Tucked under the tawny skirts of formidable foothills about 15kms/9.3 miles north of Cusco as the condor flies, via a narrow road and hairpin turns, the Sacred Valley holds its head high. The valley has long been the home of attractive colonial towns, isolated weaving villages, handicraft markets and lofty, 10th and 11th century Inca Citadels of Pisac,Ollantaytambo and Urubamba.
Visiting the Maras Salt Mines and Moray terraces, which were made by building containment walls filled with fertile earth. They were watered through a complex irrigation system. At the base of the terraces, there is a rain water storage system. The entire system allowed for the cultivation of the Incas to grow over 250 types of vegetables. Then, we move on to the salt mines that consists that of 3,000 small pools roughly 5 square meters (53.8 ft²) in size. Every three days, during the dry season, workers fill the pools with salt water that comes from a natural hot spring at the top of the Maras’s complex. When the water evaporates from the pool, the salt is left for collection. This process is carried out over a one-month period until the pools reach an approximate volume of solid salt that is 10 centimeters (4 inches) in height. The salt is ground up, treated with iodine packaged and sent to various markets within the region.
Explore amazing ruins and the fabled Lost Citadel of the Incas, Machu Picchu. The Inca Citadel of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu is the articulating center of its surroundings, a masterpiece of art, urbanism, architecture and engineering of the Inca Civilization. The working of the mountain, at the foot of the Huayna Picchu, is the exceptional result of integration with its environment, the result of a gigantic effort as if it were an extension of nature.
SACRED VALLEY & MACHU PICCHU TOUR 2 DAYS
Day 1: Pisac – Moray – Salt Mines – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes
We will pick you up at your hotel at 7am, with our private van and head towards the Sacred Valley of the Incas, taking the direct route to Pisac. We drive first to the Ccochahuasi Animal Sanctuary, which has a variety of Peruvian animals including a Peruvian Puma, and the great Condor, the national bird of Peru. Then you are off to the mirador of Taray to enjoy a classic view of the Urubamba valley with crops dressing the mountains like a carpet. Onward, we drive to the archaeological site of Pisac, where you can see the biggest Inca cemetery with more than 2000 tombs. There we admire the incredible farming terraces carved into the mountain, explore the Inca tunnel and the religious area of this important citadel. Here we will spend more than 2 hours, exploring the Inca city. Then we head back to the colourful market of Pisac, spend some time visiting it with all of its handicrafts and treasures to discover and then drive to Urumbamba for lunch.
With its timeless charm, we visit the archeological site of Moray, also known as “The Greenhouses of the Incas” an evolutionary bowl of ecological terraces. The terraces are carved into a huge bowl, which were excavated by the Incas for agricultural purposes. The terraces have varied microclimates, depending on how deep into the bowl they are placed. It is believed they were used by the Incas to discover the optimal growing conditions for their different crops.
Expanding on our journey to the colonial town of Maras, you ascend downhill to the pre-Inca salt mines. A hot spring at the top of the valley discharges a small stream of heavily salt laden water, which is diverted into saltpans and evaporated to produce a salt that is used for both human and animal consumption. Finally, we drive to Ollantaytambo, having time to explore the age old and bustling Inca village and the massive Inca Ruins, with a tour provided by our guide. Then at 7pm, we will take the train to Aguas Calientes where we will spend the night in a hotel.
- Hotel Accommodation: Wiracocha Inn Hotel or Andean Terra Hotel
Day 2: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
Bursting out with excitement on your final surreal day, we take the 5.30am bus to Machu Picchu archeological site, arriving in time for the sunrise, making sure we tour every nook and cranny of this New 7 Wonder of the World and UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. On your 2.5 hours private tour, your guide will expertly direct you through the energetic ruins and its diverse main streets. Then on your own, you can wander around the town squares of the world’s spiritual center of esoteric wisdom as well as climb the intricately carved stairways made of stone until the end of your session time.
If you wish to indulge in a few of the following activities on your own, you can (not included in the price)
- Climb up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain and appreciate the beauty and magnificence of Machu Picchu (An additional fee)
- You can also take time to walk to the Sun Gate, 2 hours round trip or the Inca Bridge, 1 hour round trip. (No additional fee)
- Other optional activities in Aguas Calientes include a visit to the new local museum or to the hot springs. (Entrance fee to enter)
After your time to enjoy Machu Picchu, you will descend to Aguas Calientes at 12pm. You can take in a leisurely lunch or explore Aguas Calientes handicraft market and board the Expedition train by 4:22pm for the return trip to Cusco stopping at the Ollantaytambo Train Station and then you will be driven back to your hotel in our private van, arriving around 8:30pm.
