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This trip takes you truly to an amazing journey, from the most iconic Inca sites of the Sacred Valley to the best trails of the lesser known Vilcabamba region. We begin with a visit to Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo and Tampumachay near Cusco to explore elaborate ancient archaeological sites. Activity options on most days of our trip range from relaxed cultural exploration to challenging low altitude hikes over remote passes at the gate to the Amazon and with the final destination in one of the world’s wonders Machu Picchu.
Our trip begins today in Cusco, Peru (11,023′). Upon arrival in Cusco, you will be met by our local guide at your hotel, where you will have a brief orientation meeting. We have most of the morning to relax and acclimatize before setting out on a tour to the archaeological sites of Sacsayhuaman, Quengo and Tampumachay.
After breakfast we make our way to the colorful town of Chinchero with its colonial buildings, cobbled streets and beautiful churches. Tonight we spend our first night at Casa de Barro Lodge located at Chinchero (12,342′). All meals are included.. Easy active option (Level 2): Extended visit in Chinchero, then a guided tour of Moray Inca Agricultural Site and the Maras Salt Mines. Optional hike to Pichingoto. Walking 2-3 hours. L/D
6:00-7:00 am: Early morning pick-up at your hotel lobby by an One of our representatives..
service through the amazing Sacred Valley crossing over the 4,316m high Malaga Pass at the base of massive glaciers. The landscape is quite impressive with amazing views of the snow-capped mountains. We will stop along the road for the scramble up moraine to a spectacular viewpoint where you will see various birds of the region.. Following the tour of the Malaga Pass, you will be taken to the Huaman Marka Inca Ruins which have recently been restored. We’ll arrive in Santa Maria in time for lunch. After, we prepare ourselves for an afternoon hike in the Inca jungle trail, reaching Eco Quechua lodge at the end of the day where you will enjoy a special candlelit dinner in our riverfront restaurant. B/L/D
This day is spent at leisure for rest or activities, depending upon your preferences. The most popular activity at Eco Quechua is a nearby half-day Canopy tour. In the afternoon, guests may choose the birding tour or a visit to the hot springs. In the evening, the tour leader will brief the trekking party on gear and the itinerary for the next two days. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are taken at the Lodge. B/L/D
After an early start and a hearty breakfast, we take our vehicle approx. 30 minutes to the beginning of the Llactapata Inca Trail. We walk gradual up to the coffee farm where local coffee experts will teach you about sustainable growing practices and coffee’s vital role in Santa Teresa’s social and economic evolution. After tasting the result of the plant to cup process, we head up hill for 2-3 hours towards Llactapata pass (2, 700 m/8, 900 ft). Where we come upon a distant but quite special view of Machu Picchu from the southwest, one which few tourists ever glimpse. An added value are the Llactapata Ruins, which have recently been restored. Lunch is provided at the check out point, in view of Machu Picchu. We then begin our final descent to the Aobamba River through lush bamboo forests and more orchids and coffee plantations (2-3 hour descent). After, you can have the massage therapy for a well deserved treat after your hard work or simply relax in a hammock at the lodge, listening to the birds and the sound of the river. (Total hiking time: 6-8 hours. Hiking level: moderate to challenging). B/L/D
After breakfast you can relax a bit before heading to the station for your train to Aguas Calientes, a short (30 minutes) scenic train ride away. Today is spent exploring the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu with your tour leader. In the afternoon, we return to Aguas Calientes to board the train for our journey back to Cusco. We get off at Ollantaytambo and change to motorised transport, arriving into Cusco in the early evening. (Breakfast in your hotel; it’s recommended to purchase a box lunch before heading to Machu Picchu.) B/