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Best Things To Do In The Sacred Valley

Written by Orange Cares | Octubre 30, 2023
10 Best Things To Do In The Sacred Valley

A popular destination for travellers and Machu Picchu hikers, the Sacred Valley is a lush green valley lying just 15km north of Cusco. Used by the Inca people, the valley was a highly prized site due to its rich agricultural lands.

If you are thinking of visiting Peru, then the Sacred Valley should definitely be on your list of places to visit.

Below, I have provided a list of what we think are the best things to do in the Sacred Valley

10 Best Things To Do In The Sacred Valley

Inca ruins are dotted throughout the Sacred valley and the land has a very Peruvian feel thanks to the many authentic villages and towns that populate the region.

The valley’s rich history and culture make it one of my favourite places in Peru. It’s also a great place to acclimatise to the high altitude in Cusco as the Sacred Valley is lower down, giving tourists the time they need for their bodies to adjust.

From there, it’s just a question of figuring out the best things to do in the Sacred Valley below.

What and Where to Explore in the Sacred Valley

1. Pisac Market & Inca Ruins

Founded by the Spanish Conquistador – Viceroy Toledo, Pisa town was constructed over an original Inca settlement. Located close to Cusco, Pisac offers the top market in the region.

Packed with local produce and a wide array of locally produced arts and crafts, Pisac Market is the perfect place for a little shopping and other interesting things to do in the Sacred Valley.

The ruins, which are located just 20 minutes drive from the town itself, are of fantastic quality and well worth the visit. You’ll see military, agricultural and religious buildings, all of which are spread over one large complex! Make sure to walk around the ‘Royal Sector’ of the site and take lots of pictures.

2. Ollantaytambo Ruins and Town

Ollantaytambo is a beautiful little town located on the far side of the Sacred Valley and close to Cusco. Lovely cobbled streets and quaint cafes make this a popular destination among tourists for things to do in the Sacred Valley region.

The town is probably the best surviving example of Inca town planning. Be sure to stop at Hearts Café for a lovely coffee and snack and then visit the Chocolate Museum!

The Inca ruins located in Ollantaytambo are absolutely brilliant and provide some of the best stone work outside of Machu Picchu. Originally used as a royal residence by Emperor Pachacuti, the temple and fortress are of extremely high quality and should be on anyone’ list of places to visit in the valley.

Best Things To Do In The Sacred Valley - Ollantaytambo

3. White river rafting and mountain biking tours

If you are the adventurous type, then you won’t want to miss out on some white water rafting and mountain biking as exhilarating things to do in the Sacred Valley.

Many operators offer both activities and you will have a wide choice of locations too. A great rafting experience can be found in Ollantaytambo where you can see the Inca ruins from your raft!
Mountain biking is one of the best activities you can do in the region and you’ll be able to take in many Inca ruins such as Qenqo, Pucapucara, “The X Zone” and Tambomachay as you wind your way along lovely trails and dirt roads.

4. Paragliding

The ultimate adventure activity, paragliding gives you incredible and dramatic views over the entire Sacred Valley. You won’t need any previous experience as all operators offer a tandem glide.

Make sure to book with a recommended operator like Orange Nation Peru though as your safety is the most important thing. This is one of the most adrenaline filled things to do in the Sacred Valley, and also from a vantage point that not many others can claim.

5. Sea Salt Pans – Maras and Moray

Without a doubt, the Inca ruins of Moray are one of the most interesting and beautiful ruins in Peru. Designed like a dug-out amphitheater, scientists are still baffled as to what the site was actually used for.

The latest theory is that the Inca people used it as a sort of test laboratory for crops – who knows.
Located near the ruins of Moray is the town of Maras. The town is famous for its local salt-evaporation ponds that have been in use since the Inca period. The salt deposited here would have been shipped out across the entire Inca nation in its heyday.

Best Things To Do In The Sacred Valley - Salt mines

6. Drink Inca Cola

First brewed in Peru in 1935 by British immigrant José Robinson Lindley, the Inca Kola is known as the ‘Golden Kola’ and comes in a strange clear green colour.

The Inca kola is the pride of the Peruvian nation and Coca-Cola owns all rights to the drink except in Peru. We won’t say what it tastes like… that is for you to find out as one of many things to do in the Sacred Valley!

7. Ziplining and Action Valley

Ziplining is another great option for the adrenaline junkies out there! Action Valley is home to a wide array of activities including South America’s highest bungee jump and a 110 metre zip line.

The zipline tour lasts about 5 hours and includes lunch and a trek through the jungle to reach the line. There is also the option to do a quad bike tour (ATV tour).

8. Go weaving – Visit a Weaving Cooperative

Many people in the Peruvian hills still work in a similar way to their ancestors. Weaving is one of the most popular crafts in Peru and still practiced by many village people.

The village of Chincheros in the Sacred Valley is a great place to give the craft a go yourself! Chincheros is one of many villages that have a weaving cooperative and allow visitors to try their hand at weaving.

Best Things To Do In The Sacred Valley

9. Eat Cuy

Don’t leave Peru without trying Cuy – better known as Guinea Pig! Cuy is a Peruvian delicacy that can be fried or roasted, and not for the faint of heart.

Cuy has been a staple diet for Peruvian people for over 5,000 years and continues to be as popular as ever (it even has a National day named after it!) Almost every restaurant serves it – so give it a try as one of many culinary things to do in the Sacred Valley!

10. Stay in the Skylodge

Possibly the coolest hotel in the world, the skylodges are small glass rooms that hang off the side of cliffs! If you love camping under the stars, you will love the skylodges.

However, if you struggle with heights, this may not be the best option for you! Located just 40 minutes from Cusco, the skylodges don’t come cheap, but they do take in spectacular views (and drops) from your very own bed.


If you have any further questions about things to do in the Sacred Valley, please just drop us a note below and we’ll get back toy you as soon as possible.

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