Traditions are the back stairs of history. In Lares, you’ll have the opportunity to get in touch with one of the most isolated and self-sustainable traditional communities, visit their houses, see how they live and reconnect yourself with nature. Leaving your footprint along the short Inca Trail will not only be an exciting experience but will leave a footprint in the heart of the people you will meet along the way.
Day 1: Welcome to Peru. Overnight Lima.
Day 2: Cusco city tour and Visit nearby archaeological site Sacsayhuaman.
Day 3: Travel to the Sacred Valley and visit the Inca ruins of Moray and the salt mines of Maras. Overnight in the Sacred Valley.
Day 4,5: Horseback ride for three hours and then hike camping for two nights. Visit the community of Cancha Cancha and the Lares Valley.
Day 6: Complete the hike and transfer to the Sacred Valley.
Day 7: Take the train from Ollantaytambo and arrive at Km #104. Hike the Short Inca Trail, stopping first at Wiñay Wayna ruins and then Machu Picchu. Overnight in Aguas Calientes.
Day 8: Guided tour of Machu Picchu and then take the train back to Ollantaytambo and bus to Cusco.
Day 9: Airport transfer Cusco.
Day 1: Welcome to Peru. Upon arrival in Lima, your Travelution Peru host will escort you to the nearby Wyndham Costa Del Sol Hotel at Lima’s airport. If you arrive early, we can arrange optional Lima tours and trips to nearby sites to fill your time. With most international flights arriving quite late and flights to Cusco departing early, staying in an airport hotel will allow you to maximize your sleep so you can begin your vacation feeling well-rested.
Day 2 Cusco: City tour and archaeological sites. In the morning you will be taken from your hotel to the airport for a morning flight to Cusco (10,856 ft.), center of the Inca Empire. After checking in at your hotel, today’s Peru travel begins with a guided walking tour through the colorful markets of Cusco, making stops at the colonial cathedral and the impressive Incan Temple of the Sun (Koricancha), followed by a lunch of regional cuisine. You will spend the afternoon in the Inca heartland in the vicinity of Cusco. Among the important sites you’ll visit are Cusco’s temples; Sacsayhuaman, a fortress with megalithic stone terraces; the stone Kenko containing subterranean altars; Puka Pukara, a small fortress that once protected the royal capital; and the royal baths of Tambomachay. You’ll be returned to your hotel for the first free evening in colonial Cusco. (B)
Day 3: Over the Andes to the Sacred Valley. We leave Cusco and head to the Chinchero Plateau to explore Chinchero, an important town in Inca times. The most striking remnant of this period is the massive stone wall in the main plaza, which has 10 trapezoidal niches, and the colonial church. Next, we’ll proceed to the enigmatic Inca ruins at Moray. Visually, these stepped-terrace ruins resemble an ancient amphitheater, though some experts believe they served as agricultural laboratories where the Incas could experiment with new farming techniques. Enjoy a delightful picnic lunch, where we can savor dishes made with locally grown produce. Visit the salt mines of Maras. This village is a salt-producing center that dates back all the way to pre-Inca times. There are more than 4,000 salt pools carved into the mountain. (B,L)
Day 4: Sacred Valley to Cancha Cancha.Our day starts very early with a short ride to Huaran, where we meet our horsemen and horses. Time to saddle up, pull our boots on, and begin our first three hours, gradually ascending to Cancha Cancha. There we replenish our energy for our trek ahead with a delicious lunch prepared by our trekking chef. Cancha Cancha, being an isolated and self-sustainable community that is traditional to the core, has no bus route or electricity. Reestablish your connection with nature and the realness of life with the locals as they share their homes. It would be greatly appreciated if you could share some toys, old useful clothes, notebooks, fruit or any other items with the locals. Two hours later we have completed our first trekking day and arrive at our campsite. Boots off, time to enjoy high tea with amazing views of the frozen Andean peaks. After dinner our guide will show you the Inca Constellations, on which they depended on for their agricultural guidance – and still rely on them today. (B,L,D)
Day 5: Cancha Cancha to Quishuarani.Feeling all revved up on our second day and having had a delicious breakfast, we begin our four-hour hike northeast, an intense trek passing over three high passes to the highest point of our trek called Pachacutec Pass. (4700 m/15,420 ft). This is the time to pat yourself on the back and embrace the feeling of total exhilaration and self-achievement, having reached the summit. Compensating for the tough trek are the views of the rigid glaciers, shockingly blue glacial lakes, llamas, rugged valleys and undulating farmlands. After a time to enjoy the 360º defree views, we descend for an hour, taking lunch by the mirrored glacial lake, with picturesque views of the Lares Valley and plenty of llamas and alpacas. After a siesta time, we descend for two hours until we reach our campsite located by the Kiswarani community. (3700 m/12,139ft). (B,L,D)
