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Classic Cusco

8 Days FROM AUD 2,315

Overview

As the name suggests, a classic adventure in the Inca heartland: you have time to enjoy the beauty and vibrancy of Cusco, as well as visit the surrounding ruins, Sacred Valley towns and countryside; next you are hiking over Andean passes and through a variety of microclimates, on one of the world’s classic treks, the Inca Trail which culminates at one of the Seven New Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu.

Trip Code: PETSCCU

Travel Style: Tailor-Made Journey 

Location: Peru

Flights: Ask us to help book your flights to/from South America.

WHY YOU'LL LOVE THIS ITINERARY

  • Explore the beautiful contrasts of the bustling and vibrant Cusco to the immense mystery and heritage of Machu Picchu. 

  • This itinerary allows perfect combination to lesser known paths and experiences in the Sacred Valley that combine the beautiful vistas with intense cultural experiences. 

  • This itinerary will allow you to see an amazing city and incredible sights but also allows enough time for exploration. 

ITINERARY INSPIRATION

On arrival, please make your way through to the Arrivals Hall where our representative will be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel.
He/she will be holding a sign with your name on it. Please note this service is with a driver only.

Arrival transfer in Cusco

Cusco, set at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Peruvian Andes, was once the capital of the Inca Empire. It is known for its Spanish colonial architecture and Incan remains. Narrow, cobble-stoned streets lined by Inca walls stretch out from the main plaza in every direction. Many of the colonial buildings were built on top of Incan foundations and the stonework is unparalleled in its precision and beauty.

Cusco

This morning you will be collected from your hotel to explore the wonders of Cusco, the ancient Inca capital city on foot. With your private guide, explore the city’s fascinating history, from the Inca times to colonial rule to the present day. Winding through narrow cobble-stoned streets and markets, this half day tour will show you the baroque Cathedral, which took 96 years to complete commencing in 1550. The Cathedral includes many priceless colonial religious paintings including the Black Christ. Cusco is famed for its mix of Colonial and Inca architecture, and you will also sample impressive Inca constructions at the Korikancha ruins - the Inca temple of the Sun. With the entire city a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this tour will be one of the highlights of your adventures in Peru.

Cusco Walking City Tour

Today, explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This fertile river valley was home to many important sites for the Incas, both strategic and religious. The first stop is the village of Pisac, with its famous market and Inca Ruins. There is free time to wander the colourful market stalls before heading uphill to the Pisac, Intihuatana, Q’allaqasa and Kinchiracay ruins. Enjoy a fine buffet lunch in gardens overlooking the Valley.

Continue your journey along the River Urubamba, to Ollantaytambo. The town, which is dominated by a giant Inca fortress, is perhaps the best surviving example of Inca town planning and was the scene of a rare Inca victory over the invading Spanish. Transfer to your hotel for the night or should you be returning to Cusco, visit Chinchero en route, an important Inca town with a colonial church and plaza.

Breakfast & lunch included.

Sacred Valley Full Day Tour

This evening the trek operator will hold a pre-trek briefing at your hotel. Time will be reconfirmed with you directly on arrival. Please note your sleeping bag which is included will be provided to you at this briefing.

Pre-Trek Briefing

Depart your hotel very early and travel along the Sacred Valley by bus to Piskacucho at 2,700m above sea level. Embark on the unforgettable trek beginning as you cross the bridge over the Rio Urubamba. From here the trek takes you along the left shore of the river and after roughly three hours, you reach the first Inca site – Patallaqta. After another half-hour walking along the Rio Kusichaca valley, arrive in Taravoc and stop for some well-earned lunch.

The afternoon is spent walking through a wonderful variety of flora and fauna with splendid views en route including Rio Vilcanota, the Urubamba mountain range and the snow-capped peak of Mt Veronica. In the mid-afternoon you reach Wayllabamba at 3,000m (9,840 ft), where the camp will be set up and you will enjoy a hearty-but-healthy dinner before your first night under canvas.

Inca trail to Wayllabamba

A demanding day of ascents and descents awaits, around 9km over seven to eight hours. In the morning, you will slowly make your way up to Warmihuañusca (4,200m / 11,111ft) otherwise known as the ‘Dead Woman’s Pass’. You will see alpacas and llamas feeding on pastures of Ichu, a type of Andean grass. This is not only the highest point of the Inca Trail, but also the half way point on your trek to Machu Picchu! Continue downhill through an area of Cloud Forest, home to many birds including sparrows and hummingbirds. You may also be lucky enough to see the rare Spectacled Bear.

Your camp for the night will be in Pacaymayu valley at 3,600m (11,810 ft). There will be time to relax before an early dinner and a much needed sleep.

Inca Trail to Pacaymayu valley

The third day is the longest day of the trek, but not the most strenuous. Begin the day with an hour’s walk up original Inca steps to the archaeological site of Runkurakay at 3,800m (12,470ft). Pass a number of small lagoons to Runkurakay Pass before the trail snakes down to Yanacocha (the Black Lagoon) and continues to the archaeological site of Sayacmarca. Stop at Chaquicocha camp for lunch. Continue along the paved Inca path, through a preserved Inca tunnel to reach the Phuyupatamarca Pass and its ruins.
From here, there are often incredible views of the snow-capped Mount Salkantay, the most beautiful mountain in the region. There is then a steep decent to Wiñayhuayna, an Inca site built into the hills with fountain structures and curved terracing, overlooking the Urubamba River. Your final night of the trail will be spent here.

