Cusco Magic Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu Experience
Cusco Magic Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu Experience
Cusco has many attractions, most notably the Inca culture, visit the beautiful colonial temples built on Inca foundations. This tour takes the famous train ride from Ollantaytambo to the frontier town of Aguas Calientes for an exploration of Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The Maras–Moray one day Hike is a fantastic way of combining big views, local farming techniques, Inca Ruins, ancient towns and the astounding salt pans and truly experiences this magnificent site as the Incas once would have.
- You want to know one of the most famous valleys in the world, with one of the Seven Wonders of the world. We have a tour that brings together these two incredible places.
- We have the perfect tour, it is the Sacred Valley of the Incas with Machu Picchu, in two days with one night in the town of Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes).
- Meet, live and explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas with Machu Picchu, walk through the lands where the Incas left their archaeological legacies in a fascinating nature.
Day 1 : Arrival to Cusco – City Sightseeing Tour.
Day 2 : Sacred Valley of the Incas
Day 3 : Moray & Maras Terraces of Salt Hike – Train to Aguas Calientes
Day 4 : Full Day Machu Picchu & Back to Cusco
Day 5 : Depart Cusco.
Day 1 - Arrival to Cusco - City Sightseeing Tour.
Upon arrival, reception and transfer to your Cusco Hotel; where you’ll be welcomed with coca infusion tea (“mate de coca”) that will help you to get used to the altitude – free morning to take a leisurely walk around the ancient capital of the Incas or to acclimatize to the high altitude setting.
After lunch at 1:30pm; Cusco tour including the Cathedral, Koricancha, Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Pucapucara and Tambomachay. Our tour will beginning on to the Main Square of Cusco. You’ll enter the Cathedral of Cusco and see the beautiful woodwork and colonial paintings containing extensive Incan iconography. Visit the Korikancha (Temple of the Sun) on which the Santo Domingo Convent was built. Legend says this temple was completely gold coated, which impressed the conquerors upon their arrival.
Ascend to the Archaeological Park of Sacsayhuaman and visit the Cuidadela. This is the royal house where they admired the Sun God but also worshiped younger gods. Admire this large structure and enjoy the magnificent landscape which brings peace and tranquility. Next, visit Qenqo, the old temple of the Puma. Inside you can see a sacrificial altar made of a huge stone. At Tambomachay, you’ll see the sacred fountains of life and health. Pucapucara safeguarded the city gates and the Fortress of Sacsayhuaman. The tour ends with a detailed visit of the city of Cusco.
Meals Included: None
Day 2 - Sacred Valley of the Incas
Breakfast at the hotel; pick up from the hotel at 8:30am for your full day tour to the impressive Sacred Valley of the Incas, explore the beautiful Peruvian countryside with a full-day tour of the magical Sacred Valley. First place, you will visit the town of Pisaq, famous for its bustling market. This native town was once where “exchange transactions” took place. In this type of transaction, customers would exchange one good for another instead of using currency. Visit the market of Pisaq where you can purchase beautifully crafted products hand-made by the locals.
On Sunday, the main attraction is a mass celebrated in Quechua and conducted in Spanish. It is attended by the mayors and their attendants who play traditional musical instruments called “pututos.”
Afterwards, you’ll enjoy a typical Peruvian lunch (included in price) before visiting the fortress of Ollantaytambo.
Next, you will visit the impressive ruins of Ollantaytambo fortress. These magnificent ancient ruins serve as great vantage points to look out over the valley. Originally the royal estate of Emperor Pachakuteq during the Inca Empire, this site later served as a stronghold for Manco Inca Yupanqui in the Inca´s final rebellion against the Spanish. In the afternoon back to Cusco – Overnight at Cusco Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 3 – Moray & Maras Terraces of Salt Hike – Train to Aguas Calientes
Breakfast at the hotel; pick up from your hotel at 8:00am for a private guided tour to the Sacred Valley.
Excursion to the Inca agricultural experimental center of Moray, famous for its sunken amphitheater, made up of four circular terraces, which appear to disappear into the earth like an artificial crater. The site was apparently an Inca agricultural research station designed for experimenting with crops at various altitudes (some of which run down to depths of 100 meters). It is believed that the terraces, built over containing walls filled with fertile earth and watered by complex irrigation systems, enabled the Incas to grow more than 250 plant species.
We arrive at the circular Inca ruins of Moray where we enjoy a delicious picnic lunch.
After this very atmospheric place Mule trails then takes us to the ancient town of Maras with its out-standing Spanish door arches and vast church. Maras is famous for its spies – due to its strategic location above the Sacred Valley. We then drop down into the Sacred Valley of the Incas to the salt pans of Salineras. Here more than 5000 terraces are still in production and many families of Maras bring their salt to the market of Urubamba on mules. We finally meet our vehicle again beside the Urubamba River for the drive back to Cusco. Stop in Ollantaytambo where you’ll take train to Aguas Calientes (Vistadome Train), upon arrival reception and transfer to the Hotel – Overnight at Aguas Calientes Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch.
Day 4 - Full Day Machu Picchu & Back to Cusco
Breakfast at the hotel; full day Excursion to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes, early transfer at 5:30am to the Bus Stop for the short ride (25 minutes) up to the citadel of Machu Picchu. Upon arrival, you will participate in a guided tour of the Citadel, visiting the Main Plaza, the Circular Tower, the Sacred Sun Dial (the most important preserved Intihuatana), the Royal Quarters, the Temple of the Three Windows, houses, warehouses, a large central square; and all connected by narrow roads and steps that are surrounded by terraces cut into the mountain side. After the tour you’ll have time to stroll around the Archaeological Site at your leisure.
