A double-carabiner system and steel life-line provide additional security.
The m vertical ascent is followed by a hanging bridge m above the valley floor and a m rappel. It takes hours to complete the hiking and climbing. Mountain biking enthusiasts can tackle a variety of routes where views the bucolic landscape of the valley and visits to archeological sites are interspersed with some hair-raising downhill paths.
Our favorite of all though has always been the Sacred Valley, Cusco, Peru. Recently we returned to where our Peruvian journey first began over a year ago.
The Sacred Valley of Cusco, Peru was once the center of the ancient Incan civilization, worshipped for its fertile land, perfect climate, natural resources and strategic position. There is an incredible amount of places to see and things to do in The Sacred Valley, and it is still our favorite part of the country.
Related Article: Want to learn Spanish? A day trip to Ollantaytambo is one of the best things to do in the Sacred Valley, and it makes a perfect stopping point on the way to visit Machu Picchu. One of the most original and well-preserved pre-Incan and Incan towns in Peru, many of the buildings date back to the Incans and are built from a combination of stone and adobe mud and straw bricks. The engineering genius of the ancient civilisation which once ruled here can still be seen in the corn terraces which wrap and flow around the hillsides, and in the hydro-engineering that brings water from one river, evenly distributing it across the farmland and through channels that crisscross the town, providing clean, fresh drinking and cleaning water.
The Sacred Valley is peppered with historic towns and villages dating back to the ancient Inca civilization, Ollantaytambo is probably the most original and picturesque, still keeping much of its traditional culture. The ancient Incan streets, houses, and waterways are even more beautiful by night. The small town of Maras has located just 40 km from Cusco City and a very short drive from Ollantaytambo and Urubamba. Maras are home to an incredible network of ancient salt deposits, from which salt has been extracted using evaporation pools since Incan times.
Extremely salty spring water is diverted into hand-built pools, where the water is left to evaporate away, leaving only per cent natural unrefined salt in its place. One of the most amazing facts about these salt ponds is that they follow a community and cooperation-based system of management which is known to have been established as early as the Incas, or even earlier. The correct functioning of any individual salt pond relies completely on the proper maintenance of every other pond — the cleaning of the water channels, maintenance of the walls and an agreed sequence of filling, evaporation, and extraction.
The system is also very inclusive, as any resident, new or old, can take charge of an unused salt pond as long as they consult with an informal local counsel and learn how to properly maintain it first.
Another ancient feature of the Maras area is the mysterious Moray agricultural terraces. Resembling a Greek amphitheater, huge terraces have been built into a natural depression in the earth, all in perfect concentric circles, changing to ellipses at the higher levels. It is already known that the Incas were highly sophisticated agricultural engineers, but the theory behind Moray takes their science and engineering to an entirely new level. It is believed that these terraces were used as an agricultural research station, where different varieties of crops were cultivated, and techniques were refined.
Soil examination has also proven that soil was imported from various regions of the Inca Empire and deposited into specific terraces to emulate the conditions of various agricultural regions. There are so many ancient sites and Inca ruins in the Sacred Valley of Peru, that at times they start to blur into one another, but Moray stands out as one of the most impressive feats of ancient engineering in the whole country, making a visit here one of an essential things to do in the Sacred Valley. They have over gift experiences in 80 countries around the world.
One thing that Peru is known for is the huge range of outdoor activities, and adrenaline rushes on offer. Searching the Tinggly site for experiences in Cusco , we came across the longest zip line in Peru! We were picked up from where we were staying at the Inkallpa Lodge, near Urubamba, by a private car and driven to Maras, where we quickly ascended from meters to the valley floor, to almost meters above sea level for the start of the zip line.
At the top we met up with the rest of our group and were rigged up with our safety harnesses and helmets, then we were ready to go. With a firm starting push from the guide, we set off at a steep downhill angle, accelerating quickly with the wind rushing past as we flew through the air, trying to take in the views while adrenaline pumped through our veins! As you slow gently to a stop, an old man runs towards you with a rope that you need to grab hold of to be towed by quad bike to the landing platform.
If you like a good rush and trying the biggest, the best, the highest, the longest, then add this to your list of things to do in the Sacred Valley. The second half of our Sacred Valley, Tinggly adventure day in Maras, was an off-road mountain biking adventure through part of the Sacred Valley itself. When we were here a year ago, I could have done this ride all day long, but after about six months living on the beach — sea level — then traveling up to over meters in 5 days, it was extremely hard, and my lungs burned at the slightest incline!
The layered terraces are carved into an immense earthen bowl, with each layer having its own microclimate, according to depth. Some theorize that the Incas used these terraces as a laboratory to determine optimal conditions for growing crops.
