This tour offers a new twist for adventure seekers. Instead of traveling straight to the train station at Aguas Calientes, the Huchuy Qosqo trek takes visitors to two of the most interesting Incan sites before boarding the train.
This trip combines the salt mines of Maras, Huchuy Qosqo(or “Little Cusco”) and Machu Picchu. On this tour, you will travel to the salt mines of Maras in the morning before you will start walking through stunning landscapes that are not often seen by tourists on the way to Huchuy Qosqo. you will spend the night in Huchuyqosqo in one of our local family lodge Then you will travel by train to reach Aguas Calientes and visit Machu Picchu on the third day.
Day 1 – Places we will visit on the first day:
Salt mines of Maras (Salinas de Maras)
The small town of Kuper
Huchuy Qosqo(little Cusco) is situated above the Valley of Urubamba and offers very spectacular views over the mountain range Cordillera de Vilcanota. (36000m/11,800ft) Where you will spend the first night
Walking distance to Huchyqosqo: 8.7 miles/14 km (5-6 hours)
Typical Weather: Warm and windy
This day is considered at moderately difficult day of trekking
Day 2 – Places we will visit on the second day:
Huchuy Qosqo Inca Site
Village of Lamay
Day 3: Machu Pîcchu
On this day we will visit Machu Picchu and returning to Cusco.
We highly recommend that you book your tour far in advance because during the peak season (May to September) Machu Picchu entrance permits and train tickets can be sold out several weeks in advance.
Day 1: Cusco – Salt Mines of Maras- Huchuy Qosqo
At 6:00 a.m., our private van will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco. We will travel for approximately 45 minutes the salt mine of Moras. At this amazing site, you can see the pans fed by saline spring water that were built on steep terraces along one side of a narrow valley. The water is sent throughout the pans by a network of channels where the water slowly evaporates leaving the salt behind. Salt has been collected from Maras since Pre-Incan times and it is thought that a collective of salt ‘miners’ has maintained the terraces and channels for hundreds of years.
We will continue our scenic journey to the amazing village of Kuper, an offshoot of the bigger town of Chincheros We will start our trek in Kuper where we will see a beautiful lagoon as we start our day’s trek. After we see the lagoon, we will continue up on an alternative path known as the Pilgrimage Way to the highest point of the trek, at an elevation of (4,100m/13,451ft). Once we reach the top, you will be able to rest and take in the magnificent views of the mountain peaks in the Sacred Valley that are over (5,000m/16,500ft) high. We will then start to walk down for 2 and a half hours until we reach HuchuyQosqo at (3600m/11800ft)
Huchuy Qosqoor (Little Cusco) is a high archaeological complex, located at an elevation of (36000m/11800fts) above sea level in the Sacred Valley.After our break in this amazing site, we will go to the logde of one of our local families to have dinner and spend the night there
Day 2: Tour in Huchuy Qosqo – Lamay – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes
In the morning after an early breakfast, we will start exploring Huchuy Qosqo After that we will descending for two hours to the small town of Lamay. From Lamay, we will take private transportion to the town of Urubamba where we will eat lunch.Then we will drive to Ollantaytambo and take a train to the town of Aguas Calientes where will have dinner After that you will discuss the plan for the next day with your guide before retiring for the night in your hotel/hostel in Aguas Calientes.
Day 3: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
After breakfast, our guide will pick you up from your hostel/hotel and lead you to the bus station where you will board a bus to the entrance of Machu Picchu. Once you arrive at Machu Picchu, you will have a 2 hour walking tour of this mysterious city, followed by free time for your own exploration.IDuring this time you can also climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain if you have reserved a ticket.
Once you have completed your exploration of one of the modern wonders of the world, you will take the bus to Aguas Calientes where you can stop for lunch. After lunch, you will go to the train station and take the train for your return trip to Cusco. Once you reach Ollantaytambo, you will be transported in a private bus back to your hotel in Cusco.
Group Tour -$480 USD per person
Group Tour -$460 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 8:20 p.m. 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.
WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO COLLABORATION
In case we do not meet the minimum group size or we do not have enough people to operate the tour ourselves, we reserve the right to occasionally collaborate with other tour operators. In these cases, the client will always be notified in advance.
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:
Pick up from your hotel
Professional tour guide who is fluent in English
All the transportation
Salt Mines of Maras entrance fees
Box lunch on the first day
Dinner on the first day
Huchuy Qosqo Entraces fee
One night in a basic logde in Huchuy Qosqo on the first night
Breakfast on the second day
Lunch on the second day
Expedition Train tickets from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
Dinner in Aguas Calientes in the second nigh
One night in a hotel in Aguas Calientes
Bus tickets from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
Breakfast on the third day
Machu Picchu entrance fees
Guided tour of Machu Picchu
Bus ticket from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes
Expedition train from Aguas Calientes
Tranportation from Ollantaytambo to your hotel in Cusco
What is not included:
-Breakfast on the first day
-Lunch and dinner on the last day
-A ticket to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (US $40) (let us know if you would like to climb either of these mountains when you book the trek)
-Tips for the guide and drivers
What to Bring:
- Original passport
- Hiking boots
- Waterproof jacket or rain poncho
- Thress t-shirts
- Hand sanitizer
- 2 Comfortable trousers
- Insect repellent
- We strongly recommend to bring your Camel Back and water canteen due to that government of Peru will not allow disposable plastic bottles anymore on the Inca trail and in Machu Picchu.
- Toiletries and toilet paper
Optional Items to Bring:
- Walking stick
- Basic first aid kit
- Extra money (We recommend that you bring some extra soles to cover expenses such as snacks, souvenirs, and drinks)
- Bathing suit for the hot springs in Aguas Calientes
How will the altitude affect me during the trek?
-This trip is mostly at high altitude and so you should spend a few days in Cusco aclimatizing to the altitude. The maximum height reached on this trek is (4050m/13,200ft.) above sea level.
Will we have a tour of the Sacred Valley on this trek?
-On this tour we do not visit the Sacred Valley sites of Chincheros, Pisac or Ollantaytambo. If you wish to see these sites you should go on a classic tour of the sacred Valley while you are staying in Cusco.
Can I hire a porter to carry some of my belongings for me?
-For the first day, you can hire a horseman to carry your belongings. Hiring a horseman will also help support the economy of the local people.
-Also, if you do not want to walk on the first day, you have the option of hiring a horse for US $60 that you can ride for the first day.
Will I have the chance to interact with the local people?
-You may encounter local children on this trip, so you can bring notebooks or pens to give them. However, please do not give them candy.
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