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. The Vicuna 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 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, at around 5:30pm we head to our hotel to spend the night and prepare for the early historical, once in a lifetime hike we are about to embark on.
- Hotel in Ollantaytambo: Tunupa Lodge or similar
DAY 2: OLLANTAYTAMBO – KM104 (Inca Trail Entrance) – WIÑAY HUAYNA – SUN GATE – MACHU PICCHU
Your guide will pick you up from your hotel at 5:30 am to go to the Ollantaytambo train station, which is very close, to take 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. 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 you reach Machu Picchu, you will have time to take more photos from the viewing platforms above the site (Guard House). Where you can take the famous postcard pictures of Machu Picchu. You will arrive in the afternoon, as the archeological area starts to empty of tourists, which gives you the opportunity to take beautiful photos in the afternoon light with fewer people in your shots. Take your time to take in this magical experience before you take the bus down to Aguas Calientes to check into your hotel. Your will have a delicious dinner. Then you have time to walk around this picturesque little town, visit the hot springs or just go to your hotel to rest after such an exciting day.
- Meals: lunch & dinner
- Accommodation: Ferre Hotel
- Difficulty: Moderate
DAY 3: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO
After an early breakfast at your hotel, we are ready to get an early bus at 5:30am up to Machu Picchu just in time to witness the sunrise. It is a truly mystical site out of history and not something you’ll want to miss! After enjoying the sunrise your guide will provide a guided tour of Machu Picchu, which takes around two hours. You will see many of the most important parts of Machu Picchu Citadel during your tour.
After the tour, those people that have booked in advance for the extra hike up Huayna Picchu will have time to hike it on their own. When they have had their fill of the incredible views of Machu Picchu, a bus back down to Aguas Calientes will be waiting. Upon arriving at Aguas Calientes lunch is waiting with numerous restaurants to choose from (lunch not included). Depending on your train departure time, there may be some time for shopping, or sightseeing.
The Expedition train will take you back to Ollantaytambo at 2:55pm or 3:20pm, following the spectacular Urubamba River. Close to Aguas Calientes, the canyon is narrow and the river has many beautiful sections of whitewater. Back at Ollantaytambo, your driver will meet you at the exit from the train station to take you back to your hotel in Cusco in our private van. You can expect to arrive at your hotel about 7:00pm.
- Meals: breakfast
- On the 2-day 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.
- You can upgrade to the Vistadome Train for the same times, 2:55pm or 3:20pm, 4:22pm, or 4:43pm. The cost is $57 USD.
- Early trains can be organized by requested and it has to be done by booking time.
- The Huayna Picchu Mountain Hike depends on availability and let us know about it at booking time.
WHAT IS INCLUDED FOR THE SACRED VALLEY & SHORT INCA TRAIL?
- Sacred Valley Tour
- Entrances to the Inca cities and archeological sites
- Professional guide for three days
- Expedition train from Ollantaytambo to KM 104 and from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
- Two nights hotel accommodation with private room, bathroom and breakfast included
- Meals as indicated on the itinerary
- Bus tickets from Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu -Aguas Calientes
- Personal assistance
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED FOR THE SACRED VALLELY & SHORT INCA TRAIL?
- Hotel – optional upgrades
- Huayna Picchu Tickets: $75 USD per person
- Upgrade to Vistadome: $57 USD per person
- Tips for your guide
ADDED VALUES FOR FREE:
- Transfer from the airport to hotel: (Cusco only)
***The Sacred Valley & Short Inca Trail Tour Package is available on any date as long as there are at least 2 people in the group (except February when it is closed for maintenance). This trek still takes you into Machu Picchu by walking through the SUN GATE. You will get to explore some incredible Inca ruins along the way.***
|No. OF PEOPLE||PRICE|
|2 to 8 people (with 2 nights hotel)||$ 597 USD per person|
|2 to 8 people (without hotel)||$ 517 USD per person|
***All entrance fees are included and we operate our tours in small groups averaging 5 people, with a maximum of 8!***
- 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.
- Huayna Picchu Mountain: $75 USD per person
- Upgrade Hotel in Aguas Calientes: $50 USD to 3*** (Can upgrade to 4 or 5 star)
- Upgrade Hotel in Ollantaytambo: $60 USD to 3*** (Can upgrade to 4 or 5 star)
- Hotel single supplement: $35 USD
Please read the following information carefully. It will help answer all of your questions about our services and Sacred Valley & Short Inca Trail Tour Package.
ARRIVAL TO 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 & 1-Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu tour at 6pm in our office. It 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?
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 $211.00 USD per person in order to purchase your entrance to Machu Picchu and train ticket. You can make you 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 greatly 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, charged 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 the payment.
MAY I CHANGE THE DEPARTURE DATE AFTER THE TICKETS HAVE BEEN BOUGHT?
Yes, but with some restrictions. Once the tickets for the Inca Trail have been bought, the government does not allow any changes, so we cannot change any departure dates after the tickets have been purchased. Tickets are also non transferable nor refundable. You must pay for new Inca Trail permits if you need to change the date. If you cancel your Sacred Valley & Short Inca Trail Tour Package 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. We can than change it when we receive a COPY of your new passport or updated name for a fee of $25 USD 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 enforces the 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 OFF 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. Of course, you are free to tip as much as 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 local sustainable & responsible tour operator. Functioning according to the ethical principles of tourism: protect the environment and benefit the indigenous communities respecting their culture and religion. Orange Nation trains all staff to know, understand and respect the local communities and the people living there.
What you have to take with you for the Sacred Valley & Short Inca Trail Tour Package?
- Original passport (it has to be the same you have used for booking your trek)
- Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
- Drinking Water: 2-3L reusable bottles (not disposable)
- Comfortable hiking boots
- Waterproof gloves – rainy season
- Toilet paper
- Hand sanitizer
- Personal medications
- Sun hat
- Insect repellent
- Rain gear – rainy season
- Snacks like chocolate bars, cereal bars or any dry fruit
- Rain poncho
- Extra money for souvenirs, drinks & tips
What you should put in your bag that will be sent by train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes while you hike the Short Inca Trail:
- Change of clothes for visiting Machu Picchu the next day
- Toiletries for the hotel
- Camera and phone chargers
- Extra snacks