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10 day Tour of Cusco – Sacred Valley – Salkantay – Tambopata

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Trip Overview

This tour combines one of the most popular treks to Machu Picchu with a trip to the Amazon jungle. In this tour, you will experience some of the best Southern Peru has to offer, from the breathtaking views of the mountain passes to the amazing animal and plant life in the Amazon Jungle of Tombopata near the city of Puerto Maldonado. Visit the best of two contrasting climates on this incredible 10 day Tour.

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Summary

Day 1: Arrival to Cusco and afternoon city tour

We will greet you at the airport and settle you into your hotel in Cusco. In the afternoon, you will have a city tour of the historical sites in Cusco.

Day 2: The Sacred Valley of the Incas

We will pick you up from your hotel in the morning for a tour of the Sacred Valley. We will stop in Pisac to visit the market and the nearby ruins and continue to the scenic town of Ollantaytambo.

Day 3: Cusco – Mollepata – Salkantay Pass – Huayracmachay

Today we will start the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. We will start the Trek by climbing up to the Salkantay Pass, the highest point on the trek, before desending to our campsite in Huayracmachay.

Day 4: Huayracmachay – Colpapampa – Lucma Bamba

We will continue our downhill trek into the cloud forest of Qolpapampa. As we enter a sub-tropical climate, your guide will show you locally growing fruit and coffee plants.

Day 5: La Playa – Llactapata – Aguas Calientes

On the third day of the trek, we will hike to Llactapata, an Incan fort from which we will catch our first glimpse of Machu Picchu. After enjoying this view, we will head down to the Hydroelectric Plant in the valley where we will board our train to Aguas Calientes and spend the night in a hostel there.

Day 6: Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes – Cusco

In the morning we will have a tour of one of the modern wonders of the world, Machu Picchu. After exploring this amazing site, we will travel back to Cusco by train and bus.

Day 7: Flight from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado

In the morning you will board a plane to Puerto Maldoado in the Amazon jungle. After a motorboat tour on the Tambopata river and a brief walk through the jungle, you will settle in for the night in a comfortable jungle lodge.

Day 7: Macaw salt lick

You will be taken by boat very early in the morning to witness the amazing spectacle of hundreds of Macaws and Parrots enjoying their daily dose of minerals from the clay wall along the river. In the afternoon, you will have a walking tour of the jungle near the lodge.

Day 9: Lake Sandoval tour

We will take a short hike to the beautiful Lake Sandoval where we will spend the day enjoying the amazing wildlife before witnessing the sunset over the lake.

Day 10: Puerto Maldonaldo – Cusco

In the morning you will board a plane to Cusco where our tour will end. We will wish you safe travels to wherever your journey takes you next.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to Cusco and afternoon city tour

In the morning we will take you to the Lima airport for your flight to Cusco. Upon your arrival in Cusco, we will transfer you to the hotel of your choice within the city. After you arrive, you will have free time to take a short rest and adjust to the high altitude of the city. In the afternoon, you will have a sightseeing tour of Cusco with stops at the Main Square, the Cathedral and the Temple of the Sun, or “Korikancha”. We will continue the tour by driving out of the City to visit the Inca sites of Kenko, Tambomachay, Puca Pucara and the impressive Fortress of Sacsayhuaman, built strategically on a hill overlooking Cusco. This site is famous for its enormous carved stones laid with amazing precision to form the outer walls. Some of these stones stand over 9m / 30ft tall, and weight over 350 tons.

Meals: Breakfast
HOTEL: Tierra Viva Saphi
HOTEL: Palacio del Inca*****

Day 2: The Sacred Valley of the Incas

Our tour guide will pick you up from your hotel at 7:00 a.m. You will take a bus ride for 40 minutes, passing through scenic villages. Along the way, we will make a stop to marvel at the classic view of the Urubamba River snaking its way through the valley.Finally, we will arrive at the small village of Pisac, where you can walk through its lively artison market. You will also have some free time to interact with the townsfolk and artisans and to shop for handicrafts and souvenirs.

