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The Rainbow Mountain of Peru, also known as Vinicunca, are stunning and can be seen on the spectacular Ausangate Trek. Ausangate mountain itself is considered a holy mountain (or mountain spirit) by local Peruvians and is the deity of Cusco. Since pre-Inca times the mountain has been a place of worship and offerings and this tradition continues today.
Most trips that allow you to see the Rainbow Mountains require a trek of at least 6 days. That has changed with this brand new itinerary. We have designed this hike so that it can be done as a day trip!
We will pick you up early from your Cusco hotel and set out on a drive through the South Valley. The drive to the trailhead at Quesiuno (4,326 m / 14,189 ft) is 3 hours long. Once we reach the Inkintuyoc bridge, we will have a fueling continental breakfast.We then start off on our hike, following a lovely stream. You will be immediately surprised by literally herds of alpacas and llamas. We will have consistent views of the Ausangate Mountain. We will hike through villages and interact with the local residents. We will stop for a deluxe box lunch along the trail.Back on the trail, we encounter more of the traditional elements of this trek. This includes potato fields and unique fauna. We have the prospect of seeing chinchillas and vicunas. Vicunas are the only non-domesticated animal of the llama family in Peru. Many red mountains are also a highlight of this portion of the hike.After a total hike of approximately 5 hours, we finally reach our destination, what we came to see….the Rainbow Mountains (5,020 m / 16,466 ft). After getting over the shock of their beauty, you will have time to explore the area. You will have time to take pictures and soak in the environment. We will spend approximately 30 minutes at the top.

At this point, it is time to go back down. We hike downhill the way we came. The hike will take 4 to 5 hours. Our private van will be waiting for us when we return.

We will embark on the 3 hour drive back to Cusco and drop you off at your Cusco hotel. Approximate arrival time is between 8 and 9 PM.

Meals: Continental Breakfast / Box lunch

Lowest Elevation: 4,326 m / 14,189 ft

Highest Elevation: 5,020 m / 16,466 ft

Distance to walk: 15 km / 9 ¼ miles

Approximate walking time: 5 to 6 hours up; 4 to 5 hours down

Level of Difficulty: Challenging
Services Included:

Professional Bilingual English speaking tour guide (additional tour guide for groups of nine people or more)
Pre-Departure Briefing at your hotel 1 or 2 days before your trek.
Pick up from your hotel and transportation to Quesiuno
Return transportation from Quesiuno to your Cusco hotel
One continental breakfast, one deluxe box lunch
Emergency oxygen bottle and medical kit.
Services Not Included:

Trekking poles – you can rent them from us
Tips
Travel /Health / Emergency insurance
What to bring:

Original passport (if you have acquired a new one after you made your booking, bring both)
Water
Rain jacket / poncho
Winter hat and gloves
Rain pants
Snacks
Sun block, factor 35+ recommended
Sunglasses and sun hat
Camera with spare batteries – batteries run down faster at high altitudes
Binoculars
Trekking poles (recommended especially for the steep descents, can be rented from us)
Our trek rankings are the following

Easy
Moderate
Difficult
Challenging
Demanding

Price.2016

1 people :  US$480.00 per person
2 people :  US$250.00 per person
3 people:   US$220.00 per person
4 people :  US$190.00 per person
5 people :  US$160.00 per person

Available discounts (these discounts are not cumulative)

Students: US$ 25.00 (students require a valid International Student Identity Card. Please note that Youth Travel Cards are not valid)
Teenagers: US$ 35.00 (up to 15 years of age, passport copy required for all bookings)
Children: US$ 100.00 (up to 7 years of age, passport copy required for all bookings)
STUDENT DISCOUNT: $35 off per personStudent Discounts apply to anyone who has a valid GREEN ISIC card at the time of the trek or is 16 years old or younger. For those using an ISIC card to receive the discount, we do need to see a copy of the card at booking. For those booking children 16 years old or younger, we need a copy of their passport at booking time. Please send all to incaland3@gmail.com
Discounts
Under 15 years will pay as student: US$35.00
Under 7 years Discount: US$50.00
ADDITIONAL ITEMS:As you see in our Additional Items under Trip Overview, there are several optional upgrades you can include in this trip. Below is a quick list of prices, but check our Overview section for more details.
Huaynapicchu: $65 per person
Vistadome Train (One Way): $80 per person
Vistadome Train (One Way): $65 per person

