It’s not hard to succumb to the charms of sunny Pisac, a bustling and fast-growing colonial village at the base of a spectacular Inca fortress perched on a mountain spur. Its pull is universal and recent years have seen an influx of expats and new age followers in search of an Andean Shangri-la. Indeed, it's a magnet for spiritual seekers.
Known to the Incas as the birthplace of the rainbow, this typical Andean village combines Inca ruins with a colonial church, some wonderful mountain views and a colorful Sunday market. On a high plain with sweeping views to snow-laden peaks, it’s quite beautiful. Since it is very high, it’s unwise to spend the night until you’re somewhat acclimated.
Pisac to Urubamba
Between Pisac and Urubamba is a series of pretty villages (as well as the non-touristy but fairly uninteresting town of Calca), which can easily be explored in a day. Yucay and Huarán offer boutique accommodation and food options, and make excellent bases for leisurely exploration of the safe, scenic Sacred Valley and its many intriguing side valleys.
Salinas is among the most spectacular sights in the whole Cuzco area, with thousands of salt pans that have been used for salt extraction since Inca times. A hot spring at the top of the valley discharges a small stream of heavily salt-laden water, which is diverted into salt pans and evaporated to produce a salt used for cattle licks.