After exploring Pisac’s famous market, we will take you to explore the Pisac Ruins. After exploring the ruins high above the Sacred Valley, we will continue our scenic journey to Urubamba, the heart of the Sacred Valley, where we will stop for lunch. After a buffet lunch, we will take you to the amazing and historic town of Ollantaytambo. Ollantaytambo is a classic Incan city which still features the traditional urban construction of narrow streets adjacent to flowing streams. In the upper part of the town, there is an impressive ceremonial center which was dedicated to the worship of water and a mighty fortress that protected the access point to the lower part of the valley.

After spending time in this special city, you will board a bus back to Cusco to spend the night in your hotel.

Meals: Breakfast
HOTEL: Tierra Viva Saphi
HOTEL: Palacio del Inca*****

Day 3: Cusco – Mollepata – Salkantay Pass – Huayracmachay

We will pick you up at 5:00 a.m. from your hotel and travel by private van to the village of Mollepata in the lush Apurimac valley before continuing twards the village of Soraypamapa, at an elevation of (4000m/12,750ft). After a light breakfast that will be provided by our company, we will start hiking up a moderate climb for two and a half hours until we reach Soyrococha where we will stop for lunch. After an energizing lunch, We will continue walking uphill for one more hour until we reach the Salkantay Pass, located at (4600m/15,100ft). From this point, we can soak up the spectacular views of Salkantay Mountain and the surrounding peaks. It is traditional to leave a small rock carried from the bottom of the mountain at the pass as a present for the mountain spirit. After celebrating conquering the pass, we will continue downhill for two hours to our first campsite, Huayracmachay, located at (3800m/12,540ft). Once at the campsite, we will have dinner and get plenty of rest for the day to come.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Walking distance: 8.7 miles / 14 km (6-7 hours)
Campsite altitude: 3.600 meter high above sea level (chilled weathe
Difficulty: )
Weather: cold and windy

Day 4: Huayracmachay – Colpapampa – Lucma bamba

After breakfast, we will continue our downhill trek for three and a half hours to the beginning of the rain forest Qolpapampa 2500m/8350ft where we will stop for lunch. Then we will cross the Lluskamayo River and a variety of small streams. We will also pass through gorgeous valleys and have wonderful views of waterfalls. Your guide will show you naturally growing tropical fruits and native plants and flowers along the way to our second campsite lucma bamba (2500m/8350ft)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Walking distance: 16 km ( 7-8 hours )
Campsite altitude: (2500m/8350ft)
Considered: Moderate difficulty
Area : Andes and the cloud forest.
Weather: Windy and Cold

Day 5:  La Playa – Llactapata – Aguas Calientes

In the morning, we will leave the village of La Playa and start a three hour climb to reach Llactapata, located at (2.700m/8910ft). Llactapata is an incredible Inca fort from which we will enjoy our first view of Machu Picchu! After pausing to take some incredible pictures and a brief rest, we will descend for two hours to the Hydroelectric Plant where we will have our final lunch. At 4:00 p.m. we will take a train to Aguas Calientes where we will spend the night. Once in Aguas Calientes, we will enjoy a celebratory dinner and the comfort of beds and hot showers at a local hostel. You will also have the option to take advantage of the thermal springs in the evening which give the town its name. Entrance to the springs is 10 soles.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snacks
Walking Distance:
Campsite Altitude:
Considered:
Weather:

Day 6: Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes – Cusco

We will wake up early for breakfast on the final day of the trek. You will have two options to arrive to Machu Picchu: 1) You can hike for one and a half hours from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu by way of the famous stairs, or 2) You can take a bus to the entrance of Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes. By waking up early, you will witness the magnificent sunrise at this ancient Inca city and have a few hours to explore before most of the tourists arrive. Once you enter Machu Picchu, you will have a 2 hour guided tour of the city. After the tour, you will have free time for you own exploration of this ancient Inca site.