* CAMPO OBLIGATORIO

HIGHLIGHTS

ITINERARY

Day 1: Cusco – Piskacucho Km 82 – Llactapata- Ayapata

Alpaca Expeditions will pick you up from where ever you are staying in Cusco, Urubamba or Ollantaytambo. Pickup from Cusco will be at 4:30AM, from Urubamba 5:30 AM and if you stay in Ollantaytambo, you get to sleep in a bit with your pickup at 6:30 AM. At your briefing, these times will be confirmed as they might fluctuate based on where you staying. We will then drive to Km 82, arriving at about 7:00AM. After a delicious breakfast prepared by your cook, we’ll go through the first Inca Trail checkpoint to begin our trek (please make sure you have your original passport with you to enter the Inca Trail). The first 2 hours of the trek are relatively easy as we make our way to our first Inca site, Patallacta which is an ancient Inca checkpoint for the approach to Machu Picchu. From Patallacta it’s another 2 hour hike to our lunch stop. After lunch we will hike for another 2½ hours until we reach the first night’s campsite at Ayapata (3300 meters). On this last stretch we pass through 2 small communities. If you want to buy any energy drinks or snacks you can do so here, you can also buy any essential items such as batteries that you may have forgotten. We’ll arrive to our campsite by 5:00PM and after settling in for a bit you can relax and have a hot drink and snack with your team of porters, chef and guide. By 7:30PM your dinner will be ready, and afterwards you can get some well-deserved rest.

Walking distance: 8.7 miles/14 km (6-7 hours)
Campsite altitude: 3300 meters (high) above sea level
Considered: Moderate day (getting used to the Inca Trail)
Weather: Warm and windy

Day 2: Dead Woman´s Pass – Runcuraccay Pass – Chaquiccocha

Your porters will wake you up early with a hot cup of coca tea to get you ready for the day. Today is our longest day and we will start early. We’ll hike for roughly 4 hours to the highest pass of the trek, Dead Woman’s Pass (4215 meters/13829 feet). On reaching the pass we’ll stop for a short break to enjoy the views before setting off again to descend to the next valley (Pacaymayu Valley – Hidden River). It’s another hour and a half down the side of the valley to our lunch spot and a chance to refill our water bottles. After lunch we begin ascending again to the second pass of the trek. It’s 2 hours to the pass and along the way we’ll stop at a small Inca site (Runcu Raccay) and see two huge waterfalls cascading down the opposite side of the valley. After the second pass, it’s another hour downhill hike to reach the magnificent Inca site, Sayacmarca (an otherwise inaccessible village).
We’ll stop here for a rest and have a quick tour of the site and then watch the sunset over the Vilcabamba mountain range. It’s then just another 20 minutes until we stop for the night at our second campsite Chaquicocha (Dry Lake, 3600 meters). After dinner, if you’re not too exhausted, we can do some star gazing and we’ll point out the fascinating Inca constellations. In the magnificent Southern Hemisphere sky, away from all the artificial lighting, this sky is something to behold!

Walking distance: 9.94 miles/16 km (7-8 hours)
Campsite altitude: 3600 meters (high) above sea level (chilly weather)
Considered: Top day (you will have survived the two highest passes)
Area: Andes and Cloud Forest
Weather: Cold and rainy

Day 3: Chaquiccocha – Wiñaywayna

Completing Day 2 and beginning Day 3 certainly deserves a pat on the back! We begin early again, waking up at 6:30am to begin what is commonly felt to be the most beautiful day of the whole Inca Trail. We hike for 2 hours along what we like to call “Inca flat” (gradual inclines) and begin to enter the jungle, known as the Cloud Forest. As we walk we will have the opportunity to see the majesty of Salkantay, the second highest snow-capped mountain in the Sacred Valley, and a fantastic panoramic view of the Vilcabamba mountain range. Towards the end of the Inca flats we begin to make our way up to the last peak at Phuyupatamarka (3600 meters) from where we’ll have great views overlooking the Urubamba River. Down the valley we get our first views of Machu Picchu Mountain but the site itself is still hidden from view. From Phuyupatamarka it´s a 3 hour walk down a flight of steps to our last campsite, close to Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young). Wiñay Wayna is the most spectacular Inca site on the trail after Machu Picchu and the most popular campsite because of its proximity to Machu Picchu.

