Cusco Adventures in the Altitude and Machu Picchu 8 Days/ 7 Nights

  • Destination: Cusco, Machu Picchu, Peru
  • Duration: 8 days
  • Price per person: $650
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This tour is a combination of the Cusco City Tour, the Sacred Valley Tour and the adventure hiking of Salkantay to Machu Picchu in 5 days/ 4 nights. This tour gives you the opportunity to enjoy the enigmatic city of Cusco and the Sacred Valley, as well as a little bit of adventure in the altitude over the highest mountains of Cusco. Observe all the beautiful landscapes of the Andes and the exuberant tropics of the Cusquenian jungle close to Machu Picchu.

Combined with the charms of 3 nights in the Amaru Group Hostels (upgrade your hotel if you like), it is a perfect way to see Cusco as you are in the safe tourist area from where you can explore the most beautiful combination of the Inca and Colonial architecture with a perfect location to reach everything you might need as souvenir shop and museums.

Itinerary

Day 1

Cusco Excursion – City Tour

We will recept you at the airport in Cusco airport and then transfer you to the Amaru Group Hostels. We recommend you get an early flight so you can spend the morning relaxing and acclimatising to the altitude (in case you are arriving from sea level)!

The Cusco City Tour will give you the opportunity to discover the enigma of this marvellous city and the surrounding archaeological sites! We will pick you up at 1:15 pm from your hotel and bring you to the main Plaza de Armas at 1:30 pm, where you will meet you travel mates (in case of shared service). We start our adventurous tour by visiting the Main Cathedral of Cusco. Here you can observe the colonial architecture and the amazing paintings of the Cusqueña School (well known for its religious iconography painted by Cusqueños). Afterwards, we will take you to the Qoricancha (golden palace) and Santo Domingo Convent, which is a perfect example for the fusion of the Inca and Christian culture.

After your city tour, we will take the bus and drive to the impressive Inca Fortress of Saqsaywoman. You will be amazed by the rocks used for construction, some of them weigh more than 300 tons!
The tour continues discovering the underground temple of Quenqo (labyrinth) and its impressive rock carvings and tunnels. This religious temple is dedicated to the worship of mother earth. After a few minutes ride we will see another fortress called Puka Pucara (red fortress) which was used as a military control entrance gate to Cusco. Walking for a few minutes, we will arrive at Tambomachay (water temple), a temple which is dedicated to worship the water, fertility and longevity.
We return to Cusco around 06:00 or 07:00 pm. If you want, you can ask your tour guide to stop at one of the souvenir shops on your way back.

Accommodation: Amaru Group Hostels

Day 2

Sacred Valley of the Incas

The Sacred Valley tour starts at 08:00 am from Cusco. We pick you up from your hotel and bring you to our tourist bus, where you will meet your tour guide and your travel mates (shared service).

We leave Cusco around 08:30 am in direction of Pisaq, descending to the sacred river Urubamba. With a few stops at various lookout points along the way, we will arrive at Pisaq where you can enjoy checking out the traditional handicraft market with plenty of time for local souvenir shopping. Afterwards, we drive up the mountain where we will find Pisaqs ruins. Our tour guide will take you around the temples, terraces and tunnels of this complex, including the famous Intihuatana (sun clock), while constantly enjoying the majestic view of the sacred river. Then we drive along the river Urubamba, passing by a colourful little town where you can observe the descendants of the Quechua people wearing colorful ponchos.

We stop in the town Urubamba for lunch (we recommend a lunch buffet of Peruvian food). After a short rest we keep going until we reach Ollantaytambo, one of the last living Inca towns. You will be amazed by the impressive Temple of the Sun with its intricate stone worked details, the terraces which are constructed to sustain the mountain and finally the temple in shape of a llama.

You will have a short time to explore this amazing complex with its beautiful water fountains by yourself. After exploring this magnificent complex, we take the road back to Urubamba and leave the river to go uphill to the beautiful fields of Chinchero. Here we will discover another amazing Spanish Inca complex and afterwards visit a weaving family who still uses natural minerals and organic ink to colour the wool. We will return to Cusco around 07:00 pm and leave you at beautiful plaza Regocijo.

 

Accommodation: Amaru Group Hostels

Day 3

SALKANTAY TREK to Machu Picchu

Come and hike Salkantay (‘the savage one’). Reach Machu Picchu in a different and spectacular way; trekking through valleys, grasslands, snowcarpets, cloud forests and steamy jungles!! The famous Salkantay Trek, recently named among one of the best treks in the world by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine, is a trek connecting the city of Cusco with Machu Picchu. The Trail Salkantay runs approximately 20 miles (32 kilometers) through high Andean peaks, cloud forest and steamy jungle.