When you finish exploring Machu Picchu, you will meet your guide in Aguas Calientes for lunch where he/she will give you your train ticket for your return trip to Cusco.

Day 7:  Flight from Cusco to  Puerto Maldonado

Fresh off your visit to Machu Picchu, we will pick you up from your hotel and bring you to the airport where you will take a flight to Puerto Maldonado, the airfare is included in this tour. upon arrival in Puerto Maldonado, you will be greeted at the airport and taken to the WASAI Maldonado Lodge, where you will receive a welcoming tropical fruit beverage. You will embark for a 3 1/2 to 4 hour motorboat trip up the Tambopata river to WASAI Tambopata Lodge & Research Center. During the trip we will be able to observe the local farms, while groups of birds pass over the boat. With any luck, you will see families of Ronsocos, the largest rodents in the world. When we reach the lodge, we will have lunch and you will settle in to your accomodations for the night. After a short rest we will have a brief introductory walk through the nearby jungle to learn the basic principles of ecology and some history of the natrual wildlife in the area. After our walk, we will return to the lodge for dinner, after which we will return to the jungle to observe the nocturnal life of insects, frogs, and the occasional encounter with nocturnal mammals. We will enjoy the diverse sounds of the jungle which will lull us to sleep on our first night in the lodge.

Day 8:  Macaw salt lick

We will wake up very early (4:00 a.m.) and have a light breakfast before departing for the “Collpa”. We will travel up the Tambopata river, or “Bahuaja” in the local dialect, for an hour and a half, to arrive and observe from a safe distance one of the greatest spectacles of wildlife: hundreds of parrots and macaws of various species enjoying their diet of mineral salts on the clay wall. It is an experience that never will be forgotten. We will make a stop on the river bank to have a fruit snack and we will return to the lodge to have breakfast and rest. After lunch we will enter the vibrant jungle on a special trail to observe wild life. We will then enter the territory of peccaries, deer, and others. We will have the possibility of spotting the tracks of these animals on the jungle floor, and we might even come across a troop of monkeys travelling through the forest in search of food. Time permitting, we will be able to return to enjoy a relaxing swim in the cascade of the cat. After dinner we can make another trip through the jungle, this time in search for caimans. You will also have the option to relax in our lodge surrounded by the exotic nocturnal sounds.

Day 9:  Lake Sandoval

After breakfast, we will embard on a boat trip to the WASAI Maldonado Lodge, in Puerto Maldonado. Here we will relax in our bungalows and enjoy a tasty lunch. After lunch, we will leave and travel for twenty minutes on the Madre de Dios River to the access trail to Lake Sandoval, a beautiful rainforest lake. After a 5 km hike to the lake we will board a canoe to paddle around the lake while enjoying the beauty of the landscape and observing the wildlife, such as kingfishers, herons, hoatzins (unique pre historic looking birds) , monkeys, and other animals. If we are lucky we might see the family of giant otters which live at the lake. We will have the opportunity to fish for piranhas and to swim in the lake. Prepare yourself for a spectacular sunset over Lake Sandoval in the evening. After the sunset, we will start our return trip to Puerto Maldonado. We will stay overnight in a modern and comfortable bungalow in the WASAI Maldonado Lodge. After dinner, we will be able to rest or explore the city on foot or on bicycle. You will have the rest of the night free to enjoy the night life of this welcoming city.

Day 10: Puerto Maldonaldo – Cusco – End of Tour

After an early breakfast, you will board a plane for your return trip to Cusco. Our tour ends here, and we wish you safe travels to wherever your journey takes you next.


