Places visited in the first day:
Salinas de Maras
Place visited in the second day:
Walking tour in Machu Picchu
Important: We do not visit the ruins of Ollantaytambo on this tour, we simply go there in order to take the train to Aguas Calientes
Chincheros- Salinas de Maras, Moray- Ollantaytambo- Aguas Calientes
Your tour guide will pick you up from your hotel/hostal at 8:00am and you will travel by minivan to the amazing village of Chincheros. In Chincheros you can visit the artisanal market where they will show you the way in which the Inca’s people used to get the natural dyes from all the native plants in the Cusco region. Also you will visit the Chincheros Inca ruins. Then we will continue our scenic journey to Moray, the amazing Inca agricultural terraces. After this we will continue to Salinas de Maras, impressive salt mines in a beautiful setting. Then we will stop in Urubamba, the heart of the Sacred Valley, for lunch. After lunch you will continue through to the Ollantaytambo train station. Here we will board an afternoon train to Aguas Calientes, the base town of Machu Picchu. You will then have time to explore this town and go to the hot springs if you like. You will then stay one night in a hostel. This can be upgraded to a hotel if you wish. We will discuss over dinner what time you would like to wake up the next morning for your tour to MachuPicchu.
Aguas Calientes Town – Machu Picchu Train Journey Back To Cusco
Today you will visit Machu Picchu. You will determine, with your tour guide, the best time to start your day. Most people prefer to rise at 4 a.m. walk to the bus station to take one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu. It can be enjoyable to arrive at the ruins as soon as they open, at 6 a.m., to catch the magical mists on the ruins as the sun rises. After a 25 minute bus ride to Machu Picchu, your tour guide will take you to the best views before the day trippers arrive. Then, we will start the two hour guided, walking tour, exploring all of the famous places of this impressive citadel: After the tour, you will have time to explore the ruins on your own. If you have booked permits to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain, you will head to that adventure. If you chose not to book a hike, you can climb to the Sun Gate and witness its amazing views. At around 12:p.m or 1 p.m., you will need to take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes to enjoy lunch at one of the many restaurants there. Be sure to arrive at the train station 30 minutes before your departure.
Note: Machu Picchu Inca site is different from Machu Picchu Mountain. When most people refer to Machu Picchu, they are referring to the archeological site. Machu Picchu Mountain requires a separate permit to climb. Please notify us if you are interested and we can book this for you. It must be done in advance and is a part of your entry into the site
Group Tour -$400 USD per person
Group Tour -$380 per person (without hotel in Aguas Calientes)
Minimum 2 persons required to open up a new group – single trekkers may join an existing group
Please Note: Our service begins and ends in your hotel in Cusco
Returning train Included in the cost of this tour/trek is the Expedition train, which departs either at 6:20 pm or 7:00 pm and DEPENDING ON AVAILABILITY.
Can I get an early train ticket?
We can also book an afternoon train that departs 2:55 p.m. or 4:22 p.m. at an extra cost of US $35 per person the train we will book DEPENDS ON AVAILABILITY.
Please, notice that 35 dollars extra you will pay also will cover your private transportation to bring you back from Ollantaytambo train station to your hotel in Cusco
There is also an option to upgrade your train to the Vistadome train which is the extra US $75 per person. Please let us know your preference at the time of booking the tour. Unfortunately, none of the trains go straight to Cusco—they run either to Ollantaytambo or Poroy. In either case, we will transfer you back by bus to Cusco.
Can I change my return train ticket by myself?
At the time of your tour, it may be possible to make changes to your return train ticket if you don’t want to take the 18:20 p.m train. You will have to take your train ticket personally to the train station in Aguas Calientes and ask them to change the return ticket for an early one. You will probably be asked to pay an extra administration fee, which will depend on the train service and departure time. Please notice that once you will change your returning train you will responsible to cover your own transportation back to Cusco
How long is the journey back to Cusco?
