The Sacred Valley of the Incas is located close to Cusco making it a great sightseeing day-trip. The Sacred Valley was part of the Inka empire and today the region still has archaelogical sites at Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero and Moray.
Since we were going with Alpaca Expeditions for our Inca Trail 4D/3N tour, we decided to go with them for the Sacred Valley tour as well. The cost was pretty reasonable too: $250/group and we got our own tour guide and van.
It was great that our guide Cesar decided to take it easy on us and show us things at a more moderate pace – I think he recognized that we had a pretty miserable morning and that we were barely able to keep up. However, he did take us to see most of the major attractions – like the adorable llamas and stunning views of the Ruins and the Sacred Valley. We got to see some of the famous Inca ruins in Pisac:
The sheer size of these ruins was amazing! And the markets were pretty nice in town, but we breezed through Pisac because Cesar promised us that the better Alpaca stuff was in Chincero. Next, we went to Ollantaytambo:
And got to walk around the ruins as well as see the Wall of the Six Monoliths. It’s absolutely amazing when you look at the blocks of rock up close, the ancient Incas moved these gigantic blocks from the mountainside to this location while keeping the rocks intact and each rock is perfectly smooth without cracks.
Finally, we were off to Chincero to buy our Alpaca souvenirs:
It’s a quaint little town, and our guide was telling us that in the future, they might build pave over the farm land here to build an airport so that tourists would be able to get to Machu Picchu faster. It’s a little sad since the Sacred Valley is known for growing a lot of organic and various types of food here (from Sacred Valley corn to Papayas and Pineapples), but it’s also an opportunity for economic development and to grow the tourism industry in Peru.
The Sacred Valley tour was great! It gave us a fascinating insight into how Peruvians live in the Sacred Valley and the food was so delicious here! The Sacred Valley corn was really interesting too – I can’t say I was a huge fan of the taste since it didn’t really taste like North American peaches & cream corn I was used to. It’s not as sweet and the texture is sturdier and apparently it’s pretty resilient. For more information on the food in Peru, refer to this foodblog.