- Availability: Available now
- Group size: 2-10
- Tour Type: Experiential tourism tour
- Max. Elevation: 3300 meters above sea level
Living Sacred Valley Traditions
170 USD Per person
Living Traditions of the Sacred Valley
The sacred valley of the Incas is not only its imposing archaeological monuments but also its history and living traditions, in addition to its way of life and its exquisite cuisine. Our experiential sacred valley tour called living the traditions of the sacred valley, allows you to visit the archaeological centers of Pisac, Ollantaytambo and Chincheros. Visit a local farm to harvest and cultivate the food products of the valley and feed guinea pigs who lives in the family’s kitchen. You will also learn to prepare Chicha, the typical drink of the Andes, and cook and taste a delicious Pachamanca, an Andean barbecue cooked with hot stones underground.
The name of the Sacred Valley is applied to the section of the Urubamba River valley that includes the towns of San Salvador, Pisac, Calca, Yucay, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu. Here, the sacred river of the Incas runs between farm fields and hillsides with steep terraces (the area’s farm terraces). The steepest rocky promontories are crowned with imposing ruins of fortified citadels. Towards the top rise the mountains Pitusiray, Sahuasiray, Verónica and Chicón, with their peaks of perpetual snow. Like Machu Picchu, the most important ceremonial complexes in the heart of the Sacred Valley were built in the mid-15th century, during the reign of the most important monarch of the Inca civilization, Pachacuti Yupanqui, who ruled between 1438-1471. The ruins of Pisac and Ollantaytambo testify to the Inca’s ability to combine the forms of the natural landscape with ceremonial stone architecture and adjacent farming terraces.
Living Traditions of the Sacred Valley Trip Overview
- Tour localization:Sacred Valley of the Incas.
- Tour type: One-day Sacred Valley Living Culture Tour.
- Good for: Everybody, done in small groups or privately.
- Difficulty: Not hiking; but, there is a lot of walking around the inca sites.
- Highlights: Explore a fabulous Inca site. Visit an interesting local farm. Participate in making Chicha. Visit a local market. Blow your mind in old Inca town, called: Ollantaytambo. And visit the outstanding amphitheater of Moray.
- Language: All our tours are done only in English; If you need a Spanish tour. It must be booked privately and done at the initial booking.
- Season: All year around.
Day 1. Pisac Ruins – Local Farm – Chicha Preparation – Local Market – Ollantaytambo – Cusco.
This experiential tour in the sacred valley starts with your tour guide picking you up from the reception of your hotel at 7.30 in the morning. Then you will head to Pisac, where you will visit and explore the Inca citadel of Pisac. The construction of Pisac was carried out during the government of Emperor Pachacutec in the fifteenth century, during a time of vertiginous territorial expansion. In the 16th century, after the arrival of the Spanish in Cusco, Pisac was invaded and its inhabitants fled. Its main monuments were damaged. The Inca cemetery was destroyed and looted. With the Toledo reforms (between 1532 and 1600), Pisac became a reduction of Indians. With the passing of time, the town was established on the slopes of the mountain where the Inca archaeological site is located. Today, Pisac is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The Inca archaeological site preserves many of its original structures in a good state of preservation.
Then you will be transported for 40 minutes to Urquillos, one of the most beautiful towns in the Cusco sacred valley. Here, together with a local family and your guide you will learn how to use Andean tools to cultivate potatoes, corn, onions, cabbage, etc. You will also harvest seasonal fruits and veggies of the valley and cut alfalfa to feed guinea pigs who lives in the kitchen of the families. Also you will learn the process of the preparation of Chicha, the most typical organic beer of the Andes. Then with the harvest veggies you will cook a delicious Andean barbecue called Pachamanca. Nothing more symbolic than cooking what the land gives us, in the land itself (Pachamanca translates as: pot of earth or food from the land). The Pachamanca is, therefore, payment and offering to mother earth (Pachamama). Therefore, it is abundant and generous, because it is shared in community. And of course, it is executed differently according to regional customs.