During the descent we visit 2 Inca ruins, Phuyupatamarka (Town in the Clouds) and Intipata (Terraces of the Sun). We arrive at our campsite around 1:00PM to have lunch and then relax for the entire afternoon so that you’re relaxed and ready for your final day at Machu Picchu. At around 4:30PM your guide will give you a short orientation and you will visit the Inca ruins of Wiñay Wayna, spending about an hour and a half there. We will explain the significance of the site and combine all the information given during the trek so you’re fully prepared for your visit to Machu Picchu the following day.
We like to spoil our guests as we enjoy our last feast with the porters and chefs. It’s an Inca Trail tradition to organize a ceremony in the evening to introduce the team to the tourists once again and to thank them for the great job done (if you wish to provide tips for them then you can do so at this time). It is advisable to go to bed at a reasonable time in order to get up in the early hours of the morning to arrive to Machu Picchu at the crack of dawn in the hopes that the weather will give us a beautiful sunrise over the ruins at Machu Picchu.

Walking distance: 6.2 miles/10km (5 hours)
Campsite altitude: 2.600 meters (high) above sea level (chilly weather)
Considered: Easy day – all downhill!
Area: High Cloud Forest
Weather: Warm and very humid

Day 4: Sun Gate – Machu Picchu – The Lost City Of The Incas

Wake up time is at 3:30AM. We’ll eat breakfast at 4:00AM and wait at the checkpoint to be one of the first to start trekking when they open the gates at 5:30AM. We’ll wave goodbye to our team of porters and chef and then it’s “Forward On” to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku). From here we have spectacular views of the mountains and Machu Picchu in all its glory. We reach the Sun Gate by 6:30am and then it’s just an hour trek downstairs to reach the Lost City of the Incas. As we approach Machu Picchu the views of the city just get better and better! At about 7:40AM we’ll reach the final checkpoint and enter Machu Picchu to begin our 2 hour private guided tour. After the tour you’ll be given your bus tickets to make your way down to Aguas Calientes and you’ll have plenty of free time to explore on your own or climb one of the neighboring mountain – Huaynapicchu  (must be arranged ahead of time). Your guide will offer to meet you down in the village of Aguas Calientes to enjoy your last lunch in a local restaurant. This is optional and not included. At lunch, he will hand out train tickets, so if you choose to skip, please arrange to get these before leaving him at Machu Picchu.
Unless you arranged for an upgraded train, we will book the Expedition class train departing Aguas Calientes at 4:20. Please make sure you are on the platform at least 30 minutes ahead of time. This train will be 2 hours to Ollantaytambo where an Alpaca driver will meet you and drive you back to the city in our bus, then we will drop you off at your hotel.

Considered: The most exciting and magical day (early wake up 3.30AM)
Area: High Cloud and Subtropical Forest
Weather: Hot and very humid (bring lots of water)

WHAT’S INCLUDED?

PRICE

TRAVEL INFO

PACKING LIST

HIGHLIGHTS

ITINERARY

Day 1: Cusco – Piskacucho Km 82 – Llactapata- Ayapata

Alpaca Expeditions will pick you up from where ever you are staying in Cusco, Urubamba or Ollantaytambo. Pickup from Cusco will be at 4:30AM, from Urubamba 5:30 AM and if you stay in Ollantaytambo, you get to sleep in a bit with your pickup at 6:30 AM. At your briefing, these times will be confirmed as they might fluctuate based on where you staying. We will then drive to Km 82, arriving at about 7:00AM. After a delicious breakfast prepared by your cook, we’ll go through the first Inca Trail checkpoint to begin our trek (please make sure you have your original passport with you to enter the Inca Trail). The first 2 hours of the trek are relatively easy as we make our way to our first Inca site, Patallacta which is an ancient Inca checkpoint for the approach to Machu Picchu. From Patallacta it’s another 2 hour hike to our lunch stop. After lunch we will hike for another 2½ hours until we reach the first night’s campsite at Ayapata (3300 meters). On this last stretch we pass through 2 small communities. If you want to buy any energy drinks or snacks you can do so here, you can also buy any essential items such as batteries that you may have forgotten. We’ll arrive to our campsite by 5:00PM and after settling in for a bit you can relax and have a hot drink and snack with your team of porters, chef and guide. By 7:30PM your dinner will be ready, and afterwards you can get some well-deserved rest.

