Cusco – Machu Picchu & Rainbow Mountain 6days/5nights
DAY 1: CUSCO IN – CITY TOUR:
At Cusco´s airport our representative will be waiting for you. Upon arrival, airport reception to be transferred to the hotel, time free to rest and acclimatize to the altitude.
In the afternoon, the guide will pick you up from your hotel and take you on a half day tour of Cusco. You will start visiting the main square surrounded by magnificent colonial buildings, the Cathedral, the Koricancha which was the most important temple of the Inca culture; it was dedicated to worship the sun. Finally we will visit the archaeological sites of Sacsayhuaman and its impressive rocky constructions, followed by Kenko, Puka Pukara and Tambomachay. Return to the hotel.
Overnight in Cusco
DAY 2: SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS PISAC – OLLANTAYTAMBO:
Today, you will set off for the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Along the way you will stop to visit Awanacancha a llama project where you will see South American camelids such as llamas, alpacas, and vicuñas, also you have the chance to appreciate the traditional Inca weaving and dying techniques which have been kept by the local people for centuries.
Your journey continues to the small village of Pisac, and there you will walk through its lively typical market and have some free time to interact with the townsfolk and artisans and to shop for handicrafts and souvenirs. Continuing the tour you will visit Pisac´s archaeological site located at the top of the mountain which gives us a clear idea of the hard work and amazing ingenuity required to create the Inca’s agricultural terraces, its constructions are just compared with Machu Picchu buildings.
You will enjoy a buffet lunch at the town of Urubamba, and then visit Ollantaytambo which is one of the most beautiful, and significant sites in the entire Cusco region. It is a very interesting, and typical pueblo with extensive, well preserved Inca ruins; crowned by the sacred archaeological site with its impressive temple of the sun.
Transfer to the hotel.
Overnight in the Sacred Valley
DAY 3: SACRED VALLEY – AGUAS CALIENTES:
Free morning to rest or explore Ollantaytambo on your own, this is amazing town known as the last inca city living, because the inca buildings are still used as basement of the modern constructions, and by its old streets continue running the clean water of the Incas.
At midday you will board the Vistadome train which will take you to Aguas calientes town; this scenic train ride is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. Upon your arrival, reception and accommodation at the hotel.
Aguas calientes is a small village almost 90% dedicated to the tourism activities, there are many activities to do; you can visit the Mandor waterfalls, visit the site Museum, go to the hot springs, visit the market or walk around this village.
Overnight in Aguas Calientes
DAY 4: MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO:
Today, you have a full-day to explore Machu Picchu citadel – the new seven wonder of the world; the shuttle bus service will take you for 20 minutes from Aguas Calienets to Machu Picchu where you will have a 2- 3 hours fully guided tour of the mysterious ruins, visiting the most important sector of the city such as the temple of the Sun, the Intihuatana, the temple of the three windows, the mausoleum, the temple of the condor, etc.
If you are in a good physical shape you can hike to the Inca Bridge, Huayna Picchu, Inti Punku sun gate, or just wander through the ruins taking pictures.
You then return to Aguas Calientes to catch the train back to Cusco (Poroy train station), arrival to Poroy and transfer to the hotel.
Overnight in Cusco
NOTE: hike to the summit of Huayna Picchu, (Huayna Picchu now requires an extra, limited-availability permit; allowed just 400 per day. It is a 1.5-hour hike)
DAY 5: CUSCO – HIKING TO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN – CUSCO:
Very early, the guide will pick you up from your hotel to drive through the South Valley toward the town of Pitumarca located at (3600 m.a.s.l./11811ft) which is the last village where we can buy some supplies or snacks; from this point the route to follow is unpaved path until reach Quesoyuni (4376 masl/14356ft); here you will start the hiking to the rainbow mountain.
Before we set off to climb to Vinicunca Mountain, we will give an offering to Ausangate Mountain (considered as Apu – sacred mountain) and asked him to protect us on our journey.
This journey will help you to experience first-hand how locals live in the mountains; the people of this region are one of the few true shepherding communities left in the world. They raise alpacas and llamas, using every part of the animal to enable them to survive in this harsh climate. The wool is used for clothes, hides are used for sandals (known as ojotas), the meat is eaten and the feces are used as fuel and fertilizer.
After almost 3 hours hiking uphill, we will reach the Vinicunca Mountain (5040m.a.s.l./16535ft) which is a mound of earth striped with intense turquoise, rust red and golden yellow. The colors flow like a wave so perfectly that you would believe they were painted by the Andean Apus (gods).
At the summit, opposite to the Rainbow Mountain, lies stunning views of Ausangate snowcapped mountain, which stands at a towering height of (6372m.a.s.l./20905ft).
Here the winds blow wildly as if to prevent any mortal from staying too long in this unworldly place.
After an amazing time, we start to return. The downhill hike last almost 2 hours until reach Quesoyuni where we will aboard the bus to return to Cusco where we will arrive late afternoon.
Overnight in Cusco
DAY 6: CUSCO – LIMA – HOME:
Transfer to Cusco`s airport. If your time frame allows you to visit other destinations, contact us.
INCLUDED / NOT INCLUDED
- Professional bilingual guide
- Tourist transportation
- Tours/activities described in the itinerary
- Entrance fees for the tours described in the itinerary
- Meals mentioned
- Train service: Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes – Cusco (Vistadome, first class train)
- Entrance fee to Machu Picchu citadel
- Round trip bus ticket (Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes)
- F/D hiking to rainbow mountain (entrance fee is included)
- Oxygen and first aid kit
- Assistance 24 hours
- Cusco (3 nights)
- Sacred Valley (1 night)
- Aguas Calientes (1 night)
- Aircraft tickets
- Extra services not mentioned in the itinerary
- Meals not mentioned in the program
- Tips and extra expenses
- Entrance to Huayna Picchu ($ 20.00 per person)
- Horses for the hiking to rainbow mountain
- Walking stick