Today was short but intense. We left Cusco around nine headed for Pisaq in the Sacred Valley with a few stops on the way: an animal rescue centre, a llama and alpaca ‘zoo’ and textile exhibit as well as a few stops near the valley simply to take pictures of the stunning views.

About 45 minutes outside of Cusco we reached our destination: Pisaq, which is a small town in the heart of the Sacred Valley. Our driver then took us up into the mountains about 10-15 minutes to the Pisaq ruins. Perched atop the mountain are ruins of the homes of the Inca nobility of the time, a small town below it of the middle and lower class workers who farmed and protected the noblity above. The most spectacular part of the trek were the terraced agricultural lands…at 4000m! The work involved in constructing these terraces so high in the sky, and simply the sheer vastness of the site was breathtaking.

This is what an Incan Trail looks like. This one goes from Cusco, through Pisaq to Amazonia

After a thee hour trek along the Inca trail to the top of the mountain and back, we then headed back down to Pisaq to have lunch and visit a local market. Pisaq is also celebrating its anniversary (apparently many towns in Peru have anniversaries which coincide with winter solstice).

Finally, around five o’clock we were dropped off at our new hotel 45 minutes from Pisaq and in the middle of the Sacred Valley. It is spectacular. It is not a hotel, but rather a resort and spa. From the lobbt, our room is about a three minute walk across the grounds, during which time we saw three alpaca, a school of koy swimming in the artificial pond (adjacent to the swimming pool and not-so-hot tub) and four peacocks (which are actually quite noisy!). Our room is the epitome of elegance furnished with 17th century furniture and art. I am feeling very spoiled.

Dinner and a good night’s sleep before our two day trek starts tomorrow morning. We shall be offline for a couple of days – will repost when we resurface into civilization (or at least the land of wifi).