Sacred Valley

HOTELS

ACTIVITIES

WEATHER

GETTING THERE

COMBINE WITH

ALBUMS & STORIES

The Sacred Valley: Gateway to Machu Picchu

The Sacred Valley of the Incas lies approximately 20 miles north of Cusco. The Sacred Valley is the gateway to Machu Picchu and the Amazon Basin. The Urubamba River passes through this valley, moderating the climate and supporting some of the most fertile farmlands in the region. In Inca times, the area served as a trading route to the tropical lowlands and a buffer zone against raiding jungle tribes.

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Train Journeys

What to do in the Sacred Valley

Many of our clients stay three or four nights, acclimatizing and exploring the surrounding communities. Over the years, we’ve assembled a collection of trusted friends—ambassadors, really—who open the valley to our clients, helping them access a variety of activities.

Whatever your interests, we’ll make the introductions. LANDED can assist in arranging the following among other signature experiences:

  • Visit the town of Chinchero to experience the traditional market
  • Hiking Tours
  • Horseback Riding Tours
  • Kayaking Tours
  • Biking Tours
  • Tours of Chinchero’s Inca-era plaza and its ancient church
  • Experience the Inca fortress town of Ollantaytambo
  • View the hillside granaries of Pinkuyuna
  • Observe a sacred fountain fed by a centuries-old aqueduct.
  • Visit the Inca gardens of Moray
  • Learn traditional salt collecting methods in the ancient saltpans of Maras
  • Learn about ancient weaving techniques used to create Andean Clothing in Awanacancha
  • Picnic near the church at Tiobamba with Andean views
  • Private visit to MIL chocolate laboratory and a chocolate tasting
  • Privately guided visit to Colegio Sol y Luna, located adjacent to the hotel
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What is the Weather Like?

The climate in Peru’s Sacred Valley, including Machu Picchu and Cusco, varies significantly between seasons. The wet season begins in late October and extends into April. In an average year, rain falls on 8 out of 10 days. During the drier months of May to September, the average monthly rainfall is under 2 inches. June, July, and August tend to be the sunniest months. Average humidity is around 65% to 80% year-round. Still, these are rarely torrential downpours. Even during the wettest month, January, rainfall averages only 6.1 inches for the month—about one-fifth of an inch per day.

Temperatures, however, don’t vary much throughout the year. Average highs are near 70°F in the early afternoon, although highs can reach 80°F. Overnight lows average 40°F in the wet season and mid-30°F from May to August.

No matter when you visit, the weather in this area can surprise you. Mist and rain can be present at any time of the year. These averages are changing, please check extended weather forecasts using your favorite weather app prior to departure.

Altitude of the Sacred Valley

The Sacred Valley’s altitude is approximately 9,100 feet above sea level. To assuage the effects of the thin air , visitors are advised to rest well, avoid alcohol and eat lightly on their first day in the city.

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Getting There

The Sacred Valley is most commonly reached by car from Cusco. This drive typically has a duration of an hour and thirty minutes.

Start your journey today

LANDED delivers the finest in custom, private travel to Central America, South America, and Antarctica. These regions are our passion; we know them first-hand and by heart. Speak with one of our travel designers and let us create a tailored itinerary for you in the Sacred Valley. 

How to combine the Sacred Valley

Have some extra time? Here are some options for you to combine with

Albums & Stories

Sacred Valley Family Travel Album

The Sacred Valley is the gateway to Machu Picchu and the Amazon Basin. A cocktail...

Petit Miribel – Sacred Valley, Peru

In this episode Marie Helene (Petit) Miribel tells us about the origins of Sol y...

The Sacred Valley: Gateway to Machu Picchu

The Sacred Valley of the Incas lies approximately 20 miles north of Cusco. The Sacred Valley is the gateway to Machu Picchu and the Amazon Basin. The Urubamba River passes through this valley, moderating the climate and supporting some of the most fertile farmlands in the region. In Inca times, the area served as a trading route to the tropical lowlands and a buffer zone against raiding jungle tribes.

Sacred Valley Peru

The central section of the valley houses some of the area’s best lodges and restaurants. The central portion of the valley sits about 1,700 feet lower than Cusco.
Many of our clients stay three or four nights, acclimatizing and exploring the surrounding communities.
The central valley is a perfect base for horseback, mountain bike, kayak, and trekking excursions.

Ollantaytambo

The north end of the valley is anchored by the town of Ollantaytambo.

Chinchero Plateau

The hillside temple complex was a key stronghold during Manco Inca’s resistance against Hernando Pizarro in 1537. Here you can climb the massive stairways, admiring the stonework and the views of the hillside granaries of Pinkuyuna. Sections of the town reveal Inca civil engineering, including roadside aqueducts, walls, and terraces.

Pisac

Pisac, near the southeastern end of the valley, is famous for its market—held on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.

Corn

Above the town, the ruins known as Inca Pisac contain ritual baths and temples, including a Temple of the Sun. The surrounding hillsides are lined with agricultural terraces arrayed like the wing of a partridge—or pisaca in Quechua.
To the south, the rolling Chinchero Plateau rewards visitors with patchwork landscapes of corn and quinoa, views of sacred snowcapped giants, vibrant markets, and expertly engineered ancient sites.

Sacred Valley Lake sunset