Price

Price:

Our prices include the tours, transportation and accommodation. But they change according to the type of accommodations you prefer. We divide them in three categories:

Economic: Perfect for those who want to do an economical trip, but still comfortable. The accommodation is in basic hotels, with private bathrooms, breakfast and Wifi.
Price: US$ 1300 per person
Confort: Perfect for who want to travel with mor comfort, staying in 3 stars hotels, with hot water, private bathrooms, breakfast and Wifi.
Price: US$1650 per person

Luxury: Perfect for those who want to travel by Peru, staying in the best hotels of the country (4 or 5 stars)-
Price: US$ 2220 per person
PLEASE NOTE: Regardless of the type of accommodation you choose, tours and transport are included. Also, the prices above are for group tours (except for the trails, that are in private tours), if you want to change all of them to private tours, let us know and we will pass you the new prices.

HOTELS WE BOOK:

Choose your Hotel from the list below, and let us know your preference in the moment of the booking.

CUSCO:

Economic: Hatun Quilla – Mama Simona – Pirwa

Confort:  Gracilaso – Pension Alemana – Amaru

Luxury: Casa Andina – Terra Viva – Jose Antonio

AGUAS CALIENTES:

Economic: La Payacha – Continental – El Tambo

Confort: Waman – Imperio

Luxury: Casa Andina – La Cabaña

PUERTO MALDONADO / RESERVA TAMBOPATA:

Economic: Chunco Lodge

Confort: Inka Terra Hacienda Concepcion

Luxury: Inka Terra Reserva Amazonica

Included / Not Included

What is Included:

-All Accommodation:

3 Nights in a Hotel in Cusco
2 Nights in a Hostel in Puerto Maldonado
1 Night in a Jungle Lodge in Tambopata National Reserve

-All Transportation:

Pick up and drop off at the airport
Tourist Bus
Boat to Tambopata National Reserve

4 Day Salkantay Trek. Please read Itinerary and Inclusions here: tinyurl.com/4-Day-Salkantay-Trek

2 Day Puerto Maldonado Tour

Cusco City Tour. Please read Itinerary and Inclusions here: www.intisuntrek.com/cusco-city-tour.html

Sacred Valley Tour. Please read Itinerary and Inclusions here: www.intisuntrek.com/the-sacred-valley-tour.html

Not Included:

Meals not mentioned in the Itineraries above
Your International and Domestic Flights and airport taxes

What you need to Bring:

Original passport
For students: ISIC card
Insurance card/certificate
Hiking boots
Waterproof jacket or rain poncho
Warm jacket
Hat and gloves
2-4 t-shirts
2 pairs of pants (1 for hiking, 1 for camp)
Long underwear for sleeping/thermal underwear
Hand sanitizer
Comfortable trousers
Sun hat or cap
Sunscreen
Insect repellent
Water and/or water purification tablets
Toiletries
Personal medication
Camera
Flashlight or headlamp
Cash (We recommend that you bring approximately 400 Peruvian nuevo soles to
cover extra expenses such as snacks, tips, and drinks)
Long sleeved cotton shirts (preferably green coloured)
Long cotton trousers
Cotton long socks (to be put into your trousers)
Sandals or light shoes
Sweater (for the beginning of the tour in Andes and the cloud forest only)
Swimsuits
Binoculars

Important Information:

Please read the FAQ section on our website to familiarize yourself with our tours before you leave. www.intisuntrek.com/

Please Note:

Inti Sun Trek is based in Cusco and does not run tour is Puerto Maldonado, therefore you will be placed with a 3rd party tour operator for the Tambopata Jungle Tour. We will place you with a trusted tour operator in Puerto Maldonado and will continue to follow your journey every step of the way.

For the Sacred Valley and Cusco City Tours, you will be placed in a large group tour. The group sizes will be up to 15 people.

FAQ

How much is the tourist ticket? Where can I buy the tickets?

You have two options. You can either buy the partial tourist ticket which costs 70 soles and lasts 2days. This allows you to visit three places. The other option is the full tourist ticket which costs 130 soles which allows you visit 16 places and is valid for 10 days.

The tickets can be bought on the way.

Important: This ticket does not include:

-Entrance to Qoricancha or  Santo Domingo Convent (10 soles)
-Entrance to the Cathedral (25 soles)

What about altitude sickness on the Salkantay Trek? Is the Salkantay trek difficult?

