Day 1: Welcome to the Sacred Valley of the Incas
Welcome to Perú. Upon arrival in Cusco you will be met and get a warm welcome by the Cusco Unique Experience team. From Cusco you will be transferred to the Sacred Valley where you will have the rest of the day at your leisure.
Day 2: Visiting a Native Community (B - L - D)
From April to November (Huayllafara Community)
In the morning you will get picked up at your hotel in the Sacred Valley and depart to the local community of Huayllafara. Once you arrive to the community, the locals will bring you to the cultural interpretation center, where the community welcomes you with music, throwing beautiful native flowers and they will make a symbolic ceremony to Mother Earth in order to thank them for this new day and the opportunity of being and sharing with people from different cultures. Thereafter you will join the community members to the fields, to participate in the agricultural activity according to the time of year. You will learn about the connection of the Andean man and agriculture heritage from their ancestors, using ancestral tools such as chaquitaclla, cuti, lampa among others. The explanation and demonstration in each of the processes make you understand how to get a direct connection with Mother Earth and understand the relationship of the inhabitants of the community with the Andean universe. After being in the fields with the locals, lunch with a native touch will be served with local ingredients. In the night, before going to bed, the natives will also serve you dinner and you will enjoy it among the local people. The overnight stay takes place in a little house located in the community.
From December to March (Chuquibamba Community)
In the morning you will get picked up at your hotel in the Sacred Valley and depart to the local community of Chuquibamba. Once you arrive to the community, they will welcome you with native flowers and Andean music. Thereafter you will go for a walk of 30 minutes towards the slopes of a mountain where the local Achupalla plant grows. This is a plant with thorns that is used for many utilities: for cooking, baskets, food for their breeding animals, wood fuel, medicinal use, and the locals eat the worms that grow inside the plant during the era of flowering. You will learn and experience how the locals use this plant and taste the local cuisine with the ingredients that grows in the community. The local inhabitants of Chuquibamba will also show and teach you how they use all growing plants of the area to medicinal plants and how they use it to cure diseases and body pain. After learning about the community, lunch with a native touch will be served with local ingredients. In the night, before going to bed, the natives will also serve you dinner and you will enjoy it among the local people. The overnight stay takes place in a little house located in the community.
Day 3: The Sacred Valley & Train to Machu Picchu (B - L)
Once you wake up at the native community in the Sacred Valley, breakfast will be served. Thereafter you will say goodbye to all the local people and depart to Pisaq, where your tour guide will be waiting for you. The Sacred Valley of the Incas was important for the Incan Empire as it worked as an agricultural, spiritual and political center. This tour will take you through amazing scenic Andean landscapes to the interesting archaeological site of the town Pisac which were a former military base of the Incas and is where ancient Inca priests once existed. Next stop will be at the town of Yanahuara where we will enjoy a delicious lunch based on typical dishes from the exquisite Peruvian cuisine. Ollantaytambo is the most well-preserved town in Peru today considering the Incan architecture and is also the holder of a great archaeological site, where big monuments are located on the steep mountain hills and the faces of the surrounding mountains. After experiencing Ollantaytambo, the train ride to Aguas Calientes awaits and will take you through beautiful Andean landscape along the great Vilcanota River. In Aguas Calientes, neat touristic restaurants, souvenir markets and natural hot springs will be available. There you will get settled comfortably in your hotel and get a good night sleep before the next day´s big adventure to the Lost City of the Incas.
Day 4: Machu Picchu & Train to Ollantaytambo (B)
Very early in the morning you and the tour guide will take the bus up to Machu Picchu. Once the gates to Machu Picchu open, your guide will take you through an amazing roundtrip in this amazing city, you will pass by all its temples, offering areas, Inca monuments and you will learn about the history and the culture of the Incas. If you are an adventurous person and want to see more of the site, you can also take a hike to the magnificent mountain Huayna Picchu, located next to Machu Picchu. From there you can walk to the top of the mountain between Inca temples and houses and see Machu Picchu from many different angels. You can also hike down behind Huayna Picchu Mountain to its cave, where the Incas once kept mummies and sacred treasures. This hike is not included in the tour package and it is much recommended to book this hike several months in advance, due to its high popularity and restricted availability. In the late afternoon your train will take you back to Ollantaytambo where you will walk to your hotel which is located very close to the train station.
Day 5: Maras Moray & Chinchero (B - L)
Today you will visit some spectacular sites in the Sacred Valley of Cusco constructed by the Incas and the nature of Peru. This private tour will take you to the Salineras salt mine which includes over 3000 salt pools, close to the town of Maras. This tour will also show you the spectacular agricultural labs of the Incas, which have shapes of aqueducts from the old Roman times. The tour guide will explain with more information the myths and ancient histories about these two wonders. Arriving in the town of Chinchero, we will stop and have a delicious lunch in a touristic restaurant in where some of the famous Peruvian food will be served. Chinchero is famous for its amazing textile market and you can have the opportunity to buy a beautiful textile souvenir home. Its archaeological site is located beautifully together with the main church of the town and your tour guide will teach all about its history and myths. Before going back to your hotel in Cusco, you will get a demonstration of how the textiles in this area is hand made, colored and how the textile clothes is produced.
Day 6: Cusco City & Color your Journey (B)
Cusco City is not only the ancient capital of the Incas, but also the most popular tourist destination in South America. The city tour will take you to Qorikancha; the temple of the sun, which was the most important religious center of the Incas, where ancient temples are located and the history of the Spanish conquest and the Inca society will be found. It will take you to the very interesting Cathedral located on Plaza de Armas in Cusco which is a very important place for the locals of Cusco, there you will find some very important paintings, art and histories. The tour also goes to the amazing Inca fortress Sacsayhauman, where the Incas ones had a big war against the Spanish conquistadors, to Qenqo, a religious Inca site, to Tambomachay, an intelligent irrigation center and to Pukara Pukara, a military base of the Incas.
After the visit you will be transferred back to your hotel. At the end of the day, be surprised with your choice of a detailed coffee or chocolate workshop, go relaxing in an Incan inspired spa session or take a Peruvian cooking class and learn all about the famous Peruvian Cuisine.
Day 7: Farewell Cusco (B)
In time for your domestic flight to Lima you will be picked up at your hotel in Cusco and transferred to Cusco Airport. The Cusco Experience team will say goodbye to you and wish you a great trip home.
We hope that you had a unique experience with us!
Meals as indicated (B=Breakfast / L=Lunch / D=Dinner)
Airport pick-up and drop-off
Private transportation throughout the trip
Private guides throughout the trip
All tours in private service, but the tour at the local community
Color your journey experience in Cusco
Train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes (round trip)
Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu (round trip)
All accommodations based on 3 star hotels
Optional: entrance tickets to Huayna Picchu / Machu Picchu Montaña