Then, you will have time to perform some of the following activities by yourself (not included in the price)
Climb to Wayna Picchu. or the most adventurous people, we suggest to go up the Wayna Picchu from where you can appreciate the immensity of Machu Picchu, even more amazing being high and distant.
Walk to Sun Gate. opportunity to walk (approx. 1 hour) up to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku)
Train back to Cusco: In the afternoon you’ll return to the train station in Aguas Calientes for the trip back to Cusco – train departure to Cusco; upon arrival to Cusco reception and transfer to the Hotel
Overnight at Cusco Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
- All mentioned land transport (bus, etc.)
- Hotel accommodation with breakfast
- Entrance to parks and cultural sights
- Guided visits and mentioned excursions
- English/Spanish speaking guide to accompany visits and excursions
- Train tickets Expedition Class.
- International airfares
- Domestic flights
- Alcoholic beverages or bottled water
- Insurance of any kind
- ayna Picchu Mountain
1. How to get to the Sacred Valley?
Most flights to the Sacred Valley depart and arrive from Lima. The Peruvian capital offers visitors many things to see and do, being the gateway to the rest of the country, with domestic flights to major cities, including Cusco. Keep an eye on the websites of the various airlines, as from time to time they offer discounts and promotions for travel to the Imperial City, with prices as low as $70. If you can, look for a window seat, as the view of the Andes on the way is breathtaking.
2. When to travel?
The climate in the Sacred Valley does not usually vary much throughout the year. Daytime temperatures range between 20 and 25 °C, while at night they drop to approximately 5 °C, and the cold can be intense for some people. We recommend traveling in the dry season, between April and November. If you don’t mind the rains, you can travel between December and March.
3. Choose your accommodation wisely
From backpackers to five star hotels, the options in the Sacred Valley are numerous and varied. In the rural areas of the Valley there are hotels and haciendas that offer stays with the most attractive complementary services, such as relaxation therapies, spiritual retreats, healthy food, yoga classes, etc.
4. Plan your travel itinerary and distribute your time
The Sacred Valley has thousands of places for all tastes, such as Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Urubamba, Chinchero, Yucay, Maras, Moray, Aguas Calientes, among others. Most tours offer trips by bus and train, with stops at the main archaeological complexes, visits to markets and adventure sports.
5. Enjoy the exquisite local gastronomy
The gastronomic options in the Sacred Valley have grown. There are a large number of restaurants in Ollantaytambo, Urubamba and Pisac that offer all kinds of Andean dishes based on fresh, native ingredients. Dare to try the Chiri Uchu, a fried trout, a baked guinea pig, a succulent Inchicapi or a regional tuber stew called Kapchi; as you can see, the alternatives are very varied and original.
Beware of altitude sickness
Altitude sickness, acute mountain sickness or soroche occurs when we are at high altitude. As we lack oxygen, our body begins to react and we may feel nausea, dizziness, headache, dyspnea (choking or difficulty breathing) or lethargy (drowsiness, tiredness, deep sleepiness).
It is recommended that when you arrive in Cusco, you take one or two days to acclimatize and then visit Machu Picchu. As the city has an altitude of 3,399 meters above sea level, higher than Machu Picchu -which is at 2,430 meters above sea level- once you have acclimatized there, you should not have any problems with the altitude of the Inca citadel. You may suddenly feel that you can’t breathe very well, but the discomfort will be reduced. However, if you have respiratory or heart problems, it is best to visit your doctor before traveling to have a routine check-up and get some recommendations.
To prevent altitude sickness, hydrate yourself and avoid heavy meals, such as junk or fatty foods, since digestion is slower at altitude. You can eat small portions of carbohydrates, which are a source of energy. Also, avoid making a great physical effort and the excess of caffeine, tobacco and alcohol. When we are in a very high place, it is best to slow down, walk slowly, breathing deeply and without haste.
Do not forget to drink coca tea. It is a very popular natural remedy since the time of the Incas that helps prevent and alleviate altitude sickness. Also, there are some pills that can be bought without prescription and it is advisable to take them before starting to gain altitude.
Protect yourself from the weather
The weather in the city of Cusco is very changeable. There can be a radiant sun and, in minutes, a torrential rain appears. The temperature oscillates between 13 and 15°C, but in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, where Machu Picchu is located, it is around 19°C. In general, the Cusco region has two seasons in the year: the rainy season and the dry season.
Book your entrance ticket to Machu Picchu in advance.
Although more visitors arrive during the dry season than in the rainy season, Machu Picchu is such an important tourist destination that it is advisable to buy your tickets in advance. Otherwise, it may happen that you arrive in Cusco and no longer find tickets to visit the Inca citadel.
What To Bring
- A small snack and water. Although it is forbidden to enter with food, you can hydrate yourself and eat an energy bar before starting the tour.
- Tripod. If you are fond of photography, you will take the best pictures with the help of a tripod.
- Waterproof clothing. No matter the time of the year, rains may appear.
- Hat. If you go in spring (September) the weather will be wonderful, the landscapes will be greener and there will be fewer visitors than in high season (between May and August). But also, there will be more sun, so don’t forget to bring a hat or cap.
- Coat. The nights are cold, so don’t forget your warmest clothes.
- Taking these recommendations into account, you will enjoy your trip to the marvelous Inca citadel to the fullest. Don’t forget to tell me how it went!
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