Exploring the Sacred Valley Beyond the Inca Trail
Trail running is one of the best ways to experience a region in Peru's Andean highlands known as the Sacred Valley, once the heart of the Incan Empire, encompasses fertile farmland, Spanish colonial villages, the town of Cusco and of course, the ancient city of Machu Picchu.
“There is so much variety every day we spend in the Sacred Valley; no two runs are on the same trail or travel to the same place,” says Nicolas Ramirez, guide for the Peru’s Sacred Valley Trail Running + Wellness Retreat for women, hosted by Run Wild Retreats + Wellness. “For example, one day we go Pisac, where we will have a picnic lunch and see go to the salt pans where people have been mining salt for hundreds of years. Another day, we’ll run to Ollantaytambo, home to a massive Inca fortress with large stone terraces on a hillside. We'll also visit major sites within the complex like the huge Sun Temple and the Princess Baths fountain.”
We recommend arriving a day or two before the retreat begins in order to acclimate before the retreat starts. You’re run pace will still be affected by the high elevation, but the extra sleep and rest you’ll enjoy after your travel to Peru will help you adjust and feel better throughout the retreat.
Our Top Peru Trail Running Tips
- Run-walk method isn’t just for beginners! Knowing when to hike instead of run is the secret to efficient trail running, so we’ll use that approach daily. The amount of hiking vs walking will depend on the topography, meaning we’ll hike uphill sections as needed, and run flats and downhills.
- We recommend leaving your smart watch or other GPS-enabled device off (or at home!). Make more space for a mindful running experience by leaving your beeping, distracting devices at home. Running without measuring your pace and distance is incredibly liberating and helps you be more present on the trail. This is your chance to try a new way of running without any pressure to perform at a certain level!
Our Top Peru Wellness Travel Tips
- Sleeping at high elevation can be difficult for some people, and yet is crucial for your rest and recovery throughout the retreat. Being hydrated is one of the best ways to support better sleep, so make it a goal to drink plain and electrolyte water all day long; not just at bedtime.
- Some hotels offer supplemental oxygen directly into your room to aid with sleeping.
- If you’re not accustomed to sleep aids, non-drug supplements such as a magnesium supplement (vitamin or drink powder) can help significantly, as can small doses of melatonin. Over the counter or prescription drugs may also help, so please consult with your doctor before your trip to learn his or her recommendations.
- Limit or avoid drinking alcohol, which has a much more profound effect on the body than at sea level and disrupt sleep cycles as your liver works harder to process the alcohol.
- Drinking coca tea is a very effective local remedy for easing minor altitude sickness symptoms.
For more information about the next Peru Sacred Valley Trail Running + Wellness Retreat for women, click here: https://trips.runwildretreats.com/t/run-wild-retreats/peru-2024