Explora Valle Sagrado

Located between Cusco and Machu Picchu, Explora Valle Sagrado was designed as the base from where you can explore a remote and amazing site-the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Explora Valle Sagrado is located in one of the region’s most remote ancient corn plantations close to the Urquillos village. It is designed in line with its surroundings, elegantly blending in with the high Andean mountains around the valley, as well as the surrounding plantations that are still today being harvested by townspeople. Rooms at the lodge combine simplicity and comfort to ensure that travelers get a good night rest after a day of exploration. With views to the cornfields and the mountains, these gorgeous rooms are lined in warm woods and tasteful modern decorations, thus being a unique setting to disconnect and enjoy the Sacred Valley of the Incas. There are 44 standard double rooms and 6 spacious suites with views of the mountains or plantations. Each room is fitted with a bathroom with a spa bath and all the essentials of home.

Additionally, the property boasts a panoramic terrace, a shared lounge with a fireplace, a library and a gift shop with WiFi available in the common areas. The restaurant has designed the meals so that our guests can always feel strong and yet lightweight in their different exploration activities with dishes based on authentic flavors using top quality ingredients. Their policy is to get the best of all products. Meals will always be paired with good wines as well as a premium wine list for those who want to taste alternatives. Pumacahua Bath House is a colonial house from the seventeenth century located on one side of the hotel’s corn terraces. Rescued by the restoration and archeology team, this where you can enjoy massages, the swimming pool and saunas after a day of exploration.

Guests at Explora Valle Sagrado can enjoy all-inclusive programs including meals, beverages, transportation and a choice of more than 20 exclusive guided excursions, which include bike-rides, hikes and overland explorations.

Explorations in the Sacred Valley

Sacred Valley –located at the heart of the ancient Inca Empire–is a particular mix of natural and cultural beauty that has attracted explorers and travelers for hundreds of years.

Located at the foot of the mountains where the Inca civilization once flourished and zigzagging around the waters of Urubamba River, Sacred Valley is a place with endless possibilities for explorations.

Its unique geography, the Inca remains and the authenticity of the local people inspired us to create paths that will let you discover all its charms. With over 20 explorations, that can be completed either on foot, by van or bike, our travelers discover from traditional towns barely touched by the force of globalization to ancient ruins perfectly preserved from the passing of time, and lagoons at the foot of snow covered mountains.

Our explorations, always led by a competent guide from our School of Guides, are made in groups of up to eight travelers and carried out at three different levels of geographical differentiation: valley, plateau and mountain. In order to really soak up this destination, we think you need to travel around these three areas, appreciate its contrasts and explore the differences within the same geographic level. Our explorations are defined as a journey that unveils different attractions and expands the vision we may have of a territory.

In the Urubamba River valley, we explore Pisac, Ollantaytambo, and Moray, among other archaeological sites; in the plateau, we go to the Huaypo lake, we travel around local trails between lagoons, farm communities, and cornfields; we also visit mountain peaks, an area not well known by tourists.  The altitude of our explorations ranges between 2,800 and 4,700 meters above sea level (9,186 and 16,404 f.a.s.l.) and consequently, some travelers need prior acclimatization. We suggest beginning with explorations at less altitude in order to scale up slowly towards the mountain peaks.


HALF DAY TOURS
BIKING

Cuesta del Sapo
From the heights of the Sacred Valley’s slopes we descend over a track in good conditions. The road to the bottom of the valley offers very interesting views to the mountains and the Urubamba River. Once downhill, we will continue bordering the river through an area of cornfields and orchards and densely packed Inca terraces.

Urubamba River
The road used for this exploration goes down the south side of the Urubamba River, a quiet area of cornfields, old haciendas and manors from the 19th and 20th centuries. This bike ride is recommended for families wishing to take a long walk or for those who want to take on a sports challenge.

FULL DAY TOURS
BIKING
Qenqo
The exploration begins in the heights of the pampas and then descends – over a vehicle road – among Quechua communities and farmlands with views to the Sacred Valley and Pisac. In the afternoon, the ride goes follows the south side of the Urubamba river among cornfields, old haciendas and manors from the 19th and 20th century.

