Heart of the Incas + Inca trail 8D/7N

Overview

Daily departures and fully customized.

Cusco was the heart of the Inca Empire and the most important place for the Incas. It is nowadays considered one of the two most beautiful cities in South America. Inca and Spanish architecture are intermixed in its narrow streets that survived several earthquakes.

The Inca empire was stretched out as far as Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, Argentina and Chile from 12th hundreds to 15th hundreds. When a handful of Spanish arrived in the heart of the Inca Empire, many of the amazing work was destroyed including temples and palaces of the Inca kings, on top of which they built Catholic churches, but the history still lives and it is on display in the outdoor museum of Cusco.

Visiting Cusco before Machu Picchu is a perfect idea because you learn all the history of the Incas, pre-Incan and colonial times after the arrival of the Spanish to Cusco.

The Sacred Valley itself is unique with many Incan sites along the valley, offering to travellers spectacular views with snowcapped mountains and the Urubamba river (the main river of Cusco area).

Machu Picchu has always been the mysterious place in the Peruvian history. When visiting the place it is amazing to see the high quality of the architecture, hydraulic engineering and astronomical observatories.

  • Day 1: Arrival to Cusco
  • Day 2: Cusco city tour
  • Day 3: Sacred Valley tour
  • Day 4: Cusco Inca Trail
  • Day 5: Cusco Inca Trail
  • Day 6: Cusco Inca Trail
  • Day 7: Cusco Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
  • Day 8: Departure from Cusco

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to Cusco

When you arrive to Cusco airport, one of our PERU BY LOCALS representatives will meet you and drive you to your hotel. On the way he/she will show you some samples of Inca and colonial constructions and the historic center.

The rest of the day you may just want to relax and explore the historic center of Cusco to adjust to the altitude or visit Peruvian cuisine restaurants.

Overnight in Cusco.

Day 2: Cusco City Tour

Spend the morning at your leisure – it will be a great idea to explore Cusco streets that still keep the beauty of Inca work, and you should not miss the San Pedro Market, local market that is the main provider of all the food for hotels and restaurants in Cusco.

In the afternoon you will meet your guide who will guide you to the main attractions. You will visit the Cathedral of Cusco, where you can view colonial paintings by the Cusco school of painting at the time, including a painting of the Last Supper with the local specialty, cuy (guinea pig), as the main dish. The local painters managed to capture the culture and history in uniquely historical way in the art work such as paintings.

The following place will be Qoricancha or the Temple of the Sun. In the Inca times with its amazing architecture that kept on its walls for centuries, this is one of the greatest examples of the Inca buildings in Cusco.

Next you will visit Saqsayhuaman, where you will have a guided tour of this incredible architectural site, built with stones that weigh up to 120 tons and amazingly fit together without the help of a mortar! There is probably not a place in the world that can beat the architectural skill of this place. Afterwards you will tour the Inca archaeological site of Qenqo, considered to be the Temple of the Mother Earth and also once probably the tomb of the most important king of the Incan empire Pachakuteq.

Finally, you will visit the Incan sites of Pukapukara and Tambomachay that used to be ceremonial places in past times.

You will be back in your hotel by 6 pm for the dinner time.

Day 3: Sacred Valley tour

The Sacred Valley of the Incas is an incomparably beautiful stretch of small villages and ancient ruins spread across a broad plain and rugged mountain slopes northwest of Cusco. It is the main valley of Cusco, capital of the Inca Empire. It was the best place for maize production in Peru as well as a great source of natural wealth.

The first Incan site you will visit will be Pisaq, a beautiful site with its Temple of the Sun, ancient Incan cemetery, terraces, great architecture and an unbelievably great view of the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

After seeing the ruins of Pisaq, your guide will take you to the local market where you will find a variety of handicrafts and local garments made from alpaca, a perfect place for shopping.

Leaving Pisaq, you will take a 1 hour drive to Urubamba town where you will have lunch.

Ollantaytambo is the last place to be visited with its majestic Inca architecture. Your guide will give you tour of the temples, the bath of the princess, terraces etc.

In the evening you will then catch a train to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu town), where you will spend the night.

Days 4-7: Cusco Inca Trail

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of the most beautiful treks in the world. The trail leads to the ancient city of Machu Picchu, the final destination of many Incas’ pilgrimage in days gone by.

Your guide will introduce you to the history and culture of the Incas, as well as the amazing building and architectural techniques they used and that have withstood many earthquakes over hundreds of years.

Dramatic scenery, soaring mountain peaks, heavenly views above the clouds… around every mountain corner a breathtaking scene awaits you.