Cusco – Mollepata – Soraypampa

We will leave from Cusco approximately between 4:30 am and 5:00 am by bus which will take us to the town of Mollepata (2900 meters above sea level) where we will arrive approximately at 8:15 in the morning to have breakfast. During the trip we will have panoramic views of the majestic Salkantay Mountain, other snow capped Mountains and the Valley of Apurimac River. We will meet with our support staff who will load the equipment on horses and mules. Around 9:00 am, we will begin our walk toward Sayllapata (3200 meters above sea level). About 1:00 pm, we will have a Peruvian lunch and after lunch we will continue hiking toward the Soraypampa villages (3850 meters above sea level). Around 5:30 in the afternoon we will arrive to our camp where the tents will be ready for you as well as your dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camping

Day 4

Soraypampa – Salkantay Pass – Huayracpunku – Chaullay

Today, our adventure trek will take us through great changes of environment. We will see landscapes from dry sceneries to snowy peaks and tropical areas. After breakfast, around 07:00 am, we will start the most difficult part of the trek to a place called Pampas Salkantay. We then follow the left side of the snowy peaks of Umantay, located next to the Apu Salkantay. At midday, we will reach the highest point (4600 m.a.s.l.). From here, we will appreciate spectacular views of the mountains and the imposing snowy peaks of the Salkantay (6264 m.a.s.l.), which is the second highest mountain of the Cusco region. Around 01:00 pm we will have our lunch in an area called Huayracmachay. Then, we will trek for approximately 3 hours and finally arrive at our camp in Challway (2920 m.a.s.l.). Around 07:00 pm, we will recuperate from the trek and have dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camping

Day 5

Chaullay – Collpapampa – La Playa – Santa Teresa

Around 07:00 am, we will start our daily trek and hike for about 6 hours towards the Playa Sahuayaco. During our trek, we will visit a small town called Collpabamba and the Forest Cloudy Brow where we can discover waterfalls, thermal hot springs, fruit-bearing trees, a varied flora and many species of birds. If we are lucky, we will even be able to observe the famous Peruvian national bird called the Cock of the Rocks. From the Playa Sahuayaco, we will head to the campsite located at the hot springs of Santa Teresa. Here, we will have dinner and enjoy the hot baths (we recommend you to bring a bathing suit!).

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camping

Day 6

Santa Teresa – Hidroelectria – Aguas Calientes

Around 08:30 am, after of our delicious breakfast, we are starting our trek to the village Colpani, following the rising trail from which we will see coffee, banana and passion fruit plantations and ss well enjoy a lovely view of the Santa Teresa Valley. We hike along the riverside of the Vilcanota River until we arrive to the Oroya (canopy brich). From here, we have the option to hike to Hidroelectrica or to catch a small car which will take us to the small town (25 minutes). Upon our arrival in Hidroelectrica, we will have lunch with all our staff and take a moment to observe the back of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. We then continue walking until we arrive to Aguas Calientes around 04:30 pm, and then stay in a hostal for the last night.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Hotel Margarita’s House

Day 7

Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes – Ollantaytambo – Cusco

We will take our breakfast very early in the morning. Then we start our last day, climbing up to the entrance of the famous Inca Citadel Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas. Avoiding the crowds, you will be one of the first visitors of the day.
Machu Picchu is the best known of all the Inca ruins, as it is recognized worldwide as one of the world wonders, yet it is not mentioned in any of the writings of the Spanish Conquistadors. Presumably, it was constructed around the mid-15th century and was rediscovered by American historian Hiram Bingham in 1911.

Your bilingual tour guide will take you around the vast ruins for about 3 hours, comprehensively explaining its historical significance during the Inca Empire. It will be an unforgettable experience, visiting the Main Square, the Royal Quarters, the Temple of the Three Windows, the Circular Towers, the Sacred Sun Dial and the Burial Grounds! After this, you will have some free time to walk around and explore the Inca Citadel on your own.
Later on, you can hike up Huayna Picchu from where you will have stunning views over the whole complex! However, there are only 400 entrance tickets per day, so please let us know in advance if you would like to hike the mountain so we can reserve your hike at an additional cost of US$ 10.00. Due Huayna Pucchu is very fast oversold, we are offering the hike of the Machu Picchu Mountain as a second option. The advantage of this hike is that it’s less crowed, but not less beautiful. The cost fot this climb is also US$ 10.00 per person.

Optional, you can do unguided walks to the Inti Punku (duration 1 hour) or the Sun Gate, the traditional end of the Inca Trail, which will take you 45 minutes. Otherwise simply relax and take in the inspiring atmosphere. After your free time, you walk down to Aguas Calientes to have a late lunch or a dip in the hot springs (not included). In the afternoon at 18:20 pm or 19:00 pm, you take the train back to Ollantaytambo and then get the tourist bus to Cusco.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Amaru Group Hostels

Day 8

Free day in Cusco

According to your flight or bus schedule, we will give you a free walking tour around the city of Cusco, to discover the enigma of this city and at the same time to do some souvenir shopping. Then, we transfer you to the airport or bus station from where you continue to your next destination.

