These are day hikes in the Sacred Valley of the Incas designed to provide outdoor experiences for people that not necessarily enjoy camping at night. You can do one or more of these hikes staying nights at charming hotels in the Sacred Valley for your comfort.
HIKE TO HUCHUY QOSQO (Little Cusco)
We leave your hotel in Cusco or in the Sacred Valley early in the morning to travel by bus to the town of Tauca (3840 meters or 12670 feet above sea level). The town is located in the vicinity of Chinchero and Piuray Lake. We meet our crew and begin to hike, an approximate of two and half hours of gradual uphill will take us our highest point: a 4,200 meters or 13,860 feet above sea level. At this high pass you are rewarded with spectacular views of the Vilcabamba, Urubamba and Vilcanota mountain ranges with many snow peaks. After the pass we begin descending to connect with an original Inca trail that leads to Huchuy Qosqo and later enter a canyon populated with native Queuña trees and lots of bromeliads, we pass a group of Inca terraces and buildings to later reach a view platform from where you see Huchuy Qosqo and the Sacred Valley. At this point we have lunch enjoying the views and later descend for a short while to the outstanding Inca remains of Huchuy Qosqo at 3,600 meter or 11,880 feet above sea level. This place was the Palace of the 8th Inca "Wiracocha", after a visit to the complex we begin descending by way of a steep trail for about one hour to the town of Lamay in the Sacred Valley. Here we board the bus that will take us back to our hotel.
HIKE IN THE MORAY AND MARAS AREA
Easy to Moderate
Morning pick up from your hotel to travel by bus towards the archaeological site of Moray. A scenic drive of about one hour takes us to a detour from the main road, after about a 25 minute ride on an unpaved road we reach the mysterious circular terraces of Moray. This unique place is thought to be a place for experimental agriculture used by the Incas to acclimatize plants from a lower altitude environment to higher lands. After visiting the site we travel by bus another 10 minutes back on the same road to a point where we leave the bus to start hiking. We begin our hike in the direction of the colonial town of Maras. We reach and visit Maras and continue hiking to our lunch spot with scenic views of mountains around us. After lunch our trail will soon begin to descend toward the Salt mines of "Pichingoto", we visit this fascinating area where people fill small ponds with salty water emanating from a spring in the mountain, once the sun evaporates the water the remaining salt in the pond is shovelled in to sacs for later sale. After the visit, we continue on a descending trail to the Urubamba River in the Valley, we cross the river by way of a small bridge to find our bus waiting that will take us back to our hotel.
HIKE FROM TASTAYOC TO PATAKANCHA
Moderate to Strenuous
We depart early by bus from your hotel in the Valley to travel north east on the highway that leads to "Quillabamba" or "The Valley of the Moon". We will climb on the highway gaining altitude almost to the "Malaga Pass" where we leave the bus to start hiking. This place is known as Tastayoc, a spread out community of native Quechua people who live of the land. Our trail will steadily ascend to the pass of the same name, as we hike along we can observe the local people working the land and tending for their herds of Llamas and Alpacas pasturing nearby. We will have a picnic lunch shortly before we reach the pass at about 4,800 meters or 15,850 feet above sea level. After lunch we hike and shortly reach the high pass to enjoy beautiful views of the "Veronica" Sacred Mountain we will soon leave behind as we descend into a small canyon spotted with very traditional farms with homes made of stone and thatched roofs. We hike down for about 3 hours to reach the village of Patakancha and the road where we board our bus to travel down a pretty canyon to the town of Ollantaytambo and later to our hotel.
HIKE TO THE ARCHEAOLOGICAL REMAINS OF PISAC
We depart by bus early after breakfast from your hotel in Cusco or the Sacred Valley and travel to the town of Pisac, we continue up on the road that leads to the Inca remains and take a detour to continue ascending on an unpaved road for about 30 minutes before we reach our trailhead in the highlands above Pisac. We begin our hike on a trail that descends on light gradient past traditional farms where people have lived undisturbed by modern civilization since the Inca times. You can observe them work the land and herd their animals in this peaceful environment. About 1 ½ hours later we reach the impressive Inca cemetery of Pisac set on the steep mountain side. From this point you also have outstanding views of the Inca agricultural terraces that are some of best preserved and still being used that were left by the ancestors. We will explore the area known as Kantorakay and then we enter the Sacred area where you find the "Intihuatana" or temple to the Sun, considered the most important part of the remains. A few minutes walk from here we will gather to enjoy a picnic lunch with views of he Sacred Valley and colonial town bellow us. After lunch we will continue hiking down to the Spanish built town of Pisac and visit its popular Indian market: A place where you can find varied and colourful handicrafts from the region.