Peru Vacation Tips: How much is a Taxi to the Sacred Valley
November 22, 2012
Updated: February 02, 2014 with the latest prices!
Getting around in Peru is really not that difficult with a little know how and one of the most popular methods is to take a taxi. I read time and time again in many Peru travel blogs and forums people asking about the cost of taxi’s, so I thought that it would be a good idea to offer some insider advice on prices. Also, for the budget minded traveler I have also included some information on even cheaper options of getting around. So, how much is a taxi to the Sacred Valley?
Don’t get Ripped-Off
Remember that not all taxi drivers will want to take you to the Sacred Valley. It’s a long way, and they may not think that it is worth their while. Some taxi drivers may just say no, whist others think hey ‘this is a gringo’ let’s see if I can get away with charging them over-the-top just in case they agree to it!
You need to take special care when taking a taxi to the Sacred Valley from Cusco Airport. Price-wise these taxi will happily take advantage of your good nature. Generally taxis from Cusco Airport are more expensive than taxis found out on the street, sometimes charging 2 or 3 times the normal rate. So, for a taxi to the Sacred Valley from Cusco airport compare prices first.
You don’t have to take the first taxi that approaches you. Ask several taxi drivers a price before you commit. You can even ask your hotel to get a price from a local taxi firm. A taxi to the Sacred Valley is quite an expensive journey, so getting a good price is important. But, don’t try to find the cheapest price possible, the taxi drivers also need to earn a wage too!
Get a Decent Taxi
Finally! A taxi to the Sacred Valley needs to be fit for purpose. The journey is a fair distance and the roads are windy and fast. Avoid small ‘Tico’ type taxis which are not the safest of vehicles in Peru, and always travel in a larger station wagon taxi if possible.
ENTERTAINMENT TIP: If looking for fun at night, or to watch sports during the day, or even a taste of home, visit the Wild Rover Hostel Cusco for great food, sports and beer! Entrance to their bar is free even for non-guests
A taxi from Cusco to Pisac
A taxi from Cusco to Pisac should cost you about 40 Soles (US$ 15) one way. You may get charged extra for heavy bags or a full car of people. The journey takes about 40 minutes and follows windy mountain roads.
A taxi from Cusco to Urubamba
A taxi from Cusco to Urubamba or one of the hotels located in and around the town normally costs about 40-50 Soles (US$ 15 – 19) one way. The journey follows windy mountain side roads, before finally dropping down into the Sacred Valley through a series of switchbacks. The journey takes about 40 minutes.
This is a popular route for tourists who want to visit the archaeological site of Ollantaytambo and also use the local train station. Ollantaytambo is located in the far west of the Sacred Valley and the journey takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. From Cusco you follow the Urubamba road to the Sacred Valley, before travelling along the valley itself to Ollantaytambo. A one way trip will cost approximately 100 Soles (US$35).
A taxi from Cusco to Moray and Las Salineras
This is probably the most expensive taxi journey of all. Both Moray and Las Salineras are situated in a remote area, just outside of the Sacred Valley. You may need to hire a taxi to take you there and bring you back afterwards. In my experience, it makes more sense to take a bus from Cusco to Urubamba, and then negotiate a price for a taxi from to Moray. Alternatively, if you are feeling fit, you could take a taxi to Moray, then hike on foot the short distance to Urubamba. A taxi from Cusco to Moray (one way) will cost approximately 80 Soles. A taxi from Urubamba to Moray should cost you around 40 Soles. The journey takes you through beautiful Andean countryside and is well worth the effort.
Using a Colectivo (shared bus service)
The cheapest way to get from Cusco to the Sacred Valley is in what is known as a colectivo (or shared bus service). There are many collective operators in Cusco that operate modern Hyundai mini-vans. The mini-vans can accommodate up to 11 people and their luggage comfortably. You simply need to take a taxi to the local colectivo terminal and then wait until the mini-van is full. This is usually no more than 10 minutes at the most. Colectivos from Cusco to Pisac depart from Calle Puputi (Quechua for belly button!) throughout the day and cost 5 Soles (US$ 1.80) per person. Collectivos for Urubamba depart from Avenida Huascar and cost 6 Soles (US$ 2.00) per person. If you want to go to the full distance to Ollantaytambo, then there are combis which can take you direct (departing from Calle Pavitos) for 10 Soles ( US$ 3.60).
Nervous about Combis?
If you are a bit nervous about taking this type of transport, don’t worry! This is a perfectly normal form a getting around in Peru. And in Cusco this is actually one of the cheapest and most comfortable ways to travel. If your Spanish is not very good, then get a taxi to the point of departure and simple say the name of the town you are going to. Before you know it, you will be on the bus and on your way! You can even see the departure stations listed on Google Maps.