The Sacred Valley was the centre of the Inca Empire, and its ancient ruins - the stuff of legends - cling to mountain slopes and emerge from the dense Peruvian forests and the mist. If you’ve got a budding Lara Croft or Indiana Jones in your family, the Sacred Valley is a dream come true as the ancient cities suddenly come into view. You can scramble through the ruins with a passionate local guide who will bring the archeology to life.
Some of the best views of the valley and its ruins are on hikes. The Inca Trail is the most famous, of course, but there are plenty of other routes - often wilder and less busy - with stunning viewpoints and local villages along the way. You may also choose to trek up the “rainbow mountain” of Vinivunca for stunning morning views.
Beyond hiking, you’ll find many other exhilarating activities. Take to the skies and paraglide in the Andes, don a life jacket and raft the rivers –both will have your hearts racing – though a calmer option is horseback riding along the many trails. In Maras you’ll also find the longest zip line in Peru, which is a stunning way to appreciate the valley from the air without having to take a flight.