If you love nature or adventure sports, there is one place on your visit to Cusco that you cannot miss: the Sacred Valley of the Incas, through which the River Vilcanota runs (downstream its name changes to Urubamba or Willcamayu), between the villages of Pisac and Ollantaytambo.
The Sacred Valley has recently become an essential destination for those in search of excitement. This is the place for trekking, kayaking, canoeing or mountain biking and all you have to do is arrange your trip.
A warning though, if you are a going canoeing or kayaking, the River Urubamba can be treacherous, it is better to go accompanied by a specialist instructor.
In addition to its incomparable historic wealth, Urubamba offers infinite possibilities for tourist: walks, thermal springs, hang gliding or paragliding, horse riding, climbing and other sports. This is certainly a place full of energy, history, living culture, adventure, gastronomy and mysticism.
However, if you prefer a quieter time you can experience the lives of the local people, working on the terraced fields or collecting salt, as well as other activities that will make you feel part of the community.
Furthermore, this area is also home to many craftsmen. The villages of Pisac and Chinchero are in the Sacred Valley and hold two of Cusco’s largest handicrafts markets, where you can acquire souvenirs and beautiful examples of folk art, as well as attend Mass at the local church, said in Qechua.
No Trip to the Sacred Valley would be complete without a visit to Urubamba, known as the world maize capital, and Ollantaytambo with its astonishing “Temple of the Sun”. Strolling around the narrow winding Andean streets is a pleasure itself.
You can also go to the Maras salt pans, which were exploited by the Incas, or visit interesting but less well know archaeological sites such as Pisac or Tipon.
Even though the area’s tourist infrastructure has improvement in recent years, the Sacred Valley has retained its enchanting natural peace. Now you can enjoy tourist services without losing the magic of this Cusco valley.
Links: Cusco Tours