Day 6: Quishuarani to Sacred Valley. Today, we explore the village of Quishuarani and see how the locals work the land; we’ll meet some locals and then continue the hike for two hours. Our private bus will be waiting; the ride is outstanding and we’ll see the phuyas de raymondy that blooms once every hundred years. We’ll descend from two hours and arrive at our comfortable hotel, (B,L)
Day 7: Short Inca Trail and Arrive to Mapi. A 7 a.m. train departure from Ollantaytambo gets you to station Km #104. After registering at the checkpoint, you’ll begin the three-hour hike to Wiñay Wayna, during which you’ll see ruins, waterfalls and many varieties of flora and fauna. You’ll take lots of photos on this picturesque stretch of your Peru tour. Spend one to two hours exploring the beautiful Wiñay Wayna ruins. From here it is a two-hour walk to Machu Picchu. You will arrive at the famous ruins in the late afternoon when there are few visitors. After a brief tour, transfer by bus to Aguas Calientes, where you’ll spend the night at a charming hotel. The evening is free to explore this small village and soak in the hot springs. (B,L)
Day 8: Guided tour of Machu Picchu; Free Time to Explore or Hike Huayna Picchu. We have an early breakfast and head up to the ruins to experience the peace and solitude of this magical place. Our knowledgeable guide leads us through, explaining the significance of the various structures and the theories behind Machu Picchu’s purpose and construction methods. We have the rest of the morning and early afternoon to attempt the optional hike up Huayna Picchu and/or explore the ruins on our own. We catch the afternoon tourist train to Ollantaytambo and from there take the bus to Cusco, arriving at approximately 7 p.m. The day concludes with our guide joining us for a final celebration dinner at a traditional local restaurant. Overnight in Cusco. (B)
Hiking: Optional Huayna Picchu hike may be unguided and is steep with some exposure. Permits are limited. An alternative optional hike may be available if Huayna Picchu permits cannot be obtained.
Day 9: Transfer to Airport in Cusco. After breakfast, transfers back to the Cusco airport will be arranged for travelers departing today. Trip members can opt to return to Lima for connecting flights home or extend their travels in Peru. (B)
Lodging in Aquas Calientes
The only hotel located at the entrance to Machu Picchu, this stylish retreat lets you beat the citadel’s crowds.
Sitting in the shadows of the Lost City, our lodge is an oasis of calm before or after a day exploring Machu Picchu. Unwind with a yoga session, take part in a traditional shaman ceremony in the garden, or sip Muña tea in Tampu Bar. Tranquility, wonder and beauty are at the heart of our unique experience.
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel occupies a private five-hectare (12-acre) mountainside reserve, located at the foot of Machu Picchu Mountain, near the Machu Picchu Pueblo railroad station. With the look and feel of a rustic Andean Village, this welcoming retreat offers travelers an authentic travel experience, in an atmosphere of refinement and thoughtful hospitality.
The spectacular grounds are laced with paths that wind past waterfalls and gardens and trails that wander through wild forest. This is a place to relax, while exploring nature and encountering the wonders of the Inca civilization in an atmosphere of refinement, caring, and warm hospitality.
Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel, named one of South America’s best hotels by Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure, is located at the foot of the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu near the beautiful Vilcanota River, and offers impressive views of the mountains and landscapes. Recently refurbished with a contemporary interior inspired by thousands of years of Andean culture, Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel offers five-star personalized luxury service, innovative Peruvian cuisine and a relaxing spa that features traditional indigenous treatments. Cultural experiences that highlight mystic connections with local traditions include an authentic Andean wedding ceremony and exploring Machu Picchu with a shaman.
The luxury property features 62 exquisitely appointed rooms and suites, including one imperial suite, two junior suites and 59 standard rooms. An array of special experiences is included, among them a culinary demonstration and, for children, mini-chef classes and Andean tales. Sumaq has been awarded Rainforest Alliance certification for its focus on sustainability and has received a certificate of excellence from TripAdvisor for five consecutive years.
