Cusco and Machu Picchu Tours
Cusco lies in a region of exceptionally beautiful Andean scenery at an altitude of 3400 meters above sea level and is the gateway to Machu Picchu.
Most of central streets are lined with massive stone walls built by the Incas and now form the foundations of the Colonial Cusco. There are many places to visit; the Plaza de Armas, The Cathedral, numerous colonial churches much more ornate and better preserved than in other cities, museums, workshops and numerous Inca sites. Cusco is also the starting point for many adventure tours such as:
Sample Traditional Packages With Small Group Day Tours:
(can mix and match or request other hotels)
Day 1 - arrive Cusco, transfer to hotel, afternoon group city and nearby ruins tour - Visit the Cathedral built from 1560 to 1654 at the site of Viracocha Inca palace. It is the best example of the European art done by natives of Cusco and has the high altar plated with silver, contains masterpieces of woodcarvings and painting. The Koricancha, which displays the best Inca stonework in Cusco. Explore the ancient Indian sanctuary of Sacsayhuaman with magnificent Inca walls with massive rocks weighing up to 130 tons fitted together with absolute perfection. The amphitheatre of Qenqo, the fortress of Pukapukara and the spring-shrine of Tambomachay where water still flows by a hidden channel out of the masonry wall are also visited.
Day 2 - breakfast, then full day group tour to Machu Picchu, including lunch - guided tour of the complete city set on the mountain with terraced slopes falling away to the Urubamba river. This place for centuries was buried in jungle, until Hiram Bingham stumbled upon it in 1911. The tour includes visit to the, temples, palaces, towers fountains and after the tour you will have free time to explore on your own before returning to Cusco. The visit requires at least one day, but we highly recommend two or more days. Includes transfers in Cusco, vistadome train tickets (departs Cusco at 6am and departs Machu Picchu at 330pm), bus services in Machu Picchu up/down, lunch, guide, entrance fee.
Day 3 - breakfast, then transfer to airport
Price per person in US$ for 2017: (Marriott rates change according to season, Rate can be reduced with Expedition train instead of Vistadome, by deleting lunch at the Sanctuary lodge at Machu Picchu or by using larger group tours)
Basic with Overnight in Sacred Valley
(this would require some private tours)
Day 1 Cuzco - Sacred Valley - Met on arrival and taken to your hotel located in the Urubamba or Sacred Valley of the Incas. On the way visit the nearby ruins of Sacsahuaman, Puca-Pucara, Kenko and Tambomachay. Afterwards visit the colorful Indian Market of Pisac, famous for its Mass and market. The Mass is attended by the 'mayors' of the neighboring villages, complete in typical dress and carrying their traditional 'varayoc' or staff of office. You will also enjoy the colorful Indian market.
-The hotels in the Valley are located 60 km/37 miles from, and 500 meters/1,700 feet below the city of Cuzco. This lower elevation, plus the Valley humidity and warm climate are easier to adapt to in the high altitude.
Day 2 Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu - Cuzco Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Ollanta station to take the train to the fabulous mountaintop citadel of Machu Picchu. Upon arrival there will be a guided tour of the ruins. Lunch is included.In the afternoon return to Cuzco by train.
Day 3 Cuzco Breakfast at the hotel. Morning tour to the Koricancha or Temple of the Sun, and the narrow streets of San Blas district, the typical Indian walls of Hantunrumiyoc and seven Culebras, the stone with 12 corners, the Cathedral and the Archaeology Museum containing mummies, textiles and jewelry.
Day 4 Cuzco Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport.
Can add overnight at Machu Picchu. We can also put together any kind of a package that you want with the 2 or 4 day Inca Trail trek, jungle extensions, etc.
Other Interesting sites:
Moray - Inca Sophistication Challenges Nature.
To the south of the Urubamba River, between Chincheros and Ollantaytambo, lies the plain of Maras, some 3500 meters above sea level. Here, just 6 Km from the village of Maras, and 33 Km from Cusco, one finds a group of earthworks built on different levels, which together resemble an amphitheater. Each of these circular structures has a diameter of 150 meters, and is built from concentric agricultural terraces which diminish in size from each level to the one below. The largest structure at Moray is 150 meters deep, and is formed by seven of the above-mentioned concentric rings. These are help in place by retaining walls linked by stone steps. Irrigation channels cross the site at different levels. Moray was a center for agricultural experimentation and control for the Incas who built it. Recent scientific experiments have shown that Moray's terraces are organized into sectors, each representing a characteristic microclimate. Investigations have confirmed that widely differing temperatures are found on each platform. The difference of average annual temperature between the top and the bottom reaches about 15C. (59F) in the main depression that is about 30 m. (100 feet) deep. Due climate conditions and many other characteristics, Moray was an important center of domestication, acclimatization and hybridization of wild vegetable species that were modified or adapted for human consumption. It is clear that Moray was used as a sort of experimental research station to study the performance of different crops planed in different microclimates, enabling the Incas to develop new strains to improve crop yield.
