This beautiful day begins at 7:30 a.m., when your guide arrives in our private van at your Cusco hotel. Our journey to the Inca Sacred Valley takes us to Pisac. We first stop at Taray Mirador to take in the expansive view of the Urubamba valley and its traditional farming villages. You will see how agriculture in the Sacred Valley has changed little over the last 500 years. We continue on to the archeological site of Pisac, where there is an impressive Inca cemetery with over 2,000 tombs. There, we can admire the meticulously engineered farming terraces carved into the mountain, as well as explore the Inca tunnel and religious area of this significant citadel. We will spend approximately 2 hours exploring the Inca city. Then we drive down to Pisac's colorful market, spend about 20 minutes there, and then drive to Urubamba for lunch.
Our next stop is Moray, also known as "The Greenhouse of the Incas," a deep basin of architectural wonder. Terraces are carved into a massive bowl that the Incas meticulously engineered. The terraces have different microclimates depending on how deep they are in the bowl. Archaeologists believe the Incas used them to discover the best growing conditions for their crops and to experiment with hybridization.
As we continue our journey to the colonial town of Maras, we come across the pre-Inca salt "mines," known as salineras in Spanish. Since before the Incas, thousands of salt pans have been passed down through many generations and used for salt extraction. A hot spring at the valley's crest releases a small stream of heavily salted water, which is diverted into salt pans and evaporated to produce salt. This is one of the few places on the planet where naturally pink salt can be found!
Finally, we drive to Ollantaytambo, where we will take a tour of the Inca village that has remained intact since Inca times and the massive Inca Ruins. Visit the massive architecture of the Sun Temple at the top of the formidable terraces and learn about the Inca's importance at the start of the Spanish conquest.
After dinner, we board a train to Aguas Calientes, where you will spend the night in our hotel. The train leaves Ollantaytambo at 19:04 and arrives at 20:45 in Aguas Calientes.