Cusco & Lake Titicaca
9 Days / 8 Nights


HIGHLIGHTS:

Sacred valley, Inca trail classic, Rainbow Mountain – Sun route to Puno & Lake Titicaca

The beauty of the city of Cusco and Puno combined in one amazing itinerary! This itinerary is perfect for those with limited time and new to the trekking world. This journey will take you to the magical Sacred Valley of the Incas and Machu Picchu via the short version of the Inca Trail. You will be mesmerized by the beauty of the now famous Rainbow Mountain and will spend some time with the local villagers of the islands of Lake Titicaca. The best of the Andes in one journey!

Tour Price
Cusco & Lake Titicaca 9 Days / 8 Nights

From
$ 2,016 Per Person
  • Hotel
  • Included
From
$ 2,489 Per Person
  • Hotel
  • Included

Group Size Up to 16
Activity Level Challenging

Trip Details


Itinerary

  1. DAY 1. Welcome to Cusco!

    Welcome to the Imperial City of Cusco! Our transfer will be waiting for you at the airport in Cusco ready to take you to your hotel.

    The rest of the day will be free to be spent at your own leisure. We recommend taking a stroll through the city´s charming cobblestone streets and visiting the local market of San Pedro. Use this day to acclimate to the higher altitude without overexerting yourself!

    Your briefing session for the Inca Trail hike will take place at 18:30 hrs at the Alpaca Expeditions headquarters. You will meet your guide and fellow hike members during your briefing session. We will use this time to check in as well.

    Accommodation: Tierra Viva Centro or similar
    Meals: Not included
    Entrance Tickets: None required

  2. DAY 2. Sacred Valley of the Incas

    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 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.

    We will spend the night at Ollantaytambo to start our Inca Trail early the next day.

    Accommodation: Pakaritampu Hotel or similar
    Meals: Breakfast at hotel
    Entrance Tickets: All Included

  3. DAY 3. Short Inca Trail with Hotel

    Your short Alpaca Expeditions Inca Trail tour to Machu Picchu starts with you being picked up from your hotel at 4 a.m. Next, we’ll go to the train station and leave on the 6:10 a.m. train from Ollantaytambo. The trail follows the Urubamba River until we reach Km 104, where we’ll begin our trek. Along the way you’ll see spectacular views of farmlands, snow-capped mountains and the mighty Urubamba River. The Urubamba River is one of the sources of the massive Amazon River so it’s very impressive to see. At 104 km (2,000 m), we’ll begin our breathtaking trek. Once you’re off the train and ready to go, we’ll provide you with snacks and take a group photo. Then we’ll set off to visit our first Inca site. We’ll give you a short orientation about this historical Inca site as well as a walking tour. Then we’ll begin hiking as we head for the Classic Inca Trail. We’ll have tremendous views of Machu Picchu, the Urubamba River and other surrounding Inca Sites.

    After hiking for three hours we’ll reach the most beautiful Incan site on the Inca Trail Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young) at 2,600 m/8,500 ft. Few people get the opportunity to see these elaborate water fountains, temples and agricultural terraces. These provide a perfect opportunity to learn about the history of the Incas. The backdrop of this site is a dramatic cliff drop with beautiful mountains surrounding the area.

    A few minutes of walking from there and you’ll arrive at the Alpaca Expeditions campsite used by hikers who have chosen to do the Classic Inca Trail. Here you’ll be able to enjoy the hot homemade lunch that’s been freshly cooked by Alpaca Expeditions’ chefs. You’ll also get a chance to refill your water and get a little rest after you’ve eaten.

    From Wiñay Wayna, we’ll walk to the Sun Gate. This is where we’ll see the picturesque landscape of the famous Machu Picchu. After taking in the once-in-a-lifetime views, we’ll begin our descent to Machu Picchu.

