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5 “Off the Beaten Track” Adventure Ideas in the Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu Areas

What's The Short List of Adventure Ideas for Peru? - Expert's Advices.

29.Mar.17 2:27 PM
By Mike Sullivan //t Peru View Tours
Photo Mike Sullivan // Peru View Tours


5 “Off the Beaten Track” Adventure Ideas in the Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu Areas

1.)    Rainbow Mountain

Difficulty – Challenging

Rainbow Mountain is a natural gem located a few hours outside of Cusco. The beautiful stretch of the Ausangate Mountain earned its stripes from a combination of weathering, mineral properties and oxidization, and tectonic uplift.

The trek itself airs on the difficult side mostly due to the 18,000 foot altitude we’ll touch on. Treks start very early in the morning as we’ll leave our hotels around 4:00 am and hop on a 3.5 hour taxi or bus (yes, you can nap on the ride) where we’ll begin the spectacular day hike.

2.)    Maras/Moray/Las Salinas


Picture of one of our trekkers above the largest terrace at Moray

Las Salinas salt flats overlooking the Urubamba valley.


On this day trip, we’ll touch down at Moray, the town of Maras, and las Salinas Salt Flats either on foot or by ATV.

Moray – This site is vast and mysterious. The general consensus is that Moray was used as an agricultural test station in pre-Incan times. Each layer of the concentric circles had a different micro-climate and contributed to the thousands of species of vegetables native to the region. There are advanced drainage systems and water never pools in the terraces. There are other theories too such as the site having astronomy applications. You decide!

Las Salinas – During the day, we’ll also check out the las Salinas Salt Flats. This site contains yet another tinge of magic found in the Sacred Valley. The salt flats collect from a subterranean stream and have been providing since the pre-Incan times.

3.)    Sacred Valley Towns


Local woman takes care of some laundry in a stream off the Urubamba River.

On our Sacred Valley tour, we’ll pass through four towns, each with a very unique character, Pisac, Chinchero, Urubamba, and Ollantaytambo. We highly recommend staying in one of these towns for an extra day. Pisac is known for its beautiful ruins high up in the hills, progressive local culture, and markets. Chinchero for its markets and views. Urubamba for its beauty, rivers, and authentic culture. And Ollantaytambo for its old structures and fortress like ruins. Ask us about staying in one of these places an extra night!

4.)    South Valley



This is a lesser known tour that’s just as rich as our other day trips in scenery, history, and structures. We’ll explore the Andahuaylillas Church constructed by the Spanish after they began to invade. We’ll stop at Tipon, an expansive Incan ruin full of agricultural terraces. Lastly we’ll travel to Piquillacta (pictured) which dates back to 550 AD and explore its rich history and culture.

5.)    Quillabamba


Quillabamba is an underexplored and quintessentially Peruvian place nestled in the “high jungle” North of Machu Picchu. This unique community is well known for its agriculture - mostly coffee, cacao, tea, and coca. It’s about a 7-8 hour drive from Cusco and well worth it as a truly authentic corner of the Earth. Ask us about getting there and different tour options :)

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