sacred valley of the incas

sacred valley of the incas

A poster named Andre once mentioned taking time to explore the Sacred Valley in Peru, not just taking a 1 day tour. How do you (how did he) do this: by train, bus, car?? Can you buy a train pass to get on and off all the way up the valley?

If you have any info on this I would appreciate it.


Bus

Taking the bus is probably your best option to explore the sacred valley.

Since you are probably going to visit Machu Picchu anyways, you can also get off the train at Ollantaytambo at the heart of the valley. You can stay there a day or two and book a local tour.

I just took a day tour from Cusco and another taxi ride to the Ruins of Pisac, that wasn't part of the tour. I wish I would have had more time.

A private tour is always better, as you will be on your own schedule and don't have to follow a group. 

Andre

Sacred Valley Photographs 

sacred valley

Andre

Thank you for your reply and info. A question re the bus. Do the buses run on a regular schedule and are they reliable?

Also, if we took the train on the way to Machu Picchu and got off at Ollantaytambo, I assume you could reboard the train a few days later and continue your journey (although you might have to pay separate fares to each place). Am I right about that, or is the train fully booked (July time period) such that you cannot reboard en route to Machu Picchu?

Your insights are appreciated.

Train and bus

Your assumptions about the train are correct. You will most likely have to buy two tickets, but I have seen people get on and off the train in Ollantaytambo. I wish I had done the same. 

Since the Sacred Valley lies at lower altitudes then Cusco, you may even want to consider staying here first, then going to Machu Picchu and then staying in Cusco wich is quite a bit higher in altitude.

We just booked one of the many tours to the Sacred Valley. I don't think regular bus lines run there, but I wasn't too pleased with the touristy tour either. I guess I am just not into the whole group tour thing. However I enjoyed our own trip with a taxi to Pisac. We just asked at the hotel lobby to negotiate a good price for 1/2 day trip. We then had the taxi driver for several hours (he waited at Pisac for our return) and  we already knew how much it cost. I think it wasn't a legal registered taxi, as we were pulled over by the police and there was some argument. If I understood correctly, he told the cop that we were his wifes family friends.

I forgot the tour vendor for our bus tour, but it wasn't that great anyways. I think they are pretty much all the same. Check out the market at Chinchero and the market at Pisac and most important the ruins at Ollantaytambo and the ruins at Pisac. The latter are missed by most tours, as it involves quite some hiking to see them all, but next to Machu Picchu they are amongst the best I have seen!!

Sacsayhuaman and Tambo Machay was part of our Cusco Tour. That one was horrible, as it was mostly a shopping spree and we were herded through the ruins way too fast for my taste. We stopped at most local vendors selling beads and other crap but then rushed by some of the interesting sight. I think the vendors had bribed our tour guide, so I didn't tip the guy.

Andre

Pisac Ruins 

Buses

BTW: We took the plane between major cities, but I have met travelers who took the bus (its basically a tradeoff between time and money). But the long distance busses are reliable and comfortable and extremely affordable.

I flew only Lan Peru and I must say I was quite impressed with the standard, cleanliness, friendliness and how new the planes were. Any American airline could learn from them. 

Other airlines are not as reliable. I think Lan should be your choice for flights inside Peru.

Andre

Peru Photos 

peru

Andre

Just wanted to thank you very much for all the insightful information your have provided in the last day or so. All that really helps us zero in on how we will do the trip to Peru and how and why to do some things.

Appreciate your time and comments.

B. Paul

He is right,  you should

He is right,  you should miss the Sacred Valley and there are a lot of activities that you can do there like trekking, rafting, horseback riding, etc.

You can go by bus to the sacred Valley.

Go to the Sacred Valley

I really recommend you to go to the Sacred Valley, the landscapes are very beautiful and the weather is nice. In the Sacred Valley you can visit the archaeological site of Ollantaytambo, the archaeological site and market of Pisac, also you can go to Maras and Moray.

To go to the Sacred Valley you can take a bus or maybe hire a taxi.

I hope this help you.