    One of the many advantages of this trek is that by the time you reach Machu Picchu the day travelers will have left. This leaves you the whole area to explore with no interruptions. After taking photos and exploring the area, we’ll take the bus down to Aguas Calientes and head to your hotel. After that we’ll head to Indio Feliz for dinner (included). This restaurant is considered to have the best food in Aguas Calientes. After dinner we recommend going to bed early to make the most of the next day.

    Accommodation: la Cabaña Hotel or similar
    Meals: Breakfast at hotel, lunch & dinner
    Entrance Tickets: All Included

  4. DAY 4. Visit to Machu Picchu & Return to Cusco

    We’ll wake up early so that we can catch one of the first busses so that we can catch the striking sunrise at Machu Picchu. You’ll have a two hour guided walking tour by your private English speaking Alpaca Expeditions guide. After that you’ll have time to explore Machu Picchu by yourself. Those who have tickets to Huayna Picchu will have time to climb the mountain, which takes approximately an hour and a half round-trip.

    After exploring you can either take a bus or walk down to Aguas Calientes for a free afternoon. You’ll need to remember to catch your train, which will depart that afternoon to Ollantaytambo. Once you arrive at the station in Ollantaytambo we will be there to meet you and drive you back to Cusco.

    Accommodation: Tierra Viva Centro or similar
    Meals: Breakfast at hotel
    Entrance Tickets: All Included (except Huayna Picchu Mountain entry ticket)

  5. DAY 5. Rainbow Mountain

    We will pick you up for the Rainbow Mountain hike at 4:00 – 4:30 am from any hotel, Airbnb, or hostel in Cusco. It will be a 2½ hour drive to the trailhead – we will arrive at around 7 am. Here at the trailhead, our chef will make a delicious breakfast, including coffee, hot chocolate, teas, bread, fruit salad, eggs, and hot drinks. Cusco’s elevation is 3300m / 11,300ft, and the trailhead called Phulawasipata is at 4200m/ 14,300ft.

    Cusco’s weather is usually quite cold, and the trailhead is even colder, so early in the morning. Be sure to bring a warm jacket, scarf, hat, and gloves.

    After breakfast, we’ll hike about 2 hours uphill to the Rainbow Mountain range. At a slower pace, it could be 2¾ hours, or if you are really fit, quick and acclimatized well, some people can do it in 1½ hours. The hike up includes some short breaks where the guide will explain some important information about the mountains and the geography of the area. Perhaps you’ll have a chance to catch sight of some of the locals, including llamas and alpacas that frequent this area.

    The trail itself is quite wide and helpful for those with vertigo or fear of heights. The trek is best during the dry season as the trails are not paved. The trail can be a bit dusty, and in the rainy season, it can be slippery since it may be wet. However, with good waterproof hiking shoes and trekking poles, it will be just fine. This is your opportunity to see why Rainbow Mountain has become an Instagrammers delight according to CNBC!

    Upon your arrival at the top of Rainbow Mountain, around 9-10:00 am, you will have about 1 hour to explore the spectacular views of the surrounding areas – valleys, mountains and to view the highest glacial mountain in Cusco – Ausangate, whose summit is at an elevation of 6,384m / 20,944ft, making it one of the tallest mountains in Peru.

    After giving you a bit of time to take some treasured photos, your guide will tell you some intriguing facts about this fascinating place – like why the colors?! – and he will also share some detail about the Inkan history. A few last photos of this spectacular mountain and we will begin our descent. We do this a little differently than other groups. Instead of hiking the same route as they do, we hike to a lookout point to see the Red Valley and continue with our hike.

    This valley is the icing on the cake, and many of our hikers say that it is even nicer than Rainbow Mountain! It is about 2½ hours mostly downhill from Rainbow Mountain, to the end of the trail, which is near where we started the hike. Here you will enjoy a fresh meal prepared by your chef, which includes cold drinks, appetizers, soup, and the main course.
    After lunch, it will be another 2½ hour drive to Cusco, where we will drop you off at your hotel at around 5:30 – 6:00 pm.