In the afternoon we will visit and tour Ollantaytambo, the biggest Inca ruin in the sacred valley. Ollantaytambo was a strategic military, religious and agricultural center that still dazzles with its stone-worked platforms and its imposing buildings over four meters high. In this place, Manco Inca faced the Spanish troops of Hernando Pizarro and was victorious. Then you will be driven for 1 hour to the textile center of Chincheros where you will learn about Alpaca wool washing. For correct dyeing, ammonia and natural alkaline modifiers are used, for effective degreasing and bleaching of sheep or alpaca wool. Saqta is known locally as Inca Shampoo, which is a natural and ecological detergent. The etching process. To ensure the fixation of the dyeing, natural products are used that contain alumina and potash sulfates, which not only have the function of fixing, but also influence the intensity of the colors. The action of dyeing. It uses leaves, seeds, flowers and roots of various plants, usually wild, as well as cochineal (beetles that live on cacti). The already dyed skein of wool is washed until the water is very clear, then it is left to dry in the shade. The Pusca, is a spinning wheel to spin the wool only with the fingers. And finally the fabric is made with the loom, where the colors and graphics that it will wear will be designed. After a memorable and enriching tour in the sacred Cusco’s valley, you will come back to Cusco where you will arrive about 6.30 pm.
** A premium sacred valley tour that combines the best of ancient and modern structures and traditions of the Inca people.
Included on the Sacred Valley Living Traditions Tour
Professional local english speaker Guides: All our super leaders grew up in cusco region and studied tourism for five years at cusco’s university; they are friendly, funny charming, knowledgeable, professional and will care your safety into our sacred valley living culture tour.
Permits: As soon as we get your details and deposit; we will purchase your permits for the inca ruins located into the sacred valley of the incas.
Briefing: You should come to our office at least one day prior to your tour to pay the balance; and provide exact information about your accommodation and receive some details for the tour.
Transportation: Incas Path will be providing all transportation for this Sacred Valley Living Culture & Machu Picchu Train Tour. You will be picked up from your hotel at 8 am. and taken into all the inca sites located in the valley.
Food:During the Sacred Valley Living Culture Tour; we will have an organic buffet lunch in the local farm.
Details: We profess that it is the attention to small details that separates us from other travel agencies. Each tourist will receive an umbrella for rain that you can also use for protection against the sun; due the solar radiation is very high, in places located near the equator
First Aid:Every guide has got training in first aid from a clinic and firemen. We elaborate mandatory training sessions every February on our tours; which every Incas Path tour guide must attend. Your tour leader is going to have always a first-aid kit for basic medical problems.
Not Included on the Sacred Valley Living Traditions Tour
Rentals: Due there we are hiking the ausangate trek & rainbow mountain, each trekker needs a sleeping bag when camping, inflatable air mattresses and trekking poles (with rubber tips). They are optional but encouraged for a better comfort; if you don’t want to bring any of the above, they are all available for rent:
- Gratuities for our staff: Incas Path ensures all staff are fairly paid; and therefore gratuities are optional and at your own discretion.
- Travel Insurance: Highly recommended for all tourist.
- Daypack: We suggest you to use a daypack, that not exceed 25L to carry: passport, water, sun hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, bug spray, rain jacket and a warm jacket.
- Water bottle
- Flight tickets
- Hotel in Cusco
We would love to tour the Sacred Valley Living Culture Tour; with you and your loved ones and take care of immortalizing your visit to the lost city of the Incas.
We can leave any day of the year, as long as we meet at least two people; our train tours can leave any day of the week, twelve months a year.
- $170 per person
Important Note: This sacred valley of the incas tour is only done privately and our prices are based on a group of two to four; you will travel in a private van.
If your group is larger than four, please ask to an Incas Path representative for a special offer.
Important Note II: We sometimes offer to combine private tours (with your permission) into small groups with a discount. Let us know if you would like to others joining you.
– $ 10 discount per person.
Student discounts apply to anyone who has a valid International Student Card (ISIC), at the beginning of the hike; or who is 17 years old or younger. For those who use an international student card or for children under 17; we need to see a copy of their card or passport at the time of booking to receive the discount of Machu Picchu.
Please send everything to [email protected]
We suggest you to carry lightweight backpack; that the is key to feeling good during this Sacred Valley Living Culture Tour.
