Category: Adventure, culture, trekking, and ecology
Duration: 2 days
Languages: English, Spanish
Minimum Group Size: 2 people
Maximum Group Size: 20 people
Please Note: We highly recommend that you book your tour in advance because during the peak season (May to September), Machu Picchu entrance tickets and train tickets often sell out several weeks in advance.
Places visited: Combapata Overlook, Q’eswachaka Inca Bridge, Pampamarca, Asnacqocha, Acopía and Pomacanchi Lagoons.
Weather: Warm and sunny, breezy by the lagoons
Maximum Altitude: 3,800 meters (12,467 ft)
Places visited: Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu
Weather: Warm and humid, semitropical
Maximum Altitude: 2,430 meters (7,972 ft)
Day 1: Cusco – Q’eswachaka Inca Bridge – Four Lagoons – Cusco – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes
The tour begins with the pick-up from your accommodation between 4:30 and 4:45 am. If your hotel or hostel is not located in the city center, we will pick you up from the doorway of our office building. Once the whole group is gathered, around 5:00 am, we will start our journey in our private transportation.
We will then have a two hours hour van journey to the town of Combapata, where we will have our local breakfast (made of local cereals like quinoa, quiwicha, maca). After this will continue drive for 15 minutes until we will get the Combapata viewpoint, from which we will enjoy the beautiful landscapes and see where the Salcca River meets the Vilcanota, the Sacred River of the Incas.
Then, we will continue our journey to Yanaoca, one of the eight districts in the Canas province of Cusco. From Yanaoca, we will drive thirty minutes more to the Q’ewe district. From there, you will have your first glimpse of the ancient bridge suspended between the steep rock cliffs, as we drive down the Apurimac canyon.
We will then leave the car and descend a steep path to a viewpoint to take photos, before carefully crossing the bridge together! Get ready for the adrenaline rush of a lifetime as you make your way across the swaying bridge, and try not to look too closely at the river several meters below! On the other side, the bridge attendant will greet us and give a brief demonstration of the bridge’s history and construction.
After visiting the bridge, we will drive to the region’s where the four famous lakes are: Pampamarca, Asnacqoccha, Acopia, and Pomacanchi. Set like jewels among the gold-green hills, they shine in the warm, afternoon sun as native flamingos and other birds fly and feed around their edges. We will stop in one of the lakeshores to set our picnic blanket and enjoy our picnic.
After the picnic, we will return to Cusco in our private transportation, and then, drive for another one and a half hour to get to Ollantaytambo. From there, you will take the 7:30 pm train to Aguas Calientes, where you will spend the night in a hostel. The hostel can be upgraded to a hotel if you prefer. We will discuss what time you would like to wake up the next morning for your tour to Machu Picchu.
Day 2: Full day tour in Machu Picchu – Ollantaytambo – Cusco
After breakfast, our guide will pick you up from your hostel / hotel and lead you to the bus station where you will board the bus up to Machu Picchu. In Machu Picchu, you will have a two-hour guided tour through all of the most important sites in Machu Picchu: the Main Square, Round Tower, Sacred Solar Clock, Royal Rooms and Temple of the Three Windows, among others. After the tour, you will benefit from free time to explore the ruins further, hike to the Sun Gate, or eat lunch back in Aguas Calientes (Please note that lunch and dinner are not included in this tour).
In the evening, you will board the return train to Ollantaytambo in Aguas Calientes (please be in the Aguas Calientes station at least thirty minutes before your train is scheduled to depart). A car will be waiting at Ollantaytambo station to take you back to Cusco.
Price: $360.00 USD per person
Student Discount $20
Under 18 Discount $20
Under 7 Discount $50
Important Notice Regarding Student Discount Eligibility
We offer a student discount (USD $20.00). However, due to several incidents of users falsifying personal data, the ISIC card is no longer valid for purchasing a discounted tour. As of July 1, 2017, the rules for purchasing student tickets to Machu Picchu have changed: discounts are only available with presentation of a student visa granted by the Peruvian embassy or consulate in the student´s country of origen and/or by the National Superintendent of Migrations. These documents must be provided at the time of purchase; discounts cannot be applied retroactively and refunds or reimbursements in this case are not available. Please send us a scan or photocopy of your passport, student visa, and university ID card or transcript so that we are able to secure your discount.
