Exploring Machu Picchu (7D)
Exploring Machu Picchu is a comprehensive Peru tour focused on understand the Inca civilization. We will immerse ourselves into the heart of the Andes and the Inca Empire. Starting in Cusco, we venture forth through the Sacred Valley and beyond to reach the lost Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. This is a great, short soft adventure tour for travelers who are on a restricted time frame or connecting with a Galapagos cruise. It is also an excellent base Peru tour program, to which Trip Extensions can be added actively explore your Peruvian interests.
Exploring Machu Picchu (7 Day)
DAY 1: LIMA
Arrival and transfer to your hotel. If you arrive early, we can arrange optional tours to museums or to visit the city and surroundings sites.
DAY 2: LIMA – CUSCO
Morning departure for flight to Cusco (10,856 ft.), center of the Inca Empire. Airport pickup and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax, allow yourself the necessary time to acclimatize to the altitude, and feel the history and culture of this amazing Andean city. (B)
DAY 3: CUSCO
After breakfast you will have a morning guided walking tour to visit the historic sites of Cusco, the colonial Cathedral and the impressive Temple of the Sun (Koricancha). We then transfer to the nearby fortress of Sacsayhuaman with its megalithic stone terraces; Kenko, with its carved stone surfaces and subterranean altars; the small fortress of Puka Pukara that protected the royal capital from attacks and the water temple Tambo Machay. Late afternoon transfer to your comfortable hotel in Cusco. (B)
DAY 4: CUSCO – SACRED VALLEY
Sacred Valley Accommodations
Full day guided excursion to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Our first stop will be the picturesque town of Pisac, this is a great opportunity to enjoy the lively market*, and take a short hike along the beautiful terraces that leads to the Inca ruins perched above Pisac. After lunch, we continue down the Urubamba valley to reach the charming town of Ollantaytambo (9,185 ft.). Here we will have plenty of time to explore the town and the impressive Inca fortress that towers nearby. The Urubamba valley was an important agricultural area in Inca times, as manifested by the many Inca remains dispersed throughout the valley. Overnight in Sacred Valley. (B,L) *Due to its popularity, there is a market at Pisac every day, with the largest market day being Sun, as well as Tue & Thu.
DAY 5: SACRED VALLEY – MACHU PICCHU
Machu Picchu Accommodations
Morning transfer from your hotel to take the Vistadome train (8 am) from Ollantaytambo to the Aguas Calientes train station. The scenery during the ride down the Urubamba gorge changes from mountain vegetation to cloud forest. Arrival at the train station (9: 22 am) and a half hour bus ride will bring you to the mountain citadel of Machu Picchu (7,800 ft.). Once here, you will have a guided tour of the ruins (3 hrs approx). Lunch near the ruins at the Sanctuary Lodge. Afternoon exploration of ruins and return to Aguas Calientes by bus at time of your choice. Overnight Aguas Calientes hotel. (B,L)
Optional - 1 Day Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu (tour of Machu Picchu taken the following day)
Contact us for details and pricing.
DAY 6: MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO
Early rise for those who want to experience the serene beauty of Machu Picchu in the morning (great opportunity for crowd less photos). Arrive early for the opportunity to climb the famous peak of Huayna Picchu (8,900 ft/2,720 m), which is beautifully situated overlooking the Machu Picchu ruins*. Rest of day you are free to explore the ruins at your leisure, hike to the Sun Gate or Inca Bridge. The mid-afternoon Vistadome train returns us to Ollantaytambo, where a private vehicle is waiting for the 1.5 hr transfer to Cusco. Overnight Cusco hotel. (B)
*Climbing Huayna Picchu (permit required) – Only the first 400 people who purchase permits are allowed to climb the peak, per day (subject to change by park administration at any time). Two opportunities for 200 people (400 total) are offered per day (7am or 10 am).
DAY 7: CUSCO – LIMA
Morning transfer to the airport for the return flight to Lima and your connecting international flight (End of Services). Trip extensions to other regions or extra days in Lima or Cusco can also be arranged. (B)
Key: (B)reakfast (L)unch (D)inner
Physical Requirements: Involves easy to moderate walking at high elevations (above 10,000 ft.). Good walking/aerobic fitness is required.
Note: Any physical activity at high altitude can be a challenge. It is the traveler's responsibility to best evaluate their physical ability to meet the stated Physical Requirements.