Along the way you will be able to see many Incan ruins where you have the chance to learn the history.

The Inca Trail is inside the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu, where biologists have recorded over 350 species of orchids and ornithologists have recorded over 400 species of birds, including the biggest hummingbird in the world (Patagonia gigas), known as the giant hummingbird. The spectacled bear, which has facial coloring that resembles eyeglasses and is also known as the andean bear, can also sometimes be seen by those fortunate enough to spot it.

Inca trail itinerary

Day 4: Piscacucho to Wayllabamba (Inca trail)

This day kicks off with an early morning pick up from your hotel in Cusco to the starting point of the Inca trail.

Piscacucho, also known as km 82, is starting point of the trek where you will have a chance to purchase last minute supplies and equipment such as bottled water, rubber tips for your walking poles and coca leaves, in case you did not get them beforehand.

Our hike starts along a trail surround by cacti and a dry forest, with a view of Waqayhillca, the tallest mountain along the Urubamba mountain range.

We can expect to arrive at our camp by 4 pm with a delicious dinner served by our chefs at 7pm.

Along the way you will get to see some Incan ruins.

QUICK FACTS:

Distance covered:12 km (7.5 miles)
Time:7 to 8 hours
Lowest elevation:2700m (8,858 feet)
Highest elevation:3000m (10,168 feet)
Level of difficulty:Moderate

Day 5: Wayllabamba to Paqaymayo (Inca trail)

Early wake-up call in the morning, with a nice cup of coca tea served to you in your tent by one of the crew members.

You will also be given a bowl of warm water to wash your face and brush your teeth before having a delicious breakfast.

We will start our hike around 7am. Today is especially demanding because of the altitude and the ascent to Dead Woman’s Pass, which is the highest point on the Inca Trail.

We will reach the top of Dead Woman’s Pass at Wamiwañusqa (4,215m), around noon and we descend to the campground at Paqaymayo (3650m) for two hours where we spend the night.

QUICK FACTS:

Distance covered:11 km (7 miles)
Time:7 to 8 hours
Lowest elevation:3000m (9,842 feet)
Highest elevation:4215m (13,776 feet)
Level of difficulty:Demanding

Day 6: Paqaymayo to Wiñawayna (Inca trail)

Today is the longest stretch on the Inca Trail, but in return, you will have amazing views, see Inca ruins and beautiful orchids.

We start with a one hour ascent to the second pass on the Inca Trail, Runkuraqay (3,950 m / 12,959 ft). After taking some time to rest here, we descend to explore the Inca ruins at Sayaqmarca before we head to our lunch camp.

After lunch, we start our long descent towards the last camp at Wiñayhuayna where we will spend the last night.

QUICK FACTS:

Distance covered:16 km (9,941 miles)
Time:8 to 10 hours
Lowest elevation:3650m (11,975 feet)
Highest elevation:3950m (12,959 feet)
Level of difficulty:Moderate to demanding

Day 7: Wiñawayna to Machu Picchu (Inca trail), return to Cusco

We leave Wiñayhuayna earlier than any other day of the trek, and hike for one and a half hours to the Sun Gate, where we will have our first view of the sacred city of the Incas, Machu Picchu.

After a guided tour you will have time to explore Machu Picchu at your leisure.

When you are ready to leave, a bus will take you down to Aguas Calientes, where a farewell lunch with the rest of the group before taking the train back to Cusco will mark the end of your hike.

In the afternoon you will catch the train back to Cusco.

At the Cusco station a representative of PERU BY LOCALS travel will meet you to take you back to your hotel in Cusco.

QUICK FACTS:

Distance covered:6 km (3.7 miles)
Time:5 to 7 hours
Lowest elevation:2400m (7,874 feet)
Highest elevation:2700m (8,858 feet)
Level of difficulty:Moderate

Day 8: Departure from Cusco

After your breakfast in your hotel, one of our representatives will meet you to take you to the airport of Cusco for your journey home or to your next destination.

If you are wondering what else to do in Cusco, we offer you tours to the jungle, such as Manu, Puno tours, Nasca lines, Ica and Lima.

