Hi, it’s me Marimonda.
It’s been a while that I uploaded my last posting. Sorry for being lazy. Continuing the last post <From Medellin to Cuzco>, today I’d like to talk about my half-day trip to Sacred Valley to Ollantaytambo.
Sacred Valley Tour usually consists of visiting four different towns; Chinchero, Moray, Salineras de Maras and Ollantaytambo. I reserved a private tour for three people. From my experience, booking the local tourist agency or taxi drivers directly is much cheaper than booking via any third party website. I met the tour guide at 10:30 a.m. to kick off the day.
Chinchero is located in Andean mountains. The altitude of Chinchero (3,762m) is pretty high, higher than Cusco (3,399m). Thus, getting a warm outer is a necessary thing to visit this area. Actually, I wore a goose down and I think it was a good choice that I made.
When you take off the tour bus (or taxi), you would see the high plain with a beautiful white colonial church. Far away, you can also see andenes. Andenes are layers of cultivatable land on the steep slopes of the mountains. I was told that they grew different types of crops on the layers.
Leaving behind Chinchero, we headed to Moray. Moray is also one of Inca ruins. The driver left us at the top of the ruins and then we walked around the circle and had some time to take pictures.
Salineras was the best place in this tour. Probably that is why this place I had to pay the entrance separately. Unlike other places that I could enter with cusco ticket (70 sol), here I have to pay 10 sol.
The place was very exotic. I’ve seen salterns in the ocean, but it was the first time that I saw saltern in mountains. The water from the mountain contains salt inside, thus when it evaporates we can get salt from it. I guess it might be a part of ocean long time ago.
The last destination of the day was Ollantaytambo. It is a tiny town surrounded by mountains. I went to Ollantaytambo Sanctuary to see the town. Also, the entrance was included in Cusco pass. I decided to stay one night in Ollantaytambo, so I had enough time to walk around the town.
I booked a place to stay using a third party. I had to pay when I check-in and I could choose the currency to pay. In my case, it was cheaper if I paid in USD than Sol. Thus, I paid with USD. There was an exchange in front of my accomodation, and it offered me the best deal. It might be a good idea to check the exchange rate here before going to Machu Picchu. Since Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu are one of the most popular places, usually the exchange rate is worse in those places.
We ordered vegetable soup, fried chicken, alpaca meat, and rice. Alpaca meat was tender but to me it was salty. In general, I love plain food so my favorite was vegetable soup among those I ordered.
Now I think of it, the portion of the food was big in Latin America.
While I was waiting for my food, I saw very cute beer caps. I couldn’t resist taking pictures.
I hope you enjoyed the virtual trip to Sacred Valley with me. Next trip will be Aguas Calientes, the last town before Machu Picchu. See you soon 🙂