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From the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu !

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The ultimate itinerary to discover the Sacred Valley to the temples of Machu Picchu !
Duration illustration

Duration

8
nights
Location illustration

location

Peru
Peru
Group size illustration

Group size

From 2 to
12
Season illustration

Best season

May - September
Accommodation illustration

Accommodation

Homestays, farmstays, lodges and decent hotels
Meeting point illustration

Meeting point

Cusco
Category illustration

Category

Cultural
Trekking
Level degree illustration

Difficulty

Easy
Easy
Not really difficult, possible to do it in family with children!

Presentation

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Trekking around 3 sacred lakes, visit the Inca town of Ollantaytambo : walk to the large lake called Quimsacocha, then leave for Azulcocha. For the third lake (possibly the most exotic) to Pumacocha and a superb panoramic view of the area with Azulcocha below.

The Huchuy Qosqo trek : Visit the archaeological ruins of Huchuy Qosqo and walk a very nice trail in a canyon with waterfalls.

Inka trail from Chincheros ruins to Urquillos : head down on Inka Trail route into the Sacred Valley. Start trekking from some Inka Terraces and find great views and eucalyptus forests.

Salineras de Maras : Head off to Salineras de Maras, one of the most beautiful places in South America and discover thousands of small plots of land where salt precipates naturally forming deposits all around.

Hike to Mandor waterfalls, some of which are about 40 feet (12 m) tall. This is a peaceful place to sit and listen to birdsong. If you’re feeling up to it, you can also take a swim in one of the pools beneath the falls.

Machu Pichu : Explore Machu Picchu, one of wonders of the world. Built around 1450, and located in the Eastern Cordillera of the south of Peru, in the chain of the Andes to 2430 meters of altitude.

About the price :

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Details

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Day 1:

Transfer from downtown Cusco to San Jeronimo then hiking 6-7 hours  on the pilgrimage to the church of Señor De Huanca.  


Normally, we leave from the main square at 8am in order to transit to the neighbouring town of San Jeronimo which  is around 40 minutes outside of downtown Cusco. Please buy your snacks for lunch before the starting point. From there, (3200m) we hike up past the farms and forests of Eucalyptus for 3.5 hours on some little tough trails to  Huaccoto village 4088m. We can stop in the pampa there for snacks and picnic and then continue up to the top in 30- 45 minutes and continue through to the other side of the 4250m in another 1 hour 15 minutes we shall have our first  amazing views of the Sacred Valley below. From there, we are going down purely for 2 hours until a famous and  spectacular church. For around 350 years pilgrims have made the route every September 14. After time for photos  we transfer to Pisac (15 minutes) where we can either decide to take time for wifi in a cafe or some exploration of this  pretty town. After which, we are continuing 25 minutes further by van to the village of Amaru (4000m) and our  accommodation on a farm with the Elojidio and Rufinas family. The products from their farm they used to cook with  are all natural and organic.


Included: transportation from Cusco to the district of San Jeronimo, trek leader, transport to Pisac from end of trail, a  hearty dinner in Amaru community, bed for 1 night. Private Rooms for 2 people. a hearty breakfast the next morning.  Courtesy towels, hot showers are available too

Not included – Snacks for lunch, water. Optional visit (if time) to the ruins of Pisac


Day 2:

Trekking around the 3 lakes (optional fishing for trout)


After breakfast we need to walk 1 hour to a large lake called Quimsacocha (4000m). After some time navigating the  lake and photos we started another lake, Azulcocha (4100m) in 30 minutes without much climbing. For the third lake  (possible the most exotic, but needing to climb for 1 hour more) and 350 meters to Pumacocha and a superb  panoramic view of the area with Azulcocha below. We are return back down in 2 hours back to our viallge of Amaru  same as previous night.


Note: If you wish to reduce hiking and use time for fishing on the lake then this could also be offered at an extra cost. Photos – Lake Kimsacocha


Included – Breakfast, lunch - some snacks from our homestay, Dinner, trek leader, transport where applicable, accommodation in homestay.


Not included – Fishing on the lake for trout. About $5 per person.


Day 3:

The Huchuy Qosqo trek

This is the day for visiting the archaeological ruins of Huchuy Qosqo and walking a very nice trail in a canyon with  waterfalls.

The first part will be driving from our homestay to the Sacred Valley floor until the viallge of Lamay (famous for spit roasted guinea pig) then travelling up in a car to the ruins (2 hours in total from homestay to ruins). We have  significant time for photographing the walls and terraces of this Inka site that almost nobody visits.