- Meals: breakfast
***There are now 2 sessions to enter the Machu Picchu Citadel; 6am to 12pm and 12pm to 5:30pm. If you wish to stay after 12pm, you must purchase a second entrance ticket.
***Passengers that purchase Huayna Picchu tickets are given an extra 2 hours at the Machu Picchu Citadel and those that purchase Machu Picchu Mountain tickets get 3 hours extra.
WHAT IS INCLUDED FOR THE SACRED VALLEY & MACHU PICCHU TOUR?
- Small group 2 to 8 people.
- Transfer from the airport to your hotel (Please send us the flight information)
- Pick up at your hotel
- Professional English and Spanish speaking guide
- Private comfortable transportation
- All entrance tickets for the different archeological sites
- Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu
- Round trip Train ticket (Expeditions service) Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes – Ollantaytambo
- Meals as indicated on the itinerary
- Hotel at Aguas Calientes with private room, bathroom, and wifi
- Round trip Bus tickets Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes
- Transfer from Ollantaytambo to Cusco via private van
What is not included for the Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu Tour?
- Water and snacks
- Huayna Picchu – US$35
- Machu Picchu Mountain – US$30
- Tips for your guide.
The Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu tour can be done on any date that is best for you as long as we have a minimum of 2 people!
PRICE – US$437 per person
***Private service is available for $50 more per person.
***All entrance fees are included and we operate our tours in small groups averaging 5 persons with a maximum of 8!
- Students with ISIC CARD: US$25. Please send us a copy of your ISIC at the time of booking.
- Under 18 years old: US$30 Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
- Under 11 years old: US$40 Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
- Huayna Picchu Climb: US$35. This will need to be booked in advance, let us know about it at the time of booking.
- Machu Picchu Mountain: US$30. This will need to be booked in advance, let us know about it at the time of booking.
- Upgrade to Vista Dome Train: US$57. (Aguas Calientes to Poroy (Cusco) at 4:43pm)
- Upgrade Hotel – 3 star US$40. (Can upgrade to 4 or 5 star also)
- Single Supplement – US$30 2* for single travelers
[tabby title=”Why SAM”]
WHY CHOOSE SAM TRAVEL FOR THE SACRED VALLEY & MACHU PICCHU TOUR.
SAM (initials of Saul Alvarez Montalvo) Travel Peru is a family owned travel agency and direct local tour operator based in Cusco with personal experience over many years of trekking. SAM Travel Peru is a 1oo% Cusquenian Company without any shareholders.
My dream as the owner was to create small personalized tours & treks strictly and only operated by local professional staff catering in PERSONALIZED and HIGH QUALITY SERVICE.
We take pride in having a reputation as being a RESPONSIBLE & SUSTAINABLE tour operator. My staff are my extended family. I ensure they are supported financially by paying them a good wage. I am proud of my team without them I couldn’t give the best service and lifetime experiences to our clients.
In an effort to provide a more personalised service to our passengers, we in SAM Travel Peru have a policy that our groups will not exceed 8 people. This fact alone sets us apart from other companies that operate departures with bigger groups.
OUR TOP TOUR GUIDES FOR THE SACRED VALLEY & MACHU PICCHU TOUR
I am very proud of my guides! Highly professional, speaking in fluent English and very knowledgeable. Passionate for the Inca heritage/ history, dedicated to a steady personal development and learning to ensure that you receive accurate and recognised theories about the Inca Andean culture. Fun loving, great sportsmen and well educated some having a degree in Archaeology, Botany, History or Anthropology. Others are great entertainers and the best “Salsa Dancers” on this side of Machu Picchu.
OUR SOCIAL PROJECTS
SAM Travel Peru has always believed that we should “give back” to the communities we pass through on our treks. Therefore, as part of our commitment in responsible tourism, we socially support and employee from these communities.
SAM Travel Peru is proud to be able to support these beautiful people, not only in hiring them for work but to bring things back to grassroots, to share in their home and families. This makes us happy to have a holistic approach with our highland employees and their families!
A beautiful reflection of our attitude in everything we do, is that we wish to make life richer and more meaningful for all involved.
[tabby title=”Important Info”]
Please read carefully the following information; it will help you answer all of your questions about our services and Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu Tour.
WELCOME TO CUSCO
You will be welcomed at Cusco airport and taken to your hotel, please ensure that you inform us of your full flight details at least 14 days prior to your trek. Look out for our representative holding an orange board SAM Travel Peru at the arrival terminal. It can be done on any date that is best suited to you!
