December 07, 2023/ Activities / 0 Comments

Out and about – exploring Peru’s sacred valley with Sol y Luna

There are a host of things to keep you busy on a trip to Sol y Luna – read on for a run down of some of our favourite active excursions.


Exploring the Sacred Valley

The jaw-dropping beauty of the Urubamba Valley, known as El Valle Sagrado de las Incas (the Sacred Valley of the Incas, or Sacred Valley for short) has to be seen to be believed. Stretching about 100 kilometres, from the highland town of Pisac to the citadel of Machu Picchu, the Urubamba river tumbles along the valley floor past Inca terraces and ruins, whilst Andean foothills soar up either side.

This breathtaking pocket of the Peruvian uplands is well worth exploring; ancient Inca villages and bustling markets aplenty are waiting to be explored, whilst endless trekking routes and adrenaline pumping activities are sure to satisfy every last thrill-seeker.

A change is as good as a rest

There’s a huge amount to see and do at Sol y Luna, with our experienced private guides ready to take you on a huge range of exciting and invigorating trips, ranging from biking, to trekking, to paragliding and more!

Mountain bikes or e-bikes

Taking to two wheels is a fantastic way of exploring and appreciating the sights and sounds of the sensational Sacred Valley, covering plenty of ground under your own steam – perhaps with a little extra help on our new e-bikes.

Full dayPisac and beyond

Explore the ruins, soak up the fascinating history of the colonial town of Pisac and visit its famous market, before embarking on this 40km ride. Wind your way through the expansive, fertile valley, spotting the renowned white maize of Urubamba and a cacophony of bird life. After lunch, the route follows tracks up the foothills to view the dramatic Huarán rapids and visit the Huicho, Urquillos and Huayllabamba communities.

Full day – The Huayllarcocha and Mahuaypampa Communities

This 40km route begins at the highest point of the Valley – the village of Chinchero. From this archaeological site famed for its Inca and colonial structures, including a bustling market, white-washed church and extensive Inca terraces surrounding the village, riders follow a rural route that leaves Chinchero behind, heading in to the countryside to enjoy stunning views of the Vilcanota Mountains. From Huyapo Lake, guests head to the villages of Huayllarcocha and Mahuaypampa; explore the archaeological site and concentric terraces of Moray over lunch, before a pleasant five mile mule track leads you to the colonial town of Maras.

Half day – The Glacier of Chicon

An exhilarating, largely uphill route will appeal to experienced mountain bikers seeking a challenge (or opt for an e-bike if you need a hand!). The tour begins at Wayra, our ranch and second restaurant, and follows a rural route to Palcaraqui – stop on the way to explore the archaeological ruins of Huayna Capac in Urubamba. A gentle ascent along the Chicon Gorge offers you views of terraced farmland, and, as you climb higher, incredible vistas of glaciers and forests. The return journey downhill is an exciting adrenaline-fuelled descent back to the hotel.

Half dayUrubamba to Urquillos

This 26km ride traverses quiet, largely flat terrain and offers cyclists spectacular views and a fascinating insight into the rural lives of the indigenous peoples of the valley. Visit the town of Urubamba, enjoy the countryside of Chichubamba, and see the communities of Yucay, Huayllabamba and Urquillos as you ride by.


A ride on one of our beautiful Peruvian Paso horses – famed for their smooth gate and comfortable ride – is the perfect way to explore the Land of the Incas.

Full day – Moray, Moras and Salt Pans

Suitable for experienced riders, this is a great opportunity to spend a day in the saddle exploring the lands like the days of old. Riders head from Tarabamba to the Paucarbamba suspension bridge, before heading to a gorge in the hills above. The route takes guests through mountainous terrain, pass icy glaciers and remote farming communities en route to the summit. Stop for lunch and a rest at the intriguing archaeological site of Moray – Incan farming terraces carved in to the plateau at 3,500 metres, before jumping back in the saddle for an hour-long ride to the old colonial town of Maras. The salt pans – still used to this day – lie below, so the route descends steep, rocky tracks to the valley floor; enjoy the spectacular views, but keep your eyes on the track ahead!

Full day in the Sacred Valley

This is a flexible route which can be modified based on guests’ preferences. The standard route guides riders through the community of Rumichaca Baja, past maize fields and along the Urubamba River, where visitors can catch a glimpses of daily life in the Sacred Valley. Marvel at the incredible panoramic views heading up to the gorge of Media Luna, past abandoned Incan terraces and irrigation reservoirs. Passing through Chajwar, the route climbs to the protected area of the Pumahuanca Gorge for a rest and lunch, before descending through various upland villages – from Torrechayoq, on to Chichubamba, past Larespamp and Palcaraqui – before winding back to Sol y Luna for a well-earned pisco sour in the hot tub.

Half day in the Sacred Valley

A more relaxed equestrian excursion, and perfect for less experienced riders, a half day offers guests the chance to enjoy the local landscape and learn more about the lives of the local inhabitants. Our Peruvian Paso horses lead you gently down winding rural paths through pastoral villages and communities, allowing you to take in the views and enjoy the fresh air of the Sacred Valley.

