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Sacred Valley of the Incas list of The New York Times
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The Sacred Valley of the Incas on The New York Times’s List of 52 Places to Go

It is said that after the last elections in the United States, many citizens and foreign residents in Uncle Sam’s country are moving to Canada to escape the new rules and culture of the current president. But there are hundreds of other reasons to visit the maple syrup land. Only a few years ago, The New York Times gave it the first place on its annual list of “52 places to visit in 2017

Every year for the last 12 years, “NYTimes” has published the list of places that everyone should visit, and this year included the Sacred Valley of the Incas that for many years ceased to be a place of passage To Machu Picchu to become a destination in itself.

Cusco in Peru not only offers Machu Picchu. Another of its best tourist attractions is the Sacred Valley of the Incas, which was included in the list of 52 places to visit published by the American newspaper The New York Times in 2017. The list includes 3 other places in South America.

Panoramic view of the Sacred Valley of the Incas
Panoramic view of the Sacred Valley of the Incas

The Sacred Valley of the Incas in the list of the 52 places to visit

  • The Sacred Valley of the Incas is ranked 46 on the list of 52 places to visit in 2017, according to the American newspaper The New York Times.

This is the complete list of the 52 places to visit that he prepared The New York Times:

  1. Canadá.
  2. Atacama Desert, Chile.
  3. Agra, India.
  4. Zermatt, Suiza.
  5. Botsuana.
  6. Dubrovnik, Croacia.
  7. Grand Teton, Wyoming, Estados Unidos.
  8. Tijuana, México.
  9. Detroit, Michigan.
  10. Hamburgo, Alemania.
  11. Marrakech, Marruecos.
  12. Greenville, Carolina del Sur, Estados Unidos.
  13. Pedregal, Ecuador.
  14. Penzance, Inglaterra.
  15. Osaka, Japón.
  16. Estocolmo, Suecia.
  17. Sikkim, India.
  18. Isla de Porquerolles, Francia.
  19. Madagascar.
  20. Sanya, China.
  21. Chipre.
  22. Gran Barrera de Coral, Australia.
  23. Minneapolis, Minnesota, Estados Unidos.
  24. Kingston, Jamaica.
  25. Comporta, Portugal.
  26. Kazajistán.
  27. Gabón.
  28. Atenas, Grecia.
  29. El noreste de Puerto Rico.
  30. Chiang Mai, Tailandia.
  31. Valle de Napa, California, Estados Unidos.
  32. Puerto Escondido, México.
  33. Sedona, Arizona, Estados Unidos.
  34. Madrid, España.
  35. Ketchum, Idaho, Estados Unidos.
  36. Las Maldivas.
  37. Calabria, Italia.
  38. Antequera, España.
  39. Islas Lofoten, Noruega.
  40. Esteros del Iberá, Argentina.
  41. Istria, Croacia.
  42. Placencia, Belice.
  43. Langtang, Nepal.
  44. Bozcaada, Turquía.
  45. Birmingham, Alabama, Estados Unidos.
  46. Valle Sagrado de los Incas, Perú.
  47. Laikipia, Kenia.
  48. Busan, Corea del Sur.
  49. Portland, Oregon, Estados Unidos.
  50. Budapest, Hungría.
  51. El Sur del Bronx, Nueva York, Estados Unidos.
  52. Islas Ryukyu, Japón.

Other places in South America included in the list

In addition to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, there are 3 other places in South America included in the list:

  • Atacama Desert, Chile – This desert has a length of 1600 kilometers. It is considered the driest on the planet. Despite this, there it is possible to appreciate beautiful dunes, salt lagoons and more. One of the most important attractions is the ‘Valley of Death’.
  • The El Pedregal Valley of Ecuador – El Pedregal is popular spot for visitors visiting the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. The landscape is full of volcanoes and grasslands ideal for horseback riding as well as biking, hiking and more.
  • The estuaries of Ibera, Argentina – This natural area has 1.2 protected hectares in northern Argentina. There you can appreciate beautiful landscapes as well as the natural life of birds and wild animals. With the new projects that protect it, the Ibera estuaries will be the largest protected natural area in Argentina.

What to do in the Sacred Valley of the Incas?

