Sacred Valley, Peru

Explorations

Difficulty:
All
marker-bike
Bike ride
marker-overland
Overland
Hiking
Hike
an area of cornfields and orchards and densely packed Inca terraces
marker-bike Bike ride

Cuesta del Sapo

From the heights of the Sacred Valley’s slopes we descend over a track in good conditions. The road to the bottom of the valley offers very interesting views to the mountains and the Urubamba River. Once downhill, we will continue bordering the river through an area of cornfields and orchards and densely packed Inca terraces.

  • Type: Half day
  • Duration: 3h
  • Distance: 20 km / 12,4 miles
  • Altitude: 3.600 m.a.s.l / 11,811 f.a.s.l
  • Vertical ascent: 715 meters / 2,345 feet
Urubamba River bike ride
Bike ride in the Sacred Valley, Urubamba River, Vilcanota
marker-bike Bike ride

Urubamba River

The road used for this exploration goes down the south side of the Urubamba River, a quiet area of cornfields, old haciendas and manors from the 19th and 20th centuries. This bike ride is recommended for families wishing to take a long walk or for those who want to take on a sports challenge.

  • Type: Half day
  • Duration: 3h
  • Distance: 32,5 km / 20,2 miles
  • Altitude: 2.992 m.a.s.l / 9,816 f.a.s.l
  • Vertical ascent: 100 meters / 328 feet
marker-bike Bike ride

Qenqo

The exploration begins in the heights of the pampas and then descends – over a vehicle road – among Quechua communities and farmlands with views to the Sacred Valley and Pisac. In the afternoon, the ride goes follows the south side of the Urubamba river among cornfields, old haciendas and manors from the 19th and 20th century.

  • Type: Full day
  • Duration: 6h30m
  • Distance: 56,5 km / 35,1 miles
  • Altitude: 4.124 m.a.s.l / 13,530 f.a.s.l
  • Vertical ascent: 1.240 meters / 4,068 feet
Inca tracks exploration
Biking on the heights of the pampas, Inca tracks exploration
Inca tracks full day exploration
marker-bike Bike ride

Inca tracks

During the morning, this exploration considers a walk over a mountain trail with 360º views to Cusco and the Sacred Valley. The descent is through potato plantations and pampas where shepherds tend their animals. In the afternoon, biking starts on the heights of the pampas, then going down through Quechua communities and farmlands, with views to the Sacred Valley and Pisac.

  • Type: Full day
  • Duration: 6h
  • Distance: 30 km / 20,2 miles
  • Altitude: 3,620 m.a.s.l / 9,547 f.a.s.l
  • Vertical ascent: 680 meters / 2,231 feet
Huapo views exploration
farmlands, ranchos and villages, Huaypo views
landscapes, Huaypo views, Sacred Valley
marker-bike Bike ride

Huaypo Views

This exploration crosses the farmlands of Chinchero, visiting vegetable gardens, small farms and villages that shape this landscape. It takes the traveler to the remains of the Moray experimental crop center, the colonial town of Maras and its Inca salt-mines, to finalize with a technical descent through narrow routes to the Urubamba River. This exploration is recommended for travelers in good physical conditions, experienced in mountain biking and with prior acclimatization.

  • Type: Full day
  • Duration: 7h
  • Distance: 37,5 km / 23,3 miles
  • Altitude: 3.768 m.a.s.l / 12,362 f.a.s.l
  • Vertical ascent: 825 meters / 2,706 feet
exploration to Cusco
the temple of the Coricancha, Santo Domingo convent, the quarter of San Blas, Cusco
Cusco full day exploration
marker-overland Overland

Cusco

This exploration shows the best of Cusco in one day. We will descend from the fortress of Saqsaywaman down to the temple of Corincancha, on which the Santo Domingo convent was built, crossing the alleys of the colonial quarter of San Blas. Finally, we reach the main square to have lunch. In the afternoon, the traveler can continue walking through Cusco with one of our guides or on his/her own. The Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, the San Pedro Market, some Art Galleries or the hundreds of souvenirs stores are some of the options we recommend.