Inca tracks
During the morning, this exploration considers a 6 km (3,7 miles) walk over a mountain trail with 360º views to Cusco and the Sacred Valley. The descent is through potato plantations and pampas where shepherds tend their animals. In the afternoon, biking starts on the heights of the pampas, then going down through Quechua communities and farmlands, with views to the Sacred Valley and Pisac.

Huaypo Views
This exploration crosses the farmlands of Chinchero, visiting vegetable gardens, small farms and villages that shape this landscape. It takes the traveler to the remains of the Moray experimental crop center, the colonial town of Maras and its Inca salt-mines, to finalize with a technical descent through narrow routes to the Urubamba River. This exploration is recommended for travelers in good physical conditions, experienced in mountain biking and with prior acclimatization.

OVERLAND FULL DAY TRIPS

Cusco
This exploration shows the best of Cusco in one day. We will descend from the fortress of Saqsaywaman down to the temple of Corincancha, on which the Santo Domingo convent was built, crossing the alleys of the colonial quarter of San Blas. Finally, we reach the main square to have lunch. In the afternoon, the traveler can continue walking through Cusco with one of our guides or on his/her own. The Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, the San Pedro Market, some Art Galleries or the hundreds of souvenirs stores are some of the options we recommend.

Valle de la Papa
This exploration takes the traveler to one of the most fertile areas in the Sacred Valley. The journey begins towards the Quinsacocha lagoon, a sublime site that features the typical Cusco puna landscape. Going downhill, we will cross the el Valle de la Papa and next, visit the Quechua community of Chahuaytire, a place with an ancient textile tradition where we will learn about natural dying and back strap loom techniques. The trip ends with a visit to the stunning archaeological center of Pisac, a city built on a mountain with hundreds of remarkable hanging farm terraces on its slopes.

Machu Picchu- Inti Punku
Difficulty Level: Easy / Available on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

In this full-day exploration, we travel to the famous historical sanctuary of Machu Picchu, one of the most impressive architectural feats of the Inca civilization and a wonder of the world.

On Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, we hike to the Puerta del Sol or Inti Punku, the gateway through which all the travelers that hike the Inca Trail enter. This point offers a different location from where to admire the sanctuary.

Our itinerary begins at 07:30, heading from the Hotel to the Ollantaytambo train station, located about 45 minutes from explora. At 08:50 we take the train to the town of Aguas Calientes. We arrive at the station at 10:30 and head to the bus that will take us to Machu Picchu. We enter the Sanctuary at 11:30. From there, we begin our walk towards Inti Punku or Puerta del Sol, the ancient checkpoint to enter the citadel and the beginning of the Inca Trail from Machu Picchu. This trek is a 1.5 km climb at a leisurely pace and the difficulty level is very low. From Puerta de Sol, we have a unique view of the whole sanctuary. We highly recommend it to all our guests. After completing the trek around 14:30, we begin our tour of Machu Picchu’s most emblematic landmarks.

Maras
This route first takes us to Ollantaytambo, also known as the “living Inca city”. From there, we will travel to the archeological site of Moray, a laboratory of experimental farming where different microclimates are used to grow crops. From there, the trip continues to Maras and a large lagoon, an ideal place to take a stroll and have lunch, to then follow to the town of Chinchero. The road crosses several fields where we will see farmers working or looking after their animals. In Chinchero, we will visit the archaeological site and its enigmatic constructions. Then, we will visit the terraces of Zurite and enjoy the views they offer.

Machu Picchu
This exploration is conducted only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

In this full-day expedition, we travel to the famous historical sanctuary of Machu Picchu, one of the most impressive architectural feats of the Inca civilization and a wonder of the world. This version of the expedition to Machu Picchu takes place on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. It does not include the trek to Inti Punku.

This version of the expedition to Machu Picchu takes place on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. It does not include the trek to Inti Punku.

