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Machu Picchu, Cusco & Sacred Valley Tour

Machu Picchu plaza - Galapagos AlterNATIVE photo:

Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Machu Picchu, explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas and wander around the enchanting mountain city of Cusco, where indigenous culture and modernity collide. Our small group format allows you to choose your own Andean adventure. We have two options for arriving at Machu Picchu. You can hike the challenging but unforgetable Inca Trail or arrive via the scenic narrow-gauge railway (see below). Both the Inca Trail hike and the Machu Picchu train have luxury options in case you want some creature comforts. These tours orignate from Cusco (elevation 11,152ft/3,399m) and then head into the Sacred Valley of the Incas on the way to the crossroads town of Ollaytatambo. From Ollaytatambo you will either catch the scenic train or set off on foot to explore deeper into the Andes. An overnight stay in Aguas Calientes allows you to spend the day in Machu Picchu before returning to Cusco. Additional days for hiking or sightseeing as well as guided tours of Cusco and the surrounds can be easily added to this itinerary.

Tour Highlights and Inclusions:

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Machu Picchu Details

History: Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca site that is believed to have been built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti. Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and arguably one of the most familiar icons of the Inca civilization. Currently, it is the most popular tourist attraction in Peru.
Location & Geography: Machu Picchu is located on a high saddle surrounded on three sides by the Urubamba river between the mountains of Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu. The site is approximately 50 miles (80km) Northwest of Cusco and it sits at an elevation of 7,970ft (2,430m) above sea level.

Sacred Valley Details

Location & Geography: The Sacred Valley of the Incas is located high in the Andes mountains of Peru. It was formed by the Urubamba River and was the source of numerous natural resources for the Inca people as well as a principal region for maize production, the staple of the Inca people. The Sacred Valley of the Incas includes a number of Inca ruins sites and small towns. It extends from the the historic city of Pisac (northeast of Cusco) to the sacred site of Machu Picchu. The portion from the town of Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes is only accessible by railway or by foot on the Inca trail. See map below for more details.

Machu Picchu Train Details

Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes: The most popular method to get to Machu Picchu is by train from Ollantaytambo. This narrow-gauge train runs beside the Urubamba River along the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The train passes through multiple indigenous communities as it winds its way up the scenic valley past towering snow-covered Andean peaks and the panoramic windows and skylights allow for you to be immersed in the breathtaking scenery. Executive train service is included in this tour which includes a light snack and beverage en route. Moderate service or luxury service can be added to your tour if you desire (subject to availability).

Access: The town of Aguas Calientes (elevation 6,690ft/2,040m) provides the closest accommodations to Machu Picchu which is accessed only by train or by foot from the town of Ollantaytambo. You can visit Machu Picchu by bus or by foot from the town of Aguas Calientes. The multi-day Inca Trail leads to Machu Picchu from Ollantaytambo.

Machu Picchu Tour -

Machu Picchu Tour Suggested Itinerary

Day 1 Cusco Arrival - You will be greeted at the airport by a representative and transfered to your hotel for a quick briefing of your Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu tour. Next you can wander the cobblestone streets and admire the colonial architecture of this UNESCO World Herritage city. A guided tour of the city highlights can be added to your tour depending on interest and arrival/departure times. A nighttime stroll through the Plaza de Armas is almost mandatory to get the true feel of this encanting city.

Day 2 Sacred Valley of the Incas - Departing early you will travel to the Sacred Valley of the Incas to visit ruins sights and quaint pueblos en route to Ollantaytambo. Along the way you will learn the difference between llamas and alpacas, learn about Quechuan textiles and possibly taste grilled Cuy before boarding the train to Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu.

Day 3 Machu Picchu Tour - Enjoy a fully-guided tour of the ruins of Machu Picchu. Your tour guide will teach you about the interesting history and unique architecture of this extraordinary site. After spending the morning in the ruins you will begin your journey back through the Sacred Valley to Cusco to spend the night.

Day 4 Cusco Departure - A transfer to the airport is included in your tour. Additional sightseeing and activities can be added to the fourth day depending on your departure time.

NOTE: This is a sample itinerary. Actual schedule and overnight stops can be modified to suit your needs. Additional days and activites can be added to this itinerary based on your personal interests and schedule. You can contact one of our Itinerary Specialists and they will be able to design the best tour schedule for you or your group. Your exact itinerary will depend on train availability, arrival/departure times and interests.

Sacred Valley of  the Incas fullsize map - Galapagos AlterNATIVE

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Info Meeting: Day of Arrival Duration: 4 Days/3 Nights Start/Finish: Cusco, Peru Hotels: Cuscox2, Aguas Calientes
Group Size: Varies Transportaion: Bus & Train Activity level: Moderate Options: Cusco Tour, Train Upgrade, Hiking

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