    Your guide will double-check with you about the next day’s activities.

    Accommodation: Tierra Viva Centro or similar
    Meals: Breakfast & lunch
    Entrance Tickets: All Included

  6. DAY 6. Cusco - Puno Bus

    After an early breakfast, we will pick you up between 6:00 a.m. to 6:20 a.m. to transfer you to the bus station, where you will take the tourist bus. This is a full-day ride to Puno. You will enjoy stops along the way and visit some Inca and pre-Inca ruins. When you arrive at Puno, our representative will pick you up and transfer you to your hotel.

    Once at your hotel you will get a quick briefing session. This can be done in person or through a phone call.

    Accommodation: Tierra Viva Puno or similar
    Meals: Breakfast
    Entrance Tickets: All Included

  7. DAY 7. Lake Titicaca and Homestay in Amantani Island

    Pick-up will be between 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. You will be transferred to the lakes port where you will take a boat to the floating island of Uros, where you will have time to explore around.

    Following this, you will take a boat ride to the next island, Amanti Island, where you will stay with a local family. Tonight will be a basic accommodation, but a memorable one, as you will be surrounded by a nice family. This will allow for an opportunity to see how the indigenous people of the lake live. In the afternoon, you will climb the mountain up to the Temple of Pachatata to watch the sunset and party with the locals.

    Accommodation: Overnight with local family in Amantani Island
    Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner
    Entrance Tickets: All Included

  8. DAY 8. Taquile Island & Return to Puno

    You will have an early breakfast with the family and take a boat to the next island called Taquile. This island is known for its intricate and rich textile and weaving traditions and sustainable tourism practices. You will have the opportunity to walk around the island and enjoy a delicious lunch by the lake.

    You will return to Puno around 3:30 p.m. and have a free evening to relax in Puno while waiting for your flight to Lima the next day.

    Accommodation: Tierra Viva Puno
    Meals: Breakfast & lunch
    Entrance Tickets: All Included

  9. DAY 9. Goodbye!

    We hate to see you leave but hope you enjoyed your adventure exploring the gems of south Peru!

    Our transfer will come to pick you up from your hotel in Puno ready to take you to the airport in Juliaca.

    No further services will be arranged for this day.

    Accommodation: None required
    Meals: Breakfast at hotel
    Entrance Tickets: All Included

    All fees are based on double room occupancy. Single rooms can be booked for an additional fee.

    END OF OUR SERVICES

Inclusions

  1. INCLUDED

    • 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: This tour package includes all hotels (3-star rating) listed in Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Puno.

    – Extra nights can be easily added upon request.
    – All rooms are based on double occupancy. Single room surcharges apply.
    – Upgraded hotels (4-star & 5-star rating) are also available upon request.
    – All tour packages can be booked without hotel accommodation upon request.

    • Transportation: All ground transportation is included in this tour package. The return train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo is also included.
    • Meals: All meals listed are included in this tour package.
    • Entrance Tickets: All entrance tickets listed are included in this tour package.
    • Inca Trail Hike: Below are the services included during your Inca Trail hike

    – Briefing: This is where they will receive their duffel bag that will stay with the porters while they hike.
    – Meals: All meals except for the lunch after Machu Picchu are included. All meals are cooked by Alpaca Expeditions Chefs. Water will also be provided during the hike.
    – Portable toilet tent: We also bring environmentally friendly, portable toilet tents for only our groups to use.
    – Satellite Phones: Every guide will have a fully charged phone that can be used anywhere on the mountain to connect us anywhere in the world.

  2. NOT INCLUDED

    • Flights: International and domestic flights are not included.
    • 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 highly 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.
    • Inca Trail Hike: Below are the services NOT INCLUDED during your Inca Trail hike:

    Huayna Picchu Mountain: 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 after your tour of Machu Picchu. The cost is $75. Arrangements need to be made at least one month in advance, due to popularity. Please understand that the weather is out of our control.

