DAY 1: SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS (Pisac + Moray + Maras + Salt mines + Ollantaytambo)
We will pick you up from your hotel at 7:30 am with our private van and head to the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Our first stop is the Manos de la Comunidad, which has a variety of Camelids indigenous to Peru like the llama, alpaca, guanacos and the Vicuna that produces very fine wool and can only be shorn every three years. We visit this farm to pet, feed and take pictures with these animals. Also, in the center are local women dressed in local garments, weaving items using the wool from these animals. As you exit, you will encounter a museum and souvenir shop. The workers are always around to answer any questions, but you never feel pressurized to buy anything.
Then, we stop at the Mirador of Taray to enjoy a beautiful overhead view of the Urubamba valley, which accents the surrounding mountains. Next, we head to the Pisac archaeological site, where you can see the biggest Inca cemetery with more than 2,000 tombs lining the mountain side. We learn more about the value of this site in terms of Agriculture. Explore the many inca farming terraces, food storage warehouses at the top of the hill and the water channels for irrigation purposes.
Then, we start driving towards Urubamba for lunch, passing small farming towns like Coya and Calca before stopping at the foot of Urubamba for a delectable buffet lunch. The restaurant has an impressive spread of different foods and is vegan and vegetarian friendly. There is a variety of fresh vegetables, salads, protein dishes, desserts and tea and coffee.
After lunch, we continue towards the colonial town of Maras, to reach the Pre-Inca salt mines. Enjoy this incredible historical site, that has been mined pre-Inca and continues to be the bread and butter for this small community. The salt stream above feeds the thousands of salt pans, once the water has evaporated the salt is collected and sold. The salt mines are one of the few left in the world that produce a natural pink salt and have not adopted any modern techniques for mass salt mining. The locals have full mining rights and all the salt sold on site belongs to the locals. It still supplies Peru with over 90% of its salt. A great place to grab another souvenir.
Next, we visit Moray, which was an experimental farming site built in the form of an amphitheater, which each level naturally with a different temperature to grow different types of crops. These levels of terraces were carved before the Incas took control of the Sacred Valley and then used by the Incas to research optimal growing conditions for their crops. The Incas brought in different soil samples from other regions, to optimize their research. The locals were still using it for growing their crops, until the 1970s when it was preserved and protected for tourism.
Then, we drive to Ollantaytambo to explore this quaint Inca village and the amazing Inca Ruins on the hilltop above. These ruins are where the Incas fought their last battle with the Spanish conquerors, before they had to retreat and flee into the dense jungle. Most of the structures were unfortunately incomplete. There is a section with a number of boulders that were carved, but didn’t make it to their destination. Another possibility, is that the battle was so intense, it caused a lot of damage to this massive Inca site.
Finally, we head to our hotel, so you can enjoy your dinner (not included) and get some rest for the hectic but magical day tomorrow.
- 2* Accommodation: Tunupa Lodge or similar
Day 2: Ollantaytambo – Km104 – Wiñay Wayna – Sun Gate – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes – Cusco
Your guide will pick you up from your hotel at 5:30 am in Ollantaytambo to escort you to the Ollantaytambo train station, for the 6:10 am Expedition train. From there we take the train to KM 104, the starting point of the Inca Trail. After crossing the Urubamba River on a picturesque foot bridge, you need to show your passport at the checkpoint. There we visit the first Inca site nearby.
At this point, we begin our 3-hour trek to Wiñay Wayna archaeological site (2,650/8,747ft) also known as Forever Young in Quechua. The first hour and a half is a gentle hike upward. Along the way, we stop at several outlooks where you have an expansive view of the Urubamba River and pass through several microclimates, including a cloud forest. We are then challenged by a slightly steeper uphill trek and rewarded at the end with a beautiful waterfall to enjoy.
Upon reaching Wiñay Wayna, we will rest, eat your gourmet box lunch and enjoy the dazzling views of this amazing site. Here at Wiñay Wayna we finally intersect with the Classic Inca Trail. These amazing Inca ruins have a fascinating history and some parts are still hidden by the dense jungle. Be sure to ask your guide to share about its history.
After having our well-deserved rest, just one last one hour trek before reaching the Sun Gate (2,730m/9,00ft). We know we are close to the Sun Gate when we experience our last challenge with a final set of steep stairs carved directly into the bedrock by the Inca Trail, aptly names the gringo killer or monkey steps. Upon passing through the Sun Gate and taking a turn, we get the first glimpse of the mysterious Machu Picchu Citadel. It is just an hour hike down the flat rock stairs to Machu Picchu. Be sure to have your camera ready to take all of the incredible views of Machu Picchu Citadel along the way.