Our itinerary begins at 09:00, heading from the Hotel to the Ollantaytambo train station, located about 45 minutes from explora. At 10:30 we take the train to the town of Aguas Calientes. We arrive at 12:10 and take a bus to Machu Picchu. The entrance to the sanctuary itself is scheduled for around 13:30. We walk through this magical place for approximately three hours. Around 17:00, we leave Machu Picchu and head to the station to take the train back. Upon arrival at 21:00, we are greeted with a delicious dinner.

HIKES

Salineras – Half Day
Hiking begins visiting the colonial downtown of Maras. After crossing the village, the trail descends among potato fields to the community’s salt mines.

Cinco Lagunas
This walk begins at an isolated community in the heights of the Andes, at over 13,123 ft From there, the trail goes up to a broad pass from where to observe the breathtaking snow-capped Sawasiray and other snowcapped peaks. A gentle descent takes us through a ravine with plenty llama and alpaca herds, passing beside several lagoons that reflect the large snowcapped peak in the background and the yellow-colored mountains.

Pisac Trails
During the morning there will be sights towards the mountain range and walks through potato fields, to then descend and cross pampas where shepherds look after their herds. We will rest for a lunch break and in the afternoon, descend from the mountains to the remains of Pisac. We will use one of our alternative routes to access the back of the remains, which provides for a unique view. This exploration is recommended for every traveler wishing to enjoy an altitude landscape that calls for contemplation.

Amaru
In the first part of this exploration, travelers walk over tracks only used by llama and alpaca shepherds. We will move between two lagoons at more than 13,123 ft During the second part and following watercourses, they will explore the mountain slopes with breathtaking views to the valley and stroll freely through farmland, corrals and houses of farm communities to reach a colonial adobe church.

Lloclla
This mountain walk follows tracks used by local shepherds among lagoons serving as water deposits to sustain the area’s rural lifestyle between the valleys of Lamay and Pisac. Old mountain trails, mild slopes, views, and people, among others, invite travelers to relax, walk calmly, breathe deeply and enjoy different perspectives and colors.

Tastayoc
This is the highest-altitude exploration we offer in the Sacred Valley. It begins at 12,795 ft and gradually climbs up to 15,419 ft through a pastureland highly isolated from the rest of the valley. The trail includes several lagoons, some with turquoise waters due to thawing, and others with transparent waters, allowing travelers to learn about high-mountain water ecosystems. This exploration requires prior acclimatization.

Huchuy Qosco
This exploration offers breathtaking views to lagoons at different altitudes, to the farmlands of Chinchero and to the valleys. To reach the remains of the Huchuy Qosqo Palaces, it goes down an Inca trail. Once in the remains, you cannot miss lying down in the gardens, taking a rest and enjoying the view towards Sacred Valley. This exploration requires prior acclimatization.

Saqsaywaman y Cusco
The trail crosses the mountains that separate the Sacred Valley from Cusco and reaches the Town Square of the Inca’s imperial city. This road simulates the journey followed by the Incas and Spanish conquerors more than 500 years ago. Before completing the exploration, there is a guided tour to the huge walls of the Saqsaywaman and its archaeological and ceremonial centers. Recommended for travelers in good physical shape and prior acclimatization.

Incañan
This is a physically-demanding exploration that offers one of the most spectacular landscapes in the Sacred Valley. It crosses the Urubamba mountain chain from north to south, over a trail that goes along the second highest peak in the region, the Sawasiray, with 19,088 ft This exploration requires prior acclimatization.

Ollantaytambo – Half Day
The walk takes you through the living Inca town of Ollantaytambo. The trail passes through the old main gate and over cobblestone streets framed by narrow water channels. After visiting the village, we climb to the archaelogical site to see its terraces, the ceremonial center and the Royal Building.

Racchi – Half Day
The walk carries you through orchards and communities to familiarize yourself with the rural landscape and its culture. This exploration takes place at a mean height and offers panoramic views to the Sacred Valley and its snowed capped peaks. It provides a good chance for acclimatization and to understand the area’s geography.

Huertos de Yucay – Half Day
The exploration begins at Yucay, the former residence of the prominent Inca rulers Tupac Inca Yupanqui, Huaynacapac and Sayritupac, and abundant crop fields. The trail takes you to the area’s platforms and crop fields.

