Explore the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. Immerse yourself in the culture of Cusco. Experience traditional Andean life in the Sacred Valley.
Discover South America’s ancient ruins, explore colonial sights and wander through vibrant markets to get a real taste of Andean village life in the Sacred Valley. Take a winding train journey through the steep Urumbamba Valley to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Peru’s most famous site. The ancient ‘Lost City’ of Machu Picchu is truly extraordinary and has to be seen to be believed.
Breakfast Included: 2 Lunches Included: 1 Dinner Included:
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Cusco, the heart and soul of Peru.
There will be a welcome meeting in the hotel lobby at approximately 2pm. Be sure to take it slow while your body adjusts to the altitude (3,400 m). Following the meeting your Intrepid guide will take you on an orientation walk around Cusco. You’ll visit the facade of Qoricancha temple, the local San Pedro market, the main square, past the 12 Angled Stone, Regocijo Square and San Blas Square. Finally you’ll visit the Chocolate museum where there will be an opportunity to sample a hot chocolate made from local cacao beans. This might be a good opportunity to purchase some gifts or souvenirs. There’s a small store where you’ll find various handicrafts and a variety of artisanal chocolate products. Tonight is free. Your guide will be able to recommend some good place sot eat!
Notes: This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information on this.
CAFÉ MANOS UNIDAS:
In your free time in Cusco why not stop & check out Café Manos Unidas? This café & pizzeria which opened in its now permanent home in the tourist area of Cusco city in April 2018, is Cusco’s first vocational training site for young adults with special needs. Manos Unidas core purpose to improve the quality of life for people with developmental & intellectual disabilities though vocational training, education and parent advocacy, leading to successful inclusion within a society in which they had traditionally been ostracised from.
The food is all natural and is prepared and baked by the students on site and students are trained across all aspects of hospitality so this is a great way for our travellers to interact with locals and in doing so, give a young adult who would normally be isolated from society the opportunity to meet people from all over the World and hone their skills.
Cusco/Sacred Valley/Aguas Calientes
This morning starts with a pick-up from your hotel.
Pick-up will take place will be between 07:00 and 07:20 in the hotel foyer. The Intrepid representative will confirm this with you at the briefing on day 1.
In Cusco some of the streets are quite narrow and many have strict parking restrictions so it's likely you will need to take a short walk with a representative to where the bus is.
Head out to the Sacred Valley on a shared bus service. Known as Wilcamayo by the Incas, this lush and fertile valley has long been the main source of food for the high Andes. Maize crops can be seen surrounding the river and covering the terraces carved high into the valley walls.
The first stop is at Pisac ruins from where you will enjoy a lovely view of the Pisac valley and the town below. Explore the market and maybe barter for a few items yourself before heading out to cross the Valley. Leaving Pisac behind you find yourself driving through amazingly fertile lands that are one of the main agricultural areas in the surroundings and that played an important part during Inca times.
We have a stop along the way to enjoy our lunch at Urubamba town and then continue approximately 20-25 minutes until we reach the town of Ollantaytambo, one of the few, if not the only, living example of a city plan that has remained the same for many centuries.
Here you’ll visit the archaeological site of Ollantaytambo, and try to figure out how those terraces were build or the big boulders that are part of the temple of the Sun got to the place where you can find them now, the top of the mountain.
Your guide will point you in the direction of the train station where you will wait for the departure of your train that takes you to Aguas Calientes. (Please note that depending on the time of your train, if your departure time is later then you may have some time to explore the town)
A 1.5 hour train ride through the winding Urubamba Valley takes us to Aguas Calientes, nestled in the cloud forest (2040m above sea level) at the foot of the magnificent Machu Picchu.
Upon arrival a representative will be waiting for you to take you to your hotel and give you the last instructions for your tour the very next day.
Overnight at Aguas Calientes hotel
After an early breakfast, catch a bus to Machu Picchu (approx 30 minutes along a winding road). The first bus departs at around 5.30am. Please note that you will need to check out and leave your luggage on storage at the hotel while you visit Machu Picchu.
A local guide will take you on a 2 hour tour through the ruins. While it is thought Machu Picchu was built around 1440 as a country retreat for Incan nobility, there is evidence this had been a sacred site for much longer. Another school of thought is that this was an astronomical observatory. There is plenty of time to decide for yourself as you wander around the many temples, palaces and living quarters.
After taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities it is time to return to Cusco, travelling first by train to Ollantaytambo (approx 90 minutes) then a shared transfer to Cusco (approx 90 minutes).
Upon your arrival to Cusco your tour comes to an end. Please contact us if you need assistance with extra accommodation in Cusco.
Departure flight on final day:
On the final day you won't arrive back to Cusco until approximately 1830 (630pm) Please do not book a departing flight prior to 2200 (10pm)
We recommend booking an additional night in Cusco.
If you need assistance with this, please speak with your travel agent.
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Visiting Machu Picchu:
According to Machu Picchu visiting regulations, all visitors must follow a pre-determined route within the site. This route must be followed in one direction only and once the guided visit commences exiting and re-entering the site is not permitted. Once the guided visit concludes, visitors must exit the site and personal exploration of Machu Picchu is not permitted.