To avoid altitude sickness on the trek, we recommend that you spend time in Cusco or in the Sacred Valley. If you have never been in high altitude, we recommend that you spend a day in the Sacred Valley because it is at a lower altitude than Cusco city.

All of the treks are fairly difficult and you should be well prepared and healthy prior to starting the trek. You have to be moderately fit to complete this hike. Try walking 10km in a day or start going to the gym a month before the trek because we will cover a lot of distance in the first 2 days.The good news is that everyone in the last few years who started a trek has finished it! If you are really struggling, we have emergency horses that you can ride if you are not fit for the trek.

How cold are the Salkantay Trek campsites?

All of our former trekkers agree that the coldest campsite along the trek is the first basecamp:  During the nighttime, temperatures can drop below freezing. This is especially true during the months of June, July, and August. However, the second and third campsites are also fairly cold.

What about Vaccinations for the Amazon Jungle?

While Malaria is very rare in this part of the jungle, we recommend that you talk with your doctor to recivie anti-malaria medication before you leave. Yellow Fever is also a larger risk and we strongly recommend that you receive a Yellow Fever vaccination before your trip to the jungle. Many South American countries will require you to show proof of a Yellow Fever vaccination when you enter the country after you have been to Peru.

Can I upgrade the hostal to a hotel in Aguas Calientes?

Every traveller has their own expectations for accommodation and that is why we offer you the option to book your own hostel independently. The three hostels that Inti Sun Trek books are considered basic and if you wish to upgrade to a hotel you need to:

1) Do this yourself or,

2) Ask Inti Sun Trek to do it for you.

If you wish to book a hostel independently, a US $15 discount is given per person off the tour price. You can use this money to pay for an alternative hostel.

How will we get to Puerto Maldonado?

There are two options for you to get to Puerto Maldonado from Cusco. You can take an overnight bus, or fly. The overnight bus leaves Cusco at 9:00 p.m. and arrives in Puerto Maldonado at 7:00 a.m. the next morning. There are Buses that leave every night and tickets cost from S/ 50 – 80.

Please let us know your preference for either flying or busing to Puerto Maldonado. If you prefer, we can help you book tickets or even do it for you, adding the expense to the total price of the Tour.

When is the dry season?

Although it can rain at any time of the year, the Tambopata region tends to be drier from May until October. The rains start up in earnest in November and continue until April with the rainiest months usually being November and December. The advantages of visiting during the dry season are that the trails are not muddy, rain has a lesser chance of delaying activities, and more macaws and parrots visit the clay licks. The disadvantages to visiting during the dry season are that the weather is hotter, there is typically less bird activity on sunny days, it is more difficult to find amphibians, travel time on rivers is slower due to the low water levels.

During which season will I see the most animals?

In the Amazon Rainforest, no month is particularly better to see animals than any other. While more parrots and macaws tend to visit the clay lick during the dry season, other animals show their presence during the entire year. A much bigger factor that comes into play for seeing Amazonian wildlife is your guide’s level of experience and training.

When is the best time to see monkeys?

If you visit lodges such as the Tambopata Research Center, Refugio Amazonas, or Posada Amazonas, you have a very good chance of seeing several monkey species throughout the year. The rollicking calls of Dusky Titis echo from vine tangles, Red Howler Monkeys call from the canopy, and troops of Squirrel Monkeys roam through second growth near oxbow lakes. Black Spider Monkeys may be a bit easier to find during the wet season because it’s usually easier to locate the fruiting trees they feed on but an experienced guide will increase your chances of seeing them no matter what the time of the year.

Please Note:

Inti Sun Trek is based in Cusco and does not run tours in Puerto Maldonado, therefore you will be placed with a 3rd party tour operator for the Tambopata Jungle Tour. We will place you with a trusted tour operator in Puerto Maldonado and will continue to follow your journey every step of the way.

For the Sacred Valley and Cusco City Tours, you will be placed in a large group tour. The group sizes will be up to 15 people.