Duration: 5 days/ 4 nights
Departure Dates: Any day you would like!
Our Short Inca Trail and Cusco tour includes the gorgeous Sacred Valley, charming Cusco, and the Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu. After a full day at Machu Picchu, visit a small community tourism project to learn about traditional food and agriculture and visit impressive Inca ruins overlooking the city of Cusco. We explore famous highlights in each area, along with authentic, lesser-known jems.
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.
We’ll meet you at the Cusco airport for transfer to your hotel. During the drive, your guide will provide an overview of your trip and basic city orientation. After time to refresh and get settled, your guide will return for lunch and a walking tour of Cusco, including the Plaza de Armas, cathedral, Coricancha and San Pedro Market. There is quite a lot to see in Cusco, so we have allowed for flexibility in your schedule today. You will have the evening free to explore the city on your own.
Your guide and driver will meet you in the morning for departure for the 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 great 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 picnic lunch, before continuing to the picturesque town of Ollantaytambo. Active canals run along Inca constructed stone-paved streets and passageways, and many original stone buildings remain in use today. You will have the evening free in Ollantaytambo where we will spend the night, and is a convenient departure point for the 2D/1N Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu the following morning.
Meals: B, L
This morning we depart for a gorgeous hike along the world famous Inca Trail! From Ollantaytambo you will travel with your guide by train to kilometer 104, the point of entry for the official Inca Trail. During the hike we will pass through incredible natural scenery, visit the Inca ruins of Wiñaywayna and arrive at the Sun Gate, or Inti Punku. Enjoy your first breathtaking views of Machu Picchu from above here, then descend to the town of Aguas Calientes. Check into your hotel, enjoy dinner in a local restaurant and rest up for our visit to Machu Picchu the following day.
Meals: B, L, D
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 the option to climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain In the afternoon (additional cost; 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.
At the appropriate time, transfer to the Cusco airport for your return flight to Lima and interntional flight home.
Short Inca Trail hike based on permit availability. If permits are sold out on the day you`d like to travel, Ayni can substitute a lovely day hike above the Sacred Valley. You can check Inca Trail permit availability here.