Complete Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu 2 days
The Sacred Valley is an incomparably beautiful stretch of small villages and ancient ruins spread across a broad plain and rugged mountain slopes northwest of Cusco.
The Sacred Valley of the Incas is the main valley of Cusco, capital of the Inca Empire. The valley was of great value to the Incas due to its special geographical location and ideal climate. It was the best place for maize production in Peru as well as a great source of natural wealth.
Through the valley rolls the Urubamba river (called the Willcamayu by the Incas; today part of it is also called the Vilcanota), a vital religious element of the Incas’ cosmology. The Incas not only believed that the flow of the Urubamba was inevitably tied to the constellations and the mountain peaks, but also that the river was the earthbound counterpart of the Milky Way.
Machu Picchu is considered a masterpiece of architecture and engineering. Its unique architectural features and landscape contribute to a veil of mystery woven around much of the literature published about the site. The magic and mystery of Machu Picchu is internationally recognized and it has been on the List of World Heritage Sites of UNESCO since 1983 as part of a cultural and ecological site known as the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu.
Day 1: Pisac – Moray – Maras Salt Mines – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes
We will pick you up at your hotel at 7:00am, with our private van and head towards the Sacred Valley of the Incas, taking the direct route to Pisac. We stop first at the Mirador of Taray to enjoy a classic view of the Urubamba valley and 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 archaeological site of Pisac, where you can see the biggest Inca cemetery with more than 2,000 tombs. There, we can admire the incredible farming terraces carved into the mountain, explore the Inca tunnel and the religious area of this important citadel. Here, we will spend about 2 hours, exploring the Inca city. Then, we head down to the colorful market of Pisac, spend about 20 minutes visiting it and then drive to Urubamba for lunch.
With timeless charm, we visit the archeological site of Moray also known as “The Greenhouse of the Incas” a deep bowl of architectural wonder. Levels of terraces are carved into a huge bowl, which was excavated 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.
Continuing on our journey to the colonial town of Maras, we look down onto the pre-Inca salt mine. Thousands of saltpans 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 saltpans and evaporated to produce salt. This is one of the few places in the world where you can find naturally pink salt!
Finally, we drive to Ollantaytambo, having time to explore the age old and bustling Inca village and the massive Inca Ruins, with a tour provided by our guide. Visit the ruins 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.
After time for dinner, we take the train to Aguas Calientes, where you spend the night in our hostel. The train departs Ollantaytambo at 19:04 and arrives in Aguas Calientes at 20:45
Day 2: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
This is the day you have been waiting for! We take the bus to Machu Picchu archeological site, arriving for the guiding tour, making sure we tour every nook and cranny of this New 7 Wonder of the World and UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. On your 2.5 hours private tour, your guide will expertly direct you through the enigmatic ruins and its most important sites. You will see the Temple of the Sun, Temple of the Condor, Temple of Three Windows, Sun Dial, Quarry, the House of the Inka, the urban areas, agricultural terraces and many different types of architecture.
If you wish to indulge in a few of the following activities on your own, you can (not included in the price)
- Climb up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain and appreciate the beauty and magnificence of Machu Picchu (US$75 per person)
- You can also take time to walk to the Sun Gate, 2 hours round trip or the Inca Bridge, 1 hour round trip. (No additional fee)
- Other optional activities in Aguas Calientes include a visit to the new local museum or to the hot springs. (Entrance fee to enter)
When you are ready, you will descend to Aguas Calientes, have a leisurely lunch on your own, and later on board the train for your departure at 14:55 or 15:20 for the return trip to the Ollantaytambo train station where you will catch our private van back to Cusco and your hotel. You can expect to arrive at your hotel by 19:00.
WHAT IS INCLUDED
- Professional bilingual guide
- Transport from your hotel to sites of the Sacred – Valley and then from Aguas Calientes back to Cusco.
- Train ticket from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
- Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
- Bus tickets from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu round trip.
- Entrance fee to Machu Picchu.
- One night accommodation in Aguas Calientes
- Dinner on night one in Aguas Calientes
- Breakfast on day 2
Services not included:
- Breakfast on day 1
- Lunch and dinner on day 2
- Entrance fees to Sacred Valley Sites
Private Group Service: Price in US Dollars per Reservation:
- one Person: USD 600.00
- 2-3 People: USD 450.00 per person.
- 4-6 People: USD 400.00 per person
- 7-+ People: USD 380.00 per person
- 18 to 25 years old: US$30 Information required on student card: name of university, student name, photo of student, expiration date etc. A copy of the card at booking is required & government approval for discount.
- Under 18 years old: US$30 Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
- Under 11 years old: US$40 Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
- A small backpack or carry bag (larger not allowed on the train or in Machu Picchu)
- A change of clothing for the second day
- Comfortable shoes or runners
- Water to drink
- Rain jacket or poncho
- A fleece or jacket,
- Basic toiletries,
- Insect repellent for mosquitoes
- Hat for the sun
- Some extra money for lunch, snacks and souvenirs
- Original passport (cannot enter Machu Picchu without it)
MORE SIMILAR TOURS: MACHUPICCHU