When thinking of Peru, what are the first things that come to mind? Certainly Machu Picchu, probably followed by delicious, locally grown coffee, and rich, creamy chocolate. So here at Ayni Peru, we decided to combine these three things into the ultimate 5 day/4 night tour of the best Peru has to offer.
This tour begins in Cusco with a departure to the beautiful Sacred Valley, where you will visit Moray, an Inca archaeological site comprised of stone terraces used for agriculture. From Moray, a short hike takes you to the Salineras, salt mines built into the side of a hill. A highly salty spring feeds these terraced pools, and as the water flows down the hill, it collects in the pools and eventually evaporates, leaving just the salt behind. This method of salt collection dates back to pre-Inca times, and you will almost certainly see families hard at work collecting salt, as the pools are inherited by families and managed communally. Enjoy the spectacular views of the salt mines and don’t forget to pick up a bag of Maras salt to take home with you!
Your first day will end in the Inca town Ollantaytambo, where you will walk along cobblestone streets, admire the stone buildings still remaining from Inca times, and gaze up at the giant ruins towering above you. Hiking up to explore the massive ruins, you will have a peek into the past as you imagine Inca soldiers scurrying around this stronghold of the Inca resistance against the Spanish.
On day two, you will begin to delve into the world of coffee and chocolate as you travel into Cusco’s warm, humid high jungle. Here, you will join a local family for lunch and tour their organic farm, where they produce coffee, cocoa, and a variety of tropical fruits. You’ll learn about how cocoa is grown and harvested, and even have the chance to make your own chocolate! Peruvian cacao is exquisitely aromatic because of its high quality, which results from a higher fat content. It is also especially valuable because it can easily adapt to different growing systems, allowing for increased production to help meet the world’s rapidly increasing demand. In fact, Peru is currently the world’s ninth largest producer of cocoa, with production continuing to increase.
On day three, you will continue deeper into the world of chocolate production, learning about its historical and cultural significance in the Andes, before passing through the beautiful Colcamayo hot springs, ending at your next destination: a coffee farm homestay. Peru has been producing coffee since the 1700s, and today there are more than 110,000 coffee growers in Peru, with coffee exports accounting for 2% of both Peru’s national economy and the global coffee supply. After touring the farm, you will learn about artisan coffee production before the best part: roasting and grinding coffee beans for your own morning cup! This will give you the fuel you need for the easy and scenic 2.5 hour hike into Aguas Calientes, the town located at the base at Machu Picchu.
On your fifth and final day, you will finally reach the apex of your trip as you ascend the stone steps to catch your first glimpse of Machu Picchu as the early morning fog lifts and the clouds part, revealing the majestic ruins below. Your private guide will lead you around the ruins as you visit the Temple of the Three Windows, the Main Temple, the Intihuatana stone, and much more, learning about their significance all along the way. Don’t forget to take a moment to escape from the tourists and find a peaceful spot to observe the ruins, the breathtaking mountains, and the rushing river below. After watching the sun set over the ruins, you will return to Aguas Calientes to catch the train back to Ollantaytambo, finally returning back to Cusco having seen a wonder of the world and enjoying Peru’s delicious coffee and chocolate along the way. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Immerse in local culture and agriculture while visiting renowned highlights of Cusco & the Sacred Valley!
Our Coffee, Chocolate and Machu Picchu Hiking Tour takes you across Cusco, from the charming colonial center of the city, to magnificent Machu Picchu. Along the way we visit family-run coffee, cocoa (chocolate), and coca farms, tour the gorgeous Sacred Valley and enjoy a homecooked lunch with a local family, sample fresh fruit from the high jungle and spend a final day at the Machu Picchu ruins.
As with all Ayni Peru travel, this itinerary can be customized or combined with tours in Cusco and beyond. Please contact us for custom itineraries, quotes and questions.
Unique Sacred Valley Tour: Morning for departure for the beautiful Sacred Valley. Our first stop is the archaeological site of Moray, which is thought to have been used for agricultural research by the Incas. These concentric stone terraces constructed within naturally-occurring depressions are impressive, and offer incredible views of the Sacred Valley and the snow-capped peaks that surround it. Next, begin a pleasant hike to the Salineras, a complex series of spring-fed, terraced salt pans, build into a steep mountainside. You will most likely observe locals preparing the pans and harvesting salt in the traditional manner.
From the Salineras, we will break for a traditonal, homecooked meal with a local family. Our final stop of the day is the Inca town of Ollantaytambo, where active canals run along Inca constructed stone-paved streets and passageways, and many original stone buildings remain in use today. Tour the lovely town`s adjacent ruins, then continue to your cozy hotel for the evening.
Meals: B, L
Cocoa & Fruit: After an early breakfast, set out for Cusco`s high jungle. We`ll begin with a drive to Malaga Pass to enjoy incredible panoramic view, the begin the descent through the warm and humid valley below. We`ll arrive at our homestay family`s farm in time for a delicious lunch, then break for a bit to get settled and rest. Next, tour the organic farm, where coffee, cocao, and an enormous variety of tropical fruit is grown. We`ll learn how cocoa is grown and harvested and make our own chocolate before dinner.
Meals: B, L, D
Coca & Hotsprings: After breakfast, we`ll say goodbye to our host family and setout on a scenic hike along original Inca trail. Along the way we`ll stop to learn about coca production, and the plant`s historical and cultural significance in the Andes. Our hike ends at the Colcamayo hotsprings, where we will enjoy lunch and a soak before heading to our coffee farm homestay for the night.
Meals: B, L, D
Coffee & Aguas Calientes: This morning we`ll tour the farm, focusing on coffee harvesting. Learn about artisan coffee production, then roast and grind your own morning cup. Enjoy breakfast with your host family, then depart on a scenic and easy 2-3 hour hike into Aguas Calientes, located at the base of Machu Picchu. Catch your first glimpses of these incredible ruins along the way!
Meals: B, L
Machu Picchu Hiking Tour: We awake this morning to catch the bus to the gates of this Wonder of the World. You will ascend stone steps, through heavy tree cover to finally emerge at the top of the world – Machu Picchu! The incredible Inca stone construction will be spread below, alternately hidden and revealed by clouds. You`ll have a 2.5-3 hour private tour with your guide, and two Machu Picchu hiking options: either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain in the afternoon (based on availability; please enquire at the time of booking), then descend to Aguas Calientes for your return train to Ollantaytambo. We will be waiting in the station and bring you to your hotel in Cusco for a good night’s rest.
MACHU PICCHU HIKING: INCLUDED