Tierra Viva Cusco Machu Picchu Hotel’s strategic location ensures our guests the best experience possible of the amazing Inca citadel. Our facilities are located in the quietest area of Aguas Calientes, facing the Urubamba River and surrounded by the Forest of Clouds.
EL MAPI INKATERRA
Step into the smart, contemporary and cozy confines of El MaPi, amid the hustle and bustle of Machu Picchu Pueblo (formerly Aguas Calientes), where you can admire and interact with the quaint, folksy town and glimpse a unique perspective. Discover an efficient, lively and people-friendly atmosphere; you are welcomed along with other global guests expecting an unfussy, down-to-earth break. Relax in a pleasant and wholesome ambience after your enlightening visit to Peru’s most distinguished destination, the Machu Picchu archaeological site.
CASA ANDINA STANDARD MACHUPICCHU
Casa Andina Standard Machu Picchu is a modern and friendly hotel that offers a convenient location in Aguas Calientes (a small town) to the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu and to the train station.
The hotel has 53 new and comfortable rooms with ceiling fans (no air conditioning); some of the rooms have river views that will allow you to have the necessary tranquility to rest and recover your energy to enjoy the tour of the citadel.
Among the services we offer are: free Wi-Fi in lobby, room service, breakfast buffet with free extras, internet center and transportation (please contact the front desk).
Lodging in Cusco
INKATERRA LA CASONA
The first boutique hotel in Cusco, Inkaterra La Casona is located in the traditional Plaza de las Nazarenas, surrounded by vibrant, cobblestoned streets. This 16th-century manor house stands on the training grounds for an elite army of Incas, and had Spanish Conquistador Diego de Almagro and “Libertador” Simón Bolívar among its illustrious guests.
After being harmoniously restored by Inkaterra through five years, emphasizing its original architecture, Inkaterra La Casona reflects the encounter of cultures and traditions across centuries. Surrounding the main patio, its 11 suites are provided with chimneys, heated floors and extra-large bathtubs. Its halls are decorated with colonial furniture, pre-Columbian textiles and original murals.
The Yacu therapy room offers custom treatments and, like the manor’s dining room, uses products derived from local sources. Those who sleep within the stone walls, beneath the exposed beams, gain a deeper understanding of the city’s cultural heritage.
Your “Once upon a time…” journey starts here
Built on Inca foundations, rich history meets modern indulgence in Cusco’s fairytale hideaway.
We’ve preserved all that is precious: original Inca stonework, colonial frescos and gold-framed paintings. And yet, upon entry, a contemporary Cusco comes to the fore. Discover a fabulous spa, the city’s first outdoor pool and daring cuisine from leading Peruvian chefs.
BELMOND HOTEL MONASTERIO
Historic charm with a modern twist.
Uncover the secrets of Cusco with a stay in one of its most cherished landmarks.
Moments from Plaza de Armas is an ancient monastery that has been at the heart of the city for centuries. Dine by candlelight among the cloisters; explore interiors rich with art and antiques; uncover the secrets of Peru’s national drink with a pisco lesson. Belmond Hotel Monasterio is a true jewel in the treasure trove of Cusco.
JW MARRIOT EL CONVENTO CUSCO
Embrace a truly unique stay at JW Marriott El Convento Cusco. Our hotel offers a delightful blend of historic grandeur and modern comfort. Housed in a restored 16th-century convent in the heart of Cusco, our boutique hotel features two exhibition halls with ancient Peruvian artifacts. Explore the area from our hotel, with convenient access to local attractions, such as the historic center of the city of Cusco and Plaza de Armas.
At the end of a busy day, find sanctuary in our sophisticated rooms and suites featuring a range of thoughtful amenities, including elegant marble bathrooms, deluxe bedding, mini-bars and an oxygen-enriched system to relieve altitude sickness. Awake refreshed before heading to our spa for a revitalizing treatment with centuries-old Incan healing regimens. When hunger strikes, visit Qespi Restaurant and Bar, widely considered to be one of the best restaurants in Cusco, to enjoy an elegant atmosphere and fresh ingredients. Luxury and adventure await at JW Marriott El Convento Cusco.
