Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu 2D/1N
- Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu full day tours
- Visits to Pisaq market and ruins and Ollantaytambo fortress
- Train directly to Aguas Calientes and spend the night in the town for Machu Picchu (after Ollantaytambo)
- Sunrise entry into Machu Picchu, hours before the crowds arrive
Day 1: Cusco – Alpaca Farm – Pisaq Market – Pisaq Inca – Ollantaytambo – Train To Aguas Calientes
We will pick you up from any hotel in Cusco at either 7 or 8 a.m., depending on what train you take back, after your tour. You and your tour guide will take our private transportation to the first stop, the Awanacancha Alpaca farm. Here, you will see the traditional animals of the Incas: llamas, alpacas, viñuna, and guanaco. Your guide will give you background information, show you a potato display and a textile center, showing how the wools are woven and colored. Good quality alpaca wool will be for sale. Then, we’ll drive to El Mirador del Valle Sagrado, the Sacred Valley Lookout Point, for amazing views and photos. Following, we will visit the famous Pisaq Market, where women come down from the Andean villages to sell their textiles and vegetables. The market is open every day, but is busiest on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. After the visit to the market, we will continue the journey up to the Pisaq Inca Archeological site, located on top of Pisaq Mountain in the Sacred Valley. Your tour guide will take you to the most impressive spots. Then, we will drive along the valley for about 45 minutes, until we reach Urubamba, where we will stop for lunch. You will have an amazing selection of fresh dishes, served buffet-style. After lunch, we will drive to Ollantaytambo, where the second heaviest Inca monoliths are to be found. The ruins have an amazing Temple of the Sun, Moon, and The Temple of the 10 Niches. This living Incan town displays narrow walkways, lined with water channels. If your departing train is at 7 p.m., you will have time to explore more of the town and enjoy dinner. If your departing train is at 3:36 p.m., you will need to head to the train station and catch your train to Aguas Calientes, where you may have dinner there (the train schedule will depend on how far in advance you are booking and/or the availability of the train.) The train trip to Aguas Calientes is just under two hours, descending into the Cloud Forest, where you will see orchids, bromeliads and ferns. Our representatives will meet you just outside the train station, upon arrival and lead you to your hotel.
Hotel: La Cabaña: Casa Andina or similar
Tour Type: Historical and cultural, the tour is done by our private van
Meals: Included (if there are more than eight people, we will have a picnic lunch in the Sacred Valley)
Highlights: Alpaca farm visit, Pisaq Inca Archeological site, Pisaq Market, Ollantaytambo town and archeological site, personalized service
Day 2: Aguas Calientes Town – Machu Picchu –Train Journey Back To Cusco
Today you will visit Machu Picchu. You will be visiting the famous Sacred City of the Incas, the crystal city of the Inca civilization. You will determine, with your tour guide, the best time to start your day. Most people prefer to rise at 4 a.m. walk to the bus station to take one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu. It can be enjoyable to arrive at the ruins as soon as they open, at 6 a.m., to catch the magical mists on the ruins as the sun rises. After a 25 minute bus ride to Machu Picchu, your tour guide will take you to the best views before the day trippers arrive. Then, we will start the two hour guided, walking tour, exploring all of the famous places of this impressive citadel: The Temple of the Sun, The Royal Tomb, The Intiwatana (sun dial rock), Main Plaza, Temple of the 3 Windows, The Artisan Sector, the Condor Temple and many others. After the tour, you will have time to explore the ruins on your own. If you have booked permits to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain, you will head to that adventure. If you chose not to book a hike, you can climb to the Sun Gate and witness its amazing views. At around 2:30 or 3 p.m., you will need to take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes to enjoy lunch at one of the many restaurants there. Be sure to arrive at the train station 30 minutes before your departure. Our train schedule is usually at 4:20 p.m. to Ollantaytambo, where you will catch our private transportation for another two hour drive back to Cusco. If you care to upgrade the train to the Vistadome-class service, then you will have the choice to leave at either 3:20 p.m. or 5:20 p.m. Both Vistadome trains take you to Poroy station, where our driver will collect you and drive you back to Cusco.
Note: Machu Picchu Inca site is different from Machu Picchu Mountain. When most people refer to Machu Picchu, they are referring to the archeological site. Machu Picchu Mountain requires a separate permit to climb. Please notify us if you are interested and we can book this for you. It must be done in advance and is a part of your entry into the site.
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.
Hotel: We include a 3 star Hotel in Aguas Calientes. Most often, it is La Cabana Hotel, based on availability. This hotel can be upgraded to any hotel in the town for the price difference. It is also possible to book this tour without a hotel for $50 off our listed price (per person). Our price is based on rooming two people per room. There is a $50 surcharge for a single room at La Cabana (prices vary by hotel).
Transportation: All your transportation is included in this trek. You will be picked up directly from your hotel around 8 a.m. to begin this tour. There will have time to enjoy dinner in Ollantaytambo before taking the 7 p.m. expedition train to Aguas Clients. The train returning to Ollantaytambo is again, expedition class. Upgrades to the Vistadome are available for $65 per person, one way, or $100 per person, round-trip. Once you arrive at the train station, you will be brought back to your hotel in Cusco. Your round trip bus ticket from Aguas Clientes to Machu Picchu is also included.
Meals: During the Sacred Valley tour, we will stop for lunch. Dinner will be at a restaurant in Ollantaytambo. Breakfast will be available at your hotel. All three of these meals are included in your tour.
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
Day packs: It is suggested to carry snacks, water, a hat, clothing layers, bug spray, etc. at all times, so you will likely have a small bag. We do not provide this and it should not exceed 25L.
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.
As long as we meet our minimum of two people, our train tours can leave any day of the week, twelve months a year.
$495 per person
La Cabaña (or similar)
This is a 3 star hotel. It is assumed you will share a room, either a double, matrimonial or triple. There is a single room surcharge of $60 per person, if you are booking alone. Rooms include private bathrooms with hot showers and wifi. We can also upgrade your hotel, if you prefer something fancier. Please remember that the service in Aguas Calientes may not be comparable to that of Cusco.
$25 off 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
There are several optional upgrades you can include in this trip. Below is a quick list of prices, but check our Overview section for more details
Huayna Picchu: $35 per person
Vistadome Train (one way): $75 per person
Vistadome Train (round trip): $100 per person
Sacred Valley Tour: $200 per group of six, if booked with this trek
City Tour: $150 per group of six, if booked with this trek
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.
The Journey is the Destination
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