7 Day Cusco and Machu Picchu Exclusive
- Explore the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu.
- Take in impressive views of three mountain ranges in the beautiful Sacred Valley.
- Marvel at the churches, cathedrals, plazas and markets in the great Inca city of Cuzco.
- Discover the charming town of Ollantaytambo.
- Enjoy the historic city of Cuzco with an extra day at leisure.
This one week trip explores the famous sites of the Incas including Cuzco and the Sacred Valley, concluding with the magnificent citadel of Machu Picchu. Rather than rush back to Cuzco, we spend a night at Aguas Calientes. We also spend ample time in Cuzco savoring this great Inca city.
Upon arrival in Cuzco at 3,400m, you will be meet by our representative and transferred to the hotel for a general information briefing about each day’s activities. Then you have free time to start to acclimatize to the altitude.
Every alleyway we enter or corner we turn brings another surprise or enigma in the form of the superbly constructed Inca walls or the more architecturally extravagant colonial churches and palaces. The city, once capital of the extensive Inca Empire, has seen many changes since Francisco Pizarro’s men took it with such apparent ease in November 1533. We will also take a short drive to visit the monolithic walls of Sacsayhuaman, spectacularly set above the city. In the afternoon you may have time to explore some of the central parts of the city and a chance to look at some of the great varieties of local craftwork on sale in open air stalls and shops.
We leave Cuzco and head to Chinchero Plateau to explore Chinchero, an important town in Inca times. The most striking remnant of this period is the massive stone wall in the main plaza which has ten trapezoidal niches. There are beautiful views overlooking the Sacred Valley of the Incas, with the Cordillera Urubamba and the snow-capped peak of Salkantay dominating the western horizon. Chinchero is believed to be the mythical birthplace of the rainbow. You’ll then visit the salt mines of Maras. This village is a salt-producing center that dates back all the way to pre-Inca times, with over 3000 salt pools all carved into the mountain side. Discover Moray’s mysterious concentric circular terraces which, according to some scholars, was an agricultural research center.
After unch in a local restaurant, we will visit the Ollantaytambo archaeological site. We will then go to the hotel to relax and enjoy the beauty of the famous Sacred Valley.
From our hotel, we drive to the railway station at Ollantaytambo where we take an early morning train to Machu Picchu. Our early start ensures that we can thoroughly explore this remarkable and truly enigmatic citadel. We will enjoy a guided tour of Machu Picchu citadel which lasts 2 hours or more. After lunch, you will have free time to explore this fascinating site on your own. Then we will take the bus down to Aguas Calientes, where we spend the night.
This morning we arrive at the ruins in time for the opening and savor the views and the atmosphere as the light changes with the sunrise. Then we hike up Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain – an option for the more adventurous, Itt takes minimum 2.5 hours Machu Picchu Mountain and Huaynapicchu mountain 1.5 hours and some time at the top. Both climbs are very steep (including many small and narrow steps)that can be slippery and are quite very exposed with vertiginous drops. We require any passengers to sign a waiver form. (Note – there are limited Huayna Picchu permits and they sell out fast.) In the afternoon, we descend from Machu Picchu to go to the Aguas Calientes railway station for the train ride back to Ollantaytambo where we meet our representative and our vehicle to drive us back to Cuzco.
A good day to relax and perhaps do some ‘tourist shopping’, selecting from a great variety of expertly made craftwork – including alpaca sweaters and hats, ceramics, weavings and traditional Andean instruments. In and around Cuzco there are a number of day trips that can be booked and paid for locally.
After breakfast, we offer a transfer to the airport, where our services conclude.
- 6 breakfasts.
- 3 lunches.
- Airport transfers.
- Expert local bilingual guide.
- Comfortable well located hotels.
- Private air conditioned transportation.
- Train to Machu Picchu.
- Sightseeing and site entrance fees as listed.
- International and domestic flights.
- Travel Insurance (compulsory)