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES IN MACHU PICCHU
Huayna Picchu Mountain $25
Machu Picchu Mountain $25
Included / Not Included
- Pick-up from your accommodation and drop-off near the main square both days
- Professional English and Spanish-speaking tour guide
- Transportation to the Four Lagoons, Q’eswachaka Inca Bridge and Machu Picchu
- Breakfast and lunch box during the Q’eswachaka tour (vegetarian options available)
- Entrance fee for Q’eswachaka bridge
- Round trip train tickets between Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes
- One night accommodation in Aguas Calientes (This can be upgraded if you let us know at the time you book the tour)
- Round trip bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
- Machu Picchu entrance ticket
- Guided tour of Machu Picchu
- Bus / Car transfer from Ollantaytambo to your accomodation in Cusco
- First aid kit
- Tips for your guide and driver
- Breakfasts and dinners
- Lunch and dinner in Aguas Calientes
- Entrance to the Aguas Calientes hot springs (10 soles)
- Tickets to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain
What to Bring:
- Small daypack (20L reccommended)
- Original passport (needed to enter Machu Picchu)
- Warm jacket
- Rain jacket or poncho
- Insect repellent
- Extra money for lunches and shopping
- Bathing suit for hot springs in Aguas Calientes (optional)
How long will we be traveling before we arrive in Ollataytambo?
You will be traveling for approximately 3 hours before you arrive in Ollantaytambo.
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.
Please, note that we will not combine you with a group from another tour company.
What kind of hostel does Inti Sun Trek use for this trek?
At Inti Sun Trek, we always book through the Continental, El Tambo or Machu Picchu hostels, which offer private double rooms. These hostels offer comfortable beds, hot water for showering, WiFi, and breakfast.
Please, note that we guarantee these hostels only if you book your trip 2 months in advance. Otherwise we may be forced to offer you an alternative hostel to stay in.
Can I upgrade the hostel to a hotel in Aguas Calientes?
Every traveler 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
2) Ask our agency to do it for you.
If you wish to book a hostel independently, a $10 USD discount is given per person off the tour price. You can use this money to pay for an alternative hostel.
What time does the train depart back from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo on Day 2?
Your return train to Cusco is the Expedition train, which departs either at 7:00pm or 8:20 pm. We can also book an earlier train (2:55 pm, 4:35 p.m, or 6:20 pm) if you prefer, at an extra cost of $25 USD. The train we will book depends on availability and will be confirmed at your briefing. There is also an option to upgrade your train to the Vistadome train, at an extra cost of $65 USD per person. Please let us know your preference at the moment you book your tour. Unfortunately, none of the trains go straight to Cusco—they return either to Ollantaytambo or Poroy. In either case, we will transfer you by bus to your accommodation in Cusco.
How long will we be traveling before arriving in Cusco?
You will be traveling for approximately 3 hours before you arrive back in Cusco. First, you will be traveling for 1 and a half hour on a train before you arrive in 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 to avoid confusion. If you do not see the driver initially, just wait for them outside of the train station. Once the driver has picked you up, you will travel for another 1 and a half hour in a private van / car before you arrive back to your accommodation in Cusco. Arrival time in Cusco will depend on train availability. You will receive your return train tickets once your guide has finished your guided tour of Machu Picchu.
Can I change my return train ticket?
It may still be possible to make changes to your return train ticket if you don’t want to take the train you originally booked. 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 another one. You will probably be asked to pay an extra administrative fee, which will depend on the train service and departure time. Changing the ticket will be subject to availability.
What if I want to hike Huayna Picchu?
Only 400 people can climb this mountain per day. If you are interested in climbing Huayna Picchu, tickets need to be booked in advance. The price for the ticket is US $25. It is recommended to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain at 10:00 a.m. Otherwise, you will miss the walking tour of Machu Picchu.
Health and Safety
All our participants are required to inform us of any illness or injury which could affect them or the group during the tour. Although our guides carry first aid kits, we strongly recommend that you bring any personal medications you may need. We also suggest that you consult your doctor before reserving the tour.
Where can I store my things during the tour?
Anything you do not want to bring with you on the tour can be safely left in your accommodation. Most hotels and hostels have safes to protect your belongings. However, if you do not feel comfortable leaving your things there, you may also bring them to our office for safekeeping during the tour.
Are all activities on the tour mandatory? How flexible are itineraries?
We are committed to providing you an ideal experience in Peru. Therefore, if there are any adjustments you would like to make to reflect your fitness level, lifestyle, or personal interests, we are happy to help! Our itineraries are reasonably flexible and activities can be removed or substituted as necessary.
Can I cross the Q’eswachaka bridge?
Yes! All visitors are welcome and encouraged to cross the bridge. However, this is not recommended for visitors with vertigo.
What is the length of the Q’eswachaka Bridge?
The bridge is approximately 28 meters (99 feet) long and 1.2 meters (4 feet) wide.
Should I bring extra water?
Water is provided at meals. However, you should also carry a refillable water bottle with you to prevent dehydration.
How much time will I need to acclimate to the altitude before my tour?
We recommend at least two days in Cusco to sufficiently acclimate before the tour begins.