In addition to the incredible dining experience described by The New York Times, the valley offers many places and things to do, you can have amazing cultural experiential experiences with people from all over the world in the village of Pisac, this is also the spiritual center of the sacred valley Of the Incas. Visit its Inca ruins and tour its market. In the village of Ollantaytambo the water channels created by the Incas are still used, this village is where you will have to board the train to Machu Picchu; If you can, take some time to enjoy its incredible Inca ruins, but there is more; The town of Urubamba, the town of Yucay, the salinas of Maras; But it is not all, the valley has the geography and the ideal places to practice adventure sports and extreme, like zip line (canopy), paragliding, rafting (multilevel), etc. You can choose from many different experiences; But in addition, the Sacred Valley of the Incas is one of the few places that will prepare you for what you will see in Machu Picchu.

These are the main tourist attractions of the Sacred Valley of the Incas:

  • Pisac – Pisac was one of the most important Inca citadels during the Inca empire. It has platforms, terraces, temples, enclosures and other constructions made of stone with great perfection. Currently there is a town at the foot of the archaeological site famous for its artisan market.
  • Chinchero –Chinchero is the town where the Inca Túpac Yupanqui had his palace built. Today, on its walls, the Colonial Temple of Chinchero was built. Most tourists come to this town for its textile centers, where garments are made with a traditional process hundreds of years ago.
  • Maras – The Salineras de Maras are made up of hundreds of natural salt wells formed in Cusco thousands of years ago. The landscape that is formed by the salt wells is an important tourist attraction before or after visiting Machu Picchu.
  • Moray – The circular terraces of Moray were built by the Incas in order to produce crops at different temperatures. Today, these agricultural terraces are one of the most important tourist attractions in Cusco. Due to its proximity to the Salineras de Maras they are usually visited together.
  • Ollantaytambo – The town and archaeological site of Ollantaytambo was one of the most important citadels of the Incas. It has buildings as imposing as those of Machu Picchu. The town preserves the urban organization of the Incas. Today, it is a very visited place due to its proximity to Machu Picchu.
Tourists practicing rafting in the waters of the Sacred Valley
Tourists practicing rafting in the waters of the Sacred Valley of the Incas

The sacred valley in the list of the 52 places to visit in 2017

The valley is ranked 46th in the list of the 52 places to visit in 2017 by The New York Times; But the ancient Inca buildings and their colonial towns are no longer the only thing that attracts visitors to the sacred valley; Since it celebrates a food culture in the old valley of the Incas. A growing beer factory and other food projects are familiarizing visitors with the Andean culinary culture at the heart of the ancient Inca empire.

Next to the Urubamba River, luxury Chilean eco-hotels “Explora” have built a gigantic 50-room country house on an old cornfield; Hacienda Urubamba offers classes in the manufacture of corn beer; The Lima IK restaurant opened the inn IFK Logia; And from May, a sleeper train of “Andean Explorer” will explore the plateau, while its passengers enjoy typical dishes of season, in two cars dining with a grand piano in the bar.

The Inca Ruins of Pisac in the Sacred Valley
Inca platforms in the city of Pisac that is in the Sacred Valley of the Incas

More information about the Sacred Valley of the Incas

  • The Sacred Valley of the Incas has the ideal geography for practicing adventure sports such as: paragliding, ziplining (canopy), canoeing, mountain biking, etc.
  • Due to its location, most of the Sacred Valley has a pleasant climate for the visitor. In addition, it has restaurants, hotels, cafes, bars and other high-quality tourist services. In addition, it is a must-see place before arriving at Machu Picchu.
  • Most tourists choose to visit the Sacred Valley with a 1-day tour that includes: Pisac, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo and Chinchero. If the tourist decides to go on their own, they should buy the Cusco Tourist Ticket (Circuit 3), which includes admission to: Ollantaytambo, Pisac, Chinchero and Moray.

Advice from people who have been there

Pisac in the Sacred Valley of the Incas

Noelia ABy: Noelia A

“Amazing nature and history.“

“Pisac was one of the best things about my trip to Peru, if you are on your way to Ollantaytambo and you stop at Pisac, you will not stop turning your head. We decided to travel as the local people, in 'combi', a combi to Pisac, another until I do not know where and one more to Ollanta. It is uncomfortable, but infinitely faster and cheaper; We take the return train, but I'll stick with the combi, the ride is more fun. When I return to Machu Picchu, I will leave the train and I will do all of it, but I will take my time in Pisac; Fabulous ruins, views, agricultural terraces and much less people than in Machu Picchu. A worthwhile visit in full“



By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, June 2, 2023