Explora Valle Sagrado
See everything in the Cusco-Machu Picchu area without having to change hotels. Explora Valle Sagrado was designed as a centrally located headquarters from where to explore Cusco, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley of the Incas in essential luxury. All of their programs include accommodations, transfers, meals and beverages, and a selection of more than 40 explorations developed by their outdoor team. Either by walking, by van or riding a bike, their explorations take travelers through the colonial history of Cusco and the mysterious Machu Picchu, isolated villages, archaeological sites such as Ollantaytambo, Moray, Chinchero and Pisac, to Andean pampas and mountains or Apus and traditional villages still untouched by globalization to perfectly preserved ancient traces and lost lagoons.
Explora Valle Sagrado was highlighted among the top 25 hotels in South America in the 2020 Tripadvisor awards
The hotel is surrounded by Inca terraces and walls and the spa is in a restored 17th century colonial mansion. The 50 rooms are lined in wood and have a welcoming decoration, thus being a unique setting to disconnect and enjoy the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
There are 44 Standard Rooms (430 feet²) with views to the corn plantations and mountains surrounding the valley and with a king or 2 twin beds
The 6 suites (570 feet²) also have views to the corn plantations and mountains surrounding the valley. They have a king bed. Both room types offer the option for an extra bed for children or a crib.
In the spa, guests enjoy massages, the swimming pool and saunas. Their shop offers all equipment required for explorations, as well as local crafts and books.
Peruvian chef Virgilio Martínez, owner of the sixth best restaurant in the world –according to The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 ranking– has recently designed the new menu. A total gastronomic renovation, both in the restaurant and in the explorations, using Andean ingredients from the simplest to the most elaborate that result in preparations with an identity that honors the legacy of Andean cooking.
For our 2021 bookings we are offering a special discount:
Prices per person, double occupancy in US$:
Oct. 1-31, 2020 and May 1-Sept. 30, 2021
Nov. 1-Dec. 20, 2020 and Jan. 2-April 30, 2021
inquire about holiday rates for Dec. 21-Jan. 1 - 4 night minimum
10% single supplement for regular dates, 34% for holidays
– Only one additional bed per room is allowed for children between 3 and 11 years old sharing the room with their parents.
– Children younger than 3 years may share the room with their parents without additional cost.
– Maximum two children/ teens per adult allowed.
The explorations, always led by a competent and bilingual guide from their Guide School, take place in English or Spanish for groups of up to eight travelers, and at three different geographical levels: 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. The explorations are defined as a journey that unveils different attractions and expands the vision you may have of a territory.
In the Urubamba River valley you can explore Pisac, Ollantaytambo, and Moray, among other archaeological sites; in the plateau, you can go to the Huaypo lake, travel around local trails between lagoons, farm communities, and cornfields; you can also visit mountain peaks, an area not well known by tourists. The altitude of the 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.
For full day explorations, some of the greatest attractions in the area are the Machu Picchu* sanctuary and the city of Cusco. If you choose to take one of these options, we recommend a minimum of five nights. Less time is just not enough to have an exploration experience in which you can really get to know the diversity of this valley, with many places yet left to discover. A six-night program is a good option to achieve a thorough knowledge of the Valle Sagrado and Cusco region.
* Due to the site’s restrictions, the Machu Picchu exploration –a main attraction in the area and a National Park with restricted access– combines explora and third-party services. This exploration has an additional cost which is already included in the online reservation site and must be confirmed with our reservation team.
Overland - Machu Picchu
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.
Hike - Machu Picchu- Inti Punku Difficulty Level: Moderate
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 Sun Gate 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.
Overland - Chinchero
Just 1 hour away from explora, between Urubamba and Cuzco, the village of Chinchero (3762 masl) is believed to be the birthplace of the Sacred Valley’s textile craftsmanship, as well as a hub for local trade. This exploration takes travellers through the colonial streets of Chinchero by foot, visiting the village’s adobe church and discovering the unique murals preserved within.
Overland - Pisac
Known for its remarkable ruins, as well as for its colorful crafts market, the village of Pisac bears witness to the accomplishments and mysteries of the Inca civilization. This exploration allows travellers to discover, by foot, this key enclave of the Sacred Valley, showing an integral vision of the Inca cosmovision.
Overland - Moray and Maras
Located only 45 min. away from explora (by van), the Maras salt mines are one of the few sites in the world to extract naturally pink salt. This exploration takes travellers through the open-air salt pools, as well as to the silent village of Maras. Close by, travellers will also find the circular terraces of Moray, once used by the Incas as agricultural laboratories for the empire’s crops, and one of the best-preserved archaeological sites in the valley.
