Cusco City Tour, Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu Tour 3D/2N
Price: $635USD Per Person
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Day 1: Cusco City – Inca Ruins
At 1 p.m., we will meet you at your hotel lobby to begin your tour. From here, you will head to Cusco’s Plaza de Armas, where you will visit the famous cathedral. Following, you will continue on foot through an ancient Inca-built street from the Plaza de Armas to the Q’oricancha, the Temple of the Sun. At the Q’oricancha you will be able to compare and contrast the building methods of the Incan culture and Catholicism. This was the key spiritual center of the Incas, which leads to all four quarters of the Inca Empire. There is also a bronze, high altar to be seen.
From Q’oricancha, your group will walk down Avenida El Sol, where you will take your bus 25 minutes outside of the city. You will be taken to the majestic Inca site, Sacsayhuaman, with its enigmatic, 200 ton monoliths, you will be able to hear from your guide and then, explore on your own.
From Sacsayhuaman, you will take a five minute bus ride to the Q’enqo Inca site to see its fascinating Incan altars. Following, you will take another five minute drive to Puca Pucara, a small, circular Inca site. The final stop on our tour is Tambomachay, a water temple with impressive water fountains, thought to be used by the Inca for bathing. We’ll then drive back down to Cusco where the tour ends in the main square, unless you are taking a private tour, in which case, we will return you to your hotel.
Accommodations: Rumi Punku (or similar)
Meals Included: None
Entrance Tickets: Included
Day 2: Pisaq – Ollantaytambo
Your guide will pick you up from your hotel lobby in Cusco, at 8 a.m. You will be taken on a road that winds around the mountains north of Cusco. On the way, we will stop at a famous point known as El Mirador (Lookout Point). From there, we will be able to see the Sacred Valley and gain some insight into the Inca history. The Sacred Valley was one of the main areas the Incas settled. There is an unusual abundance of fertile plains in this high area of the Andes. You will also witness vast contour terracing and irrigation channels left behind by the Incas.
Later on, we will drive towards the ruins of Pisac. Here, you will witness and learn about Inca culture. You will see amazing works of stone art and impressive agricultural terraces. After exploring, we will drive back to the lower town of Pisac to stop at a bustling handicraft market. After you spend some time walking around the market bargain hunting, we will meet for lunch at a local Andean restaurant. This meal is not included in the tour, so if you prefer a different restaurant, just let your tour guide know.
After lunch, will drive along the Urubamba River towards the town of Ollantaytambo. Once we reach Ollantaytambo, we will visit the ruins, an important area of Incan construction, built during the Inca’s heydays. This is an extraordinary Inca site because you can find rock formations representing the Inca god, Wiracocha.
Afterwards, you will board your train for the two hour ride to Aguas Calientes. During your breathtaking train ride, you will see glaciers, snow-capped peaks, lush, green valleys and Incan farming terraces and ruins. Before your arrive in Aguas Clients (2000m/6000ft above sea level), you will enter the subtropical areas with bromiliads and ferns. Our representative will meet you just outside the train station and take you to your hotel.
Accommodations: La Cabana (or similar)
Meals included: None
Entrance Tickets: Included
Day 3: Machu Picchu
After an early breakfast at your hotel, you will take a 25 minute bus to the ruins. The buses run as a shuttle system, starting at 5:30 a.m. If you prefer, you may hike along the Inca trail instead of taking the bus. This trail will take about one hour and 30 minutes. For further instructions on the hike, be sure to consult your tour guide.
Once in Machu Picchu, you will have a two hour private, guided tour, followed by some time for you to explore on your own. If you choose to book a permit to climb Huayna Picchu (or Machu Picchu Mountain), that will be your next adventure. The Sun Gate one hour climb is also available and free to all. Usual train departure to Ollantaytambo is in the afternoon, followed by a bus to your hotel in Cusco.
If you prefer to climb Huayna Picchu for an extra $35, this needs to be booked in advance. It is a challenging 45 minutes to the top. The other option is to climb Machu Picchu Mountain (this is different than Machu Picchu citadel). This is an extremely challenging, steep, yet beautiful hike. It costs $15 per person for the 90 minute hike.
From April to June, this itinerary will change due to the possibility of landslides. Pick up time will be at 6:30 a.m., from your hotel, to take you to the bus station in Cusco. You will then, take a two hour bus to the Sacred Valley. Here, you will ride a two hour train to Aguas Calientes. This same itinerary will be followed on your return to Cusco.
Professional Guides: All of our guides studied English and tourism at Cusco National University. They all grew up in this region and have a true passion to teach others about their heritage. They are fun yet professional, and will ensure you are safe and happy.
Hotels: Included in this tour is a one evening stay in Cusco and a one evening stay in Aguas Calientes. We can easily add extra nights before or after the tour, if needed. Let our team know if you are interested in extending and we will give you a quote. Rooms are based on double occupancy. There is a surcharge for a single room. Upgraded hotels are always possible. We can also book the tour without any hotels, if you prefer to book them on your own.
Transportation: All your transportation is included on this tour. We will pick you up from your hotel around 1 p.m., on the first morning, and will make sure you are escorted until your are brought back to your hotel around 8 p.m. the final evening.
Huayna Picchu: Huayna Picchu is the mountain that stands next to Machu Picchu. It is a 45 minute hike to the top. Going back down is quite steep, if you are scared of heights. This is done without your tour guide, after your tour of Machu Picchu. The cost is $35 per person. Arrangements need to be made at least one month in advance, due to popularity. Please understand that weather is out of our control.