PALACIO DEL INCA
A storied mansion dating back nearly five centuries, Palacio del Inka stands in the historic center of Cusco. Directly across from the Koricancha (Temple of the Sun), it is a five-minute walk from the main square and less than a mile from an array of museums, markets and restaurants. The 154 standard guest rooms feature coffered niches of dark wood, while maroon entry halls with yellow ochre walls mirror colors in the Damascus figures of the floor carpeting.
Meanwhile, the 17 Casa de los Cuatro Bustos Suites, all with 13-foot ceilings, have particularly rich textiles in addition to classic decorative pieces, lounge chairs, hand-carved chests and writing desks to recreate the feel of a Colonial Cusco mansion. Uniting the past and present, Andes Spirit Spa presents indigenous treatments and an indoor therapy pool. Meanwhile, Inti Raymi Restaurant offers authentic Peruvian dishes, while a variety of meeting and event venues invite guests to host enchanting special occasion.
El Mercado is a four-star property located three and a half blocks from the Plaza de Armas (Main Square), the heart of picturesque Cusco. Formerly part of the city’s old farmer’s market, El Mercado’s 32 rooms and quaint atmosphere guarantee personal and friendly service, and will immediately immerse our guests in the cultural and historical traits of Cusco and Peru.
CASA ANDINA PRIMIUM CUSCO
Our Casa Andina Premium Cusco is a strategically located and beautiful hotel just a few blocks from the Main Square (Plaza de Armas), an ideal place to initiate visits of the surroundings, cultural walks to well-known tourist places like the Cathedral of Cuzco or the convent Santo Domingo, and to discover the charms of the historical center.
It has 93 rooms that are characterized by personalized service and all the comforts that our guests may need, with free extras like a buffet breakfast, free Wi-Fi, restaurant and bar, concierge service, room service, among others.
The hotel staff in the restaurant is highly trained to recommend the best dishes in our restaurant.
Our hotel is the best option to rest before your trip to Machu Picchu.
COSTA DEL SOL RAMADA
The former house of the Marques of Picoagá is divided into a colonial wing and another contemporary wing, combining stone arcades and a beautiful courtyard with a pool and murals typical of Cusco’s 17th-century architecture. Costa del Sol Ramada Cusco offers all the comforts of a contemporary hotel while retaining charming colonial-era details, including rooms with high-beamed ceilings and old wooden doors.
El Retablo is a two-story, 17-room Art Boutique B&B that celebrates vibrant Peruvian traditions and the rich cultural heritage of Cusco.
The innovative yet intimate El Retablo blends contemporary comfort with customs of Peruvian artisans, taking inspiration from retablos, which are a sophisticated form of Andean folk art with three-dimensional figurines in vibrantly colored portable boxes.
All interior spaces are hand-painted with intricate details by artisans of the Fine Arts School of Cusco, providing a true sense of place.
Each of the 10 Superior and seven Superior Deluxe rooms has a distinct design and thoughtful amenities, including handwoven tapestries, elegant pillows and luxury bed linens.
LOS PORTALES HOTEL CUSCO
Located a few steps from the famous Koricancha Temple and a few meters from the Main square, our personalized service and facilities will make your experience in Cusco unique.
Lodging in Sacred Valley
INKATERRA HACIENDA URUBAMBA
Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba is a contemporary hacienda-style hotel in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, in between Cusco and Machu Picchu. Immersed in the countryside in a gorgeous area, Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba spans approximately 100 acres surrounded by imposing green mountains.
All rooms in the Casa Hacienda and stand-alone luxury casitas feature breathtaking views of the valley, immersing guests in open space, serenity and relaxing solitude. Architecture and interiors are inspired by the area’s cultural history, with colonial furniture, authentic Inca masks and handcrafted woodwork that add to the hacienda’s local charm.
An Earth to Table concept is expressed in a 10-acre organic plantation where guests are welcome to pick their own produce. Carbon-free crops such as quinoa, Urubamba giant corn, medicinal herbs and a variety of potatoes are farmed with traditional hand tools and oxen, as was done centuries ago.
TAMBO DEL INKA
Escape to a luxurious and mystical journey like no other at Tambo del Inka, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Valle Sagrado. Our luxury hotel in Peru is nestled in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas and stands as a contemporary doorway to the vast cultural richness of this region. The only hotel in Urubamba with a private train station to Machu Picchu, we go to every length to ensure your experience is truly an awe-inspiring one.
