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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Valle de la Papa
This exploration takes the traveler to one of the most fertile areas in the Sacred Valley. The journey begins towards the Qoricocha lagoon, a sublime site that features the typical Cusco puna landscape. Going downhill, we will cross the 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.
This full-day exploration takes us to the famous historical sanctuary of Machu Picchu. From Ollantaytambo, the Sacred Valley’s main train station, we travel to the town of Aguas Calientes, where we take a bus to the main access gate. The visit to this magical place takes approximately three hours. It is believed that this place was the residence of the great Inca ruler Pachacúteq, although some of its buildings reveal ceremonial and religious uses. Because of the limited number of tickets, please consider that this exploration needs to be booked in advance.
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.
Hiking begins visiting the colonial downtown of Maras. After crossing the village, the trail descends among potato fields to the community’s salt mines.
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.
n the morning, we will enjoy 360º views to Cusco and the mountain ranges and walk through potato fields with interesting geometrical designs and pampas where shepherds tend their animals. 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.
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.
One of the peculiarities of this exploration is that the traveler descends through a ravine owned by one of the few communities that still uses barter as part of its economic system. In addition, the road takes from an ecological puna region to that of other orchards, providing an interesting mosaic of farming terraces.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Huertos de Yucay
The exploration begins at Yucay, the former residence of the prominent Inca rulers Tupac Ina Yupanqui, Huaynacapac and Sayritupac, and abundant crop fields. The trail takes you to the area’s platforms and crop fields.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.