Sacred Valley & Short Inca Trail To Machu Picchu 3 Days/ 2 Nights
Sacred Valley & Short Inca Trail To Machu Picchu 3 Days/ 2 Nights
Join us on a 3-day journey that combines the wonders of the Sacred Valley with the iconic Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu offers a thrilling adventure through ancient landscapes and historical sites.This 3-day itinerary seamlessly blends cultural exploration, trekking adventure, and the marvels of Machu Picchu, offering a comprehensive and unforgettable experience in the heart of the Andes.
- Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of the Sacred Valley, exploring ancient Inca ruins and vibrant markets.
- Trek the Short Inca Trail, experiencing a condensed yet exhilarating version of the classic Inca Trail with breathtaking views and archaeological wonders.
- Witness the awe-inspiring sunrise at Machu Picchu and enjoy a guided tour to unravel the mysteries of this UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Explore Machu Picchu at your leisure, marveling at the impressive stone architecture and panoramic vistas.
Day 1: Sacred Valley Exploration
- Departure from Cusco: Begin your journey with an early departure from Cusco, immersing yourself in the stunning scenery of the Peruvian Andes.
- Pisac Ruins and Market: Explore the impressive Pisac Ruins with terraced agricultural fields and then visit the lively Pisac Market, where local artisans display traditional crafts and products.
- Ollantaytambo: Continue to Ollantaytambo, a living Inca town with well-preserved ruins. Visit the Ollantaytambo Ruins, a fortress with intricate stone terraces and religious significance.
- Accommodation: Settle into your accommodation in Ollantaytambo, surrounded by the charm of the Sacred Valley.
Day 2: Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Morning: . Train to Km 104: Take an early morning train to Km 104, the starting point of the Short Inca Trail.
- Chachabamba Archaeological Site: Begin your trek with a visit to Chachabamba, a lesser-known Inca site with stunning views.
Afternoon: . Wiñay Wayna: Hike through diverse ecosystems and reach Wiñay Wayna, a remarkable Inca site with terraces and ceremonial areas.
- Sun Gate (Inti Punku): Arrive at the Sun Gate to catch the first glimpse of Machu Picchu in all its glory.
- Descend to Machu Picchu: Descend to Machu Picchu and spend the evening exploring this ancient city with a guided tour.
Day 3: Machu Picchu and Return to Cusco
- Morning: . Sunrise at Machu Picchu: Optionally, return to Machu Picchu for a sunrise experience and some quiet time in the morning light.
- Free Exploration: Explore Machu Picchu at your own pace, capturing photographs and absorbing the mystical atmosphere.
- Afternoon: . Return to Cusco: In the afternoon, take a train back to Ollantaytambo and then transfer to Cusco, concluding your unforgettable journey.
Day 1: Sacred Valley of the Incas Pisaq – Ollantaytambo
We start this beautiful day at 7:30am, when your guide picks you up at your Cusco hotel in our private van. Our route to the Sacred Valley of the Incas leads us towards Pisac. We stop first at the Mirador of Taray to enjoy an expansive view of the Urubamba valley and its traditional farming villages. You will see how the agriculture in the Sacred Valley has changed little in the past five hundred years. Onward, we drive to the archeological site of Pisac, where you can see an impressive Inca cemetery with more than 2,000 tombs. There, we can admire the carefully engineered farming terraces carved into the mountain, explore the Inca tunnel and the religious area of this important citadel. Here, we will spend about 2 hours, exploring the Inca city. Then, we head down to the colorful market of Pisac, spend about 20 minutes visiting it and then drive to Urubamba for lunch.
Finally, we drive to Ollantaytambo, taking the time to explore the Inca village that has remained intact since Inca times and the massive Inca Ruins, with a tour provided by our guide. Visit the massive architecture of the Sun Temple at the top of the formidable terraces and learn about the importance of this site for the Inca during the beginning of the Spanish conquest. Here you spend the night at your hotel in Ollantaytambo, ready to start the Inca Trail the next day.
Day 2: Ollantaytambo – Km104 – Wiñay wayna – Sungate – Machupicchu.
We start this exciting day early; your guide will leave the hotel with you at 5:30. When you arrive at the train station, your guide will give you your lunch to add to your daypack. Your train departs Ollantaytambo at 6:10 and you will have just over an hour on the train to enjoy the scenery and have breakfast (not included), Your hotel can provide you a picnic breakfast to take with you or you can pack your own breakfast.
Your guide will get off the train with you at the famous Km104, where your hike begins! (2,000m/6,560 ft. above sea level) After crossing the Urubamba river on a picturesque foot bridge, you will show your passport at the checkpoint and visit your first Inca site nearby. The first hour and a half are a gentle up, with several shelters along the way to pause for a bit out of the sun, or rain, depending on the season. Along the way, you will stop at several outlooks where you have an expansive view of the Urubamba River. You will also pass through several microclimates, including cloud forest, so be ready for damp or even rain at any season of the year. The next hour and a half are a slightly steeper uphill with a beautiful waterfall as your reward at the end of the hike!
