Sacred Valley, Ollantaytambo, Perú.

Ollanta Fortress

Duration: 4 hours
Difficulty: Regular
Cost: $100 / group of 2 people
Walking time: 4 hours

We will take you to the town of Ollantaytambo to visit the ancient Inca ruins of the local fortress.

During the Inca Empire, Ollantaytambo was the royal estate of Emperor Pachacuti who conquered the region, built the town and a ceremonial center around 1440 CE. The fortress of Ollantaytambo served as a retreat from the attacks of the conquistadores in the 1500’s. It was last held by Manco Inca, who, leading resistance forces against the Spanish, retreated to Ollantaytambo in 1537. The Spanish forces attacked on horseback, but Manco Inca flooded the entire approach plain with water forcing the Spanish to retreat and regroup. Though Ollantaytambo was a highly effective fortress, it also served as a temple. A finely worked ceremonial center is at the top of the terracing. Some beautifully well-built walls were under construction at the time of the conquest and have never been completed.

The trek can be taken anytime during the day however we recommend starting in the morning to avoid strong sun. Be prepared to walk in a relatively step surface just like the Inca did.

Moray Inca Agri Lab

Duration: 4 hours
Difficulty: Regular
Cost: $100 / group of 2 people
Walking time: 2 hours

Moray is a series of concentric terraces that are split by multiple staircases that extend upward and enable people to walk from the top to the bottom of the bowl. Six more terraces, in connected ellipses rather than perfect circles, surround the concentric heart of Moray. The purpose of these depressions is uncertain, but the most widely agreed theory is they used to serve as ‘agricultural research station’.

The trek can be taken anytime during the day however we recommend starting in the morning to avoid strong sun. Ideally you should combine it with the visit to Salineras which is nearby.

Inca Residence

Duration: 5-6 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Cost: $120 / group of two people

One of our most beautiful and most balanced treks – combines a car ride through Sacred Valley and the mountain villages; a 2 hour trek uphill to reach a reconstructed Inca site; and a picturesque trek downhill to a breathtaking waterfall and further down to cornfields. 

We leave Molino by 8am to make sure we reach our destination before the sun starts hitting for good. After a c.45min car ride through valleys and canyons we park the car and continue on foot. We climb the hills for 1-2 hours depending on the fitness of the group. Sporadically, we share the trail with the locals – men and women who carry food for workers in the fields, or come back home from the market. We pass the ruins of the Inca observation point located strategically with 270 degrees views over the valley. Finally we reach our destination – the reconstructed Inca site with two houses, a tall grange and surrounded by a water channel. The site is so quiet one can enjoy the sound of water and the spectacular panorama of mountains and valleys.

We then descend to a waterfall 150ft tall and continue further down under the refreshing shadow of the trees – a luxury in Peruvian Andes ! – until we reach the car. Tired but hopefully in great moods we come back to Molino for lunch.

Terrace Phirymarca

Duration: 2 hours
Difficulty: Regular
Cost: $60 / group of 2 people
Walking time: 1.5 hours

This is a short and pleasant trek to Terrace Phirymarca located just opposite Molino.

The terrace has the shape of a triangle, with two sides straddling the Sacred Valley and the hills adjacent to Mount Veronica’s slopes, the highest mountain in the neighborhood at 18,642 feet. Once you have reached the top, admire panoramic views from this beautiful balcony strategically overlooking the valley, and two roads –  one leading north to Quillabamba, another running west to Machu Picchu.

The trek can be taken anytime during the day.

Inca Waterfall

Duration: 2-3 hours
Difficulty: Regular
Cost: $60 / group of 2 people
Walking time: 2 hours

A short trek above Molino.

We first take the solid road that leads to Cinco Chamanes,  a nearby hotel that was blessed by five shamans which is why we call it Cinco Chamanes.  It is better to start the trek relatively early as this area is heavily exposed to the sun.

After twenty minutes, we turn right at the fork and continue on a narrower path along a mountain stream, and later through a forest.

We finally arrive to a picturesque waterfall. We need to cross to get to the Inca ruins – in fact just a beautifully placed and well preserved stone window. We continue a few more steps to get to a plateau from which we can admire the panorama of the road leading to Abra Malaga, the highest mountain pass at 11,861 feet, and Quillabamba, the capital of fruit valleys that extend on the other side.

Excellent for acclimatization.

Abra Malaga

Duration: 3 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Cost: $100 / group of 2 people
Driving time: 2.5 hours
Walking time: Optional

This is a trip for those who prefer to admire landscapes while driving.

We can start from Molino at any point during the day but no later than three hours before dusk.

We drive past Phiry and engage in a serpentine road that climbs in numerous hairpin bends and will take us straight to Abra Malaga, a mountain pass located at 11,861 feet. During the rainy season, Abra Malaga will be covered in mist. During the dry season, snow is common.

Just before reaching Abra Malaga we pass the approach to Mount Veronica (18,642 feet), the highest mountain in the area. The beautiful Veronica is not an easy summit but there is always a handful of climbers who attempt it every year. We may see a small group repacking their belongings as they prepare for the ascent.

