Our amazing sacred valley inca trail machupicchu 3d/2n, Peru inspires amazement. With its rich and astonishingly varied landscapes, this country is one of only 17 in the world to be defined as megadiverse – meaning it harbors a staggering amount of the Earth’s species. Combine that with stunning scenery that has the power to stop travelers in their tracks, a compelling history and a legacy of fascinating cultures, civilizations and foreign influences, is complete without seeing that deservedly hyped New World Wonder, Machu Picchu, the ancient Inca city set high aloft in the Andes Mountains. A shorter version of the Inca Trail leaves from KM 104, 2100 m involves a four hour walk uphill to Wiñay-Wayna Complex 2700m followed by a couple more hours of walking to arrive at Machu Picchu. This 2-Day tour covers 16km of Inca Trail in the first day, connecting with the Classic 4-day trail at the impressive archaeological site of Wiñay-Wayna.
DAY 1: SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS (Chinchero + Moray + Maras + Ollantaytambo)
We start this beautiful day at 7:30am, when your guide picks you up at your Cusco hotel in our private van. Our route to the Sacred Valley of the Incas leads us towards Chinchero. We stop first at the Mirador of chinchero to enjoy an expansive, its traditional farming villages. You will see how the agriculture in the Sacred Valley has changed little in the past five hundred years. Onward, we drive to the archeological site of Chinchero, Here, we will spend about 2 hours exploring Inca city. Then, we head down to the colorful market of chinchero, spend about 20 minutes visiting it and then drive to Urubamba for lunch.
Our next stop is the archeological site of Moray also known as “The Greenhouse of the Incas” , a deep basin of architectural wonder. Levels of terraces are carved into a huge bowl, which was carefully engineered by the Incas. The terraces have varied microclimates depending on how deep into the bowl they are placed. Archeologists believe that they were used by the Incas to discover the optimal growing conditions for their crops and experiment in hybridization.
Continuing on our journey to the colonial town of Maras, we look down onto the pre-Inca salt “mines,” called salineras in Spanish. Thousands of salt pans have been passed down through countless generations and used for salt extraction since before Inca times. A hot spring at the top of the valley discharges a small stream of heavily salt laden water, which is diverted into salt pans and evaporated to produce salt. This is one of the few places in the world where you can find naturally pink salt!
Finally, we drove to Ollantaytambo, taking the time to explore the Inca village that has remained intact since Inca times and the massive Inca Ruins, with a tour provided by our guide. Visit the massive architecture of the Sun Temple at the top of the formidable terraces and learn about the importance of this site for the Inca during the beginning of the Spanish conquest. Here you spend the night at your hotel in Ollantaytambo, ready to start the Inca Trail the next day.
2* Accommodations: Veronica View Hotel or Tunupa Lodge.
DAY 2: OLLANTAYTAMBO – Km104 – WIÑAY WAYNA – SUN GATE – MACHU PICCHU
We start this exciting day early; your guide will leave the hotel with you at 5:30am. When you arrive at the train station, your guide will give you your lunch to add to your daypack. Your train departs Ollantaytambo at 6:10am and you will have just over an hour on the train to enjoy the scenery before arriving to your trek start point. Your hotel can provide you a box breakfast to take with you or you can pack your own breakfast.
Your guide will get off the train with you at the famous Km104, where your hike begins! (2,000m/6,560 ft. above sea level) After crossing the Urubamba river on a picturesque foot bridge, you will be required to show your passport at the checkpoint and get to visit your first Inca archeological site nearby. The first hour and a half are a gentle trek upward, with several shelters along the way to pause for a bit, to get out of the sun, or rain, depending on the season. Along the way, you will stop at several outlooks where you have an expansive view of the Urubamba River. You will also pass through several microclimates, including cloud forest, so be ready for damp or even rain at any season of the year. The next hour and a half are a slightly steeper uphill trek with a beautiful waterfall as your reward at the end of the trail!
As you walk below the waterfall, be sure to gaze up at the spectacular Wiñay Wayna as you pass! (2,600m/8,500ft above sea level) These amazing Inca ruins have a fascinating history and some parts are still hidden by the dense jungle. This close to Machu Picchu, you are hiking through lush sub-tropical jungle. Your guide will tell you all about the ruins, plus the incredible flora and fauna of this microclimate and answer any questions you have before the short 5 minute walk to your lunch spot.
You will have lunch at the Wiñay Wayna campground, which is the last campground for those hiking the
Classic Inca Trail. Take your time enjoying your hearty, gourmet lunch and admiring the tropical flowers around the campground. Be sure to notify us of any food allergies or dietary restrictions when you book!
