7 Best Things to Do in Sacred Valley, Peru
The Sacred Valley is one of the best places to visit in Peru, so you should add it to your Peru Itinerary.
Take a day trip from Cusco and discover the most beautiful sights of the Sacred Valley.
Wondering what to do in Sacred Valley, Peru?
Walk around the Chinchero Ruins, see the best view at Ollantaytambo, visit the Maras Salt Mines, buy Peruvian souvenirs and explore the Moray Terraces.
This ultimate guide to visiting Sacred Valley includes the best time to visit, how to get there, practical information, and the best things to do in Sacred Valley, Peru.
- 7 Best Things to Do in Sacred Valley, Peru
- What is the Sacred Valley, Peru
- Where is Sacred Valley
- Best Time to Visit Sacred Valley, Peru
- How to Visit the Sacred Valley, Peru
- Is the Sacred Valley Safe?
- Sacred Valley Tour, Peru
- 1. Textil Center in Chinchero
- 2. Chinchero Market & Ruins
- 3. Moray Terraces
- 4. Maras Salt Mines
- 5. Ollantaytambo
- 6. Pisac
- 7. Sacsayhuaman
- Cusco Boleto Turistico
- Where can I Buy a Cusco Tourist Ticket?
- How Many Types of Sacred Valley Tickets are there?
- Cusco Tourist Tickets
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What is the Sacred Valley, Peru
The Sacred Valley of the Incas is a beautiful place close to the Urubamba River, famous for its unique attractions.
On a Sacred Valley tour, you can visit the most important archaeological sites and historic towns, such as Pisac, Ollantaytambo, and Chinchero.
Where is Sacred Valley
The Sacred Valley is located in Cusco, Peru.
Best Time to Visit Sacred Valley, Peru
The Sacred Valley can be visited all year round, but the best time to visit Cusco is from April to October.
However, the rainy season in Cusco is from November to March.
The weather in Cusco is generally colder than in other parts of Peru, so we recommend you bring a light jacket or pullover when visiting the Sacred Valley.
But during the day, because of the hot weather, drink plenty of water, wear a hat, and use sunscreen.
In high season we strongly recommend booking accommodation, train tickets, and tours in advance!
How to Visit the Sacred Valley, Peru
The best way to explore the sights of the Sacred Valley is to join a private or group tour. You can also get to the Sacred Valley by car or rent a taxi driver.
You can book your Sacred Valley tours at all hotels and tourist offices in Cusco or reserve in advance online.
The tour prices are not fixed, so you can try to bargain.
Usually, the Sacred Valley group tour is between 80-95 Soles per person in Cusco.
Book the best Sacred Valley tours through GetYourGuide, where you can get great prices. There is a free cancellation option if you change your plans!
Is the Sacred Valley Safe?
The Sacred Valley, like Machu Picchu, Rainbow Mountain, and the Desert Oasis of Huacachina, are must-see attractions in your Peru itinerary.
Sacred Valley Tour, Peru
Good morning! Start the day early, have breakfast, and join an organized tour from Cusco to the Sacred Valley.
The altitude sickness in Peru can be a challenge for many people.
Although the Sacred Valley is lower than Cusco, we recommend you drink plenty of water and wander slowly!
Chewing coca leaves or drinking coca tea is good for altitude sickness.
Good to know
There are coca leaves in every hotel in Cusco, so have a cup of coca tea before you start the Sacred Valley tour.
1. Textil Center in Chinchero
The first stop on our tour was Chinchero, where you can learn more about how Alpaca clothes are produced and how the colors are made from natural ingredients.
It’s a perfect place to buy beautiful Alpaca clothing for your visit to Machu Picchu. The downside is that the prices are overpriced and difficult to bargain! But you can also pay by bank card.
After walking around and buying a Boleto Turístico Ticket (Cusco Tourist Ticket) from our tour guide, we continued our trip to the Chinchero Ruins.
Keep reading → Best Things to Do in Paracas
2. Chinchero Market & Ruins
Just a 20-minute drive from the local Textile Center, you will find the beautiful Chinchero Ruins and vibrant market.
When you arrive, show your ticket at the entrance, and you can walk around the ruins, take some photos and buy a few souvenirs.
The Chinchero Ruins and church are open from 7 AM to 6 PM.
As many tour groups arrived at the Chinchero Ruins (at the same time), it was not easy to take pictures without crowds. But most people finish quickly, and you can take stunning photos.
Bring enough cash! Because the Boleto Turístico Ticket and the Maras Salt Mines entrance fee can only be paid in cash!
3. Moray Terraces
After the charming Chinchero town, our next stop was the impressive Moray terraces. This is a unique place on your Cusco Itinerary and one of the best highlights of the Sacred Valley.
Did you know that each circle has a different elevation? That’s why they all have different temperatures and light conditions.
