5 reasons to explore the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu
Located within an array of captivating cultural hubs and breathtaking landscapes, the Sacred Valley of the Incas holds a distinct advantage: its lower altitude compared to Cusco. This exceptional attribute positions it as an ideal setting for a gradual acclimatization experience, an essential foundation for embarking on an exploration of this historically rich and diverse terrain—particularly if your journey includes a visit to the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu.
At our lodge in the Sacred Valley, our all-inclusive programs allow you to relax and only worry about discovering every corner with us, chosen as the “World’s Leading Expedition Company 2022” in the World Travel Awards for the fourth year running.
1. Explorations without limits
At Explora, we believe exploration unlocks a realm of boundless possibilities. Nestled within the awe-inspiring Valle Sagrado, our Lodge is a gateway to discovering the extraordinary wonders of Machu Picchu, an ancient city ingeniously nestled amidst the mountains.
But the enchanting Sacred Valley itself offers an array of unique choices: from the mesmerizing Maras Salt Ponds, boasting around 3,000 natural salt pools, to the enigmatic Moray, a site presumed to be a testing ground for diverse agricultural methods and microclimate observation. These remarkable destinations exemplify the treasures awaiting your exploration in Valle Sagrado.
However, our offerings extend beyond these horizons. At Explora, we venture into the aliplano, a remote and seldom-explored highland region. Here, untouched cultural authenticity thrives, and the landscapes commandeer the senses with their overwhelming grandeur.
2. Strategic location and Lodge
The Sacred Valley of the Incas is between the towns of Pisac and Ollantaytambo, about 1 hour from Cusco and at a lower altitude, making it the perfect starting point to acclimatize your body to the altitude, and to explore Cusco, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley itself.
Our lodge includes the Pumacahua Bath House, which is the colonial manor house restored by Explora, that was built in the 17th century and belonged to one of the fathers of Peruvian independence, the Incan Cacique Mateo Pumacahua. It is currently used as a spa, with an outdoor swimming pool and Jacuzzis, massage rooms, a sauna and a steam bath.
3. Culinary experience with Virgilio Martinez
We believe gastronomy is a different form of exploration, in which you gain a deeper understanding of the territory. At our lodge in Valle Sagrado, we are proud to offer a unique culinary experience developed by the renowned Peruvian chef Virgilio Martínez, owner of Central restaurant, recognized as the best restaurant in the world according to World’s Best.
The cuisine is inspired by the great biodiversity of the Sacred Valley, its history and the culture of the people, making each meal an experience that reflects the magic of the place. Its natural and organic preparations using products from the region bring local culture directly to travelers’ tables.
4. Contact with communities
The Sacred Valley is a destination where the legacy of the Incas remains strong and its inhabitants celebrate and respect millennial traditions. Many of our guides are locals and come from families where millennial traditions have been maintained to this day, making them the best people to accompany you to explore this magical place.
Part of the in-depth exploration that we want to transmit to travelers is for them to get to know them through culture and contact with communities. That is why we visit the village of Pisac, which has a colorful crafts market, and the community of Huayllafara in the Lamay Valley during the Ayni exploration. In addition, local pastors can be observed along the way during other explorations.
5. All-Inclusive Experience
To wake up and observe the valley as you prepare to go out exploring is one of those moments where you feel disconnected from reality. That is why at Explora the only thing we want you to worry about is enjoying your trip through a profound connection with the territory.
Our all-inclusive programs include your accommodation, meals, and airport transfers.* They also include all explorations, so you can go out and discover this dreamlike place together with our guides.
The lodge also has a colonial-era spa with an outdoor pool, steam baths and Jacuzzis in the gardens, ideal after a day of exploration.
*Depending on your Explora program.