valley
For the adventure seeker, there are loads of things to do in the Sacred Valley. We’ll take you on some of the best adventures ensuring that you never forget your visit to Peru.
Accommodation with a Difference
Enjoy breathtaking views of the rocky crags and cliffs of the Andes. Skylodge Adventure Suites offer you accommodation with a difference. Here your glass enclosed suite clings to the rocky mountain slope overlooking the beautiful river valley below.
If you’re ready for an overnight adventure, don your helmet. You’re about to ascend the cliffs to your sleeping capsule suspended 120 meters above the Sacred Valley. Sleep well!
Cycle Along Ancient Paths
Mountain biking is a wonderful way to see the beautiful wilds of the Andean highlands making it one of the best things to do the Sacred Valley. Cycle through the mountain peaks, bristling 19,000 feet into the air above you and enjoy the mountain breezes and crisp, fresh air.
Follow ancient Inca trails and footpaths to discover the unspoiled nature that once inspired the inhabitants of this land. You’ll enjoy the rugged scenery, and the rural people living as they have lived for hundreds of years.
Savor the food and drink. Make friendships along the way as you discover the ancient ways and natural beauty of the Sacred Valley on your bike.
Zip Line Down the Andean Slopes
Ziplining is not for the faint of heart. Still, if you love adventure and that rush of adrenalin, join us as we fly above the trees into the beautiful Sacred Valley below.
Ziplining gives you the feeling of flying, but it’s safe and supervised. Get splendid views from the air on this exhilarating adventure, one of the highlights of a visit the Sacred Valley.
White Water Rafting in the Sacred Valley
White river rafting must be the ultimate adventure. When you take to a raft on the Urubamba River that runs through the Sacred Valley, you’re bound to have the adventure of a lifetime. This is the perfect chance to enjoy the natural wonders of the area and still get that adrenalin rush that you crave. No matter your level of rafting expertise, there is a river adventure just for you. Join us for a day of white knuckled fun as we sweep down the river to our ultimate destination.
Take a Hike to Huchuy Qosqo
Take in the grandeur of the Andes Mountains on the seven-hour Huchuy Qosqo hiking trip to Machu Pichu. This is one sure way to enjoy the beautiful landscape in the fresh, clean mountain air.
The magnificent Huchuy Qosqo was the holiday home of an Incan emperor. These ruins lack the fame of Machu Pichu, so hikers get to explore the impressive ruins with fewer tourist distractions. This impressive structure was built hundreds of years ago in an area of sublime beauty.
The ruins are 1,312 feet or four hundred meters above the Urubamba River overlooking the magnificent Sacred Valley below.
Hiking Tours to Lares
Whatever your fitness level or time requirements, there are lots of single and multi-day hikes that you can enjoy on your visit to the Sacred Valley. A hike through the valley gives you a real feel for the area. You come close to nature and enjoy the fresh air. You can also take the opportunity to get to know the local people and their culture.
Hikes are also great for enjoying some of the less-visited ruins in the valley. Some of the Sacred Valley’s best hike takes place close to Ollantaytambo, which is itself a worthy destination.
If you’re up to a longer tailor-made Inca Trek, consider connecting a number of the hikes to create a walk through the Sacred Valley that meets your interests and needs.