** Important note: The Peruvian government can cancel these activities should they feel there is a genuine safety risk to travellers, especially while there are heavy rains in the area.
Seize this opportunity to participate in fun adventures and to experience the best of the Cuzco Region on this 8-day trip. Start off with an exciting 4x4 motorbike tour to the outskirts of Cuzco where you will discover the impressive circular terraces of Moray, showcasing the ancient Inca mastery of high-altitude crop growing. Next, marvel at the salt evaporation ponds of Maras, which have been in use since the time of the Incas! On day 3, take a city tour of the historic capital of the Inca Empire; Cuzco. Appreciate the city’s colonial-style architecture, and see numerous Inca ruins and historical sites. Travel to the Sacred Valley to visit the Inca archaeological sites of Pisaq and Ollantaytambo. Take the train to Aguas Calientes via PeruRail, enjoying impressive views of the Urubamba River Valley along the way. On day 5, explore the breathtaking Machu Picchu - “the Lost City of the Incas”. Return to Cuzco and finish off your adventure with a thrilling rafting trip in the beautiful Andes.
Day by day itinerary:
Day 1: Airport pick-up in Cuzco
You will be picked-up at the airport in Cuzco and dropped-off at your hostel or hotel. Free time.
Day 2: Maras & Moray 4x4 Motorbike Tour (B)
Start off your trip with an exciting 4x4 motorbike tour to visit the great Inca ruins of Moray, a series of agricultural terrace circles, and the Pre-Inca salt pools of Maras.
Day 3: Cuzco City Tour (B)
Go on a city tour in Cuzco, once known as the navel of the vast Inca Empire. Marvel at beautiful colonial architecture, visit archaeological sites, and witness cultural syncretism at Koricancha.
Day 4: Sacred Valley tour - Transfer to Aguas Calientes (B/L/D)
Hostel pick-up at 8:00 am to start off our day. We will travel out of Cuzco towards the Sacred Valley of the Incas and make our first stop at the village of Corao where we will visit a local artisan marketplace. Enjoy 30 minutes of free time to wander around buying handmade souvenirs for family and friends. Enjoy the scenic viewpoints along the panoramic highway that takes us over the mountains into the picturesque Urubamba river valley.
Upon arrival to the ancient Inca town of Pisaq, our guide will explain the unique architecture of this archaeological site and its magical vibes. Take about 45 minutes to explore the site and shop around in the local marketplace. Then we will continue to Urubamba and make our lunch break there for a taste of Peru’s finest traditional cuisine. After our break, the van will take us to Ollantaytambo, another mysterious archaeological site built into the steep mountainside. You will spend 45 minutes there, which will give you plenty of time to climb the steep steps of these ancient Inca ruins and contemplate life as you look out upon the valley.
Then walk over to the train station, located a short 10-minutes on foot downhill from the archaeological site, to board the train heading for Aguas Calientes (approx. 2 hours). Upon arrival you will be met by a local guide who will transfer you to your hotel and give you indications for the following day in Machu Picchu. Wander through the quaint town of Aguas Calientes on your own and have a fulfilling dinner at a touristic restaurant.
Day 5: Explore Machu Picchu - Return to Cuzco (B)
Your English Speaking guide will meet you at the entrance of Machu Picchu for a guided visit to the archaeological site (approximately 2 hours). You can then choose from the optional treks to climb Huayna Picchu (at an additional cost - must be booked at least 2 weeks in advance) or walk to the Inti Punku (Sun Gate) for panoramic views of the site. After your tour, take the bus to Aguas Calientes and if time allows, visit the local marketplace right next to the train tracks, where you can shop until the train whistle blows signaling your return to Ollantaytambo. From Ollantaytambo, you will take a bus for the last section of highway to Cuzco, arriving back around 10:30 pm. Please make your own way back to the hostel of your choice.
DESCRIPTION OF MACHU PICCHU GUIDED SITE VISIT: The one and only, the most spectacular (and not to mention most popular) archaeological site in all of South America. Your guide will take you on a 2-hour tour of Machu Picchu walking you through the most important sites and covering the history of the place. Then you will have free time to explore on your own and take pictures at your leisure.
Take an OPTIONAL hike up the steep peak named Huayna Picchu, which is located inside the Machu Picchu archaeological site for unforgettable views of Machu Picchu from a coveted perspective. You must purchase your ticket at least 2 weeks in advance for an additional cost in order to get one of the 400 passes (200 people are allowed up at 7:00am and 200 more at 10:00am). Please send us an email directly to request this extra ticket.
BRIEF HISTORY OF MACHU PICCHU & ADVICE: Machu Picchu was (relatively recently) "discovered" by American historian, Hiram Bingham, in 1911 while searching for the legendary "lost city of the Incas". Hiram Bingham and his local guides stumbled across the site which was then covered in thick vegetation. It was later cleared revealing the magical mountain-top archaeological site and opening up the possibility for archaeologists to conduct research on the site by 1915. Whether arriving via Inca Trail or entering from Aguas Calientes don't miss the excellent photo opportunities from the following spots: Hut of the Caretaker of the Funerary Rock (a restored building with a thatched roof), Sacred Plaza with views of the Cordillera Vilcabamba in the distance and Rio Urubamba below. Take a short walk out to the Inca Drawbridge (30 minutes) and Inti Punku (45 - 60 minutes) for great views of the site.
Day 6: Free day in Cuzco (B)
Enjoy a free day in Cuzco to rest before your thrilling rafting experience.
Day 7: Full Day Rafting Experience (B)
Go rafting on exciting class III and IV rapids on the Chuquicahuana and Cusipata sections of the Vilcanota River surrounded by beautiful landscapes at only 90 - 110 minutes from Cuzco.
Day 8: Airport drop-off in Cuzco (B)
You will be picked-up at your hostel or hotel and dropped-off at the airport in Cuzco. End of the trip.
What to bring:
- For Maras & Moray 4x4 Motorbike Tour: Please wear old clothing and shoes that can get muddy. Bring an extra change of clothes and a warm jacket. Bring a rain poncho during the rainy months of January/February.
- For the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu Tour: sun hat, sun block, sun glasses, camera, extra batteries and memory card, charger, waterproof bags for your camera, hand sanitizer.
- For the Rafting Trip: Please wear your bathing suit and bring a change of clothes. Bring sunblock for your face. You will be provided with a wetsuit, helmet and life jacket to wear while rafting. Boots are available for rent upon arrival.
- DON'T FORGET THE ESSENTIALS: Original passport, visa (if applicable), insurance card, personal medications.