After lunch, you will have a mostly flat hike to the Sun Gate except for a set of steep stairs just before you arrive at the Sun Gate. As you walk through the Sun Gate and turn the corner, you will experience your first breathtaking view of Machu Picchu Citadel, so take some time to savor the moment and take photos. The last hour down from the Sun Gate provides many opportunities to take more photos of Machu Picchu from this unique vantage point. There are also a couple more important Inca sites between the Sun Gate and Machu Picchu, so make sure to go slowly, enjoy your time walking in the footsteps of the Inca on the Inca Trail and ask your guide questions about these historical places on the last bit of your hike to Machu Picchu.
Once you reach Machu Picchu, you will have time to take more photos from the viewing platforms above the site, the “House of the Guardians”where you can take the famous postcard pictures of Machu Picchu. You will arrive in the afternoon, as the archeological area starts to empty of tourists, which gives you the opportunity to take beautiful photos in the afternoon light with fewer people in your shots. Take your time to enjoy this magical experience before you take the bus down to Aguas Calientes to check into your hotel. Your will have a delicious dinner, then have time to walk around this picturesque little town, visit the hot springs or just go to your hotel to rest after such an exciting day.
Meals included: Breakfast at your hotel, picnic lunch and dinner in Aguas Calientes
Accommodation: Susanne inn hotel
You will leave an overnight bag at the Ollantaytambo train station to be sent by train directly to Aguas Calientes.
DAY 3: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO
This is the day you’ve been waiting for! After an early breakfast at your hotel, you’ll take one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu so that you can be there to witness the sunrise. It is a truly extraordinary site and not something you’ll want to miss! Your guide will give you a guided tour of Machu Picchu, which takes about two hours. You will see many of the most important parts of Machu Picchu Citadel.
After your tour, those who have booked in advance for an extra hike up Huayna Picchu will have time to enjoy those views on their own. When you have had your fill of the exceptional views of Machu Picchu, you will take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes for lunch (not included). Depending on your train departure time, you may also have time for some shopping, sightseeing or a visit to the museum or hot springs.
The Expedition train will take you back to Ollantaytambo at 2:55pm or 3:20pm, following the spectacular Urubamba River. Close to Aguas Calientes, the canyon is narrow and the river has many beautiful sections of whitewater. You can also see Wiñay Wayna from the train, if you look up high on the steep canyon wall! Back at Ollantaytambo, your driver will meet you at the exit from the train station to take you back to your hotel in Cusco in our private vehicle. You can expect to arrive at your hotel by 7:00pm.
Meals included: Breakfast at your hotel
On the 2 day Inca Trail, we will be doing circuit #3 and there is no way to do another circuit unless you buy an additional entrance to Machu Picchu.
You can upgrade to the Vistadome Train for the same times, 2:55pm or 3:20pm, 4:22pm, or 4:43pm. The cost is $75 USD.
Early trains can be organized by request and it has to be done by booking time.
The Huayna Picchu Mountain Hike depends on availability and let us know about it at booking time.
.WHAT IS INCLUDED?
Sacred Valley Tour with entrances included.
Entrance tickets to the Inca cities and archeological sites
Professional guide for three days.
Expedition train from Ollantaytambo to KM 104 and from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.
Two nights hotel accommodation with private room, bathroom, wifi and breakfast (This applies ONLY if you are chosen the price which includes hotels)
Meals a indicated on the itinerary
Bus tickets from Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu -Aguas Calientes.Personal assistance
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED?
Hotel – optional upgrades
Huayna Picchu Tickets: $75 USD per person
Upgrade to Vistadome: $75 USD per person (Return only Aguas Calientes to Poroy/Cusco at 4:43pm)
Tips for your guide
**Huayna Picchu Mountain is an optional trek within Machu Picchu Citadel which does not include a guide. The climb is usually done on your own after your tour of Machu Picchu Citadel. If you would like the extra hike to be guided, please request in advance. There is an extra cost for this extra guided tour.
ADDED VALUES FOR FREE
Transfer from the airport to hotel: (Cusco hotel only)
SMALL GROUPS: up to 8 hikers
EARLY TRAIN: for the return to Cusco from Aguas Caliente.
ADDED VALUES FOR FREE
Transfer from the airport to hotel: (Cusco hotel only)
SMALL GROUPS: up to 8 hikers
EARLY TRAIN: for the return to Cusco from Aguas Caliente
Throughout the trip, you’ll have opportunities to spot a wide variety of birds native to the region. Some of the notable species you might encounter include the Andean condor, Inca wren, Andean cock-of-the-rock, Andean toucan, and numerous hummingbird species.
It’s important to note that the shorter Inca Trail is less physically demanding compared to the traditional multi-day trek. However, it still involves hiking at high altitudes, so it’s advisable to acclimatize in Cusco for a few days before embarking on the journey.
The Sacred Valley Short Inca Trail with birdwatching Machu Picchu offers a perfect blend of cultural exploration, natural beauty, and birdwatching opportunities, allowing you to experience the wonders of the Inca civilization and the stunning biodiversity of the Peruvian Andes.