Once we reach Machu Picchu, you will have time to get more photos from the viewing platforms above the site, the “House of the Guardians” where you can take the famous postcard pictures of Machu Picchu. Your guide will give you a tour, which takes about two hours. You will see some of the most important parts of Machu Picchu.
Take your time to enjoy in this magical Inca ruins, before you take the bus down to Aguas Calientes. In the evening at 6:20PM you will take the return Expedition Train to Ollantaytambo and catch our private van back to Cusco and your hotel. You will arrive around 10:00PM.
- Meals: Breakfast from your hotel (please request for a boxed breakfast) and Picnic lunch
- Difficulty: Moderate
***On the Inca Trail, we will be doing the circuit #3 and there is no way to do another circuit unless you buy an additional entrance to Machu Picchu.
***It is not possible to do the Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain climb due to time restraints
***You can upgrade to the Vistadome Train for $57. This train will depart from Aguas Calientes at 6:10pm to Ollantaytambo only.
WHAT IS INCLUDED FOR THE SACRED VALLEY TOUR & 1 DAY INCA TRAIL?
- Sacred Valley Tour with entrances included.
- Entrances to the Inca cities and archeological sites
- Inca Trail permit
- Professional guide for two days
- Expedition train from Ollantaytambo to KM 104 and from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
- One night hotel accommodation with private room, bathroom and breakfast included
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary
- Bus tickets from Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes
- Personal assistance
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED FOR THE SACRED VALLEY TOUR & 1 DAY INCA TRAIL?
- Hotel – optional upgrades
- Upgrade to Vistadome: $57 USD per person – return train in the afternoon at 6:10pm to Ollantaytambo only
- Tips for your guide
|No. OF PEOPLE||PRICE|
|2 to 8 people (with 1 night hotel)||$ 537 USD per person|
|2 to 8 people (without hotel)||$ 497 USD per person|
**All entrance fees are included and we operate our tours in small groups averaging 5 people, with a maximum of 8!**
- 18 to 25 years old: $30 USD. Information required on student card: name of university, student name, photo of student, expiration date etc. A copy of the card at booking is required & government approval for discount.
- Under 18 years old: $30 USD. Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
- Under 11 years old: $40 USD. Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
- Upgrade to Vistadome Train: $57 USD.
- Hotel single supplement: $35 USD for solo travelers
- Upgrade Hotel – La Cabaña Hotel 3*: $50 USD per person
- Upgrade Hotel – Tierra Viva Hotel: 4* $90 USD per person
- Upgrade Hotel – El Mapi Hotel: 4* $120 USD per person
Please read the following information carefully. It will help answer all of your questions about our services and tours.
ARRIVAL IN CUSCO
We will pick you up from the Cusco airport and take you to your hotel in Cusco. Please let us know your flight details at least 14 days before arrival. Our representative will be holding an orange sign reading ORANGE Nation outside the arrivals. You must exit the terminal to find our representative as they cannot enter. (Please let us know if your hotel is in the Sacred Valley so we can make the necessary arrangments).
The Briefing is the night before you begin the Sacred Valley Tour & 1-Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu tour at 6 pm in our office, which is located at Garcilaso Street 210 , Office Nº:213 (2nd Floor) in the la CASA DEL ABUELO shopping center.
CAN I STORE MY LUGGAGE AT YOUR OFFICE?
ABSOLUTELY! We will keep your main luggage at our office or you can store it at your hotel, both are free.
HOW TO BOOK THE TOUR?
FIRST, to book your Sacred Valley & 1-Day Inca Trail Tour, we need you to fill out our booking form by clicking on BOOK NOW on our homepage or click here – BOOK NOW.
Please have the following information (From Each Person in your group). We cannot purchase entrance tickets to Machu Picchu or the train without the following information:
- Personal information (your full name, exactly as it appears on your passport)
- Passport number
- D.O.B. (dd / mm / yyyy)
SECOND, we require a deposit of USD 211.00 per person to purchase your entrance to Machu Picchu and train ticket. You can make your deposit by clicking on the PAYPAL symbols on the top of our home page, or you can click on the PAYPAL symbols on our booking page.
WHAT ABOUT THE BALANCE?
It would be very appreciated if you pay in cash at our office (US dollars or Peruvian soles) here in Cusco. We have many ATMs within the historical center to withdraw money. You can also pay by PAYPAL online, but you will have to pay a 5.5% service charge by PAYPAL. To pay your balance through PAYPAL, you need to log into your PAYPAL account using our email address firstname.lastname@example.org to complete payment.
