The Sacred Valley & Around
This is my favorite place in all of Peru. The valley has incredible Inca and pre-Inca archeological sites, cute little towns, wildlife and so much local culture and color. The main part of the valley starts in Pisac on the eastern end and runs west to Ollantaytambo on the opposite end. It runs mostly east and west, though Ollantaytambo is a bit farther north than Pisac.
You can find everything from rustic towns where people live in adobe homes without running water, and to towns that have developed their infrastructure and are full of boutique hotels and eco-lodges.
The Sacred Valley is also where most of the food in Cusco comes from. It’s an agricultural mecca with the perfect climate for growing just about anything. The Inca knew what they were doing when they claimed this as their own.
Pisac is about half an hour northeast of Cusco. Ollantaytambo, at the far end is about an hour and a half northwest of Cusco. You can get to Urubamba in the middle of the Sacred Valley from Cusco by going up and over a plateau where the town of Chinchero lies.