All Terrain Vehicles

We offer half and full day excursions on our versatile ATVs/ quad bikes. Head off the beaten track to experience the magnificent landscape of the Sacred Valley, this is a thrilling way to explore the surroundings for those with a little more need for speed.

Full dayThe plateau of Chinchero and Maras

Guests head from Sol y Luna, by van, up to the Piuray Lake, near Chinchero, where guests will be fully briefed on operating your vehicles. The initial terrain is straightforward and you will be shown the textile weaving communities of Cuper and Corcor. After enjoying exceptional views over the Vilcanota Mountains, traverse fields and farming tracks to Moray, before zooming to the picturesque Huaypo Lake for lunch. The afternoon involves a trip to the Incan ruins at Moray, renowned for the huge agricultural terraces, then on to the ancient saltpans of Maras.

Half day across the Sacred Valley

Ride from the Pumahuanca Gorge through the farming communities of Rumichaca, Palcaraqui and Pumahuanca. Awe-inspiring views accompany riders on this thrilling route, as guests climb to the Chicón Gorge to marvel at the mountainous, glacial scenes. The route leads to the town of Urubamba, the archaeological ruins of the palace of Huayna Capac, before heading on to the traditional community of Chichubamba and its chicherías – smallholder breweries where the local chicha maize beer is made.

Kayaking and Stand Up Paddle-boarding

Half day at Huaypo Lake

The calm, clear waters of Huaypo Lake lap peacefully at the feet of the statuesque, snow-capped peaks of the Andes, providing an idyllic setting for a choice of refreshing water sports.

Our kayaking and Stand Up Paddle-boarding excursions are suitable for all ages and include private transport from Sol y Luna with private guides, all equipment and a delicious picnic lunch served on the shore of the lake.


Paragliding across the Sacred Valley

This airborne adventure – about as thrilling an excursion as you can do in the Sacred Valley – begins from a tranquil spot located half an hour from Sol y Luna. Following a full safety briefing, you will be ready to take to the skies (with an experienced instructor) to enjoy the journey of a lifetime, through cloudless skies with unrivalled views across the Sacred Valley and the mountains beyond.


No trip to the Sacred Valley would be complete without a visit to Machu Picchu which sits proudly in the midst of a tropical mountain forest in an astonishingly beautiful setting. Standing over 7000 feet above sea level in the Andes Mountains, this quintessential symbol of the Incan Empire and UNESCO World Heritage Site was named as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007.

For those looking to explore the surrounding hills and mountains and do some proper trekking, various extra options are available.

Full day Vinicunca/ Rainbow Mountain/ Ausangate

This is an epic 12 hour hike through the beautiful Peruvian Andes suitable for those over the age of 12 with good levels of stamina and fitness. A two hour long private transfer takes you to Cusipata and on to Phullawasipata (4,626 metres/15,177 feet above sea level) where the trek begins. There is a 1.5 to 2 hour ascent, during which you will head into the hills with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. During this unforgettable hike guests will visit local communities and see alpacas, llamas and possibly wild vicuñas, while taking in glassy mountain lagoons and breathtaking vistas. The trail continues upwards until you reach the spellbinding summit of Vinicunca – otherwise known as Rainbow Mountain – which soars to 5020 metres/16469 feet above sea level. This extraordinary natural work of art showcases deep stripes of minerals – clays, quartz, sandstones, iron oxides and phyllites – making this one of the most remarkable treks in the whole of Peru.

Half day to the Salt Pans

Salineras is a 45 minute van ride from Sol y Luna. Your guide will demonstrate the salt draining process before the trek begins with a narrow pathed descent alongside a gorge into the Sacred Valley itself. Marvel at the white riverbanks and the extensive birdlife, including hummingbirds and Andean gulls.

Half day – The Terraces of Yucay

Beginning from the village of Yucay, close to Sol y Luna, guests head towards the San Juan Gorge which runs alongside an Incan-built canal. View the agricultural terraces – still in use today – and the Sun Gate, where ancient religious ceremonies took place. The views across the valley, with its diverse flora, are completely breathtaking.

A rest is as good as a change

If throwing yourself into a series of adrenaline fuelled activities isn’t your thing, we can cater to that too!

Relax, wind down and switch off in the peaceful surroundings of Sol y Luna. There are 25 acres of private gardens to explore and a range of restorative health and wellness opportunities on offer. Head to the spa where you can enjoy our sauna, Jacuzzi and swimming pool, or sign up to one of our cultural shows or a cookery lesson.

To start planning your unforgettable trip to Sol y Luna, please feel free to get in touch and one of the team will be delighted to help.

A tale of two wheels – Kilian Bron visits Sol y Luna  
Relax and unwind in the Sol y Luna spa  

The name Footprint originally came from our newsletter and we decided to use it for the Sol y Luna blog as well. Footprint fits well with the concept of Sol y Luna: our hotel was founded to support the local community. Leave footprints of kindness wherever you go.


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