CUSCO & MACHU PICCHU + OFF THE BEATEN PATH ATTRACTIONS
6-day tour departing from Lima
“This perfectly crafted itinerary will take you along to the many splendors and highlights of the Sacred Valley and beyond.“
Many highlights will include Cusco, the ancient Incan capital built on the same original Incan foundations with interesting plazas, churches, museums and ruins; the Urubamba Valley, named after the river that runs through the “Valle Sagrado” flourishing with abundance. Ollantaytambo is a beautiful area of the valley rich with culture, history and traditional markets where locals gather to sell their handicrafts. Meanwhile, the mysterious and alluring lost city of Machu Picchu is secretly hidden in the foothills where the Andean mountains meet the rainforest. Here you can visit within the Incan citadel and search along the many terraces, infrastructures, temples and fascinating sights. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to trek the sanctified mountains of Humaytay Lake. As if you weren’t already blown away, you most certainly will be when you hike up past small villages to encounter the multi-colored Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain, also known as the mountain of seven colors.
You will take your flight from Lima to Cusco, where you will meet your transfer to your selected hotel. You’ll have an afternoon tour of the city visiting the Koricancha Temple, or temple of the sun, the nearby Cathedral with its magnificent chapels, baroque altars and paintings from the Cusquena School. The tour also includes the surrounding ruins of the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, the Inca bath of Tambomachay, Puca Pucara and the Amphitheatre of Kenko (Private services). After the tour you will return to your hotel where you can stay and relax or continue to explore Cusco on your own.
After breakfast you will be taken on a full day excursion to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. (Private services.) You will visit Maras, the principal salt production center still in use since Inca times. It is an extraordinary spectacle of the terraced white salt mines that you can see from a short distance. Nor far towards the west are the circular terraces of Moray, built by the Incas in order to create different microclimates for agricultural purposes. A buffet lunch will be included in a local restaurant before you continue north to visit Ollantaytambo. Here you will see a fortress built during the Inca Empire, which is an excellent sample of military architecture and was used in a successful battle against the Spanish. Afterwards you will go to the village of Pisac and attend the lively local, agricultural open-market where artisans from all over the area congregate to sell their crafts. You will then return to Ollantaytambo overnight.
Your adventure will begin in the morning with a transfer to the Ollantaytambo train station. Your departure will be by the Vistadome train, riding across the Andes and into the forests of the Sacred Valley where Machu Picchu is hidden. You’ll stop at Aguas Calientes and then take a short bus ride to the entrance of the ruins, followed by a guided tour of the lost city of Machu Picchu.
Lunch will be at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge restaurant before returning by bus to the train station. You’ll return by Vistadome to the Poroy train station where a transfer will be waiting to take you back to Cusco to your hotel.
Today you will be picked up with a private transfer and begin traveling to Mollepata village for about two hours into the lush valley of the Apurimac River. You’ll have breakfast here and continue your journey to Soraypampa at 3950 masl with a second transfer. Once you arrive you will begin an exceptional day trek through the Peruvian Andes to Humaytay Lake at 4350 masl. To the Inca this was a sacred area. At the lake you can swim here and even enjoy a horseback riding experience. Afterwards, you will return to Mollepata for lunch and return to Cusco for the rest of the evening.
You will have a transfer to the trailhead of Quesiuno at 4326 masl. You’ll reach the Inkintuyoc Bridge with breakfast to prepare you for the following hike to the dazzling mountain of seven colors. At the start of the hike you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the herds of alpacas and llamas. You’ll constantly see the Ausangate mountain in the backdrop of the landscape as you walk along the trail and villages. In the middle of the hike you will stop for lunch, you’ll see typical fields of potatoes and unique fauna like vicuñas. Finally, you’ll reach Rainbow Mountain at 5020 meters asl. The shock of beauty and drastic colors of the mountain is like nothing you have ever seen before. In order to return you will hike back down and then be transported back to Cusco and dropped off at your hotel arriving in the evening.
Lowest Elevation 4,326 m / 14,189 ft
Highest Elevation 5,020 m / 16,466 ft
Distance Hiking 15 km / 14,189 ft
I am a bit sad today as I leave Ecuador, but I am very thankful for the wonderful experiences we have enjoyed. A tribute to your thoughtful planning. I think I wrote to tell you of our successful experiences in the Galapagos.
Here are some comments from the past 15 days.
Starting from Guayaquil, we appreciated very much the experience and knowledge contributed by our guide Javier Marin.
Elvis our driver was also fabulous. Driving in all the different conditions in Ecuador requires great skill. We felt very safe at all times, and Javier and Elvis make a great team.