Walking distance: 8.7 miles/14 km (6-7 hours)
Campsite altitude: 3300 meters (high) above sea level
Considered: Moderate day (getting used to the Inca Trail)
Weather: Warm and windy

Day 2: Dead Woman´s Pass – Runcuraccay Pass – Chaquiccocha

Your porters will wake you up early with a hot cup of coca tea to get you ready for the day. Today is our longest day and we will start early. We’ll hike for roughly 4 hours to the highest pass of the trek, Dead Woman’s Pass (4215 meters/13829 feet). On reaching the pass we’ll stop for a short break to enjoy the views before setting off again to descend to the next valley (Pacaymayu Valley – Hidden River). It’s another hour and a half down the side of the valley to our lunch spot and a chance to refill our water bottles. After lunch we begin ascending again to the second pass of the trek. It’s 2 hours to the pass and along the way we’ll stop at a small Inca site (Runcu Raccay) and see two huge waterfalls cascading down the opposite side of the valley. After the second pass, it’s another hour downhill hike to reach the magnificent Inca site, Sayacmarca (an otherwise inaccessible village).
We’ll stop here for a rest and have a quick tour of the site and then watch the sunset over the Vilcabamba mountain range. It’s then just another 20 minutes until we stop for the night at our second campsite Chaquicocha (Dry Lake, 3600 meters). After dinner, if you’re not too exhausted, we can do some star gazing and we’ll point out the fascinating Inca constellations. In the magnificent Southern Hemisphere sky, away from all the artificial lighting, this sky is something to behold!

Walking distance: 9.94 miles/16 km (7-8 hours)
Campsite altitude: 3600 meters (high) above sea level (chilly weather)
Considered: Top day (you will have survived the two highest passes)
Area: Andes and Cloud Forest
Weather: Cold and rainy

Day 3: Chaquiccocha – Wiñaywayna

Completing Day 2 and beginning Day 3 certainly deserves a pat on the back! We begin early again, waking up at 6:30am to begin what is commonly felt to be the most beautiful day of the whole Inca Trail. We hike for 2 hours along what we like to call “Inca flat” (gradual inclines) and begin to enter the jungle, known as the Cloud Forest. As we walk we will have the opportunity to see the majesty of Salkantay, the second highest snow-capped mountain in the Sacred Valley, and a fantastic panoramic view of the Vilcabamba mountain range. Towards the end of the Inca flats we begin to make our way up to the last peak at Phuyupatamarka (3600 meters) from where we’ll have great views overlooking the Urubamba River. Down the valley we get our first views of Machu Picchu Mountain but the site itself is still hidden from view. From Phuyupatamarka it´s a 3 hour walk down a flight of steps to our last campsite, close to Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young). Wiñay Wayna is the most spectacular Inca site on the trail after Machu Picchu and the most popular campsite because of its proximity to Machu Picchu.

During the descent we visit 2 Inca ruins, Phuyupatamarka (Town in the Clouds) and Intipata (Terraces of the Sun). We arrive at our campsite around 1:00PM to have lunch and then relax for the entire afternoon so that you’re relaxed and ready for your final day at Machu Picchu. At around 4:30PM your guide will give you a short orientation and you will visit the Inca ruins of Wiñay Wayna, spending about an hour and a half there. We will explain the significance of the site and combine all the information given during the trek so you’re fully prepared for your visit to Machu Picchu the following day.
We like to spoil our guests as we enjoy our last feast with the porters and chefs. It’s an Inca Trail tradition to organize a ceremony in the evening to introduce the team to the tourists once again and to thank them for the great job done (if you wish to provide tips for them then you can do so at this time). It is advisable to go to bed at a reasonable time in order to get up in the early hours of the morning to arrive to Machu Picchu at the crack of dawn in the hopes that the weather will give us a beautiful sunrise over the ruins at Machu Picchu.