After we pass Abra Malaga, we must drive slowly as this is the favorite route of many agencies that organize bicycle rides so you will see large group of tourists riding their hired bicycles dangerously close to the cars. Twenty minutes later we are in a different world – that of a jungle; warm, vaporized, evergreen, with large banana leaves weaving in the wind. We stop for a snack and a short walk, then get back to the car and take the same serpentine road back to Molino.

Making textiles

Duration: 4 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Cost: $120 / group of 2 people
Driving time: 2 hours
Walking: Optional

For our guests interested in learning more about Andean culture and lifestyle we organize a half day trip to a nearby mountain village of Patakancha. There you will learn first hand about the making of textiles, as well as operating a chaquitaclla, an ancient agricultural tool used in the high plateaus to cultivate the most basic of foods, the potatoes.

We start from Molino in the morning or right after lunch and drive to Ollantaytambo. From there we drive on an unpaved road that climbs in numerous hairpin bends, passing by terraced potato fields, a handful of houses, colonies of eucalyptuses, and an imposing morena.

After 45 minutes of driving and a 10 minute trek we arrive to the house of our host Juan who will show us how to operate chaquaticlla (optional) while his wife can teach us how to weave – something she is doing everyday. You can admire the neat household built by Juan and the amazing textiles woven by his wife – mantas for women, poncho for men and sofa spreads that come in every color, pattern and size.

After a short snack we drive back to Molino.

Silent Village

Duration: 5 hours
Difficulty: Regular
Cost: $100 / group
Walking time: 4.5 hours

A half day trek on the slopes just above Phiry.

Admire wild vegetation in the lower parts, and beautiful views of Mount Veronica all along. As you move up, experience walking through steep, abandoned Inca terraces before having lunch in the Silent Village, a vast plateau with a few old stone houses no longer in use.

Excellent for acclimatization and introduction to more strenuous treks. Can be extended to a full day trip to the Laguna, a lake high in the mountains.



Duration: 3 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Cost: From $80/person

Pumamarca is a fortress built on a slope. It was constructed to control the entrance to the Sacred Valley of the nearby jungle. Today’s well preserved ruins feature thick walls surrounding the site, maintained lawn within the site, and a few interesting, and again well preserved buildings.

We drive from Hotel Molino to Ollantaytambo, then to the hills above the town. After a 30 minute drive we stop at the entrance to the site and continue the rest of the journey on foot.

We rest at the ruins. For those who feel like climbing more, we go to the pastures and forests above the ruins. A moderately steep 30 minute climb will be rewarded with a beautiful panoramic view.

Cantera Ollanta

Duration: 6 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Cost: $120 / group of 2 people
Walking time: 5 hours

We depart from Molino early in the morning and drive for 20 minutes past Ollantaytambo.

We leave the car in one of the nearby villages and start ascending.

We can choose a steeper or a less steep trail depending on your level of fitness and acclimatization.

After walking for two to four hours we arrive to Cantera, an ancient site where large stones were extracted, carved, then used for the construction of Ollantaytambo and surrounding villages.

From Cantera we can admire a beautiful panorama of the valley and, much closer to us, a green plateau where a few white and grey horses are running freely, too scared though to approach us.

Stroll in Ollanta

Duration: 2 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Cost: $10 / group of two people

A nice add on to your day in Sacred Valley. 

Immerse yourself in the millennial spirit the Inca town of Ollantaytambo. Walk in the cobblestone streets, take pictures of the ancient houses, visit the ceramics workshops and make sure to stop by Tono’s stylish coffee spot by the bridge. Fine coffee, vintage furnishings, and kindly staff make it one of a kind.

Salineras or Salt Mines

Duration: 4 hours
Difficulty: Regular
Cost: $100 / group of 2 people
Walking time: 2 hours

Salineras or salt mines are one of the main highlights of the Sacred Valley.

The open air salt mines are composed of hundreds of salt pans that have been used for salt extraction since Inca times. A hot spring at the top of the valley discharges a small stream of heavily salt-laden water, which is diverted into salt pans and evaporated to produce a salt used for cattle licks. The entire scenery is one of its kind.

The trek can be taken anytime during the day however we recommend starting in the morning to avoid strong sun. Ideally you should combine it with the visit to Inca agricultural lab of Moray which is nearby.


Duration: 5-6 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Cost: $120 / group of 2 people
Driving time: 4 hours
Walking: Optional

We drive along Urubamba River to the other side of Sacred Valley. 

Enjoy a picturesque ride through the valley and its remote villages – sometimes composed of just three or four houses – that very few tourists ever visit. As we leave the main road and start climbing up on a sand road, the landscape will change quickly. Corn fields and goats in the lower parts of the hills will give way to smaller and steeper potato fields, then grass fields, then vast green and red swamps where the time froze and the silence is perfectly undisturbed. 

Depending on how much time you have and if you are willing to walk, we can stop in one of the picturesque miradors above Lamay for a picnic and a mini trek. 

Astro photo class

Duration: 2 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Cost: $100 / group of two people

One of our most beautiful and the most magic of all treks. 

We leave Molino by 10pm to make sure we see the Milky Way when it is most visible, closer to midnight. We can take you to various locations near Hotel Molino from where you could enjoy splendid views of the night sky. We also offer you a course of night photography – with just a few simple tricks you will be able to make spectacular nighttime photos.