Inclusions & exclusions

Inclusions

  • Transport on the tours, pick-ups from hotel to airport
  • Four nights in a hotel in Cusco
  • Three nights camping on the Inca trail
  • All the tours mentioned
  • Train tickets from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes and back to Cusco
  • Bus tickets from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu round trip
  • Entrance fee to Machu Picchu
  • Entrance tickets to the Sacred Valley Inca sites
  • Breakfast in all the hotels
  • Profesional tour guide
Note: Please, visit us in our Classic Inca trail site for detailed information about Inca trail service

 

Exclusions

  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and other expenses not mentioned in the program
  • Airfare
  • Airport taxes
  • Tips

Note:

The Machu Picchu tour includes tickets for the Expedition train for the 3 stars, and Vistadome train for 4 and 5 star packages.

Prices with hotels

Occupancy

2 star

3 star

4 star

5 star

Double / triple

$$$$

Single

$$$$

NOTE: All the prices may vary according to your preferences and availability. Please contact us for more information to give you the best price, we will do all posible to give you the price for great service.

Hotels in Cusco

2 star

3 star

4 star

5 star

Tika WasiSan Blas boutiqueAndean wings boutiqueAranwa boutique
Cusco B&BCasa andina San BlasCasa Andina Private CollectionsPalacio Nazarenas

Hotels in Machu Picchu/Aguas Calientes

2 star

3 star

4 star

5 star

Terrazas del IncaAndina luxury hotelSumaq hotelPueblo hotel

Tika Wasi 2*

Tika wasi meaning House of the flowers in Quechua, has been in the business for over fifteen years. We offer our guests unforgettable experience amidst. Our colorful gardens and views from our terrazes as well as a harmonious mix of modern and Colonial infrastructure. With this, one can enjoy the services of the modern world without losing the local charm. TIka wasi is also dedicated to the continuous betterment of its quality of services, business, savvy, environmental care and social responsibility. We hope to meet and exceed all of your expectations and do so through the practice of responsible tourism in the hostel and with each of our collaborators and providers as well.

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Cusco B&B 2*

The Cusco B&B is a new hotel ideally located in the center of Cusco. It features all of the modern amenities of a large hotel but provides quality service and personalized attention so that you feel right at home.

We are a family run Bed & Breakfast that features 7 beautifully furnished rooms in the heart of Cusco. Our goal is that while you are in Cusco we will be your home away from home! We are located in the center of Cusco, right across from the famous local San Pedro Market, and we are also only 3 blocks away from the main Plaza de Armas. When you arrive we will make you feel right at home from the very beginning. You will be welcomed by our friendly staff and after check in we will escort you to your room where you can settle in and relax. As locals from Cusco, we are happy to answer any questions that you have about our beautiful home. Cusco is amazing city and we want to make sure that you have a wonderful time while you stay with us!.

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Wi-FiLuggage Storage

San Blas boutique 3*

Casa San Blas started as an idea of a boutique hotel with highly personalized service in one of the most magical, mystical tourism and world cities, Cusco. To make this idea a reality, bought, restored and remodeled colonial house from the 18th century to accommodate the idea of ”home in Cusco » . Built in 2003, Casa San Blas was the first Hotel Boutique in Peru, creating a new category of personal service and comfort, which to this day remains a leader in its field. Through decorated in earthy tones and rustic furniture found in all the privacy and charm of the hotel, we also want to provide an environment that inspires comfort, warmth and relaxation personified. Likewise, in our design of Boutique Hotel, we have integrated elements of Peruvian culture, such as fabrics handmade in a traditional way, shown throughout our rooms and suites. With the comfort of our guests in mind as a priority, we have also built a terrace balcony on the third floor of the hotel to allow magnificent views of the city of Cusco, both day and night. In addition, we chose to locate our hotel in the historic neighborhood of San Blas, home of the most emblematic artisans of Cusco, to fully immerse our guests in the unique syncretism of the Inca and Spanish culture.

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RestaurantWi-FiLuggage StorageMassage

Casa Andina Classic Cathedral 3*

With a strategic location in the heart of Cusco, Casa Andina Classic Cathedral, has been designed to express the local flavor with all the facilities and services. It has an unmistakable local style.

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Wi-FiLuggage Storage

Andean wings boutique 4*

Andean Wings Boutique Hotel is the premier accommodation in Cusco, situated two blocks from the Plaza de Armas in the heart of the ancient city. This fully restored, sixteenth century colonial gem blends style, luxury, comfort and an unforgettable experience, with five-star amenities and unrivalled personalized service.

Our seventeen rooms and suites are uniquely styled with local antiques and original art works (all available for purchase) offering modern comforts like decadent Jacuzzi bathtubs.

Our mission is to ensure both our guests and employees feel at home, making every moment you spend with us, unforgettable.