Walking distance: 6.2 miles/10km (5 hours)
Campsite altitude: 2.600 meters (high) above sea level (chilly weather)
Considered: Easy day – all downhill!
Area: High Cloud Forest
Weather: Warm and very humid

Day 4: Sun Gate – Machu Picchu – The Lost City Of The Incas

Wake up time is at 3:30AM. We’ll eat breakfast at 4:00AM and wait at the checkpoint to be one of the first to start trekking when they open the gates at 5:30AM. We’ll wave goodbye to our team of porters and chef and then it’s “Forward On” to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku). From here we have spectacular views of the mountains and Machu Picchu in all its glory. We reach the Sun Gate by 6:30am and then it’s just an hour trek downstairs to reach the Lost City of the Incas. As we approach Machu Picchu the views of the city just get better and better! At about 7:40AM we’ll reach the final checkpoint and enter Machu Picchu to begin our 2 hour private guided tour. After the tour you’ll be given your bus tickets to make your way down to Aguas Calientes and you’ll have plenty of free time to explore on your own or climb one of the neighboring mountain – Huaynapicchu  (must be arranged ahead of time). Your guide will offer to meet you down in the village of Aguas Calientes to enjoy your last lunch in a local restaurant. This is optional and not included. At lunch, he will hand out train tickets, so if you choose to skip, please arrange to get these before leaving him at Machu Picchu.
Unless you arranged for an upgraded train, we will book the Expedition class train departing Aguas Calientes at 4:20. Please make sure you are on the platform at least 30 minutes ahead of time. This train will be 2 hours to Ollantaytambo where an Alpaca driver will meet you and drive you back to the city in our bus, then we will drop you off at your hotel.

Considered: The most exciting and magical day (early wake up 3.30AM)
Area: High Cloud and Subtropical Forest
Weather: Hot and very humid (bring lots of water)

WHAT’S INCLUDED?

PRICE

TRAVEL INFO

PACKING LIST

FAQs

PRICE

We can depart any day of the week, as long as permits are available. Please remember, permits are only needed for your start date.

Price (for 2018 & early bookers 2019):

$690 per person

Student Discount:

$35 off per person

Student discounts apply to anyone who has a valid UNIVERSITY STUDENT CARD at the time of the trek or who is 17-years-old or younger. For those using an university student card to receive the discount, we need to see a copy of the card at booking. For those booking children 17-years-old or younger, we need a copy of their passport at booking time. Please send all to info@alpacaexpeditions.com.

More Information about STUDENT CARD

Additional Items:

Below is a quick list of prices, but check our Additional Options section for more details.

Huayna Picchu

Huayna Picchu is the mountain that stands next to Machu Picchu. It is a 45 minute hike to the top. While this hike is done on your own, your guide will direct you to where this hike begins. This is an additional entrance ticket that we can secure for you with advance notice.

Tickets are purchased within a timeframe of when you need to start the trail. Tickets are either for the First Session from 7-8AM or Second Session from 10-11AM. We purchase the Second Session for our clients in order for you to enjoy your tour of Machu Picchu before you begin. (This window is only when you need to BEGIN the hike – you may take your time up and down – no rush)

The ticket is $75 per person.

Machu Picchu Mountain

* Only possible to do if you have an extra day to visit Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu mountain is the other mountain that stands above the Machu Picchu ruins. It offers even more stunning views than Huayna Picchu, but takes an hour and a half to reach the top. This is an additional entrance ticket that we can secure for you.

Tickets for Machu Picchu Mountain are now also within a timeframe of when you can begin – which is between 9-10AM. Due to this limited and early time frame, it is not possible to do the Inca Trail and hike Machu Picchu Mountain unless you have scheduled a second visit to the citadel on the next day. You will not have time for a tour of the ruins upon entering Machu Picchu and to do this hike in one day.

This ticket is $75 per person.

Vistadome Train

All our tours include the Expeditions (Tourist) Train. This train is normally booked at 4:22 p.m., leaving Aguas Calientes. The Vistadome train is an upgraded train, that offers slightly larger seats, windows and even some entertainment. Normally the Vistadome train is booked for 4:43 p.m. and travels to Poroy, a train station closer to Cusco. While this is an upgraded fee, we will still include your transportation back to your hotel.

This train is $75 per person.

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