The Moray circular Agricultural terraces were created by the Incas and used as a laboratory to experiment with different crops like potatoes and corn.
The Moray Terraces are open from 08:30 AM to 5 PM.
Another unique place in Peru → Huacachina Desert Oasis
4. Maras Salt Mines
One of the best things to do in the Sacred Valley is to visit the Maras Salt Mines. Although the panoramic view from the top is beautiful, don’t miss the opportunity to walk down to the viewpoint.
The Sacred Valley tour included a short visit to a local shop where you can buy various products made from Maras pink salt and taste delicious Peruvian chocolate.
The Maras salt mines are open from 8 AM to 5 PM.
Good to know
The entrance fee to the Maras Salt Mines is not included in the Boleto Turístico Ticket. The admission fee is 10 Soles (about 3 USD) per person.
Afterward, we had a stop for a delicious buffet lunch in Urubamba.
About a 30-minute drive from Urubamba is Ollantaytambo, one of the best-preserved Inca Ruins in Peru.
Ollantaytambo was our favorite place on the Sacred Valley tour. But hiking around the fortress of Ollantaytambo was exhausting for many people due to the altitude.
The archaeological site of Ollantaytambo is at an elevation of 2,792 meters, so hike slowly!
There are some fantastic local vendors around Ollantaytambo Ruins, so look around after the hike and buy some souvenirs.
Ollantaytambo Ruins are open from 7 AM to 5 PM.
Good to know
For those who want to stay in Ollantaytambo, you can finish the tour here and explore the town on your own or take the PeruRail train to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu).
The last stop of the Sacred Valley tour was Pisac. The weather was windy during our visit, so we recommend you bring a light jacket or pullover.
The Pisac Ruins are open every day from 8 AM to 4:30 PM.
Afterward, we made a detour to a local jewelry shop to learn more about the production of silver jewelry.
We then headed back to Cusco and depending on the traffic, the journey time could take up to 1.5 hours.
We enjoyed exploring the sights, and our opinion is the Sacred Valley is well worth a visit!
Read our → Lima Guide
The Sacsayhuaman is not part of the Sacred Valley tours, but since it is included in the Cusco Tourist Ticket, you should take the time to visit it.
You can do this the next day after the tour, as there are many things to do in Cusco, so take at least 1-2 days to explore the city.
Although it is located on the outskirts of Cusco, you can easily get to Sacsayhuaman by taxi.
Sacsayhuaman is open daily from 7 AM to 5:30 PM.
You should also visit the Mirador de San Cristobal viewpoint, just a few minutes from Sacsayhuaman.
Cusco Boleto Turistico
The Cusco Tourist Tickets are for personal use, and you must write your name on the ticket!
Always keep your ticket and documents (passport or ID card) with you, as there may be controls at the Sacred Valley entrances!
Where can I Buy a Cusco Tourist Ticket?
You can buy tickets at all attractions (except the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Pachacutec Monument) or Counter Central (Av. El Sol 103) in Cusco.
Counter Central is open every day from 8 AM to 6 PM.
Good to know
The Sacred Valley tickets cannot be bought online or in advance! Tickets are only valid for 10 days from the date of purchase and cannot be extended!
How Many Types of Sacred Valley Tickets are there?
You cannot buy individual tickets for most of the attractions in the Sacred Valley! You must therefore buy the full or one of the partial tickets.
The best option is to buy a full Cusco tourist ticket! But there are also three types of Partial tickets available.
Cusco Tourist Tickets
1. Full Cusco Tourist Ticket
The full Cusco ticket costs 130 Soles, is valid for 10 days and gives access to 16 attractions ( except for the Maras salt mines entrance fee).
The ticket includes these 16 sites:
- Museo de Arte Popular
- Museo de Sitio Qorikancha
- Centro Qosqo de Arte Nativo
- Monumento de Pachacutec
- Museo Histórico Regional
- Museo de Arte Contemporáneo
- Puka Pukara
2. Partial Cusco Tourist Ticket I
The partial Cusco tourist ticket costs 70 Soles, is valid for 1 day and gives access to 4 attractions (Q’enqo, Puka Pukara, Saqsayhuaman, and Tambomachay).
3. Cusco Tourist Ticket II
The partial Cusco tourist ticket II costs 70 Soles, is valid for 2 days, and gives access to 8 attractions (Museo de Sitio Qorikancha, Museo Histórico Regional, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Monumento de Pachacutec, Museo de Arte Popular, Centro Qosqo de Arte Nativo, Tipon, Pikillacta).
4. Cusco Tourist Ticket III
The partial Cusco tourist ticket III costs 70 Soles, is valid for 2 days and gives access to 4 sites (Chinchero, Moray, Ollantaytambo, Moray, and Pisac).
We hope our list of the best things to do in Sacred Valley will help you plan your next trip to Peru.
If you have any questions or thoughts, let us know in the comments below.