A trek along part of the Inca Trail, a visit to Machu Picchu, and a homestay in a Quechua village are the highlights of this package. You will begin with the Cusco City tour. Your guide will take you to the most important sites of the city and introduce you to the ancient culture and history of the Incas and Colonial Spanish. Then a one-day Inca Trail trek will take you through the cloud forest to approach Machu Picchu by way of the Sun Gate. The following day you will explore the Machu Picchu ruins and return to Ollantaytambo for the night. In the morning you will meet your host families who will join you on a day trek to Q´euña Lake, high in the Andes. Back in the village of Willoq Alto you will stay overnight with the Quechua families and learn about their traditional weaving practices. The next day you will visit the ruins of Pumamarka and Ollantaytambo before returning to Cusco by way of Maras, where you will tour Moray and the Salt Mines. Stunning mountain treks, ancient archeological sites, and an intimate cultural experience are all wrapped up in a 5-Day tour – and no need to camp overnight in a tent!
DAY 1: Cusco City Tour
DAY 2: Cusco – Kilometer 104– inca trail – Aguas Calientes
DAY 3: Machu Picchu – Ollantaytambo
DAY 4: Ollantaytambo – Patacancha – Willoq Alto
DAY 5: Willoq Alto – Ollantaytambo – Cusco
Highest Point: 4,300m/14,107ft
Distance: 26km / 16.2mi
Overall Difficulty: 1 2 3 4 5
We will meet you at the airport and transport you to your hotel where you can settle in and rest before we start the half-day Cusco City Tour. On the tour, we will explore Cusco’s charming main streets while learning the fascinating history of the city. We will visit the Sun Temple (Qoricancha) and perhaps visit a market. Then we will head to the outskirts of the city where you will get a panoramic view of the city at the archeological site of Sacsayhuaman. Finally we will visit Qenqo, an impressive Inca temple, before returning you to your hotel.
We will pick you up at your hotel in Cusco in the early morning, drive to Ollantaytambo, and from there take the Machu Picchu train to kilometer 104. There our trek will begin and we will work our way up the most impressive stretch of the Inca Trail. As we pass through the lush and verdant cloud forest that covers the mountain we will see a variety of plants, flowers and birds. We will also visit beautiful Inca sites, including Wiñay Wayna, and enjoy fantastic panoramic views of the Andes mountains. After a full day of trekking we’ll arrive at the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) and get our first views of Machu Picchu spread out on the mountain below. The light in late afternoon is great for photos, and with fewer tourists in the site later in the day, it’s a perfect time to take some pictures. After we’ve passed through the Sun Gate we’ll continue along the trail that leads us to Machupicchu then bus to Aguas Calientes which is located in the valley below where we’ll check into our hotel.
Meals: L, D
Maximum Altitude: 2,700m / 8,858ft
Minimum Altitude: 1,950m /6,398 ft
Distance: 10km / 6.3mi
Walking Time: 6-7 hrs
Waking up early, we’ll take the bus back up to Machu Picchu – the Lost City of the Incas – to enter the site as it opens. This historical sanctuary is a masterpiece of art, urbanism, architecture and engineering, and, from its perch amongst spectacular mountains, it will take your breath away! You will have a 3-hour guided tour of the site during which you’ll learn about the Incas and visit the most important areas of the citadel. After your tour you’ll have time to do short hikes if you have permits, to climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain. In the afternoon you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo where you will stay overnight in a hotel.
After breakfast we will drive to the community of Patacancha where we will meet local Quechua families at the trailhead for our day hike. It will take approximately 4 hours hiking to reach Q´euña Lake, the highest point of our trek (4300 m/14107 ft). This is the time to pat yourself on the back and enjoy the stunning views of snowy mountains, llamas, alpacas, rugged valleys and undulating farmlands. Then our Quechua families will set up our lunch spot, and we will enjoy hot cocoa and coca tea with a delicious lunch overlooking the picturesque Lares Valley. After lunch we will descend 3 hours to reach our homestay in the Willoq Alto community where all the Quechua families will welcome you to their village. They are excited to “adopt” travelers into their families, and you will experience a living culture during your overnight stay with these Inca descedents in the Andes of Perú .
Meals: B, L, D
Maximum Altitude: 4,300m/14,107ft
Minimum Altitude: 3,700m/12,139ft
Walking time: 6 to 7 hours
We will wake up early to share breakfast with village families. The morning will be spent learning about the traditional weaving culture that sustains these families. They still use all-natural dyes made from plants, seeds, flowers, roots and cactus parasites to color their wools, and this is a terrific place to pick up some handmade souvenirs. Around 10:00 am our driver will pick us up and an hour’s drive will take us to Pumamarka – an amazing Incan archeological site that is seldom visited by tourists. You will enjoy the view of Incan farming terraces which extend over the mountains as well as their ancient houses and store houses. Exploring Pumamarka takes around 1 hour. After our tour of Pumamarka we will head down to Ollantaytambo where you will have lunch and then explore the Ollantaytambo ruins along with the charming town itself. On the way back to your hotel in Cusco we will stop in Maras to visit the amazing Moray circles – an ancient agricultural laboratory – and the Maras Salt Mines. These picturesque evaporative pools are fed by a subterranean river and are owned and managed cooperatively by the community of Maras. We will return you to your hotel in Cusco and to the airport, if you need a ride, in the morning.
SERVICES NOT INCLUDED:
NOTE: If you need to rent any equipment such as a sleeping bag, water-proof poncho, hiking poles, etc. please let us know in advance. We will secure them for you – no deposit required.
WE RECOMMEND YOU BRING
PRICE: 1540USD$ per person when booking 2 people
PRICE: 1480 USD$ per person when booking 3 people
PRICE: 1400 USD$ per person when booking 4- 6 people
PRICE: 1340 USD$ per person when booking 7- 10 people