Experience the ancient history and spectacular natural beauty of the Sacred Valley on this 7-day adventure from Cusco. Select from a range of culturally immersive and active excursions as you journey to the lively market town of Pisaq and remote communities in the Lares Valley, ending at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed ruins of Machu Picchu.
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Sacred Valley of the Incas | Treasures of the Sacred Valley
Travel from the charismatic streets of Cusco to the breathtaking Sacred Valley of the Incas where lush green fields nestle at the base of snow-capped mountain peaks. Spend time exploring the archeological site of Chinchero whose colonial buildings have been constructed atop ancient Inca formations, then hike along old Inca trails to the town of Urquillos. We’ll also visit the salt mines of Maras and the circular terraces of Moray, which are thought to have been created by the Inca to study exotic plant species.
(2,958m - 9,705ft)
Sacred Valley of the Incas | Exploring Pisaq
This morning we’ll visit the lively market of Pisaq, which is a hive of colorful activity as indigenous communities come from the surrounding towns and village to sell traditional handicrafts. Alternatively, opt for a morning hike to soak up the Andean views or a cycling excursion along the Urubamba River (additional cost) before traveling on to the remote community of Viacha where you will learn about artisanal potato farming. Be treated to a traditional “Pachamanca” meal cooked under hot stones, then spend the afternoon exploring the archaeological ruins of Pisaq as the sun slowly sets behind the mountains of the Sacred Valley.
(2,958m - 9,705ft)
Lares Valley | Inca Sites and Villages
Begin the day with a scenic drive through the Sacred Valley along the “Inca Weaver’s Trail”, stopping to explore the little-visited archeological site of Ancasmarca en route to the town of Lares. In the afternoon, you can opt to visit the ancient weavers’ village of Choquecancha or go hiking between towering mountain peaks and turquoise lakes to the remote village of Huacahuasi. You’ll spend the night here at a community-run lodge, which aims to protect the natural environment and cultural heritage of the region.
Lares Valley | Exploring Huacahuasi
Spend the morning strolling through the village of Huacahuasi to meet the local residents, with the opportunity to discover the artful textiles created by its expert weavers. Take a Peruvian cooking class and indulge in your home-cooked meal with the rest of the group. Alternatively, you can embark on an all-day hike from the community of Quiswarani along the “Trail of 1,000 Lakes”, passing herds of alpacas and llamas grazing on the hillside as you soak up the majestic scenery of this natural Eden.
Sacred Valley of the Incas | Expedition to Ollantaytambo
Begin the day discovering more about the day-to-day life of the Huacahuasi community before embarking on a spectacular hike over a high pass to the ancient town of Ollantaytambo. You may opt to hike from the Lares Pass along an old Inca trail that winds along a beautiful canyon to the community of Totora or visit an ethnographic museum exploring the pre-Inca and Inca civilizations that have left their mark on Peru today. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in the Urubamba River valley before arriving in the charming town of Ollantaytambo. You may also opt for a mountain biking excursion (additional cost) through the Sacred Valley, including a stop at an artisanal brewery.
(2,830m - 9,284ft)
Sacred Valley of the Incas | Discovering Ollantaytambo
Wake early for an optional hike to the ancient Inca storage structures that perch high above Ollantaytambo, offering magnificent views of what was once the royal estate of Inca-Emperor Pachacutec and a stronghold against Spanish conquistadors. Then enjoy a guided tour through the main archaeological site of Ollantaytambo to discover its strategic importance and mystical history. In the afternoon, we’ll board a scenic train ride along the Urubamba River to the town of Aguas Calientes, which serves as the gateway to Machu Picchu.
(1,900m - 6,232ft)
Machu Picchu | The Sanctuary
Begin your journey to Machu Picchu with a rollicking uphill bus ride to the “Sanctuary”, arriving as the day’s first rays illuminate the site over the iconic Sun Gate. Discover the skilled craftsmanship of the Temple of the Sun and royal Inca residences, with plenty of time to pause and take in the breathtaking beauty and mystery that surrounds Machu Picchu. You can opt to hike to the towering peak of Huayna Picchu that watches over the ancient ruins, offering spectacular views all the way from the Urubamba River to the edges of the Amazon. It’s then time to return to Aguas Calientes for your train ride to Ollantaytambo, with a bus transferring you back to the colonial streets of Cusco.
