Cusco is considered one of the most important cities in Peru and is the old centre of the Inca empire. Named as a patrimonial centre of world culture, it is one of the most often visited, largely because of its important archaeological remains, tourist attractions, original Inca walls, traditional costumes, colonial churches constructed on top of Inca palaces, legendary Inca trails and much more.
With a glorious past that enchants visitors, Cusco still conserves a great diversity of ancient customs and a rich blend of Inca and colonial architecture.
DAY 1: CITY TOUR 1/2 DAY
Reception at the Airport or other location and transport to your chosen hotel or hostal. Rest of the morning for acclimatization.
To begin this circuit we will pick you up from your hotel (1:00-1:30pm) to visit the following attractions until 6:45pm approximately.
- Cusco Cathedral.-We start the tour with the Cathedral of Cusco, The Church of the Sacred Family and the Church of the Triumph (optional).
- Temple of Koricancha.-Also known as the Temple of the Sun with its perfect architecture and Stone constructions, was the most important temple of the Inca empire.
- Sacsayhuaman.-In Inca times this was a religious centre of great importance, attributed to the last dynasties. It consists of a series of huge walls built in a zig-zag shape, using monumentally sized stones, with each of these walls forming a platform behind it. These walls are around 360 meters in length, with some of the stones being as big as 9 meters in height and 5 meters in width. It is located 2 km from Cusco itself.
- Qenqo.-This was a ceremonial center constructed in the middle of a monolithic rock, possibly in the shape of an animal that was one of the principal deities, and surrounded by small niches where offerings were left.
- Pucapucara.- An old inn and guard point of the type that existed throughout the Inca trails. Its construction is of a basic type, including streets houses and yards.
DAY 2: MARAS – MORAY – SALINERAS
We start this circuit with a pick-up at your hotel between 8:10am and 8:30am and returning around 3:00pm. Maras is located to the west of Cusco at around 3300m above sea level, where you can appreciate the Urubamba mountain range and snowcapped peak of La veronica (5682m) and Chikon (5530m). The important role of Maras began when the Inca nobles were ejected from their palaces in Cusco and had to establish other smaller residences.
This location is unique, with its natural depressions and giant pits in the surface of the earth that were used to construct agricultural terraces and platforms with their respective canals and irrigation. What is strongly noticeable is the difference in temperature on each level of the terrace, which generate micro climates that from a higher temperature gradually lower as one moves towards the outside, creating around 20 distinct climates.
Moray was the greenhouse and experimental area of the Inca. These differences in altitude, where one finds each platform, created changes in temperature and humidity, that according to archaeologists, generated up to 20 different zones. In these, the Inca were able to domesticate plants and cultivate species that under normal conditions wouldn’t grow in the region.
Now we head to Salineras, located 7km from Moray, passing through a typical Spanish style village also called Moray. In Salineras we find the famous salt pans, known to some as the ‘salt mines’, made up of some 3000 small wells that during the dry season are filled up every three days with salt-water, which emanates from a natural source located above the wells. The water is gradually evaporated while the salt solidifies. The process is continued for around one month to obtain a good quantity of salt.
DAY 3: VALLE SAGRADO, MACHUPICCHU
The Sacred Valley of the Inca is undoubtedly an area of key Inca establishments. Its pleasant climate and fertile plains create a rare and fruitful combination here in the Andes. This was also the route to the jungle and therefore has access to all the tropical fruits and plants. The Sacred Valley has an altitude of 2,800m above sea level and combines the charm of the landscape with very important Inca archaeological complexes.
This wonderful tour begins with a pick-up at your hotel at 8:10am so we can start the tour itself at 8:30am. On the way to the Sacred Valley we will stop for some beautiful views at Ccorao and Taray and will also visit and have time to see the market in Pisaq, with their ancestral traditions and will be able to see and buy a few artisanal souvenirs. After a briefing we will head to the Pisaq ruins, where we find Inca structures of great importance that served as an area for adaptation for certain Inca products. Here we will have a guided tour of the complex lasting around one hour.
Then we will continue on toward the village of URUBAMBA where we will enjoy a delicious buffet lunch, typical of the region. We continue our journey to the village of OLLANTAYTAMBO the famous living Inca village, where we will have our guided tour of the archaeological complex.
At approximately 16:36 or at 19:00 we will board the train at Ollantaytambo for Aguas Calientes, where our hotel staff will meet us to take us to the hotel where we will stay the night. After getting comfortable in the hotel our guide will give us a guide to Machupicchu in preparation for the next day, the most important of the tour.
DAY 4: MACHUPICCHU
Very early in the morning, after breakfast in the hotel, we will board the bus in Aguas Calientes for Machupicchu. After around 30 minutes we will arrive at the archaeological complex and be submerged in its enigmatic beauty and incomparable perfection of the Inca architecture and water works. Our guided tour of the Inca complex will be for two hours approximately, around the most important parts of the site, such as Temple of the Sun, the Intihuana (sacred rocks), Temple of the Three Windows, Temple of the Condor, The Mausoleum among many other fascinating places. Then you will have time to explore and take photographs on your own. If you wish, you can climb Huaynapicchu or Machupicchu mountains (both must be reserved in advance and with an extra cost). In the afternoon we will return to Aguas Calientes for lunch and visit the thermal baths while we wait for our train back to Ollantaytambo, where will then take a transport back to Cusco.
Free time in the morning and transport to your next destination.
Our service includes:
- City tour (bus, professional guide).
- Sacred Valley (bus, professional guide).
- Machupicchu tour.
- Transport Cusco – Ollantaytambo.
- Professional bilingual guide.
- Train ticket (Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes – Ollantaytambo).
- Entrance to Machupicchu.
- Return bus ticket (Aguas Calientes – Machupicchu).
- Transport from Ollantaytambo – Cusco.
- Hotel in Aguas Calientes
Our service doesn’t include:
- Entrance to Qorikancha ( s/ 15.00 ).
- Entrance to Salineras.
- Tourist ticket
- Hotel in Cusco.
- Buffet lunch in the Sacred Valley (optional)
- Entrance to Huaynapicchu ( optional + USD 10.00 ).
- Entrance to thermal baths (s/ 10.00).
We recommend bringing:
- Original Passport or ID document.
- Walking shoes.
- Towel and sandals if you wish to visit the thermal baths.
- Light and warm clothing.
- Mosquito repellent.
- Rain poncho.
- Sun lotion.
- Camera and batteries.
- Extra cash in Sols.
To do this tour you need a tourist ticket (Boleto Turistico General) which is valid for 10 days. With this ticket you can do the City Tour, Sacred Valley, Maras Moray, South Valley and museums within the City of Cusco.
Student (younger than 25 years): S/ 70.00
Partial Tourist Ticket:
This ticket is valid only for one day and can be used for the City Tour, Sacred Valley, Moray or the South Valley.
For non-Peru nationals:
Adult: S/ 40.00
Note: There is no student price for this ticket.
More information here. www.cosituc.gob.pe/tarifas.php
AVAILABLE DISCOUNTS: From USD 20 for students with a valid ISIC Card, younger than 17 years of age and from the Andean Community (COLOMBIA, ECUADOR , BOLIVIA ), presented with a document of identification and/or student card.
NOTE: The entrance to Huaynapicchu must be confirmed at the moment of making the reservation and is subject to availability (400 places maximum per day, first group of places from 7:00-8:00am, second group of 200 from 10:00-11:00am).