Chinchero – Half Day
The walk starts in a livestock community. After leaving the village behind, we reach a lagoon surrounded by mountains. This is a remarkable place to take photographs. We walk around part of the lake’s shoreline to ascend through farmer’s paths up to the hills, where we get a panoramic view of the farmlands. From there, we walk down to the archaeological complex of Chinchero. This exploration allows us to appreciate the identity of Cusco’s architecture, which merges Inca and colonial elements.

Pumamarca – Half Day
This exploration is an opportunity to discover one of the area’s most puzzling and isolated Inca remains. The walk takes us through the Patacancha valley, with views to the homonymous river. Hiking begins in Ollantaytambo, steadily ascending through a verdant trail along local farm houses and orchards. The Pumamarca remains pose a conundrum to archeologists and explorers: their origins and functions are still unknown. Additionally, and since construction techniques somewhat differ from the Inca tradition, it was presumably built in an earlier period.

La Verónica
This hiking at a high altitude takes us through a private reserve aimed at preserving highland forests and endangered birds. Depending on the season, we can enjoy two different experiences. In the dry season, the snow-capped Verónica and the mountains surrounding it are the main attractions. During the rainy season, views may be obstructed by clouds, but then the ground steals the limelight: moss cushions; lichens and mushrooms covering the hills’ slopes shine bright due to the moisture.

Colores de Huaypo
During this exploration, we can get to know the daily life of local communities: shepherds, farmers plowing or collecting potatoes, mules loaded with products, small adobe villages and families engaged in small husbandry. Between November and May, the landscape is lush green and humid, while from June to October the setting features are ochre, red and yellow. Lunch is served beside a lagoon and the last span of the route takes us to at an altitude from where a broad 360° panoramic view can be enjoyed.

Moray
The trail begins at a farming community located amidst hills and goes down to the Inca remains of Moray, from where it continues to the colonial town of Maras. We see a piece of history in every corner. Afterwards, the trail descends to the bottom of the Sacred Valley and goes through the salt mines. The track crosses barley and potato fields and other crops.

Huaypo Views
This exploration crosses the farmlands of Chinchero, visiting vegetable gardens, small farms and villages that shape this landscape. It takes the traveler to the remains of the Moray experimental crop center, the colonial town of Maras and its Inca salt-mines, to finalize with a technical descent through narrow routes to the Urubamba River. This exploration is recommended for travelers in good physical conditions, experienced in mountain biking and with prior acclimatization.

OVERLAND FULL DAY TRIPS

Cusco
This exploration shows the best of Cusco in one day. We will descend from the fortress of Saqsaywaman down to the temple of Corincancha, on which the Santo Domingo convent was built, crossing the alleys of the colonial quarter of San Blas. Finally, we reach the main square to have lunch. In the afternoon, the traveler can continue walking through Cusco with one of our guides or on his/her own. The Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, the San Pedro Market, some Art Galleries or the hundreds of souvenirs stores are some of the options we recommend.

Valle de la Papa
This exploration takes the traveler to one of the most fertile areas in the Sacred Valley. The journey begins towards the Quinsacocha lagoon, a sublime site that features the typical Cusco puna landscape. Going downhill, we will cross the el Valle de la Papa and next, visit the Quechua community of Chahuaytire, a place with an ancient textile tradition where we will learn about natural dying and back strap loom techniques. The trip ends with a visit to the stunning archaeological center of Pisac, a city built on a mountain with hundreds of remarkable hanging farm terraces on its slopes.

Machu Picchu- Inti Punku
Difficulty Level: Easy / Available on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

In this full-day exploration, we travel to the famous historical sanctuary of Machu Picchu, one of the most impressive architectural feats of the Inca civilization and a wonder of the world.

On Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, we hike to the Puerta del Sol or Inti Punku, the gateway through which all the travelers that hike the Inca Trail enter. This point offers a different location from where to admire the sanctuary.