  • Type: Full day
  • Duration: 11h30m
  • Altitude: 3.586 m.a.s.l / 11,765 f.a.s.l
  • Vertical ascent: 800 meters / 2,624 feet
Valle de la papa exploration
fertile areas of the Sacred Valley
ancient textile tradition, natural dying, Valle de la papa exploration
marker-overland Overland

Pisac

This exploration takes the traveler to one of the most fertile areas in the Sacred Valley. The journey begins towards the Quinsacocha lagoon, a sublime site that features the typical Cusco puna landscape. Going downhill, we will cross the el Valle de la Papa and next, visit the Quechua community of Chahuaytire, a place with an ancient textile tradition where we will learn about natural dying and back strap loom techniques. The trip ends with a visit to the stunning archaeological center of Pisac, a city built on a mountain with hundreds of remarkable hanging farm terraces on its slopes.

  • Type: Full day
  • Duration: 9h
  • Altitude: 4.043 m.a.s.l / 13,264 f.a.s.l
  • Vertical ascent: 1.150 meters / 3,772 feet
Machu Picchu exploration
the famous historical sanctuary of Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu exploration
marker-overland Overland

Machu Picchu

This full day exploration takes us to the historical sanctuary of Machu Picchu, one of the most remarkable expressions of Inca architecture and a wonder of the world.

We depart at 9:00 am from the hotel to the train station at Ollantaytambo, located about 45 minutes away from explora. At 10:30 am, we take the train towards the town of Aguas Calientes. We arrive at 12:10 pm, and meet a guide who will take us to the Machu Picchu sanctuary by bus.  We enter the site at about 13:30 pm and have the chance to walk around this magical place during approximately three hours. This site is believed to have been the residency of Pachacútec, the great Inca ruler, although some of its buildings evidence ceremonial and religious uses. At about 16:30 pm, we go from Machu Picchu to the Aguas Calientes train station with the guide, who leaves us on the train to Ollantaytambo at 18:10. Once we arrive, a driver from explora is waiting to take us to the hotel.

For lunch, travelers will get a snack while they tour or during transfers.

*The Machu Picchu exploration, the prime attraction of this region and a National Park with restricted access, combines explora and third-party services due to the inherent restrictions of the site. This exploration has an additional cost and must be confirmed with the reservation team at least 30 days before the beginning of your stay.

  • Type: Full day
  • Duration: 11h
  • Altitude: 2.450 m.a.s.l / 8,083 f.a.s.l
  • Vertical ascent: 390 meters / 1,279 feet
Maras exploration
Overland full day exploration
farming in the Sacred Valley, Maras exploration
marker-overland Overland

Maras

This route first takes us to Ollantaytambo, also known as the “living Inca city”. From there, we will travel to the archeological site of Moray, a laboratory of experimental farming where different microclimates are used to grow crops. From there, the trip continues to Maras and a large lagoon, an ideal place to take a stroll and have lunch, to then follow to the town of Chinchero. The road crosses several fields where we will see farmers working or looking after their animals. In Chinchero, we will visit the archaeological site and its enigmatic constructions. Then, we will visit the terraces of Zurite and enjoy the views they offer.

  • Type: Full day
  • Duration: 10h30m
  • Altitude: 9,186 f.a.s.l
  • Vertical ascent: 3,477 feet
The Salineras Exploration
Salineras exploration
Maras salt fields
Salt fields in the Sacred Valley
Hiking Hike

Salineras

Hiking begins visiting the colonial downtown of Maras. After crossing the village, the trail descends among potato fields to the community’s salt mines.

Not recommended for travelers with fear of heights.

