Lying between Cuzco and Machu Picchu is the beautiful Río Urubamba Valley, known as the Sacred Valley, which shouldn't be overlooked en route between the two. Dotted with colonial towns, weaving villages and lofty Inca citadels, the Sacred Valley offers culture and history but also adrenaline activities, whilst surrounded by dramatic scenery.

Ollie and Kate B are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • It is less of a tourist mecca than Machu Picchu and Cusco, but is just as stunning, with landscapes ranging from Andean peaks to orchid-covered cloud forests and Amazon lowlands.

Our guide to holidays in The Sacred Valley

The attractive weaving villages are worth exploring, such as Pisac and Ollantaytambo, with their Spanish colonial heritage. There are many colourful markets in the area, but one of the biggest is Pisac Market, selling jewellery, handicrafts, spices and local foods. Sunday is the best time to visit, as the church procession takes place in town, and the locals dress in traditional clothing. Old ways remain an integral part of life here, with bustling fiestas and carnivals, where pagan traditions meet Catholic rituals.

Explore this striking rural region by following one of the many trekking routes, or travel through the Andean hamlets by train. Make sure to venture to the impressive agricultural terraces of Moray - one of the most striking Inca landscapes in the area. For those seeking adventure, activities range from river rafting to rock climbing to horse riding. Alternatively, braving the local buses to discover the region's furthest corners is an adventure in itself!

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