Top 8 Places to Visit in the Sacred Valley, Peru | The Viking Abroad
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Top 8 Places to Visit in the Sacred Valley, Peru

08 May Top 8 Places to Visit in the Sacred Valley, Peru

Travel in the footsteps of the Inca in the Sacred Valley in Peru. Machu Picchu is not the only place you can visit in the Sacred Valley. There are plenty of archaeological sites around the Cusco region. Here are the top 8 places to visit in the Sacred Valley, Peru.

Tourist Ticket (Boleto Turístico)

There are two different tourist tickets in Cusco, the most expensive one is Cusco Tourist Ticket Integral – BTCL and is valid for 10 days and costs 130 soles and 70 soles for students. You can easily buy the tickets at the entrance of one of the 16 sites, there is no need to buy it before you get to Cusco. If you are going to visit any of the sites underneath, you would need a tourist ticket, you don’t get in without one. Guides are not included in the price, you can book that at the entrance of many of the sites, make sure they are Directur guides.

There are three other options if you don’t want to see all of the sites and/or are staying in Cusco for less than 10 days. Read more

Source: Cuscoperu

Ollantaytambo

Ollantaytambo is the most famous Inca site after Machu Picchu. Ollantaytambo is also a town between Cusco and Machu Picchu, many people decide to stay there before visiting Machu Picchu. The altitude is also lower than Cusco, which makes it a great place to stay the first days visiting Peru to acclimatise before visiting the places with very high altitude.

  • Included in the tourist ticket (Boleto Turístico)

Related: 7 Ways To Deal With Altitude Sickness While Travelling In South America 

Saqsaywaman

If you are in Cusco for a very short period of time. Saqsaywaman is a must-see if you don’t have time to see the others Inca ruins around Cusco. Many tourists call the ruins Sexy Woman because it is so hard to say. If you see Saqsaywaman from above you will see it is formed as the head of a Puma which is a sacred animal for the Incas. If you want to celebrate Inti Rami (24 June) in Peru, Saqsaywaman is a great location. You would need the tourist ticket to visit Saqsaywaman.

  • Included in the tourist ticket (Boleto Turístico)

Moray

Moray is outside of Cusco. I highly recommend getting there with a tour including the transport because it is quite hard to get there independently. Moray is an unusual Inca site and almost look alien-like. It is unknown why they are made like terraced circles and the purpose, but it creates a temperature difference between the top and the bottom centre of the circle. There are often tours that include Maras and Moroy on the same day.

  • Included in the tourist ticket (Boleto Turístico)

Maras

Maras is not on the tourist ticket and is not really considered as an Inca site. Maras is also the name of the town in the area as well. The site contains salt evaporation ponds with three different kinds of salt. The ponds are owned by individuals and you can buy the salt for different purposes as healing or for cooking.

Pisac

Pisac is mostly known for the market. The market is open every day, but it is larger on Sundays. You can easily get to Pisac yourself, there are small shuttle buses that go from Cusco and they are quite cheap. I went to Pisac on my self on the way to Ollantaytambo after visiting the market. The market is free but if you want to visit the ruins there you would need the tourist ticket.

  • Included in the tourist ticket (Boleto Turístico)

Awana Kancha

Awana Kancha is between Cusco and Pisac. It is free to enter and you don’t need the tourist ticket. Awana Kancha is a great place if you want to see handicrafts in the making, like weaving and colouring. You can also buy authentic souvenirs there as well. Bring notes and coins for this trip. It is expected to give some tips when you leave, but it is not required.

Machu Picchu

Well duh, that is usually the main reason people visit Peru or at least Cusco. Machu Picchu is the Inca ruin the Spanish conquerors never found and the Incas didn’t finish building it. Be aware you need to buy the tickets in advance (3-4 months before)and even earlier in the high season. If you are fit and up for a challenge you should add Huyana Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain to your ticket.  Read more about Machu Picchu here

City tour in Cusco

 

There are free city tours from Plaza de Armas in Cusco, they start from 10 am and you find them with different colours.  If you don’t make it at 10 am there are usually others later on, especially in the high season.

The city tour / Afternoon tour is not free but you get a guide to visit these places:

In Cusco:

  • Santo Domingo Monastery / Qoricancha
  • Cathedral

and around Cusco:

  • Sacsayhuaman
  • Qenko
  • Puca Pucara
  • Tambomachay

It is not included in the tourist ticket, but you need it for many of the sites. You can get the tickets in Plaza Armas or here.

Prices vary from $15-50 dollars.

It is good to take the free city tour and the afternoon tour one of the first days you visit Peru, to get a good introduction to get a greater understanding before visiting Machu Picchu etc.

 

Next steps: What to pack for a trip to Peru

 Machu Picchu – everything you need to know

10 Comments
  • Sally E
    Posted at 16:29h, 09 May Reply

    Thanks for covering some of things to do outside of Machu Picchu (I feel like that’s most of what I read about Peru). Moray looks SO fascinating, and how strange that there’s a temperature difference between top and bottom. It really doesn’t look that steep!

    • thevikingabroad
      thevikingabroad
      Posted at 09:28h, 11 July Reply

      It is quite special and unique, hope you get to see it one day 😀

  • LaiAriel Samangka
    Posted at 18:21h, 09 May Reply

    Wow, some of these scenic view is unbelievable. I have never seen something like this before. The sacred valley in Peru is something I should really add to my bucket list because of its unusual scenery. The Moray is an unusual Inca site indeed, and seemed to be really interesting because it offers a different temperature of the weather when you get to its inner core view and above it. Thank you so much for touring me virtually, which I have truly enjoyed.

    • thevikingabroad
      thevikingabroad
      Posted at 09:27h, 11 July Reply

      Sacred Valley is very special, Moray is pretty cool and easy done in half a day from Cusco 😀 Hope you get to visit 😀

  • Sage Scott
    Posted at 22:04h, 09 May Reply

    These are amazing photos! Are the goats at the marketplace dressed up in clothes? I’m curious to know more about what you ate when you visited Peru? Any local dishes that were new and really stood out to you?

    • thevikingabroad
      thevikingabroad
      Posted at 09:26h, 11 July Reply

      Yes, lol, they do that to get money, I would call it animal abuse. They eat guinea pig, but I won’t eat that haha. But apart from that they have many dishes, Peruvian is very good cuisine. 😀

  • Cori
    Posted at 09:25h, 10 May Reply

    I just finished reading Following in the Footsteps of a Footloose American, so now I’m extra excited to visit all of these places. Thanks for sharing your tips! I definitely don’t want to do what Brian Kevin did — which was walk along the tracks!

  • Ambuj Saxena
    Posted at 04:50h, 12 May Reply

    Thank you for covering so many places! I had only heard about Machu Pichu but Moray looks amazing and exotic! Would love to visit the Sacred Valley!

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