  • Type: Half day
  • Duration: 3h
  • Distance: 6,5 km / 4 miles
  • Altitude: 3.382 m.a.s.l / 11,096 f.a.s.l
  • Vertical descend: 572 meters / 1,876 feet
Cinco Lagunas exploration
Llama in the Pampas, Cinco Lagunas exploration
Lagoons in the Sacred Valley
Hiking Hike

Cinco Lagunas

This walk begins at an isolated community in the heights of the Andes, at over 13,123 f.a.s.l. From there, the trail goes up to a broad pass from where to observe the breathtaking snow-capped Sawasiray and other snowcapped peaks. A gentle descent takes us through a ravine with plenty llama and alpaca herds, passing beside several lagoons that reflect the large snowcapped peak in the background and the yellow-colored mountains.

 

  • Type: Full day
  • Duration: 4h30m
  • Distance: 8,5 km/ 5,3 miles
  • Altitude: 4.373 m.a.s.l / 14,347 f.a.s.l
  • Vertical ascent: 754 meters / 2,444 feet
Pisac exploration
The ruins of Pisac, archaelogical site
Full day exploration to Pisac, lunch in the middle of the nature
Hiking Hike

Pisac Trails

During the morning there will be sights towards the mountain range and walks through potato fields, to then descend and cross pampas where shepherds look after their herds. We will rest for a lunch break and in the afternoon, descend from the mountains to the remains of Pisac. We will use one of our alternative routes to access the back of the remains, which provides for a unique view. This exploration is recommended for every traveler wishing to enjoy an altitude landscape that calls for contemplation.

  • Type: Full day
  • Duration: 5h
  • Distance: 3 km / 6,5 miles
  • Altitude: 3.100 m.a.s.l / 10, 170 f.a.s.l
  • Vertical descend: 1.200 meters / 3,937 feet
Llama and alpacas shepherds on the trail
We will move between two lagoons
Amaru exploration
Hiking Hike

Amaru

In the first part of this exploration, travelers walk over tracks only used by llama and alpaca shepherds. We will move between two lagoons at more than 13,123 f.a.s.l. During the second part and following watercourses, they will explore the mountain slopes with breathtaking views to the valley and stroll freely through farmland, corrals and houses of farm communities to reach a colonial adobe church.

  • Type: Full day
  • Duration: 5h
  • Distance: 10,2 km / 6,3 miles
  • Altitude: 4.269 m.a.s.l / 14,006 f.a.s.l
  • Vertical ascent: 846 meters / 2,776 feet
the valleys of Lamay and Pisac
Lloclla exploration
Local culture in Lloclla
Hiking Hike

Lloclla

This mountain walk follows tracks used by local shepherds among lagoons serving as water deposits to sustain the area’s rural lifestyle between the valleys of Lamay and Pisac. Old mountain trails, mild slopes, views, and people, among others, invite travelers to relax, walk calmly, breathe deeply and enjoy different perspectives and colors.

  • Type: Full day
  • Duration: 5h
  • Distance: 11,5 km / 7,1 miles
  • Altitude: 4.413 m.a.s.l / 14,478 f.a.s.l
  • Vertical ascent: 917 meters / 3,008 feet
pastureland in the Sacred Valley
lagoons with turquoise waters in the Sacred Valley
Tastayoc exploration
Hiking Hike

Tastayoc

This is the highest-altitude exploration we offer in the Sacred Valley. It begins at 12,795 f.a.s.l and gradually climbs up to 15,419 f.a.s.l through a pastureland highly isolated from the rest of the valley. The trail includes several lagoons, some with turquoise waters due to thawing, and others with transparent waters, allowing travelers to learn about high-mountain water ecosystems. Recommended for travelers with a prior acclimatization of at least three days.