You will be traveling for approximately 3 hours before you arrive back in Cusco. First, you will travel for 1.5 hours by train to the Ollantaytambo train station. Then you will be picked up by your driver outside of the train station. The driver will be holding a sign with your name on it so that there will be no confusion. If you do not see the driver initially, wait for them outside of the train station. Once the driver has picked you up, you will travel for another 1.5 hours in a private van/car to your hotel/hostel in Cusco. Arrival time in Cusco will depend on train availability. You will receive your return train tickets once your guide has finished your walking tour of Machu Picchu.
Important Notice Regarding Student Discounts:
The ISIC card is no longer valid for purchasing Machu Picchu or Inca Trail tickets with a student discount.
Students can still obtain this discount with their student identification card issued by the university where they study, which is the only valid document for this end at this time. For more information, please visit the following link: http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe/items/estudiantes.html
What is included :
Professional tour guide fluent in English
A mini van for the tour and to Ollantaytambo from Cusco
Inka Rail or Peru Rail train ticket from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
One night Basic hotel in Aguas Calientes (This can be upgraded)
Dinner in Aguas Calientes
Round trip bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to MachuPicchu
MachuPicchu entrance fee
Guided tour of MachuPicchu
Expedition train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
Van transfer from Ollantaytambo to Cusco
Lunch in Urubamba in the first day
Entrance fee for Chincheros, Moray and Salinas
A ticket to climb HuaynaPicchu or MachuPicchu Mountain-let us know in advance if you would like to do this
Lunch in Aguas Calientes on the final day.
What do you need to take?
Original passport (needed to enter MachuPicchu)
Small day pack
Extra money for lunches and shopping
Bathing suit for hot springs in Aguas Calientes
Is there a minimum group size? What happens if Inti Sun Trek does not meet the minimum size?.
We require a minimum of 2 people to depart on this tour. With a group size of 2 people, we can guarantee a departure for you with your desired date. However, if there are other people interested in the same trek on the same date, we will add them to your group. If there is no other interest, you will have a private tour by default.
What time does the train depart to Aguas Calientes on Day 1?
On the first day of the tour. The train departs from Ollantaytambo train station at 4:30 p.m. and arrives in Aguas Calientes at approximately 6:10 p.m. Once you arrive in Aguas Calientes, you will be picked up by our transfer outside of the train station. Our transfer will be holding a sign with your name on it so that there will be no confusion. If you do not see the transfer initially, just wait for them outside of the train station. Once the transfer has picked you up he/she will take you to your hotel/hostel in Aguas Calientes.
Do we take the 5:30 a.m. bus to Machu Picchu on Day 2?
Yes, you can take the 5:30 a.m. bus, or you can hike for approximately 90 minutes up the famous stairs to the entrance of Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes.
Important: You will receive your return train tickets for you return trip to Cusco once your guide has finished your walking tour of Machu Picchu.
before you go
All briefings are done at our office at 6:00 PM the night before your trek. If you are unable to make this time, you need to coordinate another time with a member of the Inti Sun Trek office team. Briefings are approximately 30 -45 minutes long.
Renewal or change passport number?
If you plan to renew or change your name on your passport between making your trek booking and starting your trek, you can book your trek or tour with your current passport number or name, but you must send us a copy of your old passport and a copy of your new passport when you have them. We can then make the change with the government before you arrive. The extra cost to make the change is US$25 per person. (This will cover the change in number or name for your Inca Trail Permit, Machu Picchu Entrance, and train.)
If you do not advise us of the change or do not want to pay the fee, bring the original of both passports (the old and new one). You can enter Peru with your new passport but you must show the government authorities your old passport in order to enter the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu or train. If you cannot do so, you will not be allowed to start your trek by the government officials. All names and numbers must match!!
Inti Sun Trek is one of the only companies to pick you up directly from your hotel. As long as your hotel is in the center of Cusco city,we will coordinate this pickup based on a time that your guide will discuss at the briefing. Pick up times may vary 30 – 45 minutes based on traffic conditions and previous pickups.
