Cusco Magic | 4 Days • 3 Nights*
Our Cusco Magic tour is the ideal adventure for all age groups and fitness levels. Take in the splendor of the Peruvian Andes at an easy pace. You’ll explore ancient Incan ruins and be captivated by the valleys, mountains and lakes of the high Andes. The final leg of your trip will be, of course, a visit to the great Incan citadel of Machu Picchu – one of the UNESCO Wonders of the World. Get ready for the trip of a lifetime!
* If you would like to explore both Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain and the South Valley, we can extend Cusco Magic to 5 days/4 nights.
- Transportation (including train tickets)
- Bilingual professional guide (English and Spanish)
- Entrance fees to all sites (*see below for exceptions)
- Guided Machu Picchu tour
- Meals (excluding meals on Day 1 and dinners on Days 2, 3, 4)
- 3-star accommodation**
- *Entrance fees to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (must be reserved in advance)
- Meals on Day 1 and dinners on Days 2, 3 and 4
** If you would like to upgrade, please let us know. We would be happy to accommodate you.
DAY 1: CUSCO CITY TOUR
This tour is just a half day and you choose when you want to go. Morning or afternoon, just let us know your preference. Your guide will pick you up from your accommodation in Cusco. And you’ll spend the next few hours exploring the capital city of the former Inca empire. You’ll visit the historic center as well as various archeological ruins all within the city limits. It’s the perfect way to acclimate to the Andean atmosphere while discovering the magic of this ancient mountain city!
♦ Choose between 2 options or combine both options and add an extra day to your tour. ♦
OPTION 1: PALCCOYO MOUNTAIN & QUESHUACHACA BRIDGE
We start this full day tour very early in the morning. This is so that we can get to the base of the Palccoyo mountain in the Red Valley before others arrive. It’s a leisurely hike that is short and gradual. But the altitude can pose some challenges as Palccoyo sits at 16,000 feet (4900 meters) above sea level. So take your time and soak in the vibrant colors and roaming alpaca. Palccoyo is part of the Red Valley, known for its rich red landscape. Watch the colors shift and change as the sun moves across the sky!
We’ll then make our way to Queshuachaca Bridge, the last remaining Inca rope bridge. During the Inca civilization, these types of hand-braided rope bridges were an instrumental part of Incan infrastructure, providing passage across rugged terrain and over rivers. Today, this bridge remains in active use and is reconstructed every year by the surrounding communities. It’s a wondrous site, a handmade bridge of rope surrounding by flowing river and mountain cliffs. Crossing the bridge is not for the faint of heart. But if you’re daring enough, you can take the bridge across the river and back again, just as the Incan did and the locals still do!
OPTION 2: SOUTH VALLEY
We depart Cusco city in the morning as we start our journey to the South Valley. As we drive through the magnificent Andean landscape, you’ll enjoy breathtaking mountain and lake views. Our first stop is the Inca site of Tipon where you’ll discover that the Inca people weren’t just experts in architecture; they were also experts in agriculture. Here, you’ll explore and learn more about the incredible irrigation system that the Incas built long ago.
Our next stop is the pre-Inca site of Pikillaqta which belonged to the Wari people who ruled the land before the Incas. Our last stop on our South Valley tour is the local village of Andahuaylillas where you’ll find the “Sistine Chapel of America”, an impressive fresco-filled Jesuit church that dates back to the 16th century. The Museo Ritos Andinos is a short walk around the block from the chapel. It is a small museum housing interesting archeological artifacts from the area. From here, we’ll head back to Cusco.
DAY 3: SACRED VALLEY
We start the journey with a visit to the highest town in the Sacred Valley of Cusco, the Andean town of Chinchero which sits at 3800 meters (12,450 feet) above sea level. Our visit includes one of the most important textile centers in the region. Here you’ll learn how the traditional Andean textiles are made. And of course, you’ll also have the opportunity to purchase some of these beautifully handcrafted items. We’ll then visit the Chinchero ruins as well as the 17th-century church, two prominent Chinchero sites.
Next, we drive to the bustling town of Urubamba to enjoy a delicious buffet lunch. After lunch, we continue our journey to the small town of Ollantaytambo (2,790 meters or 9,153ft above sea level) where we explore the 15the century Inca ruins of the same name. During the Incan Empire, Ollantaytambo was the royal estate of the Emperor Pachacutec who conquered the region, and built the town and the ceremonial center. We will then head to the Ollantaytambo train station to board the train to Aguas Calientes, the town that sits at the foot of Machu Picchu. Once we arrive in Aguas Calientes, we’ll check into our accommodation and relax a bit with a nice dinner in town.
DAY 4: MACHU PICCHU
We’re going to Machu Picchu today! It’s an early start. We wake up before the sun rises to catch one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu. Let us know if you want to start later but we highly recommend taking one of the first buses to allow you to explore this ancient city without the large crowds. Your guide will take you on a 2-hour tour which will include history, culture, and fun facts about this ancient site. You will then have a little time to explore on your own or, alternatively, climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (Note: These need to be reserved in advance). Afterwards, we’ll head back to Aguas Calientes for lunch and a bit of free time before heading to the train to start our journey back to Cusco.