The Maras "salt works" to which some people call "salt mines" are constituted by about 3000 small pools with an average area of 5 square meters, constructed in a slope of the Qaqawiñay mountain. People fill up or irrigate the pools during the dry season every 3 days, with salty water emanating from the natural spring located on the top of the complex, so that when water evaporates the salt contained in it will slowly solidify. That process will be carried out approximately during one month, until a considerable volume of solid salt is obtained, about 10 cms. (4 inches) high from the floor. That solid salt is beaten thus granulated, then packed is plastic sacks and send to the region's markets; today that salt began being treated with iodine, thus, its consumption is not harmful.
Basic + Sacred Valley
Day 1 - arrive Cusco, transfer to hotel, afternoon group city and nearby ruins tour (as on Basic Tour)
Day 2 - breakfast, then full day group Sacred Valley tour, including lunch. (on Sun Tue and Thu) Colorful morning markets are open, where you can purchase Peruvian weavings, jewelry, and pottery, and see a traditional Indian market where goods are traded and get an introductory view of the local diet. The Inca town of Ollantaytambo is clearly seen as a fine example of the traditional Inca City planning of Canchas or blocks, which are almost entirely intact and still occupied. The tour includes a visit to the village, terraces, temples, irrigation systems, granaries, the fortress and the temple of the Sun built by Pachacuti Inca, using Colla Indians from Lake Titicaca. We may visit the village of Chinchero if time permits. You will return at about 6-630pm
Day 3 - breakfast, then full day tour to Machu Picchu, including lunch (as on Basic Tour)
Day 4 - breakfast, then transfer to airport
Price per person in US$ for 2017: (Marriott rates change according to season, Rate can be reduced with Expedition train instead of Vistadome and by deleting lunch at the Sanctuary lodge at Machu Picchu. Can quote with hotel in Sacred Valley on day 2)
Basic + Overnight at Machu Picchu
Day 1 Cuzco - Met on arrival and transfer to your hotel. Afternoon tour of this magnificent city, a blend of Inca and Spanish Cultures, visiting the Korikancha or Temple of the Sun and the Cathedral, continuing from there to the nearby ruins of Tambomachay (Inca fountains), Puca-Pucara (the Red Fortress), Kenko (sacred site) and finally Sacsahuaman Fortress.
Day 2 Cuzco - Machu Picchu - Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to station.. Train goes through Urubamba Valley, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, to the fabulous mountaintop ruins of Machu Picchu. Full day tour with lunch included.
Day 3 Machu Picchu - Cuzco - Breakfast at the hotel. An early morning wake-up is highly recommended to appreciate the sunrise and also to explore these magnificent ruins practically by yourself. Afternoon train back to your hotel. (includes 2nd day entrance fee and round trip bus up to ruins)
Day 4 Cuzco - Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport or station.
Price per person in US$ for 2017: (Marriott rates change according to season, Rate can be reduced with Expedition train instead of Vistadome and by deleting lunch at the Sanctuary lodge at Machu Picchu. )
Piquillacta / Andahuaylillas
This is the only major pre-Inca ruin in the Cusco area. It was built by the Wari culture. There are several square kilometers of ruins to explore, a group of Adobe walls with some reconstruction in progress that looks like an ancient religious complex can be visited.
We continue to Andahuaylillas to visit one of the most extraordinary temples of Cusco region. Inside the one-nave church there are two different sections corresponding to the two stages of its construction; the present interior main arch separates them. The oldest and most adorned of Mudejar style (architectonic style mixing Arab and Christian elements, developed between the XIII to XVI centuries) is found deeper inside. The baptistery has a unique writing " I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen"; in five languages spoken at the time when the church was built: Latin, Spanish, Quechua, Pukina (an extinct language)and Aymara
Raqchi (Temple of Wiracocha)
It is 125 Km. from Cusco on road towards Puno. At and altitude of 3500 m. Raqchi is found on the right Bank of the Vilcanota River. Raqchi was a complex village with multiple constructions for various purposes; including farming terraces, Qanchas (groups of houses), Wayranas (building having only 3 walls) Colcas (storehouses), shrines, religious water fountains and other buildings, Raqchi was the most important Tambo on route to Collasuyo (today Bolivia). The main building is the Wiracocha temple is a grandiose construction for its era. Architecturally it is classified as Kallanka; that is, a large building completely covered with a thatched roofing (wood and ichu or grass); it is outwardly 92 m. (302 ft) long and 25.25 m. (83 ft) wide. Its central wall is made with very well carved stones in the base for a height of about 3 m. And adobes (sun died mud-bricks) on upwards. Today the wall has 12 m. of height but originally must have reached 16.60