MAY I CHANGE THE DEPARTURE DATE AFTER THE TICKETS HAVE BEEN BOUGHT?
Yes, but with some restrictions and fees. Once the tickets for Machu Picchu have been bought, the government does not allow any changes. We cannot change any departure dates once tickets have been purchased. Tickets are also non-transferable nor refundable. If you cancel your Sacred Valley & 1 Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, the deposit is not refundable at all!
DO I NEED MY ORIGINAL PASSPORT?
DEFINITELY! You MUST bring your original passport with the same passport number you sent to us to book your entrance tickets to Machu Picchu, train, other entrances, and reservations. They will check when you enter Machu Picchu and board the train.
If you are renewing your passport or changing your name, please send us a COPY of your old passport to secure your permit, and we can change it when we receive a COPY of your new passport or updated name for a fee of $25 per person. We must have a copy of your old and new passport to make the change. Before you change your passport, keep a copy of your old one.
If you do not wish to pay this fee, you must bring both passports with you to Peru. You can enter Peru with your new passport, but you will need to show both passports, old and new to enter Machu Picchu or the train. If you do not have both, you will not be allowed to enter Machu Picchu or get on the train.
Remember to check your current passport to make sure it doesn’t expire within 6 months of your arrival to Peru!!! The Government of Peru is enforcing the existing law that requires all foreign travelers to have a passport valid for a minimum of six months past the time of entry into Peru. Peruvian authorities will deny entry into Peru for travelers not meeting this requirement.
ARE WE DROPPED AT OUR HOTEL?
OF COURSE! We will drop you off at your hotel when we return from the trek or tour in either Cusco or the Sacred Valley.
If you are happy with the services provided, a tip is appreciated. While it might not be customary in your country, it means a lot for the people, and their families, who will take care of you during the tour. It promotes better service and is an essential part of the tourism industry in Peru. Of course, you are free to tip whatever you feel is appropriate, based on how happy you are with the service and the length of your tour.
ARE YOU SUSTAINABLE?
We are a locally sustainable & responsible tour operator that functions according to the ethical principles of tourism to protect the environment and benefit the indigenous communities respecting their culture and religion. We have trained all of our staff to know, understand, and respect the local communities and the people living there.
WHAT YOU SHOULD BRING FOR SACRED VALLEY TOUR & 1 DAY INCA TRAIL
- Original passport (it has to be the same as the one you have used for booking your trek)
- Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
- Water bottle: 2L reusable bottles (please do not bring disposable)
- Comfortable hiking boots with ankle support
- Toilet paper
- Dress in layers
- Hand sanitizer
- Personal medications
- Sun hat
- Insect repellent
- Wool hat in the cold season
- Rain gear, weather is always unpredictable.
- Snacks like chocolate bars, cereal bars or any dry fruits
- Rain poncho
- Extra money for souvenirs, drinks & tips
WHAT YOU SHOULD PUT IN YOUR BAG TO BE SENT BY TRAIN TO AGUAS CALIENTES
- Second set of clothes for visiting Machu Picchu the second day
- Personal medications
- Toiletries for the hotel
- Snacks like chocolate bars, cereal bars or any dry fruits
- Camera and phone chargers
- Extra money for souvenirs, drinks & tips
10/10 Amazing experience
If you’re thinking about which agency to use, look no further- Ray and Jimmy went well above and beyond and made this a memorable, safe, fun, and professional experience.
Ray is the most knowledgeable guide I’ve ever had in any country for any excursion - during both the Short Inka Trail and the actual tour of Machu Picchu, Ray’s expertise shined through in his ability to give us a detailed background on every aspect of the history, climate, nature, flora, animals.. anything!
Likewise, Ray and Jimmy were truly the friendliest, kindest hosts that I could have imagined our group having.
Thank you both so much and I will definitely book with you again if (when) I come back!
Did the 2 day Inca trail with Ray and Jimmy they were great and knowledgeable. Ray not only guided us along trail to Machu Picchu but also was an excellent photographer and taught us the history. It was a group of 10 and we had a great time. Even everything going on in Peru, we always felt in good hands.
Short Inca Trial (2-Day)
This tour was the perfect experience for our (group of 10) short trip to Peru. The trail was sometimes challenging, but the views and history made it all worth it. Ray and Jimmy were our guides and imparted sooo much knowledge about the history of Peru, Inca, and beyond. I would definitely recommend!