What is the Sacred Valley? How much does it cost to go?
The Sacred Valley of the Incas is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Cusco. Many talk about this place but few know what it is about. Well, it is nothing less than a territory full of beautiful landscapes, Andean towns and Inca archaeological sites. There it is possible to visit such fantastic places as Pisac, Chinchero, Ollantaytambo and more. In this article you will know how much the visit costs, either with a tour or on your own. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Do you plan to visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas with a tour? There are two services: the 1-day Sacred Valley Tour and the half-day Maras – Moray Tour. The first includes: Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero and lunch in Urubamba. The second includes: the town of Maras, Salineras de Maras and the circular platforms of Moray. If no service convinces you, you can also go freely on your own. For that you must buy the Cusco Tourist Ticket. This ticket costs 70 soles and includes: Pisca, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero and Moray. In this article you will learn more!
What is the Sacred Valley of the Incas?
Everyone mentions it as a place that yes or yes they should visit on their trip to Cusco. However, few know what the Sacred Valley of the Incas really is. Well, it is an immense area where the Incas built some of their most important citadels.
Today, due to the high number of visitors, it is known touristically as the Sacred Valley of the Incas. In reality, this natural area is made up of rivers, mountains, lagoons, Andean villages and, above all, Inca archaeological sites of great importance.
In the Sacred Valley of the Incas you will know the Inca sites of Pisac, Chinchero, Ollantaytambo as well as the famous circular platforms of Moray. You will also see incredible natural landscapes such as the Salineras de Maras. Of course everywhere there are beautiful landscapes worthy of an indelible photo.
Of course, due to the growing number of visitors, the inhabitants of the Sacred Valley of the Incas created restaurants, hotels, cafes and other tourist services of acceptable service.
During the trip to Cusco it is a must to know the Sacred Valley of the Incas. How to do it? Most tourists choose to do it with an all-inclusive tour. Another group prefers to go on their own. In this article you will know how much it costs to go both ways. Let’s go!
What to see there?
Don’t know what awaits you on your visit to the Sacred Valley of the Incas? These are its main tourist attractions:
- Pisac – A huge Inca city with temples, enclosures, immense platforms and more. It stands out for its Intihuatana. It is located 43 kilometers from the city of Cusco.
- Ollantaytambo – An Inca fortress and citadel with temples, platforms, roads, enclosures, colcas and even royal baths. It stands out for its immense Temple of the Sun. It is located 60 kilometers from the city of Cusco.
- Chinchero – An immense area of platforms and enclosures where the palace of Emperor Túpac Yupanqui was built. It is famous for its Inca roads and its colonial temple. It is located 30 kilometers from the city of Cusco.
- Moray – Surprising and immense circular platforms that resemble an amphitheater. The Incas used it as an agricultural laboratory. Today it is a place very photographed by tourists. It is located 46 kilometers from the city of Cusco.
- Maras – A site made up of hundreds of naturally formed salt wells millions of years ago. The Incas also took advantage of this salt. Its beautiful panoramic landscape is very photographed by tourists. It is 50 kilometers from the city of Cusco.
How much does a tour cost?
The tour is the option that most tourists choose. The reason? The tourist agencies offer you services that include everything: full transportation, tour guide, entrance to each site and even buffet lunch. That way everything is easier!
A small drawback is that hiring a tour can be more expensive than going on your own. However, due to the complete organization and good service most visitors choose this option.
The most used service by tourists is the ‘1-day Sacred Valley Tour’. This includes the visit to: Pisac, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo and Chinchero. Includes: pick-up, transportation, entrance fees, tour guide and buffet lunch in Urubamba. It costs from 20 to 70 dollars depending on the tourism agency you choose.
What is the price difference? Some tours include entrance fees while others do not. It also depends on the type of lunch you include. Some agencies offer a buffet lunch in a good restaurant while others offer lunch in a lower quality restaurant.
Anyway there is also another service to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This is the ‘Tour a Maras – Moray’. As its name suggests, it offers a visit to the town of Maras, the Salineras de Maras and the circular platforms of Moray. This tour lasts only half a day, i.e. 5 hours. Includes: pick-up, transportation, entrance fees and tour guide. It costs $15 to $60 depending on the tourism agency you choose.
Where is the price difference for this tour? Equally, the difference is that some tours include tickets while others, no. It depends on you traveler friend!
How much does it cost to go on my own?
Visiting the Sacred Valley of the Incas without a tour, that is, on your own is also an option. How to do it? Well, the first step is to make the purchase of the ‘Tourist Ticket of Cusco’.
This tourist ticket costs 70 Peruvian soles. It includes the entrance to: the archaeological site of Pisac, the archaeological site of Ollantaytambo, the archaeological site of Chinchero and the circular platforms of Moray.
The Cusco Tourist Ticket can be purchased in the city of Cusco: on Avenida El Sol 103.
After securing the tickets, it is time to organize the transport. The most economical option is to take the public transport minivans. Buses located on Puputi Avenue depart for Pisac. Buses located on Belenpampa Avenue depart for Chinchero and Urubamba. Both services cost approximately 5 soles per passenger.
Finally it’s time to organize the delicious lunch. The best restaurants are in the town of Urubamba. The cost of a menu in the village market is 10 Peruvian soles maximum. In a buffet restaurant it costs approximately 50 soles.
Differences, going with tour or on my own?
Without more to say, these are the different prices of the trip to the Sacred Valley of the Incas with tour and without tour:
Trip to the Sacred Valley of the Incas
On your own
30 S/. (aprox).
45 S/. (aprox).
50 S/. (buffet).
The weather, when to go?
The Sacred Valley of the Incas has a diverse climate depending on the town and the altitude in which it is located.
For example, in Chinchero (located at 3,762 meters above sea level) the climate is cold with temperatures ranging from 22ºC. maximum and 0º minimum.
In the village of Pisac (located at 2,972 meters above sea level) the climate is temperate with temperatures ranging from 23ºC. maximum and 5ºC. minimum.
In the town of Ollantaytambo (located at 2,792 meters above sea level) the climate is temperate with temperatures ranging from 24ºC. maximum and 7ºC. minimum.
Are you planning to visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas soon? From November to March the rains are more recurrent. From April to October the rains are less intense but the cold is more intense at night. Maybe this last time of year is the one that more tourists choose to go.
More information about the trip to the Sacred Valley of the Incas
The Sacred Valley of the Incas is one of the best tourist destinations in Cusco. Even some visitors prefer to stay in the town of Urubamba than in the city of Cusco. This valley town has less altitude and a warmer climate. It also offers good hotel services. Recommended!
Other famous villages of the Sacred Valley of the Incas are: Yucay (recognized by the palace of Sayri Túpac), Calca (recognized for its pools and warm climate), Maras (recognized by the Salineras de Maras) and Lares (recognized for its thermal baths).
From the town of Ollantaytambo you take the trains that lead to Machu Picchu.