Cross the bridge below the waterfall, take some time for photos and then you will find yourself gazing up at the spectacular Wiñay Wayna! (2,600m/8,500ft above sea level) These amazing Inca ruins have a fascinating history and some parts are still hidden by the dense jungle. This close to Machu Picchu, you are hiking through lush sub-tropical jungle. Your guide will tell you all about the ruins, plus the incredible flora and fauna of this microclimate and answer any questions you have before the short 5 minute walk to your lunch spot.
You have lunch at a covered shelter at the Wiñay Wayna campground, which is the last campground for those hiking the four day Inca Trail. Nearby are outdoor sinks to wash your hands and also restrooms. Take your time enjoying your hearty, gourmet lunch and admiring the tropical flowers around the campground. Be sure to notify us of any food allergies or dietary restrictions when you book!
After lunch, you will have a mostly flat walk to the Sun Gate, from which you have your first view of Machu Picchu! Though the hour long walk is a gentle rolling up and down, it does end with a set of steep stairs carved directly into the bedrock by the Inca. Once you reach the stairs you will know that you’re almost at the Sun Gate! It is a breathtaking view of Machu Picchu, so take some time to savor the moment and take photos. The last 45 minutes down from the Sun Gate provide many opportunities to take more photos of Machu Picchu from this unique vantage point. There are also a couple more important Inca sites between the Sun Gate and Machu Picchu, so make sure to go slowly, enjoy your time walking in the footsteps of the Inca on the Inca Trail and ask your guide questions about these historical places on the last bit of your hike to Machu Picchu.
Once you reach Machu Picchu, you will have time to take more photos from the viewing platforms above the site. 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 enjoy this magical experience before you take the bus down to Aguas Calientes to check into your hotel. Your will have a delicious dinner, then 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.
DAY 3: Aguas Calientes – Machupicchu – Cusco.
This is the day you’ve been waiting for! After an early breakfast at your hotel, you’ll take one of the first busses up to Machu Picchu so that you can be there to witness the sunrise. It is a truly extraordinary site and not something you’ll want to miss! Your guide will give you the full tour, which takes about two hours. You will see all of the most important parts of Machu Picchu, including the Temple of the Sun, Temple of the Condor, Temple of Three Windows, Sun Dial, Quarry and the House of the Inca. You will also learn about how Machu Picchu is divided into three sectors: agricultural, residential and religious.
After your tour, those who have booked in advance for the extra hikes up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain will have time to enjoy those views on their own. When you have had your fill of the exceptional views of Machu Picchu, you will take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes for lunch (not included). Depending on your train departure time, you may also have time for some shopping.
The train will take you back to Ollantaytambo, following the spectacular Urubamba River. Close to Aguas Calientes, the canyon is narrow and the river has many beautiful sections of whitewater. You can also see Wiñay Wayna from the train, if you look up high on the steep canyon wall! 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 vehicle. You can expect to arrive at your hotel by 19:00Aprox.
- Sacred Valley Tour
- Entrance tickets 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, wifi and breakfast
- Meals a indicated on the itinerary
- 3 Bus tickets from Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu -Aguas Calientes.
- Personal assistance
- Hotel – optional upgrades
- Huayna Picchu Tickets: $75 USD per person
- Machu Picchu Mountain: $75 USD per person
- Upgrade to Vistadome: $68USD per person Return only Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo /Cusco at 4:43pm)
- Tips for your guide
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
- The best months to travel to Machu Picchu are April and May.
During the rainy season (January – March) fewer travelers go to Machu Picchu, and therefore the prices of the services can be more comfortable on some specific dates.
During the winter or dry season (June – September) Machu Picchu receives more travelers than any other time of the year. For this reason, the price of tourist services is much higher than usual.
For many travelers, from the second half of September to the first two weeks of November are also ideal dates to visit this world wonder.
If you are going to travel to Machu Picchu during the week of New Year, Easter, Fiestas Patrias (July 28 and 29) and Christmas, be very careful and make your reservations well in advance.
These are the dates when everything is full and the availability of trains, hotels and entrance tickets to Machu Picchu are not available for last minute reservations.
What To Bring
- Original passport, with expiration date no less than 7 months. Very important, we will ask you for a copy with the stamp of entry to the country, in order to start the tour.
- Valid also Identity Document for your entrance to Peru (Only tourists from South America). Important: You must receive the Andean Migration Card (TAM), it will be offered by Migration when you enter Peru. *Very important, we will ask you for a copy with the stamp of entry to the country, in order to start the tour.
- Warm clothes for Cusco: Layers of variable temperatures, especially at night. Such as: Thermals, gloves, scarves, socks and wool cap for cold nights.
- Light and fresh clothes for Machu Picchu: Windbreaker, polar fleece, T-shirts for the tour (polyester, nylon).
- Hat, cap and sunglasses.
- Camera and spare batteries.
- Personal medical kit.
- Insect repellent.
- Soroche Pills for altitude sickness.
- Trekking shoes or waterproof boots for your comfort, rubber or thick soled shoes are an excellent option.
- Rain gear: A good raincoat, rain pants (rainy season only).
- Extra money for drinks and tips, souvenirs, etc (soles or dollars).
- Bathing suit for the hot springs (optional).