Cusco-Sacred Valley Cultural Tour to Machu Picchu
This 6-day trek will immerse you in the local culture from the city of Cusco to the Highland community of Patacancha and the beautiful Urubamba River Valley. Visit a local school, a hot springs and witness a colorful weaving demonstration as well as much more.
• Personalized service from beginning to end
• Explore Cusco city with its many fountains and amazing mix of Inca and Spanish cultures
• Explore Pisac and Ollantaytambo towns and archeological ruins
• Visit Maras salt ponds
• Visit the Highland community of Patacancha and its local school
• Witness a colorful weaving demonstration and see how they work with llamas
• Ride the train through the beautiful Urubamba River Valley and visit the hot springs at Aguas Calientes
• Enjoy the magical Machu Picchu citadel
Day 1: Cusco
We will pick you up at the airport in our private transportation and take you to Casa Andina Hotel in the heart of the Cusco historical center. Cusco is a fascinating city with a blend of Inca and Spanish cultures. The first day will be for getting used to the altitude with relaxing day and night walking exploration of Cusco that includes Plaza de Armas, Plaza Regocijo, Plaza San Francisco and Plaza San Blas, each with their beautiful fountains. You will also see the Cathedral and other highlights such as San Pedro market, ChocoMuseo with an optional workshop, 12 angled stone and original Inca walls.
Day 2: Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes
We will pick you up from your hotel at 7:30am to travel by private transportation to Pisac to explore the archeological site and the market. We will continue through the Sacred Valley to Ollantaytambo, one of the few remaining Inca cities in the Sacred Valley that has retained its original Inca urban planning. We will explore the town with its original water channels still in use and climb the terraces of the Inca archeological site where we can enjoy spectacular views of the valleys and mountains around. In the late afternoon, we will board the train for a beautiful trip to Aguas Calientes. We will take you to the Casa Andina Hotel where you will spend the night after supper & visiting the Hot Springs.
Day 3: Machu Picchu
After an early breakfast at the hotel and a half-hour bus ride to the entrance of Machu Picchu, we start our full walking tour of the amazing Inca citadel. Later, we will take the bus down to Aguas Calientes for lunch and then take the train to Ollantaytambo. From there, our private transportation will take us to Casa Andina Premium Sacred Valley for the night.
Day 4: Patacancha highland community
After breakfast, we will go in our private transportation to Patacancha, the home of native Quechua speaking families who are dedicated to agriculture and pasturing llamas and alpacas as our ancestors did. We will visit the local school and give the children the supplies we have gathered. After lunch we will immerse ourselves in the culture and daily life of the families and learn about their traditional weaving techniques. You can see how the llamas are caught and loaded for treks. You can have supper with the local family and spend the night in a tent or return to the Casa Andina Premium Sacred Valley for the night. Please let us know your choice for this night when you are booking.
Day 5: Moray, Maras salt ponds, Cusco and nearby Inca sites
After breakfast at the campsite or the hotel, we will go in our private transportation to Maras Moray and the fascinating salt mines where shallow pools fill with salt water that eventually evaporates and leaves behind the crystallized salt, a process that has been practiced for hundreds of years. After returning to Cusco and the Casa Andina Hotel, there are several afternoon and evening options. You can explore the other Inca ruins around Cusco including Sacsaywaman, Puka Pukara, Qenqo and Tambomachay. You can visit the small zoo with native animals including condors. You can shop at the many markets. You can do further exploring in Cusco.
Day 6: Cusco
Enjoy a last morning to explore Cusco at your own pace. Our tour leader will be happy to offer suggestions for places to go and sights to see. We will take you to the airport in our private transportation for your flight back across the Andes to Lima to connect with your flight home.
Items that are included in the tour price:
• Transportation: Private transportation in our company van from the airport on Day 1, from Cusco to Ollantaytambo train station on Day 2, from Ollantaytambo train station to the hotel on Day 3, from the hotel to the highland community on Day 4, from the campsite or hotel to Cusco on Day 5, and to the airport on Day 6. Train with spacious seats, a table and large windows for panoramic views from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes on Day 2 and from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo on Day 3. Modern, quiet bus with comfortable seats round trip between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu on Day 3.
• Accommodation: 5 nights at different Casa Andina Hotels, prices based on 2 people sharing one room. Upgrade is always possible. An option for night 4 is double occupancy tents with Therm-a-rest sleeping pads and warm sleeping bags. Just let us know which you prefer when you are booking.
• Meals: 5 breakfast, 1 lunch at the Highland community on Day 3. We can recommend quality restaurants in Cusco, Aguas Calientes and Ollantaytambo. We can arrange for vegetarian meals and special diets such as Gluten free and dairy free. Just let us know when you are booking what your special diet needs are and we will make it work for you.
• Entrance fee to the highland community
• Entrance tickets to Machu Picchu
• Cusco Tourist Ticket for entrance to many of the sites
•Entrance to Maras salt mines
• Professional trilingual local guide (English, Spanish and Quechua)
• First aid kit and emergency oxygen bottle
Items that are NOT included in the tour price:
• All lunches and suppers except lunch on Day 3 at the Highland community
• Entrance to Hot Springs in Aguas Calientes
• Tips and extra spending
• Ticket for Wayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain. If you would like to climb either of these mountains, please let us know when you are booking.
What we recommend bringing:
• Current passport is required. If your passport expired between booking and starting your tour, bring both the old and new passports!
• Short-sleeved shirts, long-sleeved shirts, fleece, lightweight pants
• Day pack to carry things that you will need during the day
• Rain gear or poncho
• Good walking shoes
• Flashlight/headlamp and batteries
• Camera, film and batteries (batteries die faster in cold conditions)
• Hydrating face and body lotion
• Sun block and insect repellent
• Water bottles (Nalgene or metal ones are required)
• Toilet paper and tissues