How to visit the valley?
In our experience, the best way to get to know the valley is by staying there for a few days, instead of having Cusco as a base. The availability of services is very varied. There are hotels whose great sophistication is up to the highest international standards with decoration and Andean folklore. There are condominiums whose owners rent the little houses when they do not use them, this way the traveler has a living space, with intimacy advantages and considerable economy.
Also, there are very well designed hotels with green areas that can guaranty you a comfortable and simple stay and are much more reasonable for your wallet. In the towns, you can find urban local hotels but, they are more elemental and of doubt-lii: taste. And there are the new age lodges or neohippies, generally installed for foreigners settled in these lands of high magnetism and easy mystifications. And also there is what they call “experienced-based tourism.” The town that has the largest amount of all type of lodges is Urubamba; it is also the main town for restaurants, banks, petrol stations, shops, health posts, police stations and all other services.
Once installed, the traveler will follow the path of what he likes. For that, may what it is most recommended is to visit the valley in an independent manner, h-sorting to local guides when needed, for example, when visiting an archeological Site or a temple. The experience of the valley is not only natural, not only archeological, not only experienced-based tourism and not only gastronomical. It is a synnthesis of all and the way to approach it is simply by visiting the towns and walking the fields and woods, climbing the hills, talking to people, pedaling, horse rid-ding, going up paragliding, eating well, rafting, getting information on the south Andean knits, enquiring about the sustainability risks of the place. We are giving a possible route that the traveler will or will not consider, it is planned with Urubamba as a base. We only proposed the outline; the information filling on each place is further down:
Day 1. Urubamba town and nearby areas, horse riding in Peruvian Paso Horse from Sol & Luna to Huayoccari; lunch in Urubamba and in the afternoon an excursion through farms and fields with crops.
Day 2. Pisac, Pueblo Viejo and Pueblo Nuevo, artisan market and lunch. If there is enough time, visit the Potato Park, Parque de lo Papa (45 minutes by car) and the interpretation center and restaurant, as well as the houses of the knitters and the potato crops (if you come in February, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the magnificent festivity called linderaje.) If you can’t visit the Potato Park, go to Yucay, the most beautiful and best preserved town in the valley.
Day 3. Moray, the town of Maras and salt flats, Pichingoto and return to Maras for lunch. All these can be done bicycle ridding or walking as much as possible.
Day 4. Full day in Ollantaytambo and the nearby communities of Willoc and Patacancha.
Day 5. Return to any of the places already visited and that inspires you to return. Or ‘.o visit the markets that open in the morning. Or go to Huch’uy Cusco, a very interesting archeological site, not much visited and of quick access from Calca. Take advantage of the route and drop by Lamay, a charming little town of the valley.
Anyway, reserve half a day to stop by the town of Chinchero on the way back to Cusco or to visit on a Sunday morning the fair, the knitting associations and too visit the Inca remains ¡n the church.