Flights: Flying to Cusco can be tricky. Delays occur often and it is not uncommon for flights to be cancelled. Please be sure to arrive in the city at least two days before your trek start date. LAN Peru is the most reliable of the airlines. Avianca and Peruvian Airlines are acceptable companies, as well. You will not return from your trek until around 8 p.m. on day two, so be sure your flight is not until the next day, when leaving Cusco.
Gratuities: Tipping is always appreciated and should be based completely on your satisfaction. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels.
Travel Insurance: This is not required, but always recommended. For those of you who live at sea-level, landing in Cusco will take an adjustment period. Most people need one or two days to adjust. In case you have a hard time adjusting to the altitude, it is suggested to have protection for missed tours.
Tour with listed hotels: $635 per person (two per room)
Tour without hotels: $525 per person
We offer an upgraded hotel, if you prefer (all based on double occupancy)
Student Discount: $15 per person
Student discounts apply to anyone who has a valid Green ISIC card at the time of the trek or who is 16-years-old or younger. For those using an ISIC card to receive the discount, we need to see a copy of the card at booking. For those booking children 16-years-old or younger, we need a copy of their passport at booking time. Please send all to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More Information about ISIC STUDENT CARD
Extra Day in Cusco: An additional day can be added before or/and after tour. Ask your Alpaca Expeditions specialist for prices and options.
Hotels Upgrades (some suggested hotels below):
In Cusco: Aranwa Hotel +$90 per person (+$120 for a single room)
In Agues Calientes: El Mapi + $70 per person (+$120 for a single room)
Getting to Cusco
The airport in Cusco currently is only for domestic flights, so all international travelers by plane must disembark in Lima and go through Customs. Even if your flight to Cusco is the same day by the same airline carrier, you must grab your bags in Lima and then check them back in.
The best way to get to Cusco is by air and there are several options in airlines. LAN tends to be the most expensive, but has the most options and flights. Expect delays or flight cancellations. Due to the high altitude of Cusco, it tends to be difficult to land and any acclimate weather will stop air traffic. Bus travel is always available and while the trip can be long, especially from Lima, the buses in Peru are very well maintained and comfortable. This option is strongly encouraged if coming from a city closer to Cusco, like Puno. Lima buses will take about 20 hours to arrive.
Even though this is an overnight tour by train, your luggage allowance is still limited due to restrictions on the train. All bags brought to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) need to be carry on size. Any extra luggage you have with you can be left safely in Cusco at either your hotel or with us at the Alpaca Expeditions deposit while you trek. We will grab from you the morning of your tour and return once you are back in Cusco. Make sure your bags have some kind of identification on them so they are easy to locate.
As soon as people book their trip to Peru, specifically Cusco, they start wondering about altitude sickness. The air at high altitudes contains less oxygen than at sea level and forces your body to work harder to get the oxygen it needs. Over several days at high altitude, your body adjusts to the lower amount of oxygen in the air.
With altitude sickness, you may first feel like you have the flu or a hangover. You may have a headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, trouble sleeping, trouble breathing during exercise. If any of these effects become severe, please contact our office and we will help you get to a doctor.
Most of the time, these symptoms will be mild. We always recommend easing into activity slowly, allowing your body to adjust. Drink plenty of fluids such as water or coca tea. Coca tea has been used since ancient times to help prevent altitude sickness. Leaves from the coca plant contain alkaloids which helps bring oxygen into your blood, helping your body avoid the effects of altitude sickness. Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol and coffee. They will cause you to urinate more often and become dehydrated. Avoid smoking. Smoking makes it more difficult for your body to get oxygen. Avoid sleeping pills. They may cause shallow breathing at night, making it more difficult for your body to absorb oxygen while you sleep.
Your healthcare provider may prescribe medicines, such as acetazolamide and dexamethasone, to help prevent altitude sickness. Start the medicine two days before you get to a high altitude. Continue to take it while you are at high altitude.
Of course weather is unpredictable. Typically the dry season in Cusco is from April through October, but this does not stop rain from falling in June or the sun from coming out in December – just be prepared. No matter what month you are doing the trek, please make sure that you have rain gear that includes a waterproof jacket, pants, poncho and waterproof gloves.
Also prepare for four seasons. Many of the treks through the Andes involve many micro-climates and you will need to be prepared for all seasons. Layers are always key as they are easy to adjust to the different temperatures. And evenings will always be cold, so please be prepared with a warm, winter-weight jacket.
To protect your travel investment, we highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance. Obtaining travel insurance before you leave home is strongly encouraged and very easy. In fact, we work with a great agency in the United States that has helped to make it easy and affordable. This is a great way to protect yourself while visiting Peru.
If interested in booking through our trusted partner, Ahart, Frinzi & Smith, CLICK HERE.
Alpaca Expeditions is really proud of the work we do for our community. This is a main focus for our company. We have worked with villages directly to help supply them with needs their families were missing. We have supported local schools by giving them computers and books. We currently sponsor a teacher at the village most of our porters come from to ensure their children are offered the best education.
We buy all our food from local farmers and markets and serve the freshest ingredients. We provide English classes for all our team: guides, porters, chefs and drivers. And we are building a house for our porters to give them a safe and comfortable place to stay before and after our treks so they no longer need to sleep on the floor of a friend.
And twice every year we bring our porters and their families to Machu Picchu. This is our favorite trip to do as the guys who work tirelessly have never visited the Lost Citadel of the Incas. Showing them this place is our biggest honor.
We are always looking to do more for our partners. Please let us know of your ideas and we will work to help.