(2,720m - 8924ft)
Dates & Rates
- Low Season - $2450 (March 1st – March 31st and November 1st – December 14th)
- High Season - $3450 (April 1st – October 31st, December 15th – December 31st)
- All meals (except breakfast on the first day and dinner on the last day).
- Transfer services.
- Guided tours during the whole trip.
- Daily à-la-carte activities (except those that specify an additional cost).
- Entrance fees and permits to touristic and archeological sites.
- Tips for staff at the Lodges and staff in the field are included (except Guide tips).
- Rates per person, based on shared accomodations in a twin, double or triple room.
- Requested single room: 25% supplement of the rate per person rates above. Single Requested willing to share: 10% supplement added.
- Children under 12 years old will be granted a 50% discount of the official rate depending on the program, when sharing the room with the parent (Maximum two children per room).
- Children from 13 to 16 years old will be granted a 25% discount of the official rate depending on the program, when sharing the room with the parent (Maximum two children per room).
- The discount does not apply in a single room. In case children stay in a single room the full adult rate and single supplement will apply.
- Private services, additional services and specialty guides are available upon request at an additional cost.
- Standard languages on the trip are english, spanish and portuguese.
- Daily activities menu will be subject to factors such as weather and other events beyond our control.
FAQ & More
Difficult to answer, this is really a question of personal preference. The busy season is June to August and it's also the driest part of the year in Machu Picchu. If you don't mind being a little wet while avoiding a heavy flow of visitors, Machu Picchu in December and January is absolutely perfect for you. It's important to remember that tours to Machu Picchu happen all year round but the Inca Trail is closed in February each year.
Like most in South America, Peruvians love any excuse for a celebration and the country enjoys a huge number of religious ceremonies, festivals and local events. Carnival time (generally late Feb.) is especially lively almost everywhere in the country, with fiestas held every Sunday. Tours to Machu Picchu during these requires a bit more planning in advance for airfare prices calendar of major public holidays & festivals:
February Carnival - Celebrated most of the month prior to Lent throughout the whole country.
March/April Easter (Holy Week) - Fantastic parades all over Peru. ROW Adventures like the one in Cusco!
June 24 Inti Raymi - Cusco's main Inca Festival of the Sun. A great time to tour the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu.
August 13 - 19 Arequipa Week - Parades, firework displays, plenty of folklore, dancing, and craft markets.
September End of the month Festival of Spring - Involves dancing, particularly the local Marinera dance.
October 18 - 28 Lord of Miracles - Festival featuring large and solemn processions.
Most travelers do not need visas; travelers of most nationalities are granted a 90 day tourist visa. All nationalities, however, need a tourist or embarkation card (tarjeta de embarque) to enter Peru, issued at the customs or on the plane before landing in Lima.
Altitude sickness is common in the highlands when visiting Machu Picchu, but can easily be treated by taking it slow and resting, staying hydrated, and there is medication available over the counter for pills altitude sickness. A yellow fever vaccination is recommended for areas east of the Andes Mountains, but not needed for Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu, or other places along the coast or in the mountains. It's advisable to consult with Peru's official website before leaving for any questions.
UTC (universal time) minus 5 hours
Electricity in Peru is 220 Volts and 60 Hertz (cycles per second). If you want to use a 110-volt appliance in Peru, you’ll need to buy a power adapter. Most outlets in Peru accept US standard two flat blade male.
The current Peruvian currency, the Nuevo Sol - whose symbol is S/. Simply referred to as a "Sol." In Lima and Cuzco (and most other cities), Euros are as acceptable as US dollars for changing into soles.
On this trek you will experience all types of weather ondidtions and it is recommended that you pack for this. We recommend packig layers that can be added or removed as the temperature varies. The trek passes through 9 bio-zones between high atltitude alpine to high jungle.
Here is a rough guideline:
December - March - Cold and Rainy
April - June - Fair
July - August - Dry and Cold
September - November - Occassional Rain and Fair
There will be a pre trip briefing held the night before your trek at a central Cusco hotel. You will receive an invitation in your final pack outlining a precise time and location.
You must have evidence of medical insurance that covers you for treatment in Peru and for emergency evacuation or treatment. If you do not have this MLP will purchase this on your behalf at a rate of $8 per day and you will be invoiced. This coverage can be purchased through most travel insurance companies.
All lodges offer WiFi and telephone service, but we encourage you to "unplug" as much as possible!