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memejs Jan 16th, 2010 10:35 PM

Sacred Valley - Please help me fit it all together
I know that Sacred Valley itinerary advice has been sought over and over, yet even though I've read through numerous threads I'm still not sure my itinerary works. Because many of the tours we're interested in leave from Cusco, that seems to be the logical base. Yet many people suggest spending a few days in Ollantaytambo. How do I get this to fit together without constantly going back and forth? I've put together two possible itineraries. Feel free to suggest other options (and activities, hotels, tour companies, etc.).

This is for a June trip of 2-4 people in their mid-late 20s.

Option 1
Tues - arrive Lima 3pm, stay overnight at Mami Panchita (Other suggestions for a safe, budget hotel?)

Wed - take early Taca flight to Cusco
Hire Percy for transfer to Ollantaytambo/full day tour of Sacred Valley
Lodging in KB Hostal or Las Orquiedas

Thurs - Ollan ruins
Bus back to Cusco
Lodging at Loki Hostel or Hostal San Juan de Dios

Fri/Sat - 2 day Inca Trail trek with SAS Peru
Sat - arrive back in Cusco

Sun - Pisac
Spend the day at the ruins and in the town

Mon - full day rafting excursion with SAS Peru (leaves from Cusco)

Tues - Explore Cusco
3 or 4 hour horseback riding tour

Wed - Flight back to Lima
Mami Panchita

Thurs - Fly back to US

Option 2

Tues - arrive in Lima
Mami Panchita

Wed - flight to Cusco
Explore Cusco
Horseback riding tour

Thurs/Fri - 2 day Inca Trail trek
Fri - arrive back in Cusco

Sat - Rafting excursion through SAS (Cusco)

Sun - Pisac

Mon - Percy
transfer to Ollan and full day Sacred Valley tour

Tues - Ollan
explore ruins and town

Wed - bus back to Cusco
mid-day flight to Lima

Thurs - flight to US

crellston Jan 17th, 2010 01:28 AM

My first thought is wow, what a rush! But hear are a few thoughts.

Option 1 sounds the better option simply because staying in Olly, which is at a lower altitude than Cusco substantially reduces the chances of you being affected by altitude sickness. The tour of the valley should take a whole day to make the most of all there is to see so presumably you will be arriving in Olly in the early evening. My only concern would be the effect that a flight delay from Lima would have on your programme. Afew hours the following day will be plenty of time to wander around teh ruins in Olly (but try and get around a few of teh side streets as well).

Pisac is great and I actually preferred it to MP, but you really could see the ruins and the town in half a day so maybe you could incorporate this into a long day tour of the SV.

We used the local buses a lot when staying in the area and they are reasonably efficient and fun way to travel but can be subject to breakdowns and strikes etc. It used to cost us about 60 soles to hire a taxi from Olly to Cusco, a trip we did several times. With four of you this could work out a better and certainly quicker deal.Negotiate hard with the drivers in the square.

Personally, I feel that there is LOADS to see in Cusco city that I would not waste 3 or 4 hours on horseback. If you are into horses then you can ride out from Olly (a few places in the main square.

Finally, where is the rafting taking place? We stayed in Urumbamba for a few weeks and they offered rafting there so it could be better to tie in the rafting with your stay in Olly which is only 20 mins down the road. That said, the rafting did not look that exciting - more a gentle float along the stream rather than white water (but we were there in August so maybe that makes a difference.

A few photos and more detail of our time in the SV at

Some websites we found helpful:

Both are independent websites i.e. not travel agents

qwovadis Jan 17th, 2010 05:52 AM

Per #1

lowest point in SV best for a couple of days

to adjust to altitude also consider taking Diamox

to prevent altitude illness. my fav there as a base

tour SV and MP from there

then go back up to Cusco 11000 ft AFTER

I have adjusted. nice there

Have fun,

Axel2DP Jan 18th, 2010 06:18 PM

Is there a bus that goes straight from Ollantay to Cusco? I thought you had to catch a ride from Ollantay to Urubamba and from there catch a bus to Piscac and maybe straight to Cusco if there is one.

crellston Jan 19th, 2010 02:26 AM

Axel - You takes a local bus from Olly to the main bus station in Urumbamba and then change for the bus to Cusco (can't remember whether it stops at Pisac but you do not have to change there)

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