$$$ KPO and CZM $$$: RTW to Peru - Sacred Valley

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

RTW to Peru - Sacred Valley

In my previous post (RTW to Peru - Cusco), I blogged about our first day in Peru and so much has happened since then. I guessed we were lucky to be able to travel before the COVID situation became so serious.

Not knowing how difficult or expensive it is to book a driver for a day, we pre-booked a driver for a day through Official Cusco Taxi prior to our RTW departure at USD 85. Unfortunately, we realized Uber is super accessible here and there are an abundance of tour agencies at Cusco downtown which offers a full-day tour to the Sacred Valley (Ollantaytambo, Pisac) at a significantly lower price (approximately 30 SOL per pax ~ 9 USD per pax). Damn.

Pisac Ruins Entrance 

But anyway, we started off with our driver driving us to a ticketing place located near Pisac to purchase the Cusco tourist tickets to Ollantaytambo and Pisac ruins for 70 SOL per pax ~ 20 USD per pax. He then drove us to Pisac ruins which is located high above the valley floor, approximately 1 hr from Cusco.

Somewhere in the ruins

We don't exactly what was the history behind it as we didn't hire any guide and there weren't many signs in English to explain the significance behind the artifacts. Suggest readers to read up (e.g. Exploring the History Behind the Pisac Ruins) prior to going there if you are feeling KPO like us. Lol. Anyways, it was a large compound and took us approximately 1 hour to complete the place.

Pisac Market

Next up, we headed to the Pisac market which is a vibrant place selling the local products like the typical Peru cloth, Llama figurines, and some pottery. We liked the place as the items are generally cheaper than other touristy places. To put things in perspective, we bought a magnet there which costs 4 SOL. An identical magnet sold at Machu Picchu costs 10 SOL. I also liked a drawing there which costs 450 SOL but decided not to buy it first. Unfortunately, a similar drawing of that size costs much more in other places e.g. 950 SOL at Machu Picchu.

Somewhere in the market

We spoke to one of the locals subsequently who told us that it will be recommended to visit the Pisac market every Tue, Thu, and Sun as there will be a bazaar going on, which means more to see at a cheaper price. 

Ollantaytambo Ruins with Llamas

We then proceeded on to Ollantaytambo ruins which again, we don't know what is the significance as we did not pay for a local guide. For anyone interested in hiring one, you can easily find them inside the ruins itself. We basically only know that it serves as an administrative center and a stronghold/fortress for the Inca. For more information, you can read up here -  The Only Peru Guide - Ollantaytambo Ruins. I almost died at climbing the Inca stairs and needed to rest every few steps, probably due to the high altitude. KPO, on the other hand, definitely looks like he has adapted well to the climate.

The view from the top of the ruins
Temple of the Sun

We did not manage to finish covering everything in 2 hours as the compound is way too big. After that, we headed to some housefly-ridden restaurant at Ollantaytambo to have a small bite as I was feeling too bloated from the altitude before heading back. If you are wondering why that place, every other food place there looks infested with flies. Turns out there is actually not much difference.

Although it sounded like a short trip only, the entire trip out from Cusco to Pisac and Ollantaytambo took us about 8 hours, attributed to the small lanes and slow traffic. 

We will be heading to Machu Picchu next (and with a guide this time round yay). Stay tuned!

You might be interested in these articles too:
Our KrisFlyer Star Alliance Round The World (RTW) Trip Planning/Booking
RTW to Mexico - Chichen Itza
RTW to Mexico - Coba Ruins
RTW to Mexico - Isla Mujeres
RTW to Mexico - Tulum
RTW to Peru - Cusco
- RTW to Peru - Sacred Valley

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