When do I need to pay the balance for my tour?
We require everyone to be in Cusco at least two nights prior the start of the tour, although three nights is even better. You must pay your tour balance at least two days before the tour departure. For example, if your tour departs on a Monday you must come to our office before 7:30 pm on Saturday to pay the tour balance. This ensures that everyone in the group is well acclimatized to the high altitude before starting the trek.
Where will I be dropped off at the end of the Machu Picchu tour?
Upon your return from Aguas Calientes, you will be dropped off in the city center. Traffic regulations prohibit large buses/van from entering the main square but usually after 10:oopm we don’t have a problem and will be able to drop you off in the main square upon your return. You can then take a taxi back to your hotel (between US$2 to US$4 for a ride).
If we have to drop you off in Plaza San Francisco, you may be a bit disoriented (some people may need to be woken up!) but we recommend that you ask for directions to the Plaza de Armas and our guide or driver will be happy to help. The Plaza San Francisco is only two blocks away from the Plaza de Armas, but usually, as we arrive late at night, we can also walk together as a group back to the Plaza de Armas to take a taxi from there.
How far in advance should I book my tour?
We recommend that you book your tour approximately two months in advance. This allows you maximum choice in selecting the details of your day at Machu Picchu; morning entrances to the site are extremely popular and sell out quickly. It is also possible to book your tour closer to your expected travel date, but keep in mind that your options might be more limited.
Is transportation to and from the Cusco airport included?
No, transportation to and from the airport is not included in your tour. Please plan accordingly.
What is the difference between the three circuits at Machu Picchu?
As of July 1, 2017, visitors to Machu Picchu must follow one of three circuits through the site with their guide. Circuit 1 is the most physically demanding, and follows the classic route through the upper portion of the site before curving down to the lower portion. Circuits 2 and 3 will take you through the middle and lower portions of the site. You must choose which circuit you want when you buy your ticket.
What is the difference between Machu Picchu Mountain and Huayna Picchu?
Huayna Picchu is the small mountain behind the Machu Picchu ruins, which can be seen in the background of nearly every photography of Machu Picchu. A limited amount of visitors are allowed to hike the mountain per day for an additional cost. Entrances must be booked several months in advance and cannot be booked separately from your entrance ticket to the Machu Picchu archeological site.
Machu Picchu Mountain is the other peak at the Machu Picchu site which is available for visitors to hike for an additional cost. It is usually not visible in any photographs of Machu Picchu. The steep ascent takes about an hour and a half to complete, and ends at the mountain´s 3,082 m (10,111 ft) peak, where there are incredible views of the region. Four hundred visitors a day are allowed on this trek. Like Huayna Picchu, entrances must be booked in advance and cannot be booked separately from your entrance ticket to the Machu Picchu archeological site.
Is there a direct train from Cusco to Machu Picchu?
The train travels between the town of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley and Aguas Calientes, a small town located fifteen minutes below the Machu Picchu complex. The journey from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes is one hour and forty minutes. (The return journey will be about three and a half hours, because the drive from Ollantaytambo station to Cusco is about an hour and forty minutes). From Aguas Calientes, it is either a fifteen minute bus ride or a one hour and a half hike up to Machu Picchu. There is no direct train from Cusco to Machu Picchu. Although there is an additional station located at Poroy, about 25 minutes from Cusco, it is not always open. Train service from Ollantaytambo, meanwhile, is constant and reliable. Furthermore, taking the train from the Poroy station extends the total length of your journey between Cusco and Aguas Calientes to more than four hours, instead of three and a half.
What vaccines do I need for my trip? Will I need malaria pills?
Before traveling to Peru, you should consult your doctor. Routine vaccines, Hepatitis A, and typhoid vaccines are recommended for most travelers by the CDC. Some travelers may also need vaccines for Hepatitis B, rabies, and yellow fever. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should also be advised that the Zika virus is present in Peru.
Malaria pills are not necessary for these treks.
Do you recommend a rain poncho, or is a rain jacket okay?
The rainy season in Cusco is generally from November to April, when there are near-daily showers and the ground—especially in trekking areas—is wet and muddy. However, there are occasional showers throughout the rest of the year; you should always pack a rain jacket, regardless of when you plan to visit. A poncho is not necessary for the day trip to Machu Picchu, though they can easily be purchased for about $1.50/5 soles in Cusco.
What documents do I need to bring to Machu Picchu?
As of July 1, 2017, you must have your original passport to enter Machu Picchu. You also need to have your entrance ticket, which your guide will give to you at the appropriate time. The passport that you bring to Machu Picchu must be the same one that you used to book your tour and entrance; if you change or renew your passport between booking and your trip, please be sure to bring the originals of both.