The Sacred Valley of Peru is a valley (go figure) outside of the city of Cusco that was once a part of the Inca Empire. Machu Picchu is the most notable, however, the Sacred Valley stretches far beyond that singular site and is very worth exploring some of the other cities.
“Tucked under the tawny skirts of formidable foothills, the beautiful Río Urubamba Valley, known as El Valle Sagrado (the Sacred Valley), is about 15 km north of Cuzco as the condor flies, via a narrow road of hairpin turns. It’s worth exploring this peaceful, fetching corner of the Andes with attractive colonial towns and isolated weaving villages.” – The Lonely Planet
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The Sacred Valley
The Tourist Ticket is a pass that includes various sites around the Sacred Valley. It comes with a few different options based on how much time you have and what you want to visit.
Decide which one is right for you:
Spend a half a day at each site to make a lovely day trip from Cusco.
Maras is famous for its beautiful (and still functioning) salt mines. Snap some incredible pics, shop high quality products and learn how the salt is mined here in these unique salt pans.
Moray is an archeological site of the Incas most likely used for agriculture. There are a some curious and interesting unknowns about the uses and innovations that make it all the more interesting.
Maras and Moray
It is not necessary to take a tour to visit either of these sites. Head to the colectivo station for Urubamba and Ollantaytambo located at 510 Av Grau and searchable on Google Maps as “terminal de colectivos para Urubamba y Ollantaytambo”. Tell them you’re going to “Las salineras de Maras” and you’ll be directed to the correct vehicle (the van to Urubamba). The ride takes about an hour and leaves whenever the van is full. The colectivo stop is on the outskirts of the town of Maras where there are usually taxis waiting to take you to your destination.
Hire someone for the day or you take a scenic hike back to town when you’re done at the salineras and catch a cab from town to Moray. The hike is only recommended if you have water and time to spare as it is not a short walk.
Pisac Ruins and Pisac Market (and info if you want to stay the night)
I did not go, I felt after Machu Picchu and the other Sacred Valley ruins I was all ruined out. But it is a very popular place with lots to do. Some info from trusted sites:
There are many other towns and villages to see as well! Check out some of these guides that talk about the Sacred Valley as a whole as well as give some suggestions on other places not previously mentioned.