Price

  1. Price:

    With 3 Star Hotels: $2016 per person/double occupancy
    * Single Supplement= +$360 pp

    With Upgraded Hotels (Mix or 4 and 5 Star): $2489 per person/double occupancy
    * Single Supplement= +$1150 pp

  2. Options:

    Book Without Hotels: – $360 per person

Travel Info

  1. Altitude

    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. This is why we always recommend spending at least two days in Cusco before beginning any trek. If you have more time, even better. Cusco is an amazing city with a lot to do, so you won’t be bored.

    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.

    Remember the trek to Machu Picchu is not a race. Even those in the best shape will suffer from altitude sickness when they race to the top of the mountain too quickly. Go slowly, it will give your body time to adjust to the mountain.

    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.

    You must remember that this is your holiday and you do not want to stress out about the possibility of getting sick from the mountains. Do everything slowly. Drink lots of water. And enjoy the coca tea. If anything does happen and you unfortunately get sick, let your guide know right away – all Alpaca Expeditions guides are trained in how to help you get through it.

  2. Weather

    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. Many people forget about gloves, but being cold and wet makes hiking very unpleasant.

    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.

  3. First Aid

    Every Alpaca Expeditions guide has received training in first aid from a physician. We conduct mandatory training every February – every single Alpaca guide attends. When guiding you, they will have with them a first aid kit for basic medical problems (traveler’s diarrhea, cuts, scrapes, etc.) and oxygen. They know how to make you feel better.

    In case something unexpected happens and you feel you can no longer complete the trek, they will figure out the safest and quickest way off the course and to a clinic. You will never be left alone; you will have a member of the team escort you every step of the way until safely with a doctor. When you are feeling up to it, we will make sure that you still have the chance to visit Machu Picchu and re-connect with your group, traveling by train comfortably.

  4. Travel Insurance

    Because there are so many logistics to plan and pay for before your trek occurs, payment for your trek is due even if you are unable to complete the hike. Please read our Booking Conditions carefully so you know what is due. Obtaining travel insurance before you leave home is strongly encouraged. This way, if something happens, and this is rare, you will not be out of pocket a tremendous amount of money. Alpaca will provide a letter and your invoice to submit to your insurance in this case to help expedite your processing.

  5. Environmental Impact

    Alpaca Expeditions uses biodegradable soap and transports all our garbage back to Cusco. Our porters are trained to look after the trail and pick up any waste from other groups, as well. We also use environmentally-friendly chemical portable toilets that allow us to pack waste out. We believe in leaving no footprint behind.

  6. Community

    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.

Packing List

  1. Huayna Picchu

    Huayna Picchu is the mountain that stands next to Machu Picchu. It is a 45 minute hike to the top. While this hike is done on your own, your guide will direct you to where this hike begins. This is an additional entrance ticket that we can secure for you with advance notice.

    The ticket is $75 per person.

  2. Machu Picchu Mountain

    Machu Picchu mountain is the other mountain that stands above the Machu Picchu ruins. It offers even more stunning views than Huayna Picchu, but takes an hour and a half to reach the top. This is an additional entrance ticket that we can secure for you.

    This ticket is $35 per person.

  3. Vistadome Train

    All our tours include the Expeditions (Tourist) Train. This train is normally booked at 4:22 p.m., leaving Aguas Calientes. The Vistadome train is an upgraded train, that offers slightly larger seats, windows and even some entertainment. Normally, the Vistadome train is booked at 3:20 p.m. and travels to Poroy, a train station closer to Cusco. While this is an upgraded fee, we will still include your transportation back to your hotel.

    This train is $75 per person or $120 round trip.

Cusco & Lake Titicaca 9D/8N

Please fill in our BOOKING FORM carefully with your correct personal details.

