Sacred Valley - Chinchero - Machu Picchu - Cusco city tour
Today, you will be welcomed by a representative from Andean Exclusive Tours at the Cusco airport, who will provide support throughout your trip and introduce you to your driver and guide. We will then head to Pisac in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, making some stops along the way.
On our way to Pisac, we will make a stop at the Awanacancha alpaca ranch, where we can see llamas, alpacas, and vicuñas of different breeds and sizes. We will learn about their use in textile garments and a bit of the history behind their fine and delicate wool.
Upon reaching the town of Pisac, we can visit and explore a craft market, fresh produce, and the customs of the town. Then, we will head to the Pisac archaeological center, where we can witness Inca masonry and the impressive terraces surrounding the mountain. Here, we will also have a stunning top view of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The entire visit will be guided by our assigned professional guide.
Your day starts with a morning transfer from your hotel. Your guide and driver will accompany you to Chinchero, a historic town and its ruins situated at 3800 meters above sea level. Chinchero, once the home of the Inca emperor Tupac Yupanqui, offers a rich history and picturesque views of the Vilcabamba Mountain Range.
After a brief visit to the town and ruins, you'll embark on a moderately challenging hike that will gradually take you uphill for about 1.5 to 2 hours through fields of potatoes, colorful flowers, and Andean crops, likely with no other hikers in sight. The locals accompanying you will provide insights into regional plants and the role of llamas in their community. They are very welcoming, so take the opportunity to ask questions and get to know them.
Upon reaching a beautiful mountain plateau, perfect for a snack and rest, enjoy the opportunity to take photos and then continue your hike, descending for about an hour until you reach the lesser-visited Inca ruins of Machucollca. Along the way, you'll have panoramic views of mountains and valleys and even have the chance to guide the llamas if you're up for it. Your guide will explain the ancient use of the ruins as food storage before you continue for another 20 minutes to the local community of Racchi.
In the village, you'll be welcomed by one of the warm local families who will invite you to their home for a carefully prepared lunch. Enjoy the flavors of vegetables, potatoes, and corn grown in their gardens, as well as delicious homemade meats and sauces. Your exact menu will vary depending on the season you visit. After lunch, you'll head to their outdoor weaving area for a demonstration of their textile art. You'll learn how they spin, dye, and weave the wool or fur from their animals. After a full day of culture and trekking, return to your hotel with a new perspective on the region.
Traveling from your hotel, a private vehicle will take you to the Ollantaytambo train station, which is approximately a 20-minute journey. This marks the beginning of your adventure to Machu Picchu.
You'll board a train that boasts stunning panoramic windows, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the breathtaking views throughout your journey. This mid-range option provided by PeruRail comprises five cars, providing both comfort and quality, complete with snacks and soft drinks. The train's design focuses on captivating guests with the ever-changing and awe-inspiring natural surroundings, offering excellent opportunities for capturing spectacular photos. The trip from Ollantaytambo to KM 104 takes approximately one hour.
For this service, you are allowed to bring hand luggage with a maximum weight of 5 kg (11 pounds) and dimensions not exceeding 157 cm (62 inches) in length, height, and width. If you have larger suitcases, our representatives will arrange secure storage at your hotel until you return from Machu Picchu.
For those seeking a less crowded and more adventurous route to Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail is the ideal choice. Disembarking from the train just before reaching Aguas Calientes (the station serving Machu Picchu), you'll cross a suspension bridge to explore the intriguing Inca archaeological complex of Cachabamba. Following a brief visit to this site, a three to four-hour uphill hike will lead you to the remarkable Inca ruins of Wiñay Wayna, accessible solely on foot. From there, you'll continue for approximately 2 hours along the primary Inca Trail to Inti Punku, also known as the Gate of the Sun. Here, you'll witness Machu Picchu for the first time, with most of the hike consisting of uphill terrain, cliffs, and stunning views of the Vilcanota River. Upon your arrival at Machu Picchu.
This morning, after taking a bus back to Machu Picchu, enjoy a day filled with activities exploring the ruins. Depending on your interests, various excursions are available, and your guide will provide explanations about the different sections of the site. Lunch is not included. After your visit to Machu Picchu, take a bus to the village of Aguas Calientes and board the train back to Cusco.
Train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo offers a mid-range option with panoramic windows to capture breathtaking views throughout the journey. The trip from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo takes about 1.5 hours, and the baggage allowance for this service is hand luggage with a maximum weight of 5 kg/11 pounds and a maximum size of 157 cm/62 inches (length + height + width).
Upon arriving at Ollantaytambo train station, an Andean Exclusive representative will meet you and transfer you approximately 2 hours to your Cusco hotel.
Cusco, at 3,400 meters (11,155 feet) above sea level, is a captivating city in Peru, often regarded as one of the most beautiful in South America. It was once the heart of the Inca Empire, which stretched from southern Colombia to northern Chile and Argentina, and eastward into the Amazon Basin.
Your exploration begins with a visit to the Plaza de Armas in the city center. As you tour the city, your guide will narrate the rich history and significant events associated with the streets and buildings. You'll admire the Renaissance-style Cathedral, one of the city's most imposing structures, and the exquisite masonry of Qoricancha, also known as the "Temple of the Sun" by the Incas.
Don't miss the vibrant open-air San Pedro market, where you'll encounter an array of unique fruits and potatoes. Lastly, your journey will take you to the outskirts of the city to explore the remarkable Inca ruins of Sacsayhuaman.
Before leaving Cusco, our representative will pick you up from your hotel 2 hours and 15 minutes prior to your flight. They will already have your boarding pass and assist with the check-in process. Your representative will be there to help with any counter-related needs. Finally, they will escort you to the departure lounge to bid you farewell.