Inca Trail to Wiñayhuayna Inca site

The most anticipated day of the trek begins early with a trek to Into Punku (The Sun Gate), where you will catch the first glimpse of the breath-taking Machu Picchu Ruins. On arrival at the ruins, there will be a two and a half hour guided tour giving you an insight into the history behind the principal remains and monuments before some time to explore the ruins at leisure. You may choose to scale the Huayna Picchu Mountain, which gives you spectacular views of Machu Picchu from a different perspective. (Please note that access to Huayna Picchu Mountain requires an extra, limited-availability permit - please enquire at time of booking if you require one.) Or you may choose to visit the hot springs (wonderful for aching legs!) down in the village of Aguas Calientes. The train back to Cusco will depart from Aguas Calientes in the late afternoon.

Arrival to Machu Picchu

This afternoon travel by train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.

*Due to limited space for luggage storage on trains, luggage restrictions apply: one bag or backpack (carry-on luggage) with a maximum weight of 5.0 kg/11 lb, measuring no more than 62 linear inches/157 linear cm (height + length + width)

360 Machu Picchu Train: Mapi - Ollanta PM

Transfer from Ollantaytambo train station in the Sacred Valley to Cusco.

Private Transfer Ollantaytambo - Cusco

You will be collected from your hotel at the appropriate time and transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

Transfer to the airport for onward destination

This is a suggested itinerary. All Tailor-Made journeys can be customised to suit. Add in additional highlights, spend more time in areas of particular interest to you, or extend your journey to visit other regions of Latin America or Antarctica.

DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

ITINERARY ADD-ONS

  • Why not experience the incredible wonders of the Peruvian Amazon? Discover the incredible biodiversity of the flooded rainforest, spot the pink river dolphins of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, or simply enjoy the most exquisite Peruvian cuisine options on a luxury vessel. Find out more here Find out more.

  • Alternatively, your experience in the Inca Trail could follow and experience the evolving role of the original Andean people as you move from unique lodge to lodge, experiencing daily hikes with panoramic views of waterfalls, snow peaks and turquoise lakes and discovering breathtaking sites of ancient Inca civilisation. Find out more.

  • Why not add on a tour to the Galapagos to your South American journey, spending 4 days exploring the beautiful archipelago that abounds with fascinating wildlife? Amidst spectacular volcanic scenery you will see a myriad of birds and animals from lava lizards to blue-footed boobies, Galapagos penguins, frigatebirds and giant tortoises. Find out more

WHY TAILOR-MADE?

  • Personalise your itinerary
  • Access to great flight deals
  • Choose your accomodation
  • Tailored travel insurance options
  • Choose your preferred dates
  • Cater to your travel needs

Pricing & date

Travel Style Departing Duration PRICE FROM
Standard Daily 8 AUD 2,315
Superior Daily 8 AUD 2,615
Deluxe Daily 8 AUD 2,775
Enquire Now

Important Information

  • Private airport transfers
    Accommodation with breakfast daily
    Sightseeing and local English-speaking guides as detailed in itinerary 
    Other meals where stated. 

    Exclusions

    International flights
    Visa and reciprocity fees (if applicable) 
    Travel insurance
    Beverages 
    Personal expenses
    Gratuities for tour guides and drivers
    Any items not mentioned as included

  • 5 (High altitude and good fitness required in many areas)
  • Available upon request. Contact us for more details.

  • A night at Machu Pichu can be arranged.

    Extra porters can be hired to carry personal items at an extra charge.

    All entrance fees are subject to change without prior notice.

    This is a Tailor-Made itinerary which can be customised to create your own unique journey. Contact us to discuss your travel plans.

  • Season and availability

Accommodation

We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Your Destination Specialists will turn your South America adventure dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first-hand experience, our Destinations Specialists will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

Sustainability

Being environmentally accountable is a crucial part of our organisation. Chimu is currently striving towards using less paper, taking several initiatives to do so and tracking our progress along the way. Our goal: A paperless organisation. For this reason, all information given to you will be sent electronically. We encourage those who choose to travel with us to support our aspirations and actions and ask that you reconsider printing out documentation. To view these documents, you can download them to your iPad or portable computer before and during your trip.

Chimu is passionate and dedicated to sustainability measures and understands the crucial part sustainability plays within the tourism industry.

We use local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprint. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting. Our guides are all highly qualified (most with university degrees) or equip with many years of experience and are paid above the standard wage. Whether it be our knowledgeable local guides, locally produced meals or the transport on tour, we do not use imported goods when local products are available. We aim to minimise our impact on the environment and give as much back as possible to the communities we work in.

While visiting the many national parks, heritage sites, museums and landmarks our travellers are encouraged to explore remain culturally aware and sensitive. We further encourage you to buy appropriate souvenirs and discourage the buying of anything wrongfully made or taken from the environment i.e. shells and endangered species products. Information on how you can be environmentally conscious, and travel responsibly will be made available in our Travellers Guides and provided during your travels by guides and staff.

For more information on our sustainability policies, including how we are striving towards being a paperless organisation, click HERE