TAKE A LESSER TRAVELED ROUTE TO MACHU PICCHU ON THESE INCA TRAILS…
So you are ready to check Machu Picchu off your bucket list! Now, the question remains….How to get there?? We have created a 10 day itinerary filled with Inca Trails, organic coffee farms, hot springs and Machu Picchu.
This Inca Trail trek is not the typical “marketed” Inca Trail with 500 trekkers and porters per day. We have hand picked some of the more magical, lesser traveled Inca Trails in the area that lead to Machu Picchu for you.
• Airport pickup and drop off in Cusco • Lodging for 9 nights • Huchuy Qosqo Day hike: Private guide, transports, lunch, entrance into ruins • Hot springs, Coffee Plantation tour and Llactapata Inca Trail Hike: Transports, entrance into sites, tour of the coffee farm and processes, lodging in a cabin owned by local of the area, Private guide, 2 lunches, 1 breakfast and 1 dinner and very fresh coffee! Train ride to Aguas Calientes after Llactapata trek, and lodging in a hotel after the trek in Aguas Calientes and a nice dinner to celebrate the night before Machu Picchu. • Machu Picchu Trip: Entrance into the sanctuary, 2 hour guided tour, additional hike if requested such as Huayna Picchu, train ride back to Ollantaytambo and transport to Cusco (does not include bus up/down from Machu Picchu) • Sacred Valley Trip with Private Car, NO guide. • Rainbow Mountain Trip with Private guide, private car and lunch
• Meals unless stated • Bus up/down from Machu Picchu • Tips
DAY 1: Upon arrival in Cusco, the Incan Capital, we will pick you up and take you to your lodging where you will want to relax. Cusco is at 11,000ft/3300m and you will need some time to adjust. Enjoy a cup of tea on one of the many balconies overlooking the Plaza de Armas while reading about the amazing Incan Empire!
Cusco City Streets
DAY 2: Now that you have had a bit of rest….. Wake up and roam the Cusco city streets. Incan architecture everywhere with colonial Spanish architecture on top will make you feel like you are in a Latin American Europe. There are many things to do in Cusco.
You can take a free walking tour, visit museums, learn the entire process of chocolate, have a beer at the Highest Irish Pub in the world, or ask us about adding in a tour this day….such as horseback to hidden ruins, or visiting the fortress of Sasayhuaman often called sexy woman.
Huchuy Qosqo Inca Trail
DAY 3: The Capaq Ñan, otherwise known to us as Inca Trails or Inca road, spreads out over 23,000km or 14,000miles all over the Andes Mountains. We have picked for you today a stretch of Inca Trail that leads to the ruins of Huchuy Qosqo. This Inca trail will take you though canyons, on the side of cliffs and down many sets of Inca staircases before arriving at the Royal Estate of the 8th Incan King Viracocha.
Enjoy the Magic as you will most likely be the only people here today. These ruins are only accessible by hiking and well worth the effort. The trail ends on the small town of Lamay in the Sacred Valley. We will have your private car pick you up and take you out to Ollantaytambo of the Sacred Valley where you will sleep for the night.
The Living Inca Village of Ollantaytambo
DAY 4: The small mountain town of Ollantaytambo is an old Incan city now inhabited by locals. It is called the living Incan village by many. You will see why when you roam the small cobblestone streets. We have left this day open for you. There are many things to do and see in this area. Some suggestions would be to visit one of the local sets of ruins in town, hike to the sun gate overlooking the mountain known as, Apu Veronica or take a taxi into the small towns above Ollantaytambo and hike to the ruins of Pumamarca.
Organic Coffee and Natural Hot Springs
DAY 5: Rated by National Geographic as one of the top 25 drives in the world, todays drive will take you high into the Andes mountains and drop you deep in the cloud forest. Your guide will take you to some of the cleanest and clearest hot springs Peru has to offer. Seated alongside a raging river, the hot springs of Colcolmayo are not to be missed. Your driver will now take you deep into the cloud forest where you will stay for the night on an organic coffee farm.
Take a tour and harvest ripe red coffee berries, see the fermentation and drying process before roasting your very own coffee beans on an open fire. Once roasted you will grind the dark beans and finally arrive at the point we all love…..a good cup of coffee! Tonight a local family of the area will host you in their simple yet comfortable cabins. They will cook dinner for you and make sure to have a great cup of coffee waiting for you in the morning.
Llactapata Inca Trail
DAY 6: A good morning it is with fresh coffee and local ingredients for breakfast. The local family that has hosted you will then say goodbye and send you to the Inca Trail that is in their very own backyard. Head with your guide up and ancient Inca Trail to the ruins of Llactapata. Here you will see Machu Picchu from a viewpoint that very few will ever see. You will be able to see Huayna Picchu, Machu Picchu Mountain and the terraces of Machu Picchu itself all in one view.
Head to a small local lodge where you will have lunch overlooking Machu Picchu. The hike down from Llactapata will lead you to the Hidro-Electric Station. From here the hike to Aguas Calientes is 3 hours along the riverside. However, after 5 hours of hiking we have purchased a train ticket for you so that you can now relax. Another long day of hiking awaits tomorrow! Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes you will have time to shower before being treated to a celebratory dinner at The Tree House Restaurant.
DAY 7: While millions of people sit behind their desks working a 9 to 5 dreaming about vacations…….you will be out exploring the ancient Incan citadel of Machu Picchu! Wake early before sunrise and head out to climb an old Incan staircase. As the sun begins to creep over the towering mountains, Machu Picchu will slowly be revealed to you. Your guide will give you a 2 hour tour of the ruins before leaving you to explore the sanctuary on your own.
We are happy to include an additional hike to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain at no additional cost should you want one. These hikes lead you high above the ruins of Machu Picchu allowing you to view the city in its entirety. After you have explored Machu Picchu you can hike down or take a bus to the town below where you take a scenic train ride to the Sacred Valley. When available we will send you on the 4:22 panoramic train where you will have beautiful lighting for the train ride home. Sleep tonight in Ollantaytambo of the Sacred Valley
DAY 8: Today you will be picked up by a private car to visit some of the Scared Valley’s most iconic sites. First visit the ancient, hand mined, salt pools of Maras. These pools have been handed down from family to family for generations. This is a wonderful place to buy some Peruvian pink salt for your kitchen back home. Next head over to the Circular Ruins of Moray an experimental agricultural site that digs deep into the earth. Each terrace has a different temperature allowing a range of products to grow.
Lastly head on to the Chinchero weaving market where you will meet women who have learned the art of weaving textiles from their ancestors. They spin and dye their own wools from natural resources before beginning the weaving process. This day does not include a guide as it is unnecessary nor does it include the entrance fees that are purchased personally at the gates. Ask if you would like a guide for the day. Tonight sleep in Cusco and enjoy the many nice restaurants it has to offer.
DAY 9: Before social media and hashtags, Rainbow Mountain was a place where llamas and alpacas grazed on high alpine pasture. Vivid colors laced the mountains behind them and only a few locals knew of the scenic place soon to be known as Rainbow mountain. Now a mecca for hikers and outside adventurers alike. This 17,000 ft high altitude hike takes you into the Ausangate region where snow capped mountains and towering peaks will leave you more than breathless.
DAY 10: If you happen to have a late flight you can enjoy your last day in Cusco on the tight cobble stone streets, buying souvineers or enjoying one last cup of dark Peruvian Coffee.
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