Sacred Valley Extended Tour
Extended Sacred Valley Tour With Moray and Maras Salt Pans
Extended Sacred Valley Tour–Explore the picturesque Andean villages in the Sacred Valley, Incan ruins, and witness the amazing Andean views of the Urubamba range. This tour gives you the chance to visit the highlights of the Sacred Valley plus Moray and Maras Salt Pans in one day. A day tour specially designed to explore the must-see places with a private guide instead of just wandering at shopping stores and it’s uniquely yours since the tour is in private service. The places to explore are:
Maras Salt Pans: (also called Salinas de Maras), thousands of individual ancient salt mines that form unique terraces on a hillside. The mines, small pools thickly coated with crystallized salt like dirty snow, have existed in the same spot since Inca days and are still operable. Families pass them down like heritage. The site as a whole is extraordinary and photogenic, from afar it looks like patchwork quilt spread over a ravine, or some sort of sprawling, multilevel cake with white and caramel colored icing, and it’s almost surreal to watch workers standing ankle-deep and mining salt from one of nearly 3,000 pools cascading down the hillside. If you have a good sense of balance, we can go exploring between salt-encrusted paths to get good close-up photographs.
Moray: impressively deep amphitheater-like it’s rounded shaped terraces, reached via the small town of Maras, which is a fascinating spectacle. Different levels of concentric terraces are carved into a huge earthen bowl, each layer of which has its own microclimate, according to depth. Some theorize that the Incas used the terraces as a kind of laboratory to determine the optimal conditions for growing crops of each species. There are three bowls, one of which has been planted with various crops as a kind of living museum.
Ollantaytambo: Famous for its stunning temple of the sun that is located over the hill, made by rocks that were brought from 4 miles away, and Ollantaytambo town whose street plan still maintains its original Incan layout. After Cusco was overtaken by the conquistadors, Manco Inca and his army of approximately 30,000 retreated to Ollantaytambo and were victorious here against the forces of Spanish commander Hernando Pizarro in the Battle of Ollantaytambo.
Pisac: With exceptionally well-preserved ruins and crop terracing covering the mountain hillsides, which provide an opportunity for us to take a short warm-up hike as we explore the site’s various structures and terraces before making our way to the hotel.
This tour is a perfect activity for those who do not have much time in Cusco or Sacred Valley and want to visit the remarkable spots in this Valley in only one day. This private tour will give you the opportunity to save time, instead of spending 2 days, you will take only 01 day for those must-see places that way to fulfill your bucket list in Cusco Peru–Extended Sacred Valley Tour
Duration: Full Day
Physical Rating: 2 – Easy, Light, Nothing too Challenging. Hotel nights and/or safari-style camping, hikes of two to four hours on some days. Other physical activities are sometimes included, such as optional sea, river, lake kayaking.
Service Level: Private (your way)
Group Size: Small group experience, Min 02 – Max 08, Avg 04.
Extended Sacred Valley Tour With Moray and Maras Salt Pans – Itinerary
Today we head out on a full-day exploration of Urubamba Valley – the enchanting “Sacred Valley of the Incas”. At 7:00 am, our MTC private guide will pick you up from your hotel front desk to board our private transportation for a drive to famous Peru’s Sacred Valley. This mountainous region of Peru offers mystical awe-inspiring sights to discover. On the way, we will stop at a famous point known as El Mirador (Viewpoint Point). From there, we will enjoy the Sacred Valley and gain some insight into Inca history.
We will then drive to the archaeological site of Pisac, where, you will witness and learn about the Inca empire. You will see amazing farming terraces carved into the mountain and an immense Inca cemetery with more than 2000 tombs. These ruins are quite extensive and you will see many examples of original Incan architecture built on the slopes of the mountains, where you will be amazed by the stunning Incan farming terraces. Built-in many distinct styles that begin since the riverside (9,826ft. to 11,318 ft.) and it is estimated over 500 terraces. The splendid Inca ruins of Pisac is located at the eastern end of the Sacred Valley, 1 hour from Cusco, and it is one of the largest Inca ruins in Sacred Valley.
After exploring, we head back down to the colorful and bustling Pisac market, where we will have a brief stop to browse the market. Next, we will drive to the Maras Salt Pans (Salineras). Maras is a village and it is well-known for its salt ponds, a stunning site called salineras which lie 1,2 miles away north of the village. Hundreds of saltpans decorate the hillside and have been used for salt extraction since before the Inca empire. A natural spring at the top of the valley discharges a small stream of water heavily laden with salt, which is diverted into saltpans and evaporated to produce a salt that is of very high quality. Villagers from surrounding communities still mine salt by hand from the spring-fed terraced pools. This is one of the few places in the world where you can find naturally pink salt.
