5-DAY CUSCO & MACHU PICCHU
Discover the mysteries of Cusco and Machu Picchu in 5 days of tours to the best sites of the Inca city. The package includes a City Tour, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Humantay Lake and Rainbow Mountain.
On the City Tour you’ll have the chance to visit and learn more about the Cathedral of Cusco and Qoricancha, also known as the Temple of the Sun (actual Santo Domingo Church) and also the 4 archaeological sites in Cusco including the impressive Sacsayhuaman.
On the Sacred Valley tour you’ll visit both market and archaeological sites of Pisac and the fortress of Ollantaytambo – the theater of some of the most epic battles between incas and the Spanish army.
In Machu Picchu you’ll have time to enjoy the best of the inca’s lost citadel on a 2-hour guided tour, and enjoy the landscapes of the Urubamba Valley and the Sacred Valley by the window of your trains.
On the last two days you’ll have two short hikes: the Humantay Lake, located on the route to Salkantay – one of the most famous treks in Cusco; and the Rainbow Mountain Vinicunca, the second most visited site in Peru.
Day 1: ARRIVAL IN CUSCO – CITY TOUR
Today, you will arrive in Cusco and begin this incredible five-day journey. We will be waiting at the Cusco airport to welcome you! We will then transport you to your hotel and give you all the information about the city of Cusco and your itinerary for the upcoming days.
We will meet you at your hotel lobby at 1:00 pm to begin this tour. From here you will head to Cusco’s Plaza de Armas where you will visit the famous Cathedral. After touring this sacred church, you will walk through an ancient Inca built street going from the Plaza de Armas to Qoricancha, the Temple of the Sun. In Qoricancha you will see the contrast between the Inca culture and Catholicism, as well as the different building methods used. The Inca constructions here are amazing as this was the main temple of the Incas, where all their highways used to depart from. The high altar made in bronze in the Catholic church is one of the highlights.
After Qoricancha your group will walk down to Avenida El Sol, where you will take your bus to drive up and outside of the city. It will take 25 min until you arrive at the majestic Inca site of Sacsayhuaman, where your guide will lead you around. You will have extra time to explore it on your own.
From Sacsayhuaman, you will take a short bus-ride to Qenqo. Here, you will see ancient altars from the Inca times! Next, we will continue to Puca Pucara, a small circular Inca site. Finally, you will visit Tambomachay, the temple of water with its impressive water fountains.
We will then drive back to Cusco, and the tour will end at the Main Square (Plaza de Armas). Private tours will end back at your hotel.
Sleep in Cusco
Day 2: SACRED VALLEY – AGUAS CALIENTES
We will pick you up at your hotel in Cusco around 8:00 am and begin our journey to the Inca Ruins in Pisac. These are amazing ruins located on top of one of the mountains in the Sacred Valley. There are hundreds of agricultural terraces that are still used today, where the Incas farmed corn, potatoes, and quinoa. We will also see the religious and astronomical side of the Incas at these ruins. It is an amazing place to take photos as you will be on top of the Sacred Valley, with nearly endless views.
After visiting the ruins, we will drive down to the Pisac market in the city. This is the most traditional market around Cusco and another great place to purchase gifts. You can also experience some local delicacies – many of the local farmers bring their vegetables here to sell. We will also have lunch at the market.
After lunch, we will drive further through the Sacred Valley to Ollantaytambo. Ollantaytambo was an Inca checkpoint to protect Machu Picchu and the valley against any enemies (Ollantay is the name of the leader, Tambo is a lodging place). After your tour, you will have extra time to wander around the site. In the evening, before heading to the train station, you can have dinner in one of the local restaurants. Your train will depart at 7:00 pm to Aguas Calientes, which will be a 2-hour journey.
Sleep in Aguas Calientes
Day 3: MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO
Today is the most important day as we will be visiting Machu Picchu. Because it’s so special, we encourage you to wake up early in the morning to enjoy breakfast at the hotel and then walk to the bus station to catch one of the early buses, which begin running at 5:30am (they are on a first come/ first serve basis). The bus will take about 25 min to get up to Machu Picchu.
Once you arrive, your guide will be waiting to bring you to a spectacular view of the Lost City of the Incas. You will then have a 2 hour guided tour around Machu Picchu. If you have tickets to climb the amazing mountains of Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, your guide will direct you to where this hike begins. Please make sure this is arranged with us at least a month in advance, as tickets sell out quickly and come with additional cost. Once you finish exploring Machu Picchu, you will take a bus down to Aguas Calientes where you can have lunch. You will then take an afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo where our transportation will bring you back to Cusco.
Sleep in Cusco
Day 4: HUMANTAY LAKE
We will pick you up from your hotel between 3:30 and 4:00 am before traveling in our private transportation to Mollepata, located in the lush valley of the Apurimac River and approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes away from Cusco. In Mollepata, we will stop for a quick breakfast to get some energy before our hike! We will continue on our journey by car towards Soraypampa, which will take approximately one hour (3900 masl).
Here, we will begin our trek to the Humantay Lake located at 4200 masl (13779 feet). The steep hike up will take about 1 hour and 30 min.
If the climb is too difficult, you can ride a horse up to the lake. Once you reach the summit and see the magnificent Apu Humantay Lake, all hardship will be forgotten.
On the top of the mountain we will learn about why this place was considered sacred for the Incas and we will take time to appreciate the breathtaking views.
Once at the bottom, we will go back to Mollepata and have a delicious lunch. Finally, we will take our transportation and go back to Cusco and enjoy a much-needed siesta!
