Last Sunday, Jorge and I set out for Pisac.

It sits only a half hour to 45 minutes away from our house in Cusco, depending on what type of transportation you use, and yet it was our first time visiting the mystical getaway spot. At just a 5 sol ($1.50) ride from Cusco, it’s the easiest weekend trip in the area. It’s known as the doorway to the Sacred Valley, and the energy of the valley is truly felt here.

Beginning the descent into Pisac town.

Beginning the descent into Pisac town.

The town is bordered by the Willkanuta River, which you can see in the photo above. Pisac isn’t very big — I think we accidentally walked most of it during our two day trip. It seemed the artisan market in Pisac took up nearly half the town! Tons of tapestries, murals, alpaca figurines, semi-precious stones, and more were available for sale. Typical vibrant, Peruvian market with tons of things vying for your dollars and attention.

Another draw to Pisac is the Incan ruins here. Ruins are all around the Sacred Valley, but Pisac is especially impressive. We took a taxi up the mountain to reach the site, because in typical Incan fashion, the city has to be at the TOP of the highest peak around.

Climbing Pisac Ruins

Climbing Pisac Ruins

Jorge is victorious in Pisac Ruins.

Jorge is victorious in Pisac Ruins.

IncaShan

Inca Shan, in the flesh

Jorge in Pisac

The air up here is crisp and fresh. And the views are spectacular!

Shannon in Pisac

Taking a breather — at 11,000 feet, mild exertion tends to require a break!

Looking down over Pisac Ruins

Looking down over Pisac Ruins. Check out the agricultural steps. Typical Incans!

Don't climb the Incan ruins, please. The ghosts of Incans past will haunt you if you do.

Don’t climb the Incan ruins, please. The ghosts of Incans past will haunt you if you do.

Instead of taxi’ing back down the mountain, we decided to follow a path back to Pisac. We joined up with some Peruvians who were making the trek as well, and wound our way down the mountainside. It was a pleasant, sunny hike that lasted about an hour and a half. The only down side: Major sun burn!

Hiking in Pisac

This was probably moments before I discovered my arms and back were burnt to a crisp. Followed by the grim realization that the sunscreen is in the hostel, and not in my purse like I thought.

Wildlife in Pisac

Wildlife in the Sacred Valley. Photo by Jorge.

A view during the hike down from the ruins

A view during the hike down from the ruins

Flowers in Pisac

More dainty flowers in the Sacred Valley. GOD IT’S SO PRETTY HERE. Photo by Jorge.

We bought a couple tapestries that represent the Pachamama (Mother Earth) and the Incan cross, which will serve as a potent reminder for us down the road of our time spent in the Sacred Valley. The energy of Pisac was palpable; there’s a reason so many people flock to this area! It boasts tons of art galleries, shamanic stores, opportunities for ceremonies and more. Lots of ex-pats land here, completely captivated by the environs. Jorge and I could barely leave, either!

Sacred Valley Views

Sacred Valley views, during a walk on the outskirts of town. As we can see here, modern agriculture takes places in lower levels. Though there are enough of those agriculture steps around that I’m sure they could still be used if anybody felt like CLIMBING THAT MUCH.

Yet, return to Cusco we must. I don’t know if we’ll make it back to Pisac before we leave Peru for good in early May. But I am so thankful that places like this are literally “right in our neighborhood”. Living in the Sacred Valley has been a true honor and blessing…an experience that we will cherish forever.

Leaving Pisac

Farewell, Pisac!