The Alpaca Difference


Alpaca Expeditions is a 100% peruvian, indigenous owned company. Started by Raul Ccolque, a former porter and tour guide, Alpaca Expeditions separates ourselves by our dedication to both our customer and our team. We work very hard to make sure that all our clients needs are taken care of throughout the tour with us. At the same time, we never forget about our brothers and sisters working tirelessly for us to make all of this possible. Responsible and sustainable tourism that gives as much to our community as to our clients.

Meet the AE Trekking Team!


Everyone on the Alpaca Team is from Cusco region, living the traditions and history they share with you while on one of our tours. Our guides are all graduates of university studying tourism, history and english. Our chefs are trained every February by a professional cooking team learning new meals, adding varieties of entrees for all types of eating. And all our porters are from HUARQUI, HUACAHUASI, PATACANCHA, QUISWARANI, CANCHACANCHA, QUEYUPAY, UMACHURCO and CCACCACCOLLO villages, very often working this job on top of maining their farms back at home. Most of our team has been with us for years, as we have the most loyal, hard working, happy employees in Cusco. We know how lucky we are to have the best team trekking and you will immediately fall in love with all the men and women who call Alpaca Expeditions their home.

Our Porter The Green Machine Alpaca Expeditions
Alpaca Expeditions Hike Like a Girl
Alpaca Expeditions Guides

Our Guides

Travelling and trekking along the mountains is one of the best activities in the World. Co...

Our Cooks

Our Chefs

Trekking along the mountain on your way to conquer Machu Picchu is a once in a lifetime ex...

What do we do for our porters?


Alpaca Expeditions would not be where we are today without these hardworking men and women. We could not imagine a harder job and our team does it smiling. We do our best to thank them for their hard work and loyalty by doing as much as we can to make their lives and their families lives better. All our porters receive all their equipment for free from warm winter hats to proper hiking boots. They sleep in proper tents and are given warm sleeping bags for night. They enjoy the same food we serve our clients and all leftovers are donated to their families. We visit their villages with doctors and dentists, donate school supplies and sports equipment. And our favorite time of the year is when we bring a group of porters and their families to Machu Picchu to visit the ruins for the first time.

Our Porter The Green Machine Alpaca Expeditions

AE súper porters

Our Porters represent the Peruvian people, both men, and women who are at the heart of our company. It is not possible to ...

Alpaca Expeditions Hike Like a Girl

Equality Matters

Alpaca Expeditions aims to promote gender equality and empower women, hiring first Peru Women as Porters opening the door ...

Free Medical Assistance to Porters

Free Medical Assistance to Porters

In 2019, we hired our first Alpaca Expeditions Medical Doctor to help tend to our guides, drivers, chefs…

Alpaca expeditions PORTER’S BUS

Our Porter’s bus

We treat our porters with the same dignity and respect as we do our clients. Just as our clients enjoy our…

Our Porter’s House

Our Porter’s House

As we mentioned above, our Porters like many Peruvian people come from distant villages to work our treks…

Proper Equipment for our Porters

Tents and Sleeping bags

Again, this is something unique that Alpaca Expeditions provides, and sad others are not doing. We supply…

Our Porter The Green Machine Alpaca Expeditions

Proper Equipment for our Porters

Every porter of ours receives proper equipment. That includes moisture-wicking long/short sleeve shirts…

Nutritious Meals for our Porters

Nutritious Meals for our Porters

A general comment from trekkers on an Alpaca Expeditions tour is that we serve too much food. Well…

Extra information


Alpaca Expeditions is always ready to make your trip safe and as easy as possible for you. Because these trips are a bit more complicated than your typical tour, we have put together some notes on logistics, storage, and even recommendations on where to stay in Cusco. And of course our team is ready to answer any other question, as we promise to be your partner from the moment you first contact us to our last goodbye in Cusco.

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TRIPADVISOR RECOGNITIONS


Our goal at Alpaca Expeditions is to create the best experience for all of our clients. We create journeys that are to be remembered for a lifetime. Journeys you can be proud of and can share with everybody around you.

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