CUSCO, MARAS – MORAY, RAIMBOW MOUNTAIN, SACRED VALLEY, MACHUPICCHU.
Day 01: Arrive in Cusco / PM City tour
Upon arrival at the Cusco airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the morning will be at your leisure.
In the afternoon enjoy a half day tour of Cusco, visiting the Cathedral on the Plaza de Armas and the legendary Qoricancha, the most important religious center in the Inca time, a temple devoted to worshiping the Sun deity. Your tour includes also the visit to some nearby archaeological sites such as the impressive fortress of Sacsayhuaman; the religious site of Q’enqo; the ancient site of Puca Pucara and finally the water temple of Tambomachay.
Day 02: Maras – Moray
In the morning you will be picked up from your hotel to start a half day tour, you will head out on the road that crosses the Sacred Valley of the Incas to reach the important Moray archeological site (3176m/10419ft), where enormous circular and Pre-Incan semi-circular agricultural terraces were constructed to be used as a botanical laboratory for experimenting on plant domestication and foreign crop acclimatization. The area is so large that at least 3000 plant varieties, including potatoes and corn, could have been grown.
Next, Maras is located about 4 km from Moray, and is the site of pre-Inca salineras (salt ponds). Each terraced pond is polygonal in shape; salty water emerges from an underground spring, flows into the ponds, and evaporates with the sun. The Maras’ salt mines are still active today and maintained cooperatively by the Maras community. The white salt ponds contrast with the green hills and mountains that surround the mines and the views of the Sacred Valley from here are amazing. The tour will end in the early afternoon at your Cusco’s down town.
Day 03: Rainbow Mountain
This day we will pick you up from your hotel at approximately 3:45 am to begin our incredible adventure of a full day. We will drive 3 hours in our private transport through the South Valley of Cusco until arriving at the starting point in the sector called Quesiuno (4,326 m). Along the way you will have incredible views of Inca agricultural terraces, canyons and rocky mountains.
Once we reach the starting point, we will take a light breakfast provided by our company and then we will begin a moderate walk of ascent following a scenic path. Along the way you will be amazed to appreciate herds of Alpacas and Lamas, enjoy beautiful views of the Ausangate Mountain and you will also be able to interact with local people who still keep their culture alive.
After a total hike of approximately 1.5 hours, we will finally arrive at our destination, the reason we came to Vinincunca, “Rainbow Mountain” (5.020 m). After catching breath for the weariness and beauty of the place, you will have time to take pictures and enjoy the natural surroundings. We will spend approximately 30 minutes at the top of the mountain. After celebrating for having fulfilled our goal, we will return downhill by the same road that we came. The walk will take 3 hours until we return to the starting point, where we will enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by our chef. After lunch, we will take a 3 hours trip back to Cusco arriving between 5:30 and 6:00 PM.
Day 04: Sacred Valley of the Incas
Today you will enjoy a full day tour to explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This fertile river valley was home to many important sites for the Incas, both strategic and religious. The first stop is the village of Pisaq, with its famous market. In the market comes alive with locals from nearby hillside villages in traditional dress selling local fruit and vegetables as well as handicrafts. There is free time to wander the colorful market stalls before to visit the spectacular Pisaq Ruins – a hilltop Inca citadel and fortress with impressive agricultural terracing. Afterwards, you will enjoy a delicious buffet lunch in a local restaurant in Urubamba.
Following, you will visit Ollantaytambo, an Incan military, religious, administrative and agricultural center located at the top of a mountain. Unlike other small towns, this one has maintained its original Incan design, featuring stone buildings and narrow streets. Finally, in the way back to Cusco visit the traditional Andean village of Chinchero. The visit combines the Inca archeological site, and a colonial church.
Day 05: Machupicchu full day
This day early in the morning you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the train station. You will travel by train to the town of Aguas Calientes, an experience in which you will see the striking scenery of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu, you will be met at the train station and accompanied to the bus station for a 30-minute ride up to the secluded citadel, which is surrounded by a cloud forest inhabited by orchids and hummingbirds.
In Machupicchu you will enjoy a guided visit to the greatest ruin in the world, the lost city of Machu Picchu. This is one of the architectural and engineering marvels of the ancient world, in a mountain setting of staggering immensity. The Spaniards never found it; the Incas left no records about it, so Machu Picchu remains a great enigma, a city lost for centuries in the cloud forest. Afterwards the guided tour, you will have free time for the many spectacular walks including following the path to the Inca Bridge, the Sun Gate or even climb to Huaynapicchu mountain.
In the late afternoon, you will board the train to return to Cusco. Upon arrival in the train station, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Important: The train considered in the program is tourist class: Expedition (Peru Rail) or Voyager (Inca Rail). If you prefer a first class train (vistadome), please make an inquiry for the additional cost.
Day 06: Cusco – Lima
You will be collected from your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight to Lima or your next destination.
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