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“Awesome View” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sacred Valley of the Incas

Sacred Valley of the Incas
Peru
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Small Group
$95*
and up
Sacred Valley Community Small Group Tour from...
Ranked #6 of 209 things to do in Cusco Region
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Attraction details
Anaheim, California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Awesome View”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

The view from the top of the ruins was awesome. You have a great view of the sacred valley mountains.

Visited March 2013
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Buenos Aires
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Ideas on how best to incorporate Sacred Valley in your trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

The Sacred Valley is a perfect stepping stone if you want to enhance your overall experience when visiting Cusco & Machu Picchu. I've been organizing custom itineraries to Peru with CAT Travel, a local company w/ offices in Cusco and Lima. A couple of key factors will get you going in the right direction in Cusco & the Sacred Valley, that will make your overall experience unforgettable. First is to make sure you have a very good and experienced guide, or a company that is local and recognized...and if possible do this tour in private service (or small group of international travels - 12 max!). Why? Because you will get much more out of it than you ever imagined, not to mention, while all the big commercial tour buses cruise along the main route...you can stop when and wherever you want, as well as spend more time in specific areas that might be more of interest to you. Like spending more time in the local markets of Pisaq or Chinchero, or at the ruins of Pisaq and Ollantaytambo...and less time picking up passengers around town, or waiting for them to finish lunch at a tourist trap restaurant (unless of course that's what you fancy!). The truth is, you can have a way more interesting experience by doing it on your own time, without following the herd, or missing half of what it has to offer by trying to do it on your own. Having a private guide is like having a host, to show you all the secrets and shortcuts, so you can see more of what it has to offer. There are some great restaurants, private family museums/collections, and local community experiences that you don't want to miss as well. All of this is the culture left and still alive from the Inca.

So...with the above in mind. Start your trip by arriving to Cusco and getting a transfer straight out into the Valley to one of the boutique lodges, there are a couple of different areas (Urubamba, Yucay, Ollantaytambo) which I will be writing about in future posts, which offer some pretty incredible properties (Sol y Luna, la Hacienda del Yucay...I can recommend a handful). Why go straight to the valley, because you will fly into Cusco which is over 11,000 ft (3,400 meters) above sea level...which to some that altitude can catch people by surprise. The Sacred Valley drops you down in altitude, and can help a bit when acclimatizing to the altitude.

Another reason is that by going to the Sacred Valley before Machu Picchu, you can see the build up of the path to the Inca (Inca without the i's is actually plural;) religious center at Machu Picchu. You see, all the ruins around Cusco, and throughout the Sacred Valley, are a buildup to the capstone of their culture...so there is a story to be told along the way.

Lastly, by taking the train from the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu, you shorten the distance getting there to 2 hours (instead of 4), which don't get me wrong it's a beautiful train ride...but the first two hours out of Cusco are actually just switchbacks through the Andes mountains...so not much to look at! By taking the train from the SV, you skip that, catch the most scenic part of the ride, and then can take the 4 hour train (one time:) back from Machu Picchu to Cusco - which I recommend doing so leaving in the afternoon and arriving in the evening back to Cusco. This is nice because you arrive at night and can see the lights of the city coming down the mountainside, the 1st two hours the sun is setting, and the last two you can rest up a bit before finding a nice restaurant (plenty to recommend) in Cusco once settled in. Then, explore the ruins and Cusco for a couple of days...make sure to leave some free days to just explore by your own. Cusco "es lo mas" - Spanish for "the best"

If you need any help, you know where to find me!

Visited June 2012
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Nashville, Tennessee
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Scenic majesty”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

The views were awesome
Wear good hiking or walking shoes for the stair climbing
In the wet season, be prepared with a jacket or poncho
No shortage of places to buy local goods.

Visited March 2013
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Texas
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Lovely Trip!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

We took a bus - trip purchased through a local travel agent. Guide was nice - even with it being the rainy season we were still able to enjoy.

Visited February 2013
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BURNABY
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Amazing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

Definitely a highlight of any trip to Peru, from the time you turn the corner and get your first glimpse to the view from Guard'sTower for the photo

Visited February 2013
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