  • Type: Full day
  • Duration: 6h30m
  • Distance: 13,5 km / 8,3 miles
  • Altitude: 4.700 m.a.s.l / 15,419 f.a.s.l
  • Vertical ascent: 1.986 meters / 6,515 feet
Huchuy Qosqo exploration
archaelogical sites in the Sacred Valley
views to the Sacred Valley
Hiking Hike

Huchuy Qosco

This exploration offers breathtaking views to lagoons at different altitudes, to the farmlands of Chinchero and to the valleys. To reach the remains of the Huchuy Qosqo Palaces, it goes down an Inca trail. Once in the remains, you cannot miss lying down in the gardens, taking a rest and enjoying the view towards Sacred Valley. Recommended for travelers with a prior acclimatization of at least two nights.

  • Type: Full day
  • Duration: 6h
  • Distance: 17,2 km / 10,6 miles
  • Altitude: 4.255 m.a.s.l / 13,960 f.a.s.l
  • Vertical ascent: 1.865 meters / 6,118 feet
the Town Square of the Inca’s imperial city, Cusco, Sacred Valley
mountains that separate the Sacred Valley from Cusco
Saqsaywaman y Cusco full day exploration
Hiking Hike

Saqsaywaman y Cusco

The trail crosses the mountains that separate the Sacred Valley from Cusco and reaches the Town Square of the Inca’s imperial city. This road simulates the journey followed by the Incas and Spanish conquerors more than 500 years ago. Before completing the exploration, there is a guided tour to the huge walls of the Saqsaywaman and its archaeological and ceremonial centers. Recommended for travelers in good physical shape and prior acclimatization.

  • Type: Full day
  • Duration: 7h30m
  • Distance: 15,5 km / 9,6 miles
  • Altitude: 4.320 m.a.s.l / 14,173 f.a.s.l
  • Vertical ascent: 1.588 meters / 5,210 feet
Incañan exploration, Urupampa mountain chain
a glacier in the Sacred Valley, Incañan hike
Full day exploration, Incañan, Sacred Valley, hiking
Hiking Hike

Incañan

This is a physically-demanding exploration that offers one of the most spectacular landscapes in the Sacred Valley. It crosses the Urubamba mountain chain from north to south, over a trail that goes along the second highest peak in the region, the Sawasiray, with 19,088 f.a.s.l.

  • Type: Full day
  • Duration: 9h
  • Distance: 18 km / 11,1 miles
  • Altitude: 4.630 m.a.s.l / 15,190 f.a.s.l
  • Vertical ascent: 2.048 meters / 6,719 feet
the Ollantaytambo exploration
The living Inca city
Ollantaytambo archaelogical site, Sacred Valley
Hiking Hike

Ollantaytambo

The walk takes you through the living Inca town of Ollantaytambo. The trail passes through the old main gate and over cobblestone streets framed by narrow water channels. After visiting the village, we climb to the archaelogical site to see its terraces, the ceremonial center and the Royal Building.

  • Type: Half day
  • Duration: 3h
  • Distance: 4,7 km / 2,9 miles
  • Altitude: 3.785 m.a.s.l / 12,418 f.a.s.l
  • Vertical ascent: 85 meters / 279 feet
The Andean geography
Local culture in the Sacred Valley
the Racchi exploration
Hiking Hike

Racchi

The walk carries you through orchards and communities to familiarize yourself with the rural landscape and its culture. This exploration takes place at a mean height and offers panoramic views to the Sacred Valley and its snowed capped peaks. It provides a good chance for acclimatization and to understand the area’s geography.

  • Type: Half day
  • Duration: 2h25 min
  • Distance: 6km / 3,7 miles
  • Altitude: 3.785 m.a.s.l / 12,418 f.a.s.l
  • Vertical descend: 324 meters / 1,063 feet
Huertos de Yucay exploration
flora and fauna, sacred Valley
orchards, crop fields and terraces in the Sacred Valley,
Hiking Hike

Huertos de Yucay

The exploration begins at Yucay, the former residence of the prominent Inca rulers Tupac Inca Yupanqui, Huaynacapac and Sayritupac, and abundant crop fields. The trail takes you to the area’s platforms and crop fields.

