Hiking to Pumamarca through the magical Sacred Valley is a great way to explore this Inca town & experience the ancient and modern cultures.
Deep in the Sacred Valley lies the quiet Inca village of Ollantaytambo. Follow the steep road that leads up into the hills behind and you will be rewarded with sights that few other visitors ever see. The Patacancha valley is one of the last bastions of a culture passed down from generation to generation since the time of the Incas, making it one of the oldest still existing cultures in Peru.
Locals clad in red ponchos and colorful felt hats enliven the muted greens and browns of this hidden valley. And for those prepared to hike a little comes the reward of the Pumamarca Inca ruins. This really is an extraordinary off-the-beaten-track Inca Trail hike.
In fact, not only are the Pumamarca Ruins some of the best-preserved Inca ruins, historically they played an extremely important role in the Inca empire. The Pumamarca ruins were the gateway to the Sacred Valley and the fortress that was used to protect them.
The hike to the Pumamarca Ruins is roughly 6km in total. After you have spent a little time learning all about the history of the area and enjoying the incredible uninterrupted panoramic views you can begin the leisurely stroll towards lunch.
You end with a Pachamanca lunch in the town of Ollantaytambo on an organic farm. Pachamanca is a delicious, ancient cooking technique used in the highlands of Peru. Meat is cooked using a process of hot stones and earth, making for delicious and unique food- a must try while exploring Peru.
Your day will start with a short drive up to the hidden valley, passing the colorfully dressed locals of Patalla on the way. As we reach the end of the road, we will leave the vehicle behind.
From here, we embark on a short but fairly steep climb up to the Pumamarca ruins. As we wind our way through the ancient terraces and getting a taste of the exquisite beauty of the Peruvian landscapes without hordes of tourists.
On arrival to the Pumamarca ruins, you will marvel at how remarkably well preserved and extensive this Inca ruin is. Spend a little time enjoying the spectacular views down the valley towards Ollantaytambo, and the panoramic views of the valley around you.
Once you have had your fill exploring, we will follow an original and ancient Inca Trail down the steeply terraced valley towards Ollantaytambo. As you descend, your guide will share with you histories, stories, and point out various flora and fauna. Enjoy the steady hike down, and allow your appetite to build as you go.
As you arrive in the quaint and cobbled streets of Ollantaytambo, we will pass through to find Al Albergue, an organic farm where you will enjoy a traditional Pachamanca lunch. Pachamanca is an incredibly traditional and delicious dish, cooked in a hole in the ground. This cooking technique results in a tender and tasty meal that can only be found in the Andean highlands.
Once your hunger is satisfied, you have the option to continue the adventure to the on-site distillery. If you choose to do so, you will sample the local spirit known as Caña Alta. Caña Alta is rarely found through Peru, as typically it is reserved for higher-end establishments in Lima.
You will also have the option to explore the ancient streets of Ollantaytambo, running your fingers along the Inca walls that line each of the tiny webs of the ancient streets.
We create safe, responsibly run adventures in Cusco and the Sacred Valley for lovers of the great outdoors. We are a Certified B Corps and hold all Adventure Licenses for the activities we offer.
Avenida Collasuyo 910, Miravalle, Cusco
9am – 4pm local time (GMT-5)
Peru Adventure Experts since Ⓒ 1985 Ⓒ 2022.