Day 5: RAINBOW MOUNTAIN
We will pick you up from your hotel between 4:15 and 5:00 am to start our 3 hour ride towards the foothills of the Mount Ausangate. Once we arrive at our destination, we will have a boxed-breakfast and after a brief chat with the group, we will begin our trek.
It will take about 2 hours to reach the most beautiful point where we will have time to take photos of this enigmatic place! During our trek up and down the mountain, we will have the opportunity to see the varieties of South American camelids and the impressive Andean Mountains highlighted by the snowcapped Ausangate. We will have a brief meeting at the top to hear about the Rainbow Mountain and surrounding area and then you will have time to take in the beautiful landscape that makes up this sacred land in Cusco, Peru.
We will then start our descent from the mountain, which should take around 2 hours. There will be options to take horses up or down from the mountain, if the climb becomes too challenging.We will regroup at the bottom and then head to a small city to have a delicious Peruvian inspired buffet lunch! After this fantastic meal we will drive back to Cusco and have a much needed siesta!
It is included
- Pick up and Drop off at Cusco Airport
- Professional English speaking guides for all tours
- Buffet lunch in the Sacred Valley
- Breakfast and lunch in the Rainbow Mountain and Humantay Lake tours
- Round-trip tourist class train tickets to Aguas calientes
- 01 night hotel in Aguas Calientes (optional)
- 03 Nights hotel in Cusco 3*** (optional)
- Round-trip bus tickets to Machu Picchu
- Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu
- Professional English guide for 2 hrs in Machu Picchu
- Tourist ticket for the ruins sites (130 Soles)
- Cathedral entrance 40 soles/Qoricancha entrance 15 soles
- Huayna Picchu Mountain (USD75 per person) or Machu Picchu Mountain (USD75 per person)
What to bring
WHAT TO BRING
- Original passport (mandatory to enter Machu Picchu)
- Small bag (5 kg max allowed on the train to and from Aguas Calientes)
- Small day pack for personal items in Machu Picchu (max allowed size is 25L)
- Comfortable clothes and appropriate footwear (hiking boots or good sneakers are recommended)
- Extra money for food, water, souvenirs and snacks (in Peruvian Soles)
- Sunscreen & Sunglasses
- Scarf or hat in order to protect against the intense sunlight
- Warm jacket for the evening/wind
- Personal medication
We recommend buying the 10 day tourist ticket for 130 Soles, which will give you access to all of the ruins sites in the Sacred Valley and in Cusco, as well as other attractions and museums in Cusco.
IN MACHU PICCHU:
If you are looking for an additional challenge once you arrive in Machu Picchu, there are some excellent hiking options.
- SUN GATE: It is a short hike up from the ruins and is always available and free to the public. This is a wonderful place to visit with amazing views to Machu Picchu.
- HUAYNA PICCHU MOUNTAIN: The most famous additional climb to do while in there that provides spectacular views of the ruins and surrounding area. This must be booked in advance for an additional cost, and often sells out. The climb takes 45 minutes and is moderately difficult. This is not recommended if you have vertigo or do not like heights.
- MACHU PICCHU MOUNTAIN: Another great option to climb up and see the ruins from a different angle. A 1.5 hours steep climb and can be very physically demanding, but the spectacular views from the top definitely make it worthwhile. This must be booked in advance for an additional cost, and often sells out.
PRICE REDUCTIONS FOR:
Groups of more than 5 people
Students with a valid international ISIC presented at time of booking
Children and adolescents under the age of 17.
Why is the tourist ticket not included?
The Boleto Turístico (tourist ticket) is a personal ticket and is not sold in advance. It must be purchased in Cusco or at the entrance of the visited sites where this ticket is required.
Check our guide with all the information about the tourist ticket.
Does this tour include accommodation in Aguas Calientes?
To include the accommodation, please contact our team and inform them of your preferred hotel category and number of people.
What to do with my luggage during the trip to Machu Picchu?
The maximum baggage weight allowed on the trains to Machu Picchu is 5kg per person. We recommend that you travel with as little as possible and leave the rest of your luggage at your hotel in Cusco.. If you check out when you travel to Machu Picchu, most hotels will allow you to leave your luggage in the hotel’s storage room.
What time will I enter Machu Picchu?
The entrance times for this tour are as early as 7am, but may vary according to ticket availability at the time of booking. Remember: the earlier you make your reservation, the more likely you are to get the best times.
I would like a private tour. Is it possible?
Yes, just get in touch with our team and we can provide you with a quote for a 100% private tour and a customized experience.
After the guided tour in Machu Picchu, can I stay longer on my own?
No. During the pandemic, restrictive measures were adopted that prevent you from wandering freely after the guided tour. All visitors are only allowed to travel in one direction and can not walk backwards to where they have already been. However, we’ll give you ample time to take pictures and explore during our guided tour.
Can I rent horses to hike the Humantay Lake or the Rainbow Mountain?
Yes, horses are available for rent on both mountains for about 90 soles per person (each way of each mountain). Your guide will help you with the negotiation.
Flexible cancellation/ change
- Cancel your tour at least 30 days in advance and it will be charged only 40% of the total amount to cover up administration expenses. Passed the 30 days it will be charged the full amount.
- The policy to reschedule or to make any amendment allows the update to be made no more than 15 days prior to the date of your tour and it is valid until December 31st
, 2022. (To reschedule Machu Picchu it will be charged USD 25 per person to cover up administration expenses.
- The itinerary may be subject to changes due to unforeseen circumstances, beyond the control of the operator, changes without prior notice.
- In order to protect your investment, we kindly recommend that you purchase travel insurance.
- If for any reason your tour gets cancelled during the pandemic we highly recommend you to consider postponing your tour to 2023 or 2024. It will only be charged the amount of USD 25 for changing the date on the Machu Picchu entrance ticket.