You’ll love lingering in your elegantly designed hotel room or suite with mesmerizing views of the Andes and the Vilcanota River from a private balcony. Savor the refined dining options available at our hotel, with on-site restaurants featuring organic ingredients and local products. Our lobby bar serves refreshing cocktails. Indulge in self-care at our therapeutic spa and maintain your exercise routine at our premier fitness center and heated indoor pool. Luxurious adventure awaits at Tambo del Inka, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Valle Sagrado.
Everything here enchants as it soothes. Relax with yoga on the riverbanks or explore the Sacred Valley on horseback. Float in our heated pool or indulge at the Andean-style Mayu Willka Spa. As birds jabber overhead and wind whispers in the emerald trees, find your own harmony in the elements.
Be drawn into a world of earth, sky and mystic energy in our sensory rooms, suites and villas, designed to promote a complete sense of wellbeing. Wooden decor and locally woven furnishings in soft, bright colors invite you inside. Floor-to-ceiling windows connect you with the Sacred Valley beyond. As cobalt skies deepen to indigo, step out onto wide flagstone terraces edged with vibrant flora for a quiet nightcap.
SOL Y LUNA
We accommodate our guests in cozy “casita” houses made of local stone and decorated individually. Gardens filled with flora native to the Sacred Valley surround each of these 43 private sanctuaries, and all face the Andes Mountains where the Incas believed their gods dwelled.
Fly with the wind by tandem paraglide over landscape that the Incas believed mirrored the Milky Way. Cycle and trek along Andean terraces, horseback ride to remote villages and kayak under snowcapped peaks. The Sacred Valley is also a treasure house of pre-Colombian sites, colonial churches and thriving, enduring traditions, many of which are a joy to the taste buds.
CASA ANDINA PREMIUM VALLE SAGRADO
Our Casa Andina Premium Valle Sagrado Hotel & Villas is a beautiful hotel that looks like a haven in the mountains. With a privileged location, it has fabulous views of the Andes from every room. This is a cozy hotel with a design inspired by the locality, with rustic touches.
With 91 rooms, our villas – Andean Cottages – allow the visitor to enjoy the peace, energy and tranquility of the Sacred Valley while enjoying the views and surroundings of the Andes.
Among the services we offer you are Wi-Fi connection, room service, breakfast buffet with free internet center extras, an event room, sauna, spa and gym, parking and transportation (subject to availability), golf cart, and a planetarium where you can observe the milky way and the Southern Cross. Our hotel is the best option to rest before your trip to Machu Picchu.
We also have formidable courtyard and spacious meeting rooms (3) with capacity to arrange events of up to 250 guests. We have a catering service with a large variety of food options, furniture, equipment and a well-trained team.
The name “Pakaritampu” derives from the Quechua words “pakari,” which means dawn, and “tampu,” which means home.
Pakaritampu Hotel is in the heart of the Sacred Valley, located in the village of Ollantaytambo. It is two minutes away from the train station with direct connection to Machu Picchu, and a one-and-a-half hour drive from the city of Cuzco.
The town of Ollantaytambo is the starting point of the Inca Trail, a beautiful place that offers various tourist attractions.
Arriving to Lima Peru: Aeropuerto Internacional Jorge Chavez. Arriving to Cusco: Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport.
Passport/Visa: Current Passport not to expire within 6 months of travel; No Visa is required.
Currency: Nuevo sol. ATMs are widely available. Credit Cards are accepted in larger cities. Cash is recommended for tipping porters and guides.
Spanish, Aymara and Quechua; English is spoken and understood in tourist areas of Cusco and Machu Picchu.
Eastern Standard Time with no Daylight Savings Time.
Altitude Sickness: Cusco’s elevation is 10,856 feet. Allow yourself time to acclimate before undertaking strenuous activities. Planning time in the Sacred Valley will help your body acclimatize.
Food and Water: Tap water is not safe to drink. Eat fruits you can peel, or fruits and vegetables washed with purified water.
What to bring:
- Luggage: medium duffel, backpack or day pack
- Clothing: Hiking boots and a pair of walking shoes for in the towns; hiking pants/shorts; synthetic shirts, both long-sleeve and short-sleeve; wide-brimmed hat; long underwear; fleece; down jacket; gloves; swimsuit; raincoat/rain pants
- Toiletries, sunscreen, insect repellent, small camp towel, towelettes
- Prescription medications and general medications
- Sleeping bag/pad/pillow
- Water Bottle
- Hiking poles (optional)