The Sacred Valley, The Perfect Place to Prevent Altitude Sickness

The Sacred Valley, The Perfect Place to Prevent Altitude Sickness

The Sacred Valley of the Incas is a region in Peru that stretches from the village of Pisac to Ollantaytambo, located approximately 20 kilometers northwest of Cusco. It is situated in the Andes Mountains and is known for its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and archaeological treasures.

The valley was an important center of agriculture to the Incas, who built impressive terraced fields to cultivate crops like maize, potatoes, and quinoa. The region’s fertile soil and mild climate made it an ideal place for agriculture, and the Incas used advanced irrigation systems to water their crops.

Today, visitors can explore the ancient Inca ruins that dot the valley, including the fortress of Ollantaytambo, the hilltop citadel of Pisac, Chinchero and the circular agricultural terraces at Moray. These sites offer a glimpse into the remarkable engineering and architectural skills of the Incas and provide a fascinating insight into their way of life.

Altitude Sickness

The Sacred Valley of Peru is also an ideal place to acclimate to the high altitude of the region.

Located at an elevation of between 2,500 and 3,800 meters above sea level, the Sacred Valley is the perfect place to begin your acclimation process. Here’s why:

  1. Lower altitude than Cusco: Cusco, the gateway to the Andean region, is located at an altitude of 3,400 meters. By starting your journey in the Sacred Valley, which is at a lower altitude, you can gradually acclimate to the high altitude and reduce the risk of altitude sickness.
  2. Relaxing atmosphere: The Sacred Valley is a peaceful and tranquil place, with a slower pace of life than the bustling city of Cusco. This can help you relax and adjust to the altitude without the stress of a busy city.
  3. Plenty of outdoor activities: The Sacred Valley offers plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. These activities can help you gradually increase your physical activity level while giving your body time to adjust to the altitude.
  4. Close to major sites: The Sacred Valley is located near major archaeological sites such as Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo, and Pisac. By spending time in the valley before visiting these sites, you can acclimate to the altitude and reduce the risk of altitude sickness during your visit to these higher elevation sites.

If you decide to stay in the Sacred Valley to prevent altitude sickness, then plan your days, it is also possible to do the Sacred Valley tour from Ollantaytambo. There are many tours starting in Ollantaytambo or Urubamba that can make your stay even more interesting and unforgettable.

Here are some interesting things to do in the Sacred Valley:

Visit the Pisac Market: This colorful market is open every day and is famous for its handicrafts and textiles made by local artisans. You can also find fresh produce and traditional Peruvian food.

Explore the ruins of Ollantaytambo: This ancient Inca fortress is one of the best-preserved examples of Inca architecture and is a must-see for anyone interested in history and culture.

Take a train to Machu Picchu: One of the most famous sites in Peru, Machu Picchu is a breathtaking ancient Inca city located high in the Andes Mountains. You can take a train from the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu.

Visit Moray: These circular terraces were once used by the Incas to experiment with different crops and agricultural techniques. The site is both fascinating and beautiful.

Visit the Maras salt mines: These ancient salt mines have been in use since Inca times and are still harvested today. The hike to the mines is not too difficult and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.


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