Our itinerary begins at 07:30, heading from the Hotel to the Ollantaytambo train station, located about 45 minutes from explora. At 08:50 we take the train to the town of Aguas Calientes. We arrive at the station at 10:30 and head to the bus that will take us to Machu Picchu. We enter the Sanctuary at 11:30. From there, we begin our walk towards Inti Punku or Puerta del Sol, the ancient checkpoint to enter the citadel and the beginning of the Inca Trail from Machu Picchu. This trek is a 1.5 km climb at a leisurely pace and the difficulty level is very low. From Puerta de Sol, we have a unique view of the whole sanctuary. We highly recommend it to all our guests. After completing the trek around 14:30, we begin our tour of Machu Picchu’s most emblematic landmarks.

Maras
This route first takes us to Ollantaytambo, also known as the “living Inca city”. From there, we will travel to the archeological site of Moray, a laboratory of experimental farming where different microclimates are used to grow crops. From there, the trip continues to Maras and a large lagoon, an ideal place to take a stroll and have lunch, to then follow to the town of Chinchero. The road crosses several fields where we will see farmers working or looking after their animals. In Chinchero, we will visit the archaeological site and its enigmatic constructions. Then, we will visit the terraces of Zurite and enjoy the views they offer.

Machu Picchu
This exploration is conducted only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

In this full-day expedition, we travel to the famous historical sanctuary of Machu Picchu, one of the most impressive architectural feats of the Inca civilization and a wonder of the world. This version of the expedition to Machu Picchu takes place on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. It does not include the trek to Inti Punku.

This version of the expedition to Machu Picchu takes place on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. It does not include the trek to Inti Punku.

Our itinerary begins at 09:00, heading from the Hotel to the Ollantaytambo train station, located about 45 minutes from explora. At 10:30 we take the train to the town of Aguas Calientes. We arrive at 12:10 and take a bus to Machu Picchu. The entrance to the sanctuary itself is scheduled for around 13:30. We walk through this magical place for approximately three hours. Around 17:00, we leave Machu Picchu and head to the station to take the train back. Upon arrival at 21:00, we are greeted with a delicious dinner.

HIKES

Salineras – Half Day
Hiking begins visiting the colonial downtown of Maras. After crossing the village, the trail descends among potato fields to the community’s salt mines.

Cinco Lagunas
This walk begins at an isolated community in the heights of the Andes, at over 13,123 ft From there, the trail goes up to a broad pass from where to observe the breathtaking snow-capped Sawasiray and other snowcapped peaks. A gentle descent takes us through a ravine with plenty llama and alpaca herds, passing beside several lagoons that reflect the large snowcapped peak in the background and the yellow-colored mountains.

Pisac Trails
During the morning there will be sights towards the mountain range and walks through potato fields, to then descend and cross pampas where shepherds look after their herds. We will rest for a lunch break and in the afternoon, descend from the mountains to the remains of Pisac. We will use one of our alternative routes to access the back of the remains, which provides for a unique view. This exploration is recommended for every traveler wishing to enjoy an altitude landscape that calls for contemplation.

Amaru
In the first part of this exploration, travelers walk over tracks only used by llama and alpaca shepherds. We will move between two lagoons at more than 13,123 ft During the second part and following watercourses, they will explore the mountain slopes with breathtaking views to the valley and stroll freely through farmland, corrals and houses of farm communities to reach a colonial adobe church.

Lloclla
This mountain walk follows tracks used by local shepherds among lagoons serving as water deposits to sustain the area’s rural lifestyle between the valleys of Lamay and Pisac. Old mountain trails, mild slopes, views, and people, among others, invite travelers to relax, walk calmly, breathe deeply and enjoy different perspectives and colors.

Tastayoc
This is the highest-altitude exploration we offer in the Sacred Valley. It begins at 12,795 ft and gradually climbs up to 15,419 ft through a pastureland highly isolated from the rest of the valley. The trail includes several lagoons, some with turquoise waters due to thawing, and others with transparent waters, allowing travelers to learn about high-mountain water ecosystems. This exploration requires prior acclimatization.

