Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu Walk

Starting From

$1,999/person

Number of days

10

Start Location

Peru

Group Size

4-16

Operated by

World Expeditions

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Unique hotel based walking holiday in the Peruvian Andes extending from Cusco and the Sacred Valley to the Sun Gate and Machu Picchu

Operated by:

World Expeditions

World Expeditions is an adventure travel and ecotourism company that offers guided small group trekking and adventure holidays.

Itinerary

Arrive in Cusco

You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel located in the historic centre then you will have some time to explore the city and also enjoy a few hours of rest, essential to initiate successful acclimatisation to the altitude. In the evening you will meet with your guide at 6pm at your hotel for an initial trip briefing. Overnight Casa Andina Standard Cathedral or similar.

Walking tour of Cusco and nearby ruins

Today we have a guided tour of Cusco and its nearby ruins. The city, once capital of the extensive Inca Empire, has seen many changes since Francisco Pizarro's men took the city with such apparent ease in November 1533. We explore the city by foot to appreciate its superbly constructed Inca walls and architecturally extravagant colonial churches and palaces. This also includes a visit of Koricancha, the Golden Temple of the Sun, in ancient times. After this we take a short drive to visit the monolithic walls of Sacsayhuaman along with Tambomachay, better known as ‘the bath of the Inca’. Both sites are spectacularly set above the city. In the afternoon you may have time to explore some of the central parts of the city and a chance to look at some of the great varieties of local craft work on sale in open-air artisan markets and shops. Overnight Casa Andina Standard Cathedral or similar.

Chinchero, walk to Urquillos in the Sacred Valley of the Incas

We drive to the Chinchero Plateau where we visit a famous tradtional weaving cooperative. After visiting the picturesque colonial church we will make our way down through the spectacular Inca terraces. Here we'll start a 3 hour downhill walk along a beautifully restored Inca highway to the Urquillos valley. After reaching the small town of Urquillos we drive along the Sacred Valley to Yucay where we spend the night. Overnight La Casona de Yucay Hotel or similar.

Pisac walk

After a leisurely breakfast we drive up to a hill high above the valley that affords superb views across to the snowpeaks of the Urubamba Range. From here we walk down through the extensive terraces and ruins of the Pisac Inca fortress and citadel. These ruins are a rare combination of residential, military and religious construction that offer some of the best examples of the stunning stonework for which the Incas were famed. After lunch in Pisac we continue to wander around the extensive crafts market before heading back to Yucay. Overnight La Casona de Yucay Hotel or similar.

Inca Salt Pans walk

Drive to Moray, where we'll experience brilliant views of many of the snow peaks and glaciers that surround this high plateau. We also explore the unusual amphithreatre-like circular terraced ruins which are believed to have been an Inca agricultural research station with different micro-climates at each terrace level. We then walk down through the incredibly picturesque Pre-Inca Salt Pans to the Sacred Valley below. The 90 minute walk takes us down past the village of Pichingoto where the salt miners live. After lunch at a local restaurant (at your own expense) we will be driven the short distance to the village of Ollantaytambo. Overnight Tika Wasi Lodge or similar.

Patacancha Valley walk

After breakfast we explore Ollantaytambo. It is the best pre-served Inca village in Peru with its traditional cobbled streets, trapezoidal doors and water canals. We also walk up to the Inca Citadel/Fortress which rests majestically above the village and which is second only in beauty to Machu Picchu. We then drive up the scenic Patacancha valley to the gorgeous hamlet of Marcacocha with its beautiful chapel. After this we walk up an ancient Inca trail to Pumamarca - a unique example of circular Inca and Pre-Inca buildings. From here we walk down past Inca terraces, still used for agriculture, and back into the village of Ollantaytambo. Overnight Tiki Wasi Lodge or similar.

Cachicata Inca Quarry walk

From our hotel in the village, we walk across a bridge built on superb Inca foundations and then follow the left bank of the Urubamba river before starting to ascend to the Inca quarries of Cachicata perched high on a hillside littered with massive chiselled rocks and small burial towers. From here there are spectacular views of the classic snowpeak of Veronica (5590 m). After exploring the quarries we descend to the village of Cachicata near the river below before making our way back to Ollantaytambo for our last overnight in the village. Overnight Tiki Wasi Lodge or similar.

Train to KM104, walk to Machu Picchu on the classic Inca Trail

After a very early breakfast we walk down to the train station for a spectacular one hour journey to Km104. From here we commence our trek, ascending steeply, to join the last and perhaps most beautiful section of the fabulous "Classic Inca Trail" to Machu Picchu. The last part of the walk takes us through the famous Inti Punku (or Gateway of the Sun). Your first view of the ruins really does take your breath away! After a brief ‘first look’ at the ruins, we head down to our hotel in Aguas Calientes for a well deserved soak in the nearby hot springs (optional). Overnight El Mapi Hotel or similar. *Important: Peruvian authorities have implemented entry restrictions to protect Machu Picchu from the impact of its immense popularity. As of 1st July 2017 there are three time slots in which patrons can enter Machu Picchu for a maximum of four hours and must follow one of three predetermined routes. Admission is not allowed after 4pm. Additionally, all visitors must be accompanied by a guide at all times. These changes have been made to improve the visitor experience and in an effort to deal with overcrowding. World Expeditions endeavours to ensure you get the most of your Machu Picchu experience regardless of these restrictions.

Explore Machu Picchu and return to Cusco

This morning we get up early to savour the views and atmosphere of the mystical morning light over Machu Picchu. We will enjoy a guided tour of the sanctuary followed by time to explore this fascinating site at your own pace (with the accompaniment of the guide). We return by bus down to Aguas Calientes for lunch (at your own expense, there are many options to choose from) before we depart from Machu Picchu for the train ride back to Ollantaytambo where we transfer to our vehicle for the drive back to Cusco. Overnight Casa Andina Cathedral Hotel or similar. NB - depending on train schedules, we may arrive into Cusco very late at night. OPTIONAL HUAYNA PICCHU CLIMB OR MACHU PICCHU MOUNTAIN CLIMB - For the more adventurous, you can purchase an additional Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain permit (ask us for costs), and forego the guided tour of Machu Picchu which is non-refundable and non-transferable. Please be aware that this is NOT a guided climb, and it takes a minimum of 3 hours return. Both climbs are very steep (including many small and narrow steps) and can be slippery and are very exposed with vertiginous drops. Before purchasing the permit on your behalf (non-refundable and non-transferable), we require any passengers to sign a waiver form. Note - there are limited Huayna Picchu permits and they sell out fast, if you are interested in this option, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible.

Transfer to airport in Cusco

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport in Cusco where our trip concludes.

Additional Information

If you enjoy walking, but do not want to camp, then look no further than this unusual itinerary that offers seven different day walks in Cusco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the 'mini' Inca Trail day walk to Machu Picchu. Home to glorious mountain ranges, enchanting villages, colourful Indian markets, a wealth of Inca ruins and impressive Spanish colonial architecture, this compact region of Peru offers fabulous exploration on foot. Our gentle walks are all optional and uncover the deepest secrets of the Sacred Valley. This is the definitive walking itinerary that goes to places few others visit and each night the added bonus of a comfortable hotel to return to. Our final walk takes us along the final section of the Inca Trail to the Sun Gate and a jaw dropping view of Machu Picchu.

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