Day 1: Strolling through the Streets of Ancient Cusco
Your Cusco Guide will be waiting for you at the airport for a private transfer to your hotel. At a convenient time in the afternoon we will stroll through some of the most picturesque streets of Cusco as a way to get used to the high altitude. Meals: D. Overnight: Hotel Costa del Sol Ramada, Cusco.
Day 2: Cusco City Tour
After breakfast today we will visit Cusco “the Navel of the World” and “the Capital of the Inca Empire.” We will tour Sacsayhuaman Inca Site, the Santo Domingo Monastery (formerly the Temple of the Sun of the Incas), the Cathedral and the “San Pedro- Produce Market." During this visit we will learn how important Cusco was to the Inca world, how it changed after the Spanish conquest and how locals today live in a city with so much history. Lunch will be at Limo Restaurant, facing the main square of Cusco. Dinner will be on your own. Meals: B, L. Overnight: Hotel Costa del Sol Ramada, Cusco.
Day 3: Hiking from Patabamba to Huchuy Qosqo
After breakfast our private vehicle will take us near the little Andean village of Patabamba, home for countryside farmers, shepherds and weavers who preserve age-old traditions. From the beginning of our hike we may spot herds of llamas and alpacas as we head toward Qoricocha (12,467ft. / 3,800m), a high altitude lake, during our ascent to a scenic mountain pass (15,092ft. / 4,600m). We will then start our descent, passing a small village with thatched-roof homes before reaching “Leon Punku” ravine, following the stream to Huchuy Qosqo (10,500ft. / 3,200m). Huchuy Qosqo is an Inca Arqueological Site built during the ruling period of Viracocha (the eight Inca Ruler). It shows lots of ancient buildings, aqueducts and farming terraces, and a stunning view of the Sacred Valley with towering Andean peaks in the background. We’ll have the chance to explore this unique Inca archaeological site and enjoy a box lunch at the ruins with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and valley. After lunch we will begin our final descent to the Sacred Valley into the town of Lamay (9,650ft. / 2,941m.), famous among locals for the delicious “slow fire guinea pig.” Dinner tonight will be hosted by a local family in their home. This will be a great opportunity to try local dishes such as traditional "giant corn" (boiled), tarwi (lupin stew), corn and quinoa tortilla, baked potatoes, slow fire cooked Guinea pig, and purple corn juice. Meals: B, L, D. Hike: 8 miles/13 kilometers; approximately +1,000 ft / - 3,000ft. Overnight: Hotel Sonesta Posada Del Inca Yucay, Urubamba.
Day 4: Chinchero to Urquillos Hike
After breakfast at the hotel, we'll leave in a private vehicle in direction of Chinchero, where we will enjoy of a weaving demonstration. Chinchero is a high Andean village that shows ancestral Inca architecture and culture. Perched at 12,150 ft./ 3,700 m.), it is the perfect place where to learn about Inca weaving techniques, since local villagers have kept such knowledge from ancestral times. From Chinchero we will start hiking in the direction of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Views are breathtaking as we descend to the small town of Urquillos. The Andean snowcapped mountains contrast with the green scenery of the Valley Floor with the Urubamba river at the bottom. We will hike across a Eucalyptus forest until reaching the end of our trail at Urquillos (9,500 ft./2,900 m). Lunch will be at Hacienda Huayoccari, a 17th century hacienda recently opened by its owners for visitors to enjoy their amazing views and great cuisine, and their collection of ancient artifacts. Dinner will be at Huacatay Restaurant in Urubamba. Meals: B, L, D. Hike: 5.35 miles / 8.6 km.; +470 ft / -3,150 ft. Overnight: Hotel Sonesta Posada Del Inca Yucay, Urubamba.
Day 5: Hike through Patacancha Village
After breakfast we will visit the Inca site of Ollantaytambo to admire the Inca Temple, where stones have been fitted with incredible accuracy. We will then drive to Patacancha, at 13,500 ft. / 4,100 m. an Andean Village where time has stopped. It is a place where people still live, build, farm and think the way the Incas did, and is perched in the Andes and cooled by the freezing winds of the snowy peaks. Patacancha's isolation has contributed greatly to its cultural preservation. On this hike, the only other people we will encounter will be locals. We will finish our hike at 12,500 ft. / 3,850 m, where a delightful gourmet-picnic lunch will be waiting to be served. Our cheff will bring fresh food and wine from Cusco. Meals: B, L,D. Hike: 3 miles / 4.8 km.; +190ft / -950ft. Overnight: Hotel Sonesta Posada Del Inca Yucay, Urubamba.
Day 6: Train to Machu Picchu and Hiking around Machu Picchu
Early in the morning we'll take the train to Machu Picchu – “the Lost City of the Incas.” We have two options for our hiking activities today. Both options are challenging, they both take place on authentic Inca trails and they are both a very good way to fulfill our guests´ sense of accomplishment.
Option # 01: For guests who booked early enough to get an Inca Trail permit - Hike the short Inca Trail to MachuPicchu. This hike starts at Chachabamba (7,000 ft. / 2,125 m.), which is a small Inca settlement in the cloud forest. Then a three hour ascent will bring us to Wiñayhuayna at 8,760 ft / 2,670 m., another Inca settlement discovered in 1941, where we will enjoy a box-lunch. We will then hike to the “Sungate” (9,000 ft. / 2,740 m.), where we will first see Machu Picchu, and walk the gradual one hour descent into this famous Inca Site. Distance: 6.6 miles / 10.6 km; +2,950 ft / - 2100 ft.
Option # 02: For guests who couldn’t get an Inca Trail permit - Hike MachuPicchu Mountain. This hike starts at the famous MachuPicchu site at 8,000 ft. / 2,450 m., follows original Inca steps, and climbs to a high point at 9,875 ft. / 3,010 m., the summit of Mountain Machu Picchu, and offers stunning views in a 360 degrees landscape. We will enjoy our box-lunch while on the summit, getting ready for our descent to MachuPicchu Ruins for more exploration. Distance: 2.6 miles / 4.2 km; +2,150 ft / - 2,150 ft.
Meals: B, L,D. Overnight: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Machu Picchu. Note: this wonderful hotel is not the hotel that is right next to the ruins.
Day 7: Tour of MachuPicchu and Train Journey back to Cusco
Today we leave our hotel at 6:00 am in order to enjoy the sunrise at MachuPicchu, which occurs at 07:00 am. After enjoying some quiet time at the ruins we participate in a guided tour led by a local expert. Lunch will be served at the celebrated “Indio Feliz” for our farewell meal. An afternoon train will take us back to Cusco City. Arrival in Cusco City Hotel at 20:00 pm. Meals: B, L. Overnight: Hotel Costa del SoL Ramada, Cusco.
Day 8: Train Machu Picchu – Cusco and flight to Lima
We will take you from your hotel in Cusco to the airport.