After Maras Salt pans, comes the amazing rounded shaped terraces of Moray – it is also known as “The Farm Testing of the Incas .” that consists of a series of circular terraces build in the natural hole into the earth like a huge amphitheater. The terraces have varied microclimates depending on how deep into the bowl they are placed. It is believed they were used by the Incas to research the optimal conditions for their crops and in order to develop different crop varieties. After visiting the stunning Inca site of Moray. Subsequently, we head to the next archeological site of Ollantaytambo “The last living Inca town”.
Our last place to explore is Ollantaytambo, this place during the Inca Empire was the royal estate of Emperor Pachacuti, who conquered the region and built the town and a ceremonial center. At the time of the Spanish conquest of Peru, it served as a stronghold for Manco Inca, leader of the Inca resistance. Nowadays, located in what is called the Sacred Valley of the Incas, it is an important tourist attraction on account of its Inca ruins and its location en route to one of the most common starting points for the four-day, three-night hike known as the Inca Trail. We will eventually, we drop you off at your hotel in Ollantaytambo, train station, or another place, just feel free to let your guide know.
Note on Itinerary
Although we do our best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.
– Private Transportation.
– Entrance fee to the Incan Sites.
– Private Tour Guide.
What’s Not Included
– Extra expenditure during the tour, such as: bottle water, soda, alcoholic drinks, extra snacks.
– Travel Insurance.
Depends on the number of travelers on your group, please, contact us for further information
Prices are quoted in US Dollars and all payments must be made in US Dollars.
To offer the lowest possible cost, our trips are tier priced according to the number of full-paying participants on the trip.
Trip Payment Schedule.
– At the time of reservation: 30% of the total balance.
– 90 days prior to departure: Balance should be paid fully, or once upon your arrival in Cusco the other 70% of final balance must be paid fully.
Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule.
– Minimum fee (Tour permit fee): $30 per person
– 61-90 days prior to departure: 30% of trip cost
– 46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
– 45 days or less: 100% of trip cost.
A professional Machu Picchu Travel Company Tour Leader with a deep knowledge of the destination and a focus on customer service makes all the difference. Our leaders are experts in Inca history, nature, birding, gastronomy, the local language, etc, with a profound connection to Peru’s fascinating traditional culture. They take care of all the details so that you can savor the experiences of the trip. And just as important, they have a remarkable gift for sharing their extensive knowledge and favorite places. Our Tour Leaders have the warmth, endless energy, and that special “it” factor that transforms a trip into an unforgettable journey.
This trip is Level 2, Easy, Light, Nothing too Challenging. Most activity is between 1,640 and 10,500 feet. The maximum elevation we reach is 12,136 feet. Trails can be rugged, not the well-maintained trails you may be accustomed to in your country. For the most part, you can hike at your own speed. Our group will walk in group along the tour. On the tour, you will just carry your own daypack for the items that you want with you on the excursion, such as a water bottle, camera, and a jacket. Our extra gears are left in our van.
– Travel insurance (and some copies).
– Face tissue paper, toilet paper.
– Camera charger and, extra batteries.
– Sun hat.
– Backpack to carry your things.
– Rain gear
– Water bottle, Canteen or Camelback container.
– Long sleeve T-shirts.
– Hiking trousers
– American dollars and Peruvian soles in cash.
– Anti-inflammatory tablets (e.g. Ibuprofen).
– Personal first-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may take).
When to Go
This tour to Extended Sacred Valley Tour can be explored all year, but in late January and February, are the rainiest months, when some Inca sites are foggy and difficult to see. The season normalizes in March and April when the rains lighten up and the mountains are still green. High season begins in May and extends through September, as these are the driest months. October through December is considered shoulder season when occasional rain is possible, but keep in mind that the highlands of Peru are a temperate desert and it is not uncommon for it not to rain for weeks at a time even in the height of the rainy season. This is also the time with the fewest hikers on the trail, more flowers in bloom, and fewer tourists at Machu Picchu as well as in Cusco. Temperatures in the Cusco-Machu Picchu region range from the high 60s in the daytime to the low 40s at night, with some variation depending on the time of year you go.