Let us help plan your itinerary and make all the arrangements for your day trips, adventures, Inca Trail treks, or visits to the historical Incan sites of Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo, Pisac, Urubamba and more. And at the end of a busy day, indulge yourself at our reinvigorating Six Pumas Spa.

Join us for a Pisco Sour and Peruvian fusion cuisine at Mandela’s, our in-house restaurant and tapas bar. Our menu provides the perfect mix of innovation and tradition – all prepared using natural, local produce.

Allow us to create an unforgettable experience for you. We also cater for specialty tours, one-of–a-kind weddings, special events, anniversaries or just a romantic getaway for two.

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RestaurantWi-FiLuggage StorageMassageLaundry

Casa Andina Private Collections 4*

Casa Andina Private Collection Cusco is located in a beautiful eighteenth century house, recently remodeled, with 5 stately colonial courtyards, only 4 blocks away from Cusco’s Main Square.

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RestaurantWi-FiLuggage StorageMassageLaundry

Aranwa boutique 5*

Aranwa Cusco Boutique Hotel is the essence of luxury and comfort in the heart of the Inca city. A colonial mansion built in the sixteenth century, houses many paintings of the Cuzco school, colonial sculptures and carvings that transport us to the greatness of the time. It offers elegant rooms equipped with intelligent oxygen system and radiant floor.

The hotel is located in San Juan de Dios 255 near Plaza Exhilaration two blocks from the Plaza de Armas of Cusco.

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RestaurantWi-FiLuggage StorageMassageLaundryRoom ServiceSpa

Palacio Nazarenas 5*

Located In a quiet square behind the main square of Cusco, the former palace and convent emerge after years of restoration to become one of the most exclusive hotels in the city.

Inca stone walls, the courtyard of the cloister and the old fountain witness a noble past. But suffice to delve further to discover the contemporary Cusco – a fabulous spa, outdoor pool first city and a stylish restaurant offering the best of local cuisine.

This intimate hideaway has just 55 suites, each enriched with oxygen and its own bar stocked with the best ingredients for your butler can prepare delicious drinks and cocktails.

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RestaurantWi-FiMassageLaundryRoom ServiceSpaSwim Pool

Hotels in Machu Picchu/Aguas Calientes

Terrazas del Inca 2*

Terrazas del Inca Bed & Breakfast is located in the heart of Machu Picchu town, on the banks of the Aguas Calientes River. It is far from the noise of the main street, and in a peaceful place where you will find it very easy to relax. The rooms are fully equipped with everything you will need.

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Wi-FiLaundryLuggage Storage

Andina Luxury 3*

Andina Luxury Hotel is situated just 200 meters from the train station and boasts 31 fully-equipped with Internet, an LCD cable television, and air-conditioning.

Each accommodation features wooden furnishings, a large bed covered with comfortable bed linens, and some rooms provide breathtaking views of the river. Andean art adds the finishing touch to the room.

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RestaurantWi-FiLaundryRoom ServiceSpaSwim Pool

Casa Andina classic Machu Picchu 3*

Hotel Casa Andina Classic Machu Picchu is strategically located in the heart of Machu Picchu towns, near major attractions and local restaurants with comfortable rooms and practices in a secure, central and affordable hotel.

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RestaurantWi-FiLaundryLuggage Storage

Sumaq hotel 4*

SUMAQ. – Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel is a family hotel with extensive experience in the luxury hospitality of the country. Experience makes Sumaq a dedicated entirely to hotel guests.

In it’s exclusive service binds its privileged location that is immersed within the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu, its main tourist attraction.

The train station of Aguas Calientes is just a ten minute walk. Our guests are transferred and left by the buses that go to Machu Picchu on your doorstep.

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RestaurantWi-FiLuggage StorageMassageLaundryRoom ServiceSpa

El Mapi hotel – Inka Terra 5*

Step into the smart, contemporary and cozy confines of el MaPi, amidst the hustle and bustle of Machu Picchu Pueblo (formely Aguas Calientes). Where you can admire and interact with the quaint atmosphere; you can 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 arqueological site.

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RestaurantWi-FiLuggage StorageLaundryRoom Service

Additional tours

  • South valley: Tipon, Pikillaqta and Andawayllillas
  • Salt mines: Chinchero, Moray and Salineras
  • Family visit: Visit the family of Jose L. Condor
  • Walking tour: Streets, the local market of San Pedro, the Temple of the Sun (Qoricancha)
  • Picnic: The tour includes Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Tambochay, Pucapucara and lunch with a chef who will come with us

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PERU BY LOCALS

INCA TRAIL BOOKING FOR 2020

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Useful information

Things you should know before knowing our city.