The real Sacred Valley

Sacred Valley of the Incas,

The real Sacred Valley

Hike Peru’s Sacred Valley with stop-offs for snacks, a cooked-by-locals lunch and lessons in Andean agriculture and weaving.

While everyone else is over at Machu Picchu, you’ll be seeing a whole other side to the Sacred Valley of the Incas (and hardly any humans). This three-hour hike from Chincero to the Machucollpa ruins culminates at Susana’s house. Susana is a Quechua woman, who’ll let you lead her llamas and show you how traditional Andean textiles are woven and dyed. She’ll also describe how her family farms the land, giving you a go with the oxen if you’re brave (and really quite strong). A three-course lunch is laid out for you at another villager’s house, with a mid-hike snack on an Andean plateau – where Susana will unfurl colourful blankets for you to have a rest on as you enjoy her homegrown purple potatoes and green salsa – also included.

To Book

call smith24 1 800 464 2040

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From $1006.25 for 2 people

Your insider

A Quechua woman and her llamas

Expert on Deepest Darkest Peru

Your local guide will be part of a team that has been taking travellers on tailored, always-responsible trips to Peru for more than 20 years – and the responsible bit is precisely why this experience will steer you away from the overtrodden Inca sites. A Quechua woman from the Sacred Valley (and her family of llamas) will join your guide – as will a driver, who’ll follow the party in case someone wants an easier route.

Hike the Andes with llamas and locals, and see what life is really like in the Sacred Valley.

7 hours
Start Time
Tours run between the hours of 09:00 and 16:00
Call our travel specialists 24/7 on 1 800 464 2040 or contact us to find availability
Where you'll go
You’ll start the day in Chinchero, once home to a conquering Inca emperor named Topa Inca Yupanqui (whose name translates as Noble Inca Accountant); now the site of some ruins and a hive of weaving activity. The head-in-the-clouds hike starts here: it’s moderately difficult, but a support car will follow you if you need to bow out – make sure you’re altitude-acclimatised and suitably dressed. Some llamas will be coming along for the ride, as you trek through fields of potatoes, flowers and grain. After a snack (and snap) break on an Andean plateau, you’ll discover the little-visited Inca ruins of Machucollpa; and those snow-capped-mountain views keep coming. You’ll lunch with locals in the village of Rachji.
What you'll learn
After the morning’s hike, you’ll learn about the Sacred Valley’s Technicolor textiles with a weaving lesson, where a colourfully attired Quechuan lady will show you how wool is spun, dyed and woven. Even the be-tasseled and pom-pommed llamas will be better dressed than you. You’ll hear about farming in the area and can have a go at plowing a field or handling an ox (harder than you might think). The day will also teach you about the history of the Incas and Conquistadors, Andean archaeology and how these mountain communities survive today.
Experience location
You’ll be picked up and dropped off at your Sacred Valley hotel; we’ll send you the details in your confirmation.