Cusco is an old city with cobblestoned streets and very narrow passageways. Very small hotels and Air BNBs are often located on streets that cars can not pass through. They also are often located up on the hillside, with long steep climbs to the property, difficult to maneuver with luggage. We highly recommend that you do not stay at one of these places.
Hiking in the Andes: Is something that everyone can do no matter their age, but it is never easy. You will need some level of fitness to be able to complete it comfortably. Each trial involves inclines that can take your breath away if you are not in shape and downhill hiking that can be tough on one’s knees. Walking sticks are recommended for everyone. Please remember the group treks are open to everyone, all abilities, so be patient and help those struggling with some kind words.
Getting to Cusco: The airport in Cusco is currently only for domestic flights, so all international travelers who arrive by plane must disembark in Lima and go through Customs. Even if your flight to Cusco is the same day by the same airline carrier, you must grab your bags in Lima and then check them back in.
The best way to get to Cusco is by air and there are several options in airlines. LATAM tends to be the most expensive but has the most options and flights.
Expect delays or flight cancellations. Due to the high altitude of Cusco, it tends to be difficult to land and any acclimate weather will stop air traffic. Bus travel is always available and while the trip can be long, especially from Lima, the buses in Peru are very well maintained and comfortable. This option is strongly encouraged if coming from a city closer to Cusco, like Puno. Lima buses will take about 20 hours to arrive.
Storage during your trek to Machu Picchu: Most of our trekkers leave their belongings that they do not want to bring on the trek in the hostel they were previously staying in. These hostels/hotels usually have a secure, locked room where you can securely store your belongings. If you do not trust your hostel, we would be more than happy to store your belongings for you in our office. Make sure your bags have some kind of identification on them so they are easy to locate.
Your Safety is our first concern: Trekking the Andes is not your typical vacation. And most of the people who hike with us have little to no experience with hiking in altitude. We understand the large responsibility we have in ensuring that you are well taken care of every step of the way.
First Aid: Each year, Inti Sun Trek guides receive training in first aid from a physician. We conduct mandatory training every February to which every single guide attends. When guiding you, they will have with them a first aid kit for basic medical problems (traveler’s diarrhea, cuts/scrapes, etc.) and oxygen. They know how to make you feel better. It is important to be very honest with your guide as soon as you are experiencing any discomfort. If you suffer from any medical conditions, please let your guide know during the briefing so he is prepared to give you extra attention, if needed.
In case something unexpected happens and you feel you can no longer complete the trek, they will figure out the safest and quickest way to bring you to a clinic. You will never be left alone and will have a member of the team escorting you during every step until you are safely brought to a doctor. When you are feeling better, we will make sure that you still have the chance to visit Machu Picchu and re-connect with your group, traveling by train comfortably.
Travel Insurance: To protect your travel investment, we highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance. Obtaining travel insurance before you leave home is strongly encouraged and very easy. This is a great way to protect yourself while visiting Peru.
Altitude: Altitude sickness is serious and has the potential to ruin your trip. The biggest mistake you can make is to fly directly to Cusco and expect to hike the next day. Give yourself several days to adjust to the altitude first. You will thank yourself for this during the trek.
The air at high altitudes contains less oxygen than at sea level and forces your body to work harder to get the oxygen it needs. Over several days at high altitude, your body adjusts to the lower amount of oxygen in the air. This is why we always recommend spending at least two days in Cusco before beginning any trek. If you have more time, it is even better. Cusco is an amazing city with a lot to do, so you won’t be bored.
With altitude sickness, you may first feel like you have the flu or a hangover. You may experience a headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, trouble sleeping or trouble breathing during exercise. If any of these effects become severe, please contact our office and we will help you get to a doctor. Altitude sickness must be taken seriously.
Most of the time, these symptoms will be mild. We always recommend easing into activity slowly, allowing your body to adjust. Drink plenty of fluids such as water or coca tea. Coca tea has been used since ancient times to help prevent altitude sickness. Leaves from the Coca Plant contain alkaloids, which helps bring oxygen into your blood, helping your body avoid the effects of altitude sickness. Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol and coffee. They will cause you to urinate more often and become dehydrated. Avoid smoking. Smoking makes it more difficult for your body to get oxygen. Avoid sleeping pills. They may cause shallow breathing at night, making it more difficult for your body to absorb oxygen while you sleep.
