The Sacred Valley of the Incas is located north of the Imperial City of Cusco and extends along the Vilcanota - Urubamba river. This beautiful valley holds an exuberant nature, visually striking landscapes, and ancient Inca ruins that served as ceremonial, administrative, and military centers.
This renowned culture used to believe that the Urubamba valley resembled the Milky Way. However, the fertility of these lands made it relevant for this civilization to establish here. Likewise, it was chosen for its geographic and climate qualities that provided an optimal agricultural practice.
The Inca Empire looked to improve their agricultural skills in this location. Here they used to cultivate corn, potato, olluco, and the so-known coca plant. Thereby, the Incas had implemented a series of agricultural terraces where they used to experiment with different vegetables and plant species, as seen in the Moray Archeological Site.
In addition to the fertility of this territory, the valley was considered sacred due to its proximity to the imposing Salkantay and Veronica mountains, which they called Apus. According to the Inca mythology, the Apus were the guardians of the surrounding lands and they believed that these ‘spirits’ protected their people, cattle, and crops.
Nowadays, the Sacred Valley of the Incas remains one of Cusco’s most visited destinations since it receives over 800,000 tourists per year. Here you can practice white-water rafting, zip lining, biking, trekking, rock climbing, and many more activities besides getting immersed in the history and cultural expression of this authentic place.
Weather in the Sacred Valley Peru
The elevation in the Sacred Valley ranges between 3,000 and 2,050 meters above sea level and is located within the Peruvian Andes, having the characteristic weather of this region. However, due to the lower altitude of this region, it has warmer temperatures in comparison to Cusco. The Sacred Valley of the Incas has two distinctive seasons throughout the year:
- Rainy Season: It starts in December and ends around April. These are considered the rainiest months of the year. Temperatures range between 21°C and 8°C during this period.
- Dry Season: Takes place between May and October. Although rain isn’t expected through this time of the year, it is considered the coldest season of the year with temperatures ranging between 20°C and 1°C.
It is worth mentioning that the climate conditions are different among the different Peruvian regions. If you wish to learn more about the weather in Peru, make sure to read our informative guide while you’re here.
How to Get to the Sacred Valley?
To reach the Sacred Valley of the Incas, one must be in Cusco. The so-called Imperial City is easily accessible by train, bus, or plane. Here are some recommendations to help you organize your trip:
- Bus to Cusco: If you have a flexible itinerary and wish to know Peru at its fullest, we encourage you to take bus rides to the different destinations within your itinerary.
You can get a bus ride to Cusco from almost every city in Peru, but keep in mind that a direct bus could be very exhausting. For that reason, we recommend you visit different cities along the way. Get to know more about this experience here! →
- Flight to Cusco: For those on a tight schedule, this might be a more suitable option. Flying to the principal destinations you’d like to visit will give you more time to explore and get to know more of its attractions. Luckily for you, we have structured an itinerary so you don’t miss anything during your trip through Cusco. Find out more here →
- Train to Cusco: If you didn’t know, train travel is possible to Cusco. The Belmond Andean Explorer train offers a luxury service that connects the most in-demand cities of the Andes. This rail route passes through Arequipa, Puno, and Cusco. Learn more about it here →
Once in Cusco, you can easily visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas. However, if you’re planning to do this on your own, consider the travel times between the different towns, transport to the archeological sites, entrance tickets, and trying to find a guide upon arrival.
A full day tour could be the optimal option if you don’t want to deal with all the logistics in between. Therefore, we have included a guided visit to the Sacred Valley in all of our packages. For more information please contact your travel agent.