Exploring Cusco, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley
Sacred Valley –located at the heart of the ancient Inca Empire–is a particular mix of natural and cultural beauty that has attracted explorers and travelers for hundreds of years. Its main attraction points –Cusco and Machu Picchu– are the gateway to a destination featuring overwhelming landscapes, local culture and history.
Framed by the summits which once housed the Inca civilization and zigzagging along the waters of the Urubamba River, the Sacred Valley, Cusco and Machu Picchu are destinations with endless exploration possibilities. Our routes are inspired by its unique geography, Inca vestiges and the authenticity of its people and aim at discovering all its charm.
Its unique geography, the Inca remains and the authenticity of the local people inspired us to create paths that will let you discover all its charms. With over 30 explorations, that can be completed either on foot, by van or bike, our travelers discover from traditional towns barely touched by the force of globalization to ancient ruins perfectly preserved from the passing of time, and lagoons at the foot of snow covered mountains.
Our explorations, always led by a competent and bilingual guide from our Guide School, take place in English or Spanish for groups of up to eight travelers, and at three different geographical levels: valley, plateau and mountain. In order to really soak up this destination, we think you need to travel around these three areas, appreciate its contrasts and explore the differences within the same geographic level. Our explorations are defined as a journey that unveils different attractions and expands the vision we may have of a territory.
In the Urubamba River valley we explore Pisac, Ollantaytambo, and Moray, among other archaeological sites; in the plateau, we go to the Huaypo lake, we travel around local trails between lagoons, farm communities, and cornfields; we also visit mountain peaks, an area not well known by tourists. The altitude of our explorations ranges between 2,800 and 4,700 meters above sea level (9,186 and 16,404 f.a.s.l.) and consequently, some travelers need prior acclimatization. We suggest beginning with explorations at less altitude in order to scale up slowly towards the mountain peaks.
For those of us who have experienced full day explorations, some of the greatest attractions in the area were the Machu Picchu* sanctuary and the city of Cusco. If our travelers choose to take one of these options, we recommend a minimum of five nights. Less time is just not enough to have an exploration experience in which you can really get to know the diversity of this valley, with many places yet left to discover. A six-night program is a good option to achieve a thorough knowledge of the Valle Sagrado and Cusco region.
* Due to the site’s restrictions, the Machu Picchu exploration –a main attraction in the area and a National Park with restricted access– combines explora and third-party services. This exploration has an additional cost which is already included in the online reservation site and must be confirmed with our reservation team.
Check out our recommendations for proper clothing and to enjoy to the fullest all the explorations.