Hike - Moray Difficulty level: Easy
The trail begins at a farming community located amidst hills and goes down to the Inca remains of Moray, a laboratory of experimental farming where different microclimates are used to grow crops.
Hike - Senderito de Pisaq Difficulty level: Moderate
We descend from the mountains to the remains of Pisaq. 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.
Overland - Cusco
This exploration shows the best of Cusco in one day. We will descend from the fortress of Saqsaywaman down crossing the alleys of the colonial quarter of San Blas to the main square. After lunch, the traveler can continue walking through Cusco with one of our guides or on his/her own. The temple of Corincancha, on which te Santo Domingo convent was built, 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.
*Tickets to the evening attractions are not included.
Hike - Ollantaytambo Difficulty level: Easy
The walk takes us 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.
Hike - Salineras Difficulty level: Moderate
Hiking begins visiting the colonial town of Maras. After crossing the village, the trail descends among potato fields to the community’s salt mines.
*Not recommended for travelers with fear of heights.
Bike ride - Cuesta del Sapo Difficulty level: Moderate
From the heights of the Sacred Valley’s slopes we descend over a track in good conditions. The road 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.
Bike ride - Urubamba River Difficulty level: Easy
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 sport.
Bike ride - Qenqo Difficulty level: Expert
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 Pisaq. 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.
Combination - Inca Tracks Difficulty level: Expert
During the morning, this exploration considers a 6 km 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.
Bike ride - Huaypo Views Difficulty level: Advanced
This exploration crosses the farmlands of Chinchero, visiting vegetable gardens, small farms and villages. 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 descent to the Urubamba River. This exploration is recommended for travelers in good physical conditions and experienced in mountain biking.
Overland - 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 Pisaq, a city built on a mountain with hundreds of remarkable hanging farm terraces on its slopes.
Overland - Pirka
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 here we continue 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.
Hike - 5 Lagunas Difficulty level: Moderate
This walk begins at an isolated community in the heights of the Andes. From there, the trail goes up to a broad pass from where to observe the snow capped Sawasiray and other snowcapped peaks. The descent takes us through a ravine with llama and alpaca herds, passing beside several lagoons that reflect the large snowcapped peak in the background and the yellow-colored mountains.
Hike - Paru Difficulty level: Moderate
This exploration transports travelers to paths where only shepherds pass. There they will walk to more than 13.000 ft. Then, following some watercourses, explore the slopes of the mountains and lagoons between ranches of Paru-Paru.
Hike - Lloclla - Difficulty level: Moderate
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 Pisaq. Old mountain trails, mild slopes, views, and people, among others, invite travelers to relax, walk calmly, breathe deeply and enjoy different perspectives and colors.
Hike - Tastayoc Difficulty level: Advanced
We begin in the altitude, 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.
Hike - Huchuy Qosqo Difficulty level: Advanced
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.
Hike - Stream to Cusco Difficulty level: Advanced
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.
Hike - Incañán Difficulty level: Expert
This is the most physically-demanding exploration and the one with the most spectacular landscapes. 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 f.a.s.l.
Hike - Maras Plateau Difficulty level: Moderate
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.
Hike - Pumatambo Difficulty level: Moderate
The first part of the exploration is right through the living Inca city of Ollantaytambo. Then, we ascend to the archaeological site to get to know its terraces, the ceremonial center and the Royal House. The second part is a hike through the Patacancha valley, ascending progressively along a path to the vestiges of Pumamarca, one of the most enigmatic archaeological sites in the region.
Hike - Arin Difficulty level: Easy
Our hike begins in Huarán, on a narrow path that runs along an irrigation channel and different crops, with views of the valley and its ravines; among them, that of Urquillos. We continue skirting the channel through forests of eucalyptus and smallholdings until we come to a path by which we descend. Finally, we reach the community of Arin. We return to explora by van.
* Not recommended for travelers with fear of heights.
Overland - Valle Sur
This exploration reveals the influence of the Spanish conquest in the region, embedded in art and in the religious syncretism that resulted from the encounter of these cultures. We begin by touring the first of three Canincunca churches that we visit in this exploration. We then walk to the Huaro church and take a van to the Andahuaylillas church, where we tour the choir and the museum. Next, we hop on a van towards an Inca road, where we take a light trek to a wetland, perfect for bird watching and having lunch. Finally, we take the van to the Tipón archaeological center, a token of the Inca’s knowledge of fluid power. We return to explora by van.