- Original Passport ,
- STUDENT CARD (if you booked as a student)
- Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
- Comfortable athletic shoes (lightweight with good soles)
Inside Your Daypacks:
Daypacks can be any size for walking; but we always recommend the smaller, the better. Some items are listed below.
- Rain gear
- Music (IPhone)
- Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips
- Personal medication
- Toilet paper and small plastic bag for waste
Arriving to Cusco
The airport in Cusco at the present time is only for domestic flights; so all international travelers by plane must disembark in Lima and go through Customs. Even if your flight to Cusco is the same day by the same airline carrier; you must grab your bags in Lima and then check them back in.
The best way to arrive to Cusco is by air and there are several options in airlines. LATAM tends to be the most expensive; but has the most options and flights.
Expect delays or flight cancellations. Due to the high altitude of Cusco; it tends to be difficult to land and any weather inconvenience will stop air traffic.
Bus travel is always available, and while the trip can be long, especially from Lima. The buses company such as Oltursa, Cruz del Sur, etc; are very well maintained and comfortable. This option is strongly encouraged if coming from a city closer to Cusco, like Puno or Arequipa.
Even though, this is an overnight tour by train to Machu Picchu; your luggage allowance is still limited due to restrictions on the train. All bags brought to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) need to be carry on size.
Any extra luggage you have with you; can be left safely in Cusco at either your hotel or with us at the Incas Path deposit. We will grab the extra luggage from you; the morning of your tour and return once you are back in Cusco.
Make sure your suitcase have some kind of identification on them; so they are easy to locate.
As soon as people book their trip to Peru, specifically Cusco. They start wondering about altitude sickness. The air at high altitudes contains less oxygen; than at sea level and forces your body to work harder to get the oxygen it needs. Over several days at high altitude; your body adjusts to the lower amount of oxygen in the air. That is why we advise you to arrive in Cusco; three days prior your trek begin or taking a tour of easy physical demand.
With altitude sickness, you may first feel like you have the flu or a hangover. You may have a headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, trouble sleeping, trouble breathing during exercise. If any of these effects become severe; please contact our representatives and we will help you get to a physician.
Most of the time, these symptoms will be mild. We always recommend easing into activity slowly; allowing your body to adjust. Drink plenty of fluids such as water, electrolytes or coca tea: coca tea has been used since ancient times to help prevent altitude sickness; leaves from the coca plant contain alkaloids: like the globulin alkaloid which helps creating red cells in your body, that captures the oxygen faster. So helping your body avoid the effects of altitude sickness.
Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol; it will cause you to urinate more often and become dehydrated. Avoid smoking, due it will make more difficult for your body to get oxygen; and also avoid sleeping pills because, it may cause shallow breathing at night; making it more difficult for your body to absorb oxygen while you sleep.
Your healthcare provider may prescribe medicines: such as acetazolamide better known; as the brand Diamox and dexamethasone, to help prevent altitude sickness. Start medication two days prior you get to a high altitude and continue to take it while you are at high altitude.
Of course weather is unpredictable. Typically the dry season in Cusco is from April through October; but this does not stop rain from falling in June or the sun from coming out in December. Just be prepared; no matter what month you are doing the trek or tour. Please make sure that you have rain gear that includes: a waterproof jacket, pants, poncho and waterproof gloves.
To protect your journey investment. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance; acquiring travel insurance before you leave home. Is strongly encouraged and very easy.
The body’s immune system helps protect against pathogens that cause infection. Most of the time; it’s an efficient system, it either keeps microorganisms out or tracks them down and gets rid of them.
However, some pathogens can overwhelm the immune system; when this happens, it can cause serious illness.
The pathogens most likely to cause problems are the ones the body does not recognize:
vaccination is a way to “teach” the immune system how to recognize and eliminate an organism; that way, your body is prepared if you’re ever exposed.
Vaccinations are an important form of primary prevention; that means they can protect people from getting sick. Vaccinations have allowed us to control diseases that once threatened many lives, such as: measles, polio tetanus, and whooping cough.
You may require some additional vaccinations before traveling to Peru; it is advised you consult to your doctor specially if your are taking any trip to the jungle.