Machu Picchu & the Sacred Valley
The undoubted highlight of any trip to Peru is a visit to the astonishing Inca citadel at Machu Picchu
The Sacred Valley was the heartland of the Inca Empire and is a short drive to the north of Cusco. From Pisac the Urubamba River has carved out a valley of exceptional natural beauty as it flows towards Machu Picchu in the west. This region contains some extremely important archaeological Incan sites and picturesque colonial towns.
The valley is a lovely place to acclimatise to the higher altitude and there is plenty to see and do here. Visits to the Inca remains at Pisac (on the hilltop) and the colonial village (on the valley floor) with its popular market are recommended. Other charming colonial villages to visit include Maras and Chinchero.
It is possible to cycle or go horse riding in the valley and, for the more adventurous, there is rock climbing and a zip line experience. However, for most, the sights to see are the remarkable Incan remains include the salt pans near Maras (still in use today), the bizarre agricultural experimentation centre at Moray and the most impressive temple and agricultural ruins at Ollantaytambo.
Jewel in the crown
But all of this is merely a ‘warm-up’ for the jewel in the crown: Machu Picchu. Now listed as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, it is what most people are here to see. There are only two ways to get to Machu Picchu: by train – or on foot as the Incas would have travelled.
We can arrange a once-in-a-lifetime ‘luxury trek’ to the Citadel – a moderately challenging five-night trip staying in comfortable lodges in some remote and beautiful locations. Or relax in comfort aboard the Hiram Bingham train and admire the stunning scenery whilst sipping Pisco Sours and dining in style. Or do both: trek one way and train it back!
It is possible to see the Citadel itself on a day trip from either the Sacred Valley or from Cusco, but we recommend staying at least one night near Machu Picchu to catch the sunrise and morning light. We will make all the arrangements for you and provide you with your own private guide so that you can explore at your own pace and see those things that are of most interest to you.
This is one experience that you simply cannot miss. You have seen it in the pictures a thousand times, but there is nothing quite like actually arriving at Machu Picchu and seeing and feeling it for yourself. It has not been heralded as a Wonder of the World for nothing.
To discover more about Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, give us a call or send us a message.
Places we love to stay
Hacienda Urubamba is a fabulous boutique hotel and working organic farm overlooking the Sacred Valley.View details about Hacienda Urubamba
Sol y Luna
Delightful casitas set in beautifully maintained gardens make Sol y Luna our favourite hotel in the Sacred Valley.View details about Sol y Luna
Mountain Lodges - Salkantay Trek
Unique small-group 'luxury treks' to Machu Picchu via four specially-built mountain lodges.View details about Mountain Lodges - Salkantay Trek
Hiram Bingham Train
It's not a hotel - but a trip on the Hiram Bingham train between Cusco and Machu Picchu is a great experience.View details about Hiram Bingham Train
Inkaterra Pueblo Hotel
The Inkaterra Pueblo Hotel is, in our opinion, the best place to stay close to Machu Picchu.View details about Inkaterra Pueblo Hotel
Tambo del Inka
The Tambo del Inka is a stylish hotel in the Sacred Valley with possibly the best spa in Peru.View details about Tambo del Inka
Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado
We particularly love the villas at this hotel and the location is serene and stunning.View details about Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado
Belmond Sanctuary Lodge
The only hotel located at the entrance to the citadel of Machu Picchu.View details about Belmond Sanctuary Lodge
Sumaq Machu Picchu
Completely refurbished in 2014, this hotel is in a very convenient location in Aguas Calientes.View details about Sumaq Machu Picchu