Afterwards, we’ll trek about 1.5 hours to the village of Pucamarca and can take our picnic at some scenic spot there.  And then go up another 1.5 hours to the high pass and 4335m in elevation to where we can see a panoramic 360 °  view and a large lake (Qoricocha). From there, we descend downwards to Lake Piuray in 1.5 to 2 hours. At the end of the trek, we need to take a short ride from the lake to rest in the beautiful town of Chincheros where  there are many cottages offering locally handmade crafts and artisanal textile wares - our homestay will be one of  them.

Obvious Inka trails and paths are throughout this route. Lake Piuray at the end  

Such is the diversity on this route it can only be seen to be believed!


Included – Breakfast, entry fees to ruins, box lunch, Dinner, trek leader, transport where applicable accommodation  in homestay.


Not included – Extra snacks


Tonight we have the opportunity to stay at the home of Pascual, Fortunada and their 11 year old son Diego. Pascual is largely involved in the Chinchero community as one of the high member he works on his ceramics projects  as well as a potato farmer. Fortunada is an expert weaver and offers a short workshop to give you an insight to her  hand-weaving, hand-dye techniques using natural products

Fortunada and our guest learning how to dye wool naturally to prepare for weaving textiles.  


Day 4:

Inka trail from Chincheros ruins to Urquillos + afternoon workshops.


Today, we head down on Inka Trail route back into the Sacred Valley. We start trekking from some Inka Terraces and find some great views and eucalyptus forests. The descent should take us no more than 3 hours to complete.


On the second half of the day (the afternoon) we have lunch in a restaurant in the town of Urubamba, we can also take any laundry from these last days to be washed, then go to our homestay in the community of Chichubamba. Tonight we stay with Nerys and her sister Monica who run the homestay accommodation in Chichabamba and also  cacao workshop were you can roast and make artisanal chocolate, along with their neighbour Bernadiño who has his  artisanal ceramics workshop where you get to mould clay and paint designs.  


Then to our homestay in the community of Chichubamba.


Included – Breakfast, lunch, Dinner, trek leader, local transport, accommodation in homestay, towels and showers.


Not included – Extra snacks


Day 5:

Drive to Viewpoint of Salt Terraces of Maras, drive to Ollantaytambo  and trek the Patacancha valley and ruins of Pumamarca.


At around 9am we head off from our homestay and go to the viewpoint of the Salineras Salt terraces. The Salt Terraces of Maras are thousands of small plots of land where salt precipates naturally forming deposits all around, the salt is then taking and process to becoming what we have on our dinner tables in Cusco and elsewhere. Salt ornaments as well as bath-salts, spiced salts and salty chocolate are all for sale at the various shops located on-site. It may be possible to trek down to the Sacred Valley in 1 hour and have the car meet us there but there are some  discussions at this moment about whether or not to permit tourists or trekkers to pass through the route.


We then drive another 30-40 minutes alongside the river Urubamba to Ollantaytambo town. On the way, we could  offer to stop at a Chicha house – a local tavern where they make corn beer. Learning the process of the staple drink  of the Peruvian Andes


OPTIONS INSTEAD OF THE SALT TERRACES.

If you would like the opportunity to horse ride in the morning, then this can be arranged the evening before.


Price is $60 USD per person and lasts around 2 hours.


Rafting on the Urubamba river is another option – level beginner, river grade 2-3 max. 1.5 hours in river. Starts from and finishes town after Ollantaytambo.

Includes briefing safety equipment, professional raft guides, transport and  lunch. Arrangements should be made 24 hours in advance


Price is $60 USD per person and lasts 3 hours. Minimum 4 people.


At lunch, we can have in a typical restaurant and to conclude our first part of the day.


In the second part of the day, we would start around 1-1.30pm from the main square of Ollantaytambo town. We need to climb about 2 hours to get to the small Inka fort of Pumamarka. Along the way we take a gradual path, steeper in some places passing through Inka terraces, a few river crossings and some remote farm-houses. With of course some splendid viewing Time to take in the views and have some snacks at the ruins. From there it is an easy 1 hour quick descent down zigzag pathways and steps to the village of Pallata in Patacancha valley and onto or homestay community of Huilloc around 1 hour or less if we get a taxi or local van.


Included – Breakfast, lunch, entry fees, Dinner, trek leader, transport where applicable, accommodation in  homestay.

Not Included – entry to Ollantaytambo ruins.


Day 6:

Travel to Lucmabamba via the hot springs of Cocalmayo  


Today is more of a travel day but still with some time to relax at some wonderful hot springs at the end of the drive. We start around 9.30am for our family breakfast at our homestay, we need to travel back down the entire Patacancha  valley and time to the valley and onto the town of Ollantaytambo.  


Then we head up a continuously snaking road up to the pass of Abra de Malaga at 4450m with some astounding  views of the Veronica glacier if clear enough (can often be misty) and dramatic scenery behind us. We then glide  down the other side into the denser vegetation which soon transforms into more tropical like growth, banana  plantations quickly appear everywhere and humidity becomes suddenly obvious.