It will take place the night before the Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu Tour departure at 6pm in our office which is located at Calle Santa Teresa Nº383 ; 303 (second floor), we are next to SUBWAY restaurant.
CAN I STORE MY LUGGAGE AT YOUR OFFICE:
Of course! During the Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu Tour your main luggage can be store at our office or at your hotel, both are for free. Please don´t pack anything you will need for your hike.
HOW TO BOOK THE SACRED VALLEY & MACHU PICCHU TOUR?
Please be ready with the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group). We cannot purchase an an entrance to Machu Picchu or the train without the following information:
- Personal information (your full name, exactly as on your passport):
- Passport number
- D.OB. (dd / mm / yyyy)
SECOND, we require a deposit of US$200.00 per person in order to purchase a your entrance to Machu Picchu and train ticket. You can make you deposit by clicking on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on the top of our home page, or you can click on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on our booking page or click here on the payment method of your choice, either VISA or PAYPAL.
WHAT ABOUT THE BALANCE?
It would be greatly appreciated if you pay in cash at our office (US dollars or Peruvian soles) here in Cusco. We have many cash machines in the historical center to withdraw money. You can also pay by VISA or PAYPAL online but you will have to pay a 5.5% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL. To pay your balance through PAYPAL, you need to log into your PAYPAL account using our email address of email@example.com.
HOW DO I QUALIFY FOR THE STUDENT DISCOUNT?
- According to Peruvian Law you must be under 18 years of age at the time of your trek, tour, or visit to Machu Picchu (students 18 & above need ISIC cards). For example if you book a trek at the age of 17 but you turn 18 before you do your trek, you do not qualify for a student discount.
- All students from 12 to 17 years, the discount is $40.
- For children from the age of 2 to 12 the discount is $60.
- For children from the age of 0 to 2 are free.
- All students must provide a copy of their passport at the time of their booking to get the student discount.
- Send us a copy at firstname.lastname@example.org
HOW DO I GET THE STUDENT ISIC CARD DISCOUNT?
- The ISIC Student Discount is US$25.
- You must have a valid current internationally accepted ISIC card in your name.
- You can apply for the ISIC Card at https://www.isic.org/
- You must provide a copy of your ISIC card at the time of your booking.
- Send us a copy at email@example.com
MAY I CHANGE THE DEPARTURE DATE AFTER THE TICKETS HAVE BEEN BOUGHT?
Unfortunately the answer is “No”. Once the tickets have been bought the government does not allow any changes, so we can’t change any departure date after the tickets has been bought. Tickets are also not transferable nor refundable.
*** If you cancel your Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu Tour, the deposit is not refundable at all!
DO I NEED MY ORIGINAL PASSPORT FOR THE SACRED VALLEY & MACHU PICCHU TOUR?
Yes for sure! You have to bring your original passport and it is very important that it is the same passport number you sent to us to book your entrance to Machu Picchu, train ticket, other entrances and reservations. The rangers will check when you enter Machu Picchu. The train company will also check your passport before allowing you to board the train.
In case you are renewing your passport or changing your name, go ahead and send us your old passport information to secure your permit, and we can change it when you get your new passport number or updated your name for a fee of $25 per person. We must have a copy of your old and new passport to make the change. Before you change your passport keep a copy of your old one.
If you do not wish to pay this fee you will need to bring both passports to Peru with you. You can enter Peru with your new passport but you will need to show both passports, old and new to be to enter into Machu Picchu or the train. If you do not have both you will not be allowed to enter into Machu Picchu or get on the train. They are very strict about this here!!
WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE IN THE SACRED VALLEY & MACHU PICCHU TOUR?
First I would say that the weather is very unpredictable and it’s difficult to foresee. We recommend you to bring a warm jacket for early morning and rain poncho in case of a rain shower.
ARE WE DROPPED AT OUR HOTEL AFTER THE SACRED VALLEY & MACHU PICCHU TOUR?
Absolutely! Included in our packages is dropping you off at your hotel on the return from your trek or tour. If you have booked your hotel in the Sacred Valley like Ollantaytambo or Urubamba, we will drop you there too!
If you’re happy with the services provided, a tip – though not compulsory – is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it’s of great significance for the people who will take care of you during the tour. It inspires excellent service and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many SAM Travel Peru destinations. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you feel, depending on your perception of the quality and the length of your tour. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
ARE YOU SUSTAINABLE?
Yes, we are a local sustainable & responsible tourism operator for that we incorporate the universal principles of tourism: protect the environment and benefit the local communities respecting their culture and religion. With this in mind, we have trained