While Cusco is a must see city, and the starting place for many on their journey to Machu Picchu, there are so many other wonderful towns to visit. Many cities in Peru retain their original culture and many original Inca structures. One of such city is called Pisac and is located at the entrance to the Sacred Valley.
Traveling to Pisac is simple, conveys leave from Cusco about every twenty minutes, and it takes around an hour to get to Pisac. The conveys leave about when it’s full, and only costs only about 8 soles or so, depending on the tourist season.
There are many things to see and while you are visiting Pisac. Here are a few examples:
Filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, you will find everything you need for a healthful snack, meal, or supplies for your next hike. The market is located in the main square (Plaza Constitucion), and sprawls halfway across the town. It usually is opens in the morning, and is available most of the day. It includes many handmade crafts, and other things that would make great souvenirs! This is a great place to stop and do some shopping, especially if you are looking to get gifts for friends and family back home, or looking to stock up on fresh fruit for you next hike. Make sure you check what day you are going however, because the market is only open three days a week.
Pisac Ruins (Citadel)
I would argue that the most important place to visit in Pisac is the Pisac Citadel. Located high above the valley floor, the Citadel provides beautiful views of patchwork green fields, and of the city of Pisac far below. High above the valley, the people shops and animals look like mere toys.
Before climbing however, make sure that you are physically prepared. It isn’t the hardest trek in the world, but nor is it the easiest. The traveler must take into account the higher altitude. Perhaps give yourself a couple days in Peru to acclimate, or indulge in some coca tea or chew a couple of coca leaves, as this is a natural remedy for altitude sickness.
If you do endeavor to undertake the Citadel, make sure you get to the top so you can visit Templo del Sol. (Temple of the sun) Located near the top of the ruins, Templo del Sol is built around an outcropping of volcanic rock and is carved into the shape of a “hitching post” for the sun.
Restaurants and Coffee Shops
There are several restaurants in Pisac, and a few where you can enjoy fine dining. There are also a couple of restaurant where you can get quality vegetarian and vegan dishes. At high tourist season however, you may be waiting a while for a table. But while you wait, perhaps you can get a biscuit and coffee at one of Pisac’s cozy little coffee shops. Most of these include free Wi-Fi, so you can upload our latest adventure photos while you have a cup of your favorite hot beverage.
In addition to all of these attractions there are also little shops with artisanal crafts, beautiful churches and little tiendas to enjoy a glass of chica. (A traditional Inca fermented corn drink.) Whatever your reason for heading to the Sacred Valley, make sure you take the time to stop at the beautiful city Pisac to enjoy the local food, culture, and sights.