Snaking roads on one side, and Banana plantations on the other

We stop for a buffet lunch in beautiful surroundings and a chance to visit a small Inka site called Huamanmarca. In the afternoon, we will get to the hot-springs of Cocalmayo where we can relax until sunset.

We then head to the community of Lucmabamba and stay next to the coffee plantations with Sonia, Walter and their  children Rodrigo (7) and Bridget (10).


Included – Breakfast, lunch, hot-springs entry fees, Dinner, trek leader, transport where applicable, accommodation  in homestay, towels and showers.


Day 7:

Tour of the coffee plantations and trek part Inka Trail to ruins of  Llactapata. Lodge & Machu Picchu panoramic viewpoint.


In the morning, we start with an interactive coffee tour with the native people of the area and demonstrate the  traditional methods of which they organically cultivate their coffee plantations. There will be opportunity for everyone to toast and grind the coffee beans as well as try their organic coffee. You can buy products from them if you wish.


We will then continue through the coffee and banana plantations, we can also look out for granadillas - a member of  the passion fruit family, yucca and avocados. After lunch, A walk uphill of around 700m and 3 hours takes you  through beautiful garden-like scenery. Fruit trees, flowers, coffee and banana plantations are in abundance. Some of  the paths are ancient Inka trails and in just over 3 hours with stops you should arrive at the most wonderful view over Machu Picchu. Here there are some Inka Tambos (Small rest houses) known by the name as Llactapata. We walk  from here down until 15 minutes to our rustic mountain lodges.


Llactapata was supposedly an Inka site or religious temple with incredible energies. We try to appreciate this  remarkable site and view point to Machu Picchu by getting there when there are no groups and it will be peaceful.  We then descend with another 30 minutes to our simple lodges but incredible viewpoints that offer what is hopefully an amazing panoramic for both the sunset and sunrise.

Ascent: 3-3.5 hours/4.5 mile’s – 6900ft to 8950ft. Descent: 0.5 hours/1 mile 8950m – 8530ft



Included – Breakfast, box-lunch, coffee tour, Dinner, trek leader, transport where applicable, accommodation, towels  and showers.


Day 8:

Trek from Llactapata to Hidroelectrica and hike to Mandor waterfalls  on the railway to finish in Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu village.


After breakfast, we hike downhill for 2 hours to the start of the railway known as ‘hidroelectrica’. Around 10, we can  continue on a flat section along the railway for 2 hours.


Lunch will be taken at a spot about half-way along the railway - there could be the option to detour at some local  waterfalls known as ‘Mandor garden’. depending on time and trek stamina.


We should arrive to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu village) by late afternoon. At this time we can relax once  checked into the hotel. We offer a free evening to decide where you want to eat as dinner is not included for the final  evening. We will arrange for the guide to meet you in reception at some time in the evening so you have the plan  fresh for the next morning when you go to Machu Picchu.

Descent: 2 hours/3.5 miles – 8530ft to 6590ft + Level walking: 3 hours/6.5 miles


Note: There is a train to take 2 times daily to get to Machu Picchu village in 1 hour. It is an extra cost of $33  USD and can be purchase on the day. 3pm is the only ideal train.

Accommodation: Aguas Calientes decent hostal. Mantu Boutique 3 star,  


Included – Breakfast, lunch, trek leader, transport where applicable, accommodation, towels and showers Not included – entry to waterfalls, dinner


Day 9:

Machu Picchu guided visit and return by train and road to Cusco


Today is the day to visit the ruins of Machu Picchu. We start after breakfast around 7.30am before taking a 25 minute  shuttle bus to the main entrance where we meet our guide and go inside to explore and some personal time with  photos. We then proceed on a tour of the main citadel with the guide and the most important parts of this Inka city. Our time-slot only allocates us a few hours to enjoy, but with an early start people will be getting hungry early too, so  we can head down to get lunch in town and then board our train at 2.30, 2.55, or 3.20pm to get as back to

Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley in 1.5 hours, then a 2 hour drive by road onto Cusco for a reasonable hour  around 6-7pm so time to eat out in the evening once back.


 

Included – Breakfast, Machu Picchu guided tour, Machu Picchu entry ticket, shuttle bus up to ruins, train to Sacred  Valley, transfer from train stations to Cusco

Not included – Huayna Picchu entry permit ($20 USD – subject to availability), return shuttle bus ($12 USD), train  upgrades such as Vistadome, lunch or dinner.  