Huchuy Qosco
This exploration offers breathtaking views to lagoons at different altitudes, to the farmlands of Chinchero and to the valleys. To reach the remains of the Huchuy Qosqo Palaces, it goes down an Inca trail. Once in the remains, you cannot miss lying down in the gardens, taking a rest and enjoying the view towards Sacred Valley. This exploration requires prior acclimatization.

Saqsaywaman y Cusco
The trail crosses the mountains that separate the Sacred Valley from Cusco and reaches the Town Square of the Inca’s imperial city. This road simulates the journey followed by the Incas and Spanish conquerors more than 500 years ago. Before completing the exploration, there is a guided tour to the huge walls of the Saqsaywaman and its archaeological and ceremonial centers. Recommended for travelers in good physical shape and prior acclimatization.

Incañan
This is a physically-demanding exploration that offers one of the most spectacular landscapes in the Sacred Valley. It crosses the Urubamba mountain chain from north to south, over a trail that goes along the second highest peak in the region, the Sawasiray, with 19,088 ft This exploration requires prior acclimatization.

Ollantaytambo – Half Day
The walk takes you through the living Inca town of Ollantaytambo. The trail passes through the old main gate and over cobblestone streets framed by narrow water channels. After visiting the village, we climb to the archaelogical site to see its terraces, the ceremonial center and the Royal Building.

Racchi – Half Day
The walk carries you through orchards and communities to familiarize yourself with the rural landscape and its culture. This exploration takes place at a mean height and offers panoramic views to the Sacred Valley and its snowed capped peaks. It provides a good chance for acclimatization and to understand the area’s geography.

Huertos de Yucay – Half Day
The exploration begins at Yucay, the former residence of the prominent Inca rulers Tupac Inca Yupanqui, Huaynacapac and Sayritupac, and abundant crop fields. The trail takes you to the area’s platforms and crop fields.

Chinchero – Half Day
The walk starts in a livestock community. After leaving the village behind, we reach a lagoon surrounded by mountains. This is a remarkable place to take photographs. We walk around part of the lake’s shoreline to ascend through farmer’s paths up to the hills, where we get a panoramic view of the farmlands. From there, we walk down to the archaeological complex of Chinchero. This exploration allows us to appreciate the identity of Cusco’s architecture, which merges Inca and colonial elements.

Pumamarca – Half Day
This exploration is an opportunity to discover one of the area’s most puzzling and isolated Inca remains. The walk takes us through the Patacancha valley, with views to the homonymous river. Hiking begins in Ollantaytambo, steadily ascending through a verdant trail along local farm houses and orchards. The Pumamarca remains pose a conundrum to archeologists and explorers: their origins and functions are still unknown. Additionally, and since construction techniques somewhat differ from the Inca tradition, it was presumably built in an earlier period.

La Verónica
This hiking at a high altitude takes us through a private reserve aimed at preserving highland forests and endangered birds. Depending on the season, we can enjoy two different experiences. In the dry season, the snow-capped Verónica and the mountains surrounding it are the main attractions. During the rainy season, views may be obstructed by clouds, but then the ground steals the limelight: moss cushions; lichens and mushrooms covering the hills’ slopes shine bright due to the moisture.

Colores de Huaypo
During this exploration, we can get to know the daily life of local communities: shepherds, farmers plowing or collecting potatoes, mules loaded with products, small adobe villages and families engaged in small husbandry. Between November and May, the landscape is lush green and humid, while from June to October the setting features are ochre, red and yellow. Lunch is served beside a lagoon and the last span of the route takes us to at an altitude from where a broad 360° panoramic view can be enjoyed.

Moray
The trail begins at a farming community located amidst hills and goes down to the Inca remains of Moray, from where it continues to the colonial town of Maras. We see a piece of history in every corner. Afterwards, the trail descends to the bottom of the Sacred Valley and goes through the salt mines. The track crosses barley and potato fields and other crops.

 

 

 

Cuzco International Airport is 25.5 miles from the property. Complimentary shuttle services are provided. Trains to Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu departing from Ollantaytambo Train Station are 15.5 miles away.

For more information on Explora Valle Sagrado click HERE

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