Your healthcare provider may prescribe medicines, such as acetazolamide and dexamethasone, to help prevent altitude sickness. Start the medicine two days before you get to a high altitude. Continue to take it while you are at high altitude.
You must remember that this is your holiday and you do not want to stress out about the possibility of getting sick from the mountains. Do everything slowly. Drink lots of water. And enjoy the coca tea. If anything does happen and you, unfortunately, get sick, let your guide know right away – all guides are trained in how to help you get through it.
Weather: Of course the weather is unpredictable. Typically the dry season in Cusco is from April through October, but this does not stop rain from falling in June or the Sun from coming out in December – just be prepared. No matter what month you are doing the trek, please make sure that you have rain gear that includes a waterproof jacket, pants, poncho, and waterproof gloves. Many people forget about gloves, but being cold and wet makes hiking very unpleasant. You will notice that there is a large variation between the minimum and maximum temperatures on the trek. In general, when the sun is out it will be very hot. In this heat, you need to drink plenty of fluids to remain hydrated. The early hours of the morning and night can be very cold. As a result, you need to be prepared for just about every weather condition.
What to wear for the trek: One of the most important investments for this trek is a sturdy pair of hiking boots. Your feet will thank you after the long trek if your shoes are well worn in and waterproof. The temperature varies throughout the trek, so it is best to dress in layers. Avoid cotton, as cotton does not dry quickly and wet clothing will be a problem when the temperatures drop pack for four seasons. Many of the treks through the Andes involve many micro-climates and you will need to be prepared for all seasons. A t-shirt, a long sleeve shirt, a sweater/microfleece, and a waterproof jacket. These items will provide you with enough warmth and will allow you to “peel off” layers as it gets warmer or your body temperature increases. Layers are always key as they are easy to adjust to the different temperatures. And evenings will always be cold, so please be prepared with a warm winter-weight jacket.
During the rainy season: Rain pants are a good idea as we will encounter a lot of mud, rivers, and rain. A plastic poncho is also great because it will keep you and your pack dry. You can also pack your belongings inside of plastic bags to ensure that your belongings stay dry.
Do I need to bring hiking boots? Hiking boots are recommended, as they provide ankle support to reduce the risk of injury, especially when trekking in the wet season (December – March). However, it is important that your boots are comfortable and well worn-in. Many people prefer to trek in tennis shoes but extra care should be taken. We do not recommend trekking in sandals, using new boots, or renting boots prior to the trek. Make sure the shoes are sturdy enough for the duration of the trek and will not fall apart.
Can I use walking sticks on the Inca Trail? Many people like to hike with trekking poles or walking sticks. This is fine as long as the poles will not cause damage to the stone paving along the Inca Trail. If the trekking poles have metal spikes, then these must be protected by rubber tips. We recommend bringing some spare rubber tips with you. These rubber protectors can be purchased in Cusco or Ollantaytambo. Wooden walking sticks are fine as long as you bring them with you from home.
Recently, government authorities have stopped trekkers from using wooden sticks that could have come from local forests to prevent deforestation of the protected Andean region.
Strikes in Peru: A popular way for the people in Peru to communicate unhappiness with the government is to strike. This area sees quite a few strikes a year that can sometimes affect the logistics involved in our tours. Most strikes are well organized and planned in advance so the office will have at least a few hours to make arrangements if needed.
Changes for logistics: Often this involves leaving for your trek the night before. Please understand we will do everything we can to get you to and from the trail and will give you the information you need as soon as we have it. We will always get you to and from the trail very safely.
Environmental Impact: We use biodegradable soap and transport all our garbage back to Cusco. Our porters are trained to look after the trail and pick up any waste from other groups as well. We also use environmentally-friendly chemical portable toilets that allow us to pack waste out. We believe in leaving no footprint behind