No trip to Cusco and the Sacred Valley is complete without a visit to Machu Picchu, but we know that you have an almost endless number of tour companies to choose from. That’s why at Vicuña Adventures we have created a 2 day itinerary with a twist!
On Day One we will collect you from your hotel in one of our luxury mini-buses and drive to the ancient town of Urubamba where we will explore the bustling local markets. Unlike the souvenir markets of Cusco, here you will find an intoxicating mixture of local food and drink, the atmosphere colourful and vibrant as we walk side by side with the local market sellers and their customers. We then drive deeper into the Sacred Valley to visit a working farm and to enjoy a picnic lunch with a local family. Our expert guide will be with you at all times to help with the language, and to bring the stories of the market and the farm to life. We love this first day of the tour as it really gives our customers a taste of the real Peru.
An exhilarating train journey through the sacred valley takes us to Aguas Calientes, and our overnight hotel before the climax of our tour; our trip to Machu Picchu. No matter how many pictures of this new Wonder of the World you may have seen, nothing quite prepares you for your first views of this sacred Citadel, built so deep in the heart of the Andes that the Spanish Colonists never found it!
Our return trip home is on the special Vistadome Train service (subject to availability) with its panoramic windows, making it the perfect opportunity to take those last photos of this spectacular part of Peru.
For shorter trips to the area such as this one, adjusting to the altitude can sometimes be tricky, and so we recommend that you start your trip from a hotel in the Sacred Valley rather than higher altitude of Cusco. It is however no problem for us to pick you up from Cusco if you already have plans to stay there.
Local Market Tour; Picnic Lunch on a Farm; Ollantaytambo & transfer to Aguas Calientes
After an early breakfast at your hotel, you will be picked up by your guide and driven in one of our luxury mini-buses to the Sacred Valley town of Urubamba to visit the bustling local market.
Here we will see local families selling an eclectic mix of fruits, vegetables, flowers and natural medicinal plants. If you’ve never visited a South American market before, then the variety of smells from the many different styles of cooking, the noise of the market sellers bartering with their customers, and the vibrant, vivid colours are a real attack on the senses! In the capable hands of your guide, you will have a tour of the market and even have the opportunity to sample some unusual Peruvian fruits such as Lucma, Chirimoya and Passion Fruit. You will also get a lesson on the ingredients involved in making Chicha, a corn beer that has been an important part of Peruvian culture since Inca times.
Next we drive 20 minutes to visit a working farm in the Sacred Valley. Touring the farm lands, we will cut Alfafa to feed the guinea pigs and see first hand how Chicha is made. After such a busy morning you will be ready for the delicious picnic lunch that the family will have prepared, and we eat outside with views of the Sacred Valley all around us.
After lunch we drive to Ollantaytambo where we will visit the Inca ruins. Once the lodging of the Inca emperor Pachacutec this site later served as a military checkpoint for the Incas trying to protect the roads to Machu Picchu from the invading Spaniards. You will enjoy a guided tour of the terraced ruins, fountains and aqueducts and see storage houses that were used by the Incas to maximize winds to keep crops cool and preserved. After visiting the ruins we will have time to wander the streets of one of the oldest towns in Peru, where many 15th century Inca buildings still stand today.
We will have dinner in Ollantaytambo before boarding the train for a relaxing 2-hour journey to the town of Aguas Calientes, the base for our visit to Machu Picchu. As the train carves along the Sacred Valley floor, you will be surrounded by the most spectacular views and have plenty of photo opportunities.
Arriving in Aguas Calientes your guide will accompany to your hotel to check-in for a good nights sleep before our early start for Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu and return to Sacred Valley or Cusco
Our 2nd day starts early, as we want to arrive at the gates of Machu Picchu in time for the majestic sunrise over the Andes. This in itself is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Your hotel will provide an early breakfast and your guide will pick you up to walk with you to the bus station where we catch the bus together to Machu Picchu. Driving for 45 minutes on a winding road upwards, you will see and feel the day beginning to break across the mountains.
Entering the Sacred Citadel for the first time is a memory that will stay with you forever. No amount of National Geographic photographs can do it justice! For many people, standing in the same place as the ancient Inca pilgrims is a truly spiritual experience.
There will be plenty of time to take photos before your guide begins a 2-3 hour guided tour. Experts in the history of the site, our guides and their stories provide the perfect complement to the magnificent ruins that surround you.
Taking a short break to rest and maybe enjoy a snack, there is an option to hike up to the Inka Bridge or to Inti Punku, the Sun Gate, which used to be the main entrance to Machu Picchu and offers spectacular views of the entire site. You will then have two hours of free time to explore on your own before taking the bus back down to Aguas Calientes.
We will have lunch together before taking a mid afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo or Poroy where you will have a private transfer back to your hotel in the Sacred Valley or Cusco.
- Groups of 2-4: $600 per person
- Groups of 5 or more: $550 per person
INCLUDED IN PRICE
- Private transport pickup & return to Hotel
- Train to and from Aguas Calientes
- Bus tickets to and from Machu Picchu
- Entrance fees to Machu Picchu & private guided tour of the site
- Hotel in Aguas Calientes (Tierra Viva or similar caliber. Single hotel supplement of $60. Hotel upgrades possible on request)
NOT INCLUDED IN PRICE
- Lunch and Dinner on all days
- Boleto Turistico for entrance into Ollantaytambo (130 soles ($37) covers entrance to Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero, Moray, multiple museums in Cusco, and Sacsayhuaman or half ticket: 70 soles ($23) which covers only some of these sites)