Ollantaytambo is one of the most well-preserved Incan towns in Peru, with terraces built into the hillside affording privileged views of the town today below. If you want to enjoy a comfortable overnight stay, you must climb about mt by via Ferrata and do the zip line to reach the Skylodge. These rings of stone terraces are built into a natural depression in the earth. But we recommend having, at least, a basic knowledge of paddling. Lake Titicaca — Peru. Peruvian Paso Fino Horseback Riding. When are you traveling?
The tour continues at the Maras salt flats, that perch on the edge of an overhanging cliff and command spectacular views of the Andes and the Urubamba River below, giving you excellent opportunities for some stunning photos. The extraordinary salt rocks that may be filled with water depending on the season you visit, starkly contrast with the vibrant green background. During our return to Cusco, we will stop off at the charming town of Chincheros. With locals wearing traditional dress, large Inca ruins that dominate the central plaza and a beautiful dazzling Church made from the white volcanic rock sillar, Chincheros will feel like stepping back in time.
In Chincheros we will also visit a weaving cooperation, so that you may learn more about the ancient art of transforming alpaca wool to colorful textiles. In the morning, your private tour guide in Cusco and driver will pick you up from your hotel to start your Peruvian Paso Horseback Riding adventure.
Our day begins at the incredible circular terraces of Moray, which were used as an Inca laboratory to acclimatize crops. After Moray, we will have a nice lunch at a nearby location. Our next stop leads us to the Salt Terraces of Maras to see and learn about an ancient pre-Incan method of producing salt.
We will then return the horses to the ranch and you will return to your hotel in the Sacred Valley. This tour is a full day horseback riding adventure with the unique Peruvian Paso breed. This noble animal, unique in its breed, gives a very smooth and elegant ride where no experience is necessary.
This tour visits the two astonishing and unique archaeological sites of Moray and the Maras Salt Pans, a must-see for anyone interested in Inca history and architecture. The ride is of intermediate level, basic off road experience is required, but with either one of these anyone can do this ride and enjoy it.
The tour meets in Ollantaytambo to drive up for 30 minutes through the gorgeous Sacred Valley to the site of Moray, a set of circular terraces built by the Incas as an agricultural experimental station or, another theory is that it was a ceremonial crop site. After spending approximately half an hour exploring the mystical site and soaking in its historical meaning, the main part of the mountain bike ride will start.
The route consists of a 5 mile 9km of gentle up and down with incredible views of lush farmland and of the Urubamba glacier range. After the gentle ride through the Andean altiplano, you will arrive at the town of Maras, originally settled as a station for distributing the salt supply.
After a short break, the tour resumes down a steeper hill on a rocky path directly down to the Salt Pans. These Salt Mines were built before the time of the Inca themselves and are still in use today. The salt harvest happens between May and December and if visiting during those months, you can see the harvesting of the salt by local families, each of whom controls a share of the Salt Pans.
You are welcome to go down into the salt flats to taste some salt or buy a small souvenir bag. Following the visit of the Salt Mines comes the final stretch of the journey on a mountain bike single-track before arriving at the Urubamba River.
This same river snakes past the base of Machu Picchu, through the Amazon basin to empty out into the Atlantic Ocean. Upon arrival, the bikes are loaded onto the truck to head back to Ollantaytambo. This exciting tour is specially made for all adrenaline junkies and adventure seekers! After being picked up from your hotel at , you will be driven to the Cusipata River Lodge camping site, where you can leave your possessions as you kit up to begin the rafting. Professional river guides will provide you with suitable rafting equipment such as a helmet, a wet suit, a spray jacket and a paddle.
After a run through the safety instructions, you will be driven to the starting point where you will start your thrilling paddle down the Chuquicahuana River. This particular section of the river is rather intense with rapids reaching Class III and IV so bear in mind that this will be a wet and bumpy ride!
After a tiring but exhilarating floating time of approximately two hours, you will be served a delicious hot lunch at the Cusipata River Lodge.
The Sacred Valley is one of the most culturally rich regions in South America — and also one of the most adventurous. A little known secret is that the Sacred. You don't have to stick to the same old circuit in Cuzco and the Sacred Valley; here's our guide to offbeat adventures in Peru's tourist hotspot.
The Lodge offers excellent facilities such as hot showers and a sauna, which you may use to relax and unwind after your great adventure. In addition, the lodge also has two meter feet zip line cables that glide over the stunning Urubamba River. A zip-line also known as a flying fox, foefie slide, zip wire, aerialrunway consists of a pulley suspended on a cable mounted on an incline.