  • Type: Half day
  • Duration: 2h30m
  • Distance: 5,5 km / 3,4 mi
  • Altitude: 3.048 m.a.s.l / 10,000 f.a.s.l
  • Vertical ascent: 341 meters / 1,119 feet
the archaelogical complex of Chinchero
Hiking Hike

Chinchero

The walk starts in a livestock community. After leaving the village behind, we reach a lagoon surrounded by mountains. This is a remarkable place to take photographs. We walk around part of the lake’s shoreline to ascend through farmer’s paths up to the hills, where we get a panoramic view of the farmlands. From there, we walk down to the archaeological complex of Chinchero. This exploration allows us to appreciate the identity of Cusco’s architecture, which merges Inca and colonial elements.

  • Type: Half day
  • Duration: 3h30m
  • Distance: 5,5 km / 3,4 mi
  • Altitude: 3.859 m.a.s.l / 12,270 f.a.s.l
  • Vertical ascent: 417 meters / 1,368 feet
Pumamarca exploration
Inca ruins of Pumamarca
Patacancha Valley
Hiking Hike

Pumamarca

This exploration is an opportunity to discover one of the area’s most puzzling and isolated Inca remains. The walk takes us through the Patacancha valley, with views to the homonymous river. Hiking begins in Ollantaytambo, steadily ascending through a verdant trail along local farm houses and orchards. The Pumamarca remains pose a conundrum to archeologists and explorers: their origins and functions are still unknown. Additionally and since construction techniques somewhat differ from the Inca tradition, it was presumably built in an earlier period.

  • Type: Half day
  • Duration: 3h30m
  • Distance: 6 km / 3,7 miles
  • Altitude: 2.898 m.a.s.l / 9,508 f.a.s.l
  • Vertical ascent: 540 meters / 1,771 feet
La Verónica exploration
Hiking La Verónica
snow-capped La Verónica
Hiking Hike

La Verónica

This hiking at a high altitude takes us through a private reserve aimed at preserving highland forests and endangered birds. Depending on the season, we can enjoy two different experiences. In the dry season, the snow-capped Verónica and the mountains surrounding it are the main attractions. During the rainy season, views may be are obstructed by clouds, but then the ground steals the limelight: moss cushions; lichens and mushrooms covering the hills’ slopes shine bright due to the moisture.

  • Type: Full day
  • Duration: 3h
  • Distance: 5,5 km / 3,4 miles
  • Altitude: 4.429 meters / 14,530 f.a.s.l
  • Vertical descend: 765 meters / 2,510 feet
Colores de Huaypo exploration
explorations in the Sacred Valley
Colores de Huaypo hike
Hiking Hike

Colores de Huaypo

During this exploration, we can get to know the daily life of local communities: shepherds, farmers plowing or collecting potatoes, mules loaded with products, small adobe villages and families engaged in small husbandry. Between November and May, the landscape is lush green and humid, while from June to October the setting features are ochre, red and yellow. Lunch is served beside a lagoon and the last span of the route takes us to at an altitude from where a broad 360° panoramic view can be enjoyed.

  • Type: Full day
  • Duration: 5h30m
  • Distance: 14,5 km / 9 mil
  • Altitude: 3.520 m.a.s.l / 11,548 f.a.s.l
  • Vertical ascent: 220 meters / 721 feet
Moray full day exploration
Farming community, Moray
Salt fields of Maras
Hiking Hike

Moray

The trail begins at a farming community located amidst hills and goes down to the Inca remains of Moray, from where it continues to the colonial town of Maras. We see a piece of history in every corner. Afterwards, the trail descends to the bottom of the Sacred Valley and goes through the salt mines. The track crosses barley and potato fields and other crops.

  • Type: Full day
  • Duration: 6h45m
  • Distance: 14,3 km / 9 miles
  • Altitude: 2.850 m.a.s.l / 9,350 f.a.s.l
  • Vertical descend: 881 meters / 2,890 feet

other explora destinations