Pisac is a small village nestled high in the Andes Mountains at a breath-stopping altitude of 2,800metres. It’s a great place to connect with nature as you are literally surrounded by steep mountains on all sides. There is always a new trail to hike, some kind of activity taking place from meditation workshops to yoga classes as well as a nice little selection of places to eat and hang out.
Our ideal one day itinerary for Pisac in the Sacred Valley looks something like this….
1. Strap on those hiking boots and head up to the Pisac Archaeological site.
The Pisac archaeological site is one of Pisac’s main attractions and is one of our favourite Inca ruins in the Sacred Valley. Spread out over 7km it takes a good 3-4 hours to really discover these Inca temples, terraces and burial grounds. Don’t try and do it in an hour like many of the tour buses! Interestingly the Incas kept the most fertile land for agriculture so they weren’t ‘wasted’ for building towns or cities on them! (how things change…)
We suggest you take a taxi up the ruins and then hike back down to the village of Pisac for breathtaking views and photo ops of the Urubamba River and valley. For more info on how to get to the Pisac ruins see here.
2. Check out one of Pisac’s cafes for a bite to eat.
After all that hiking you are sure to be a little peckish so head to one of our favourite food haunts in Pisac. For a good traditional breakfast on the go, head to the Pumachayoc Colonial Oven and ask Ernestina for one of her delicious, fresh empanada pastries. For a more upscale brunch in a cozy setting we love Cuchara de Palo on Pisac’s Main Square.
If you’re looking for something a little heartier we love the Asian-Peruvian fusion menu at Mullu, they have some good salads and veggie options too. For dessert, you can’t beat Ulrike’s Café and her world-famous carrot cake! A little further out of town but also one of our favourites is Dona Clorinda for traditional Andean home-style cooking in a peaceful garden setting.
3. Retail Therapy at the Pisac Market
With renewed energy from all that good food head to the main square in Pisac, the best place in town to pick up some souvenirs. Pisac is famous for its silver jewellery, colourful Andean weavings and alpaca throws, scarves and other items that are sold at its daily market. Sunday is definitely the best day to hit the market if you want a shot of local culture. The colourfully dressed, local Quechua communities descend from the surrounding highlands to buy and sell their produce.
Some of our favourite places to shop are Toro Wasi for colourful ceramics created by local ceramicist Gustavo and Puskana Wasi for one of the best collections of traditional frazadas (blankets) and weavings in town.
4. Decompress at the Botanical gardens
After all the craziness at the market we love to visit one of Pisac’s lesser known attractions – the Felipe Marin Botanical Gardens.
This small botanical garden is located down one of Pisac’s cobbled streets inside a typical colonial patio and is an oasis of calm. Take a book and a cool drink and enjoy the beautiful flowers and plants, as well as hummingbirds, dragonflies and butterflies. You will usually have the place to yourself so it’s perfect for a spot of meditation or some deep relaxation in the heart of Pisac.
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