PERU| THE SACRED VALLEY

The Sacred Valley of Peru | Pisac #travel
Oh, friends, how I wish I could have tucked you all in my backpack and taken you around Peru’s gorgeous Sacred Valley! This is probably my favorite photo from our entire trip. It just sums up everything I loved about Peru–its beauty, culture, and (of course) fabulous textiles. And can I just say, Peruvian women can totally rock hats.

The Sacred Valley | Peru #travel #peru
After gaining our altitude legs in Cuzco at the Children’s Dance Festival, we decided to hire a private guide to tour the Sacred Valley. This cut down on the headache of trying to figure out how to get from place to place, plus we could go at our own pace (instead of keeping with a massive tour bus group).
Mount Victoria | The Sacred Valley Peru #travel
The Sacred Valley delivered in every single way. I mean, just look at this place. I felt like I was waltzing around a National Geographic article–but it was real life! We loved how snow capped Mount Victoria greeted us as we entered Moray Terraces (we would also see it again en route to Machu Picchu).
The Sacred Valley of Peru | Moray Terraces #travel
The Moray Terraces are truly a marvel. It’s hard to see the scale of them but they are massive. While the exact purpose of the terraces is not known, many people believe that they acted as laboratories–the Incas would test the effects of climate on various crops and be able to monitor them all in one space. Pretty clever, right?
The Sacred Valley of Peru | Moray Terraces #travel
Regardless of the exact purpose of the terraces, they were incredible. I just don’t understand how the ancient Incas scurried up and down these giant steps. They were a stretch for my 5 feet 5 inches!
From Moray we drove through a bunch of switchbacks to get to Ollantaytambo, the royal estate of an emperor of yore. It is also home to an incredible ruin, the sacred ceremonial center of the town.
The Sacred Valley of Peru | Ollantaytambo Fortress #travel
We climbed around the terraces (“climbed” is generous here since I had to catch my breath every other second–the altitude is no joke). It kind of reminded us of the arid desert town in Morocco’s Ouarzazate Province. 
The Sacred Valley of Peru | Ollantaytambo Fortress #travel
And posed in a million doorways.
The Sacred Valley of Peru | Ollantaytambo Fortress #travel
And for your viewing pleasure, here’s Warren in his signature travel gear–a floppy fisherman’s cap that I took every moment to mock (feel free to giggle and point just a little bit, too). Somehow he managed to leave his Hawaiian shirt equipped with a roomy fanny-pack-styled pouch at home. He mourned while I thanked the travel gods for sparing me the travesty. Warren’s flip flop also broke halfway through the tour so he has to walk around the ruins with one bare foot.
Here he’s standing on a bit of the famed Inca trail. Behind him you can see Ollantaytambo’s hulking storehouses. How they built those things wedged into the mountainside, I have no idea.
We ended our tour of the Sacred Valley in Pisac. Usually people visit to see the giant traditional market but it was getting late so we head up to the ruins. Warren caught this magical shot right before we head into the terraces. I love the silhouetted women in their amazing bowler hats.
Have you ever been to the Sacred Valley? What was your favorite part?
The Sacred Valley of Peru | Pisac #travel
Stay tuned! On Monday I’m going to take you around Machu Picchu, one of the most amazing places I have ever visited. Can’t wait to show you!
Travel tips: If you’re visiting Peru’s Sacred Valley any time soon, we highly recommend Ernesto from Inka’s Peak Travel Agency (email Ramon at info [at] inkaspeaktravel.com for more information). The tour cost around $100 for the entire day and was well worth the splurge since we got to visit all the highlights–Moray, Ollantaytambo, and Pisac–in a safe and reliable way. The buffet lunch was pretty amazing, too (though not included in the price of the tour).

See More Peru Adventures!

Cuzco’s Children Folk Dance Festival 

Cuzco | Peru #travel

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