Included:


  • 8 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners + some snacks/water provided on trek days (except day 1)
  • 8 nights accommodation in a mix of homestays, farmstays, lodges and decent hotels  Trek Guide assistance to lead, coordinate, translate, 2nd guide after 7 trekkers  Entry fees to Salt Terraces, Huchuy Qosqo
  • Transport (some local/private van) depending on route and logistics for duration of entire trip  Local workshops – traditional agriculture, organic coffee production, corn beer (chicha brewing),  weaving, ceramics, cacao
  • Hot springs visit + entry fee
  • Boiled water provided at homestays daily
  • Guided tour in Machu Picchu sanctuary
  • Entry fee to Machu Picchu sanctuary
  • Shuttle bus up to the Machu Picchu sanctuary
  • Expedition train back from Machu Picchu village to Ollantaytambo
  • Private van back to Cusco


Not included:  

  • Trip insurance – please do get as required for period of your trip.
  • International, national airfares to get to Cusco.
  • Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain entry permit if extending from Machu Picchu ($20 per person)
  • Any train upgrades. Extra train on day 8 into Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu village).  Shuttle bus back down ($12 USD) or walk down in 1 hour 20 minutes).  Optional excursion to discuss and planned when here including – White-water Rafting,  Horse-riding, ATV-Quad-bike, Zip-lining, Paragliding.
  • Any other meals or accommodations out-with the presented itinerary or dates.   Extra night in Cusco before or after treks (can be arranged)

YOUR ECOLODGE

Your guide

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Matt

Yaneth

Matt is originally from Scotland and traveled to many countries before settling in Peru in 2006 as a Tour Leader responsible for groups of tourists from all over the world. He has more than 300 treks to his credit !


He has worked for years as a volunteer for the famous association: South American Explorers (founded in 1977 by the journalist Donald James Montague). He was the last one to fight to keep the Cusco agency open, but it wasn't enough, so he is independent now.


Considered as a unique explorer, as are those who book with him. His hikes meander through unfamiliar trails, you'll never read about in the Lonely Planet. As they say, "the best views come after the hardest climb," and with Matt, you'll see the authentic side of this often overlooked South American gem.


Yaneth is Peruvian and has been a Tour Leader for over 13 years in Peru ! She started as a volunteer for the South America Explorers association, then participated in many projects to support sustainable development on a large scale. She is in charge of all operational aspects, ready to make your trip a dream come true !



Matt

Matt

Matt is originally from Scotland and traveled to many countries before settling in Peru in 2006 as a Tour Leader responsible for groups of tourists from all over the world. He has more than 300 treks to his credit !


He has worked for years as a volunteer for the famous association: South American Explorers (founded in 1977 by the journalist Donald James Montague). He was the last one to fight to keep the Cusco agency open, but it wasn't enough, so he is independent now.


Considered as a unique explorer, as are those who book with him. His hikes meander through unfamiliar trails, you'll never read about in the Lonely Planet. As they say, "the best views come after the hardest climb," and with Matt, you'll see the authentic side of this often overlooked South American gem.


Yaneth is Peruvian and has been a Tour Leader for over 13 years in Peru ! She started as a volunteer for the South America Explorers association, then participated in many projects to support sustainable development on a large scale. She is in charge of all operational aspects, ready to make your trip a dream come true !


Yaneth

Yaneth

South Andes Travel


Reviews

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Valentin C

Amazing trip to Peru (M&friends)

Alright folks! Is what Matt will tell you before embarking on a uniquely beautiful experience.Traveling with Matt as our trusted guide and his lovely family has been a real treat. He is very knowledgeable about Peruvian culture and history and had every day and activity well planned ahead. Matt was very patient with us and flexible to changing some parts of our trip.For an amazing trip to Peru, you can choose Matt and his team with confidence!Muchas gracias Matt, Feli & Theo!Stefan, Raluca & Valentin

...

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Global72497

M& friends. Tks Matt!

Do not hesitate to trust Matt, he will try to satisfy any desire. He is the kind of person who makes things seem easier. A beautiful family that helped us have a dream vacation. Tks Matt, Feli and Theo and good Luck for the future!!

...

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Ioan D

Hellooo folks, this is not a trip, it is an experience!!

Traveling in Peru with Matt and his family was like a dream come true. In two weeks we covered more than we expected, from the Amazonian Jungle, to cities like Cusco, Arequipa and Lima; from Machu Piccu to the Rainbow Montain; from living in fancy hotels to living with locals and metting shamans.Our group is traveling a lot. Many of us are almost 'professional holidaymakers'. We all agree that Matt is unique in this line of business. He is always available, full of energy and information about the places we visit, full of humour and laid back and, above all, full of resources for solving all problems. And believe me, we had quite a few of those, including the C word ( covid). Afterall, we all enjoyed to the maximum and returned back home ready to resume life.If you want a full experience of Peru, we strongly recommend Matt's team. Enjoy!!

...

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