Tucked under the tawny skirts of formidable foothills, the beautiful Río Urubamba Valley, known as El Valle Sagrado (The Sacred Valley), is about 15km north of Cuzco as the condor flies, via a narrow road of hairpin turns. Long the home of attractive colonial towns and isolated weaving villages, in recent years it has become a destination in its own right. Star attractions are the markets and the lofty Inca citadels of Pisac and Ollantaytambo, but the valley is also packed with other Inca sites. Trekking routes are deservedly gaining in popularity. Adrenaline activities range from rafting to rock climbing. Most activities can be organized in Cuzco or at some hotels in Urubamba.
A multitude of travel agencies in Cuzco offer whirlwind tours of the Sacred Valley, stopping at markets and the most significant archaeological sites. If you have a day or two to spare, spend it exploring this peaceful, fetching corner of the Andes at your own leisure. The archaeological sites of Pisac, Ollantaytambo and Chinchero can be visited with a boleto turístico, which can be bought directly onsite.