Please note:

*Times cited in this itinerary are aproximate. Walking times depend on the group, the guide can change the lunch and camping spots depending on the group’s progress. The guide can have its own preference about which route to take and this might not correspond exactly to the described route.
*An extra night in Aguas Calientes can be easily arranged if you let us know in advance, so we can change the date of your train ticket for the following day.
*The cost of the hotel will be dependent according to your request.

Included:
  • Local cell phone
  • 24-hour-support from company owner
  • Pick-up and transfers to and from Cusco’s Airport
  • 3 Nights in Amaru Group Hotels Cusco in standard private rooms with breakfast (single persons pays +US$ 40.00 per night)
  • Tourist bus (12 to 20 people as shared service for City Tour and Sacred Valey Tour)
  • Cusco City Tour
  • Sacred Valley Tour
  • Train ticket Aguas Calientes – Ollantaytambo (Expedition Service), then transfer to Cusco by bus
  • Entrance tickets for Machu Picchu
  • professional English speaking tour guide for all the tours
  • 3 nights camping on the trail and one night Hostel on the trail also Aguas Calientes
  • 7 breakfasts
  • Pre-departure orientation briefing
  • Pick-up from your hotel in the morning and transfer to Mollepata (starting point of the trek)
  • Personal tents: 2 people in each 4-person-capacity tent, to allow you a higher comfort and the safe storage of your backpacks
  • Chef and cooking equipment
  • Pack animals (to carry tents, food and cooking equipment) on days 1 to 4
  • Pack animals to carry personal gear up to a maximum of 5 kg per person (including sleeping pad and sleeping bag) on days 1 to 4
  • 1 emergency horse every 8 persons on days 1 to 4
  • Meals (4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners, daily morning snack and daily tea service except for the last day)
  • Vegetarian or special dietary menus are available at no extra cost, please advise us when booking!
  • One textile snack bag per person to avoid the usage of plastic bags that contaminate our environment
  • Filtered boiled water from lunch time from the 1st day onwards
  • hot water every morning and evening for washing/ boiled water to fill your water bottle every morning and night, and at lunch time if requested with enough time ahead
  • First-aid-kit including emergency oxygen bottle

 

Not Included:
  • Cusco Tourist Ticket: We recommend you to buy the general tourist ticket that allows you to visit 15 places including the ruins of Cusco and the museums, as well as the Sacred Valley sites
  • Entrance to Qoricancha “Sun Temple” within the city tour (10 Soles)
  • Entrance to the Main Cathedral (25 Soles)
  • Meals during the City Tour and the Sacred Valley Tour (except breakfast)
  • Entrance to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes cost 10 Soles (US$ 4.00) – in Santa Teresa 15 Soles including the taxi
  • Sleeping bag
  • Breakfast on the first day of the trek
  • Bus ticket Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes (One Way)
  • Lunch and dinner on the last day
  • Insurance of any kind

Tips: Please note that our agency staff is well paid, so please feel free to tip or not as you prefer!

Recommendations, what to bring:
  • Your original passport (to control your train ticket and entrance ticket to Machu Picchu)
  • Original student card if you book your tour as student
  • Day backpack (train luggage limit is 5-6 kg.)
  • Warm clothes for the early morning and evening
  • Water
  • Camera and extra batteries
  • Rainjacket or poncho (being close to the jungle, weather is unpredictable)
  • Change of clothes
  • Basic toiletries
  • Sun protection (sun cream, hat)
  • Insect repellent (must be number one on your list!)
  • Torch or headlight (if you decide to walk in the morning to Machu Picchu)
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Extra money (prices in Aguas Calientes can be higher than anywhere else in Peru)
  • Sleeping bag (optional rental from us)
  • Personal medical kit
What we need when you make a reservation:
  • Full name as it is written in your passport (please include a scan copy of your passport)
  • Passport number
  • Nationality
  • Date of birth
  • Scan copy of your student card (if you have one, it’s $18 US less)
  • Tour departure date
  • Send a deposit of 60% of the total price of your tour. (The remainder of your balance will be due upon your arrival in Cusco.) Payment may be made via *Western UnionPayPalABN AMRO Bank in Holland or securely and directly through our website by choosing your desired tour and clicking on the BOOK NOW button.
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Price US$ 650 per person
Price based on 4 people.
Single person pays +$40.00 for a single accommodation

Upgrade hotel in Cusco up to your needs!

Next departure dates, group price:

  • January               2018
  • February             2018
  • March                  2018
  • April                     2018
  • May                       2018
  • June                     2018
  • July                       2018
  • August                 2018
  • September         2018
  • October               2018
  • November          2018
  • December          2018

Exclusive international transaction fees: The amount of the extra transaction fees depends on how the payment is made and on your bank. For further information please don’t hesitate to ask.

Terms and Conditions

 

Upon request, with each booked tour with Green Peru Adventures, you will receive a free walking tour of the mysterious and historic city of Cusco. You will be guided by one of our multilingual, professional guides.

We are looking forward to create an unforgettable experience for you.