Explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the spectacular lost city of Machu Picchu on this 5 day tour, which starts and ends in Cusco. Take in the highlights of the captivating Cusco on a walking tour, discover the vast Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo and the Pisac ruins before travelling by train for a guided tour of the iconic Machu Picchu citadel, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Today we explore Cusco on a guided tour, taking in some of the city's most important landmarks. Our tour begins at the Plaza de Armas, built on the remains of one of the most important Incan gathering spots, it's one of the most beautiful squares in the country. Then we take in other highlights of the city, including the cathedral and the Kenko Amphitheatre before visiting the impressive Sacsayhuaman Fortress. Built between 1438 and 1474, Sacsayhuaman Fortress took over 20,000 labourers to build and some of the magnificent stone work measures over 4 metres in height and over 100 tons in weight. The rest of the day is free for you to stroll around the cobbled streets of this enchanting city which is brimming with wonderful cafes, shops and handicraft markets and art shops.
Cusco - The Sacred Valley. We depart Cusco this morning and take a scenic drive to the Sacred Valley. Our first stop is the colourful Pisac Market, where artisans from the region get together and exchange or buy and sell their products. Originally only held on Sundays, Pisac Market was a place for artisans from across the region to trade in their products. Today the market is a daily occurrence where locals and visitors alike can find some of the finest textiles, jewellery and clothing typical of this area of Peru. There's plenty of time to explore the market, see the variety of colourful handicrafts and textiles on offer, and barter for souvenirs.
This afternoon we visit the striking Ollantaytambo fortress with its enormous Inca terraces constructed on the side of a steep mountain. Ollantaytambo is one of the best examples of Incan architecture and many of the inhabitants of the town still live according to the customs and traditions they have inherited from generations of ancestors. After a tour through the area we check into our nearby hotel for the night.
Overnight: Sacred Valley | Breakfast
Sacred Valley – Machu Picchu - Cusco. This morning we travel by train from Ollantaytambo to the town of Aguas Calientes (also known as Machu Picchu town). On the 90 minute journey sit back and enjoy the spectacular scenery through the panoramic windows. In Aguas Calientes we board the bus which takes us along a winding path up the slopes of the great Machu Picchu mountain to the famous Inca citadel.
The incredible lost city of Machu Picchu is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba River, surrounded by tropical forest. A guided tour will take us around the citadel. Built in the classical Inca style with polished dry-stone walls and terraces that seem to have been crafted naturally from the rock escarpments, Machu Picchu is a spectacular testament to the greatness of the Inca civilisation. The ruins are divided into the Urban and Agricultural Sectors with features ranging from terraced fields and water fountains to storage buildings, guardhouses and religious temples as well as bridges on the trails leading out of the citadel. After the guided tour we return to the spa town of Aguas Calientes where there's time to stroll around before we travel by train back to Cusco.
Overnight: Cusco | Breakfast
Our tour comes to an end after breakfast today. A transfer will take you to Cusco airport for your onward travel.
If you're not departing Cusco until later this evening, or you've booked post tour accommodation, you may wish to join one of the optional excursions on offer today. You can visit the local Andean market town of Chinchero on a half day tour. Chinchero has one of the most traditional markets in South America, and here you will find locals in colourful traditional dress, buying and selling their produce.
There's also an optional full day excursion to Vinicunca, the Rainbow Mountain (offered from March to November), with lunch included. After a scenic 2.5 hr drive through rugged mountain scenery, trek with a guide to the summit of Rainbow Mountain, with its striking bright stripes of mineral deposits.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates marked with a 'G' are operating. All dates are guaranteed to operate when there are 2 persons booked on the tour. 'Twin Share' prices are per person when there are 2 people sharing a room. 'Single Room' prices are applicable to solo travellers or anyone wanting the privacy of a single room.
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.
Sonesta Hotel, Cusco
The recently renovated Sonesta Hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Cusco. The Plaza de Armas, Cusco Craft Center, Centro de Textiles and Cusco Museum of Popular Art are all just a short walk away. The well-appointed guest rooms feature either a mountain or city view, with cable TV, free WiFi and private bathrooms. The hotel’s restaurant serves a fusion of Peruvian and international food. There are two bars and a café for you to relax and enjoy a drink after a busy day sightseeing.
Sonesta Posadas del Inca-Yucay, Sacred Valley
Scenically housed in an old monastery at the foot of a mountain in Peru's iconic Sacred Valley, the Sonesta Posadas del Inca-Yucay is located just outside Urubamba and makes a great base for exploring the region. Rooms combine the contemporary and the rustic, featuring private bathrooms, TV, free Wi-Fi and air-conditioning. The onsite restaurant serves Andean classic dishes with a modern twist, and there's also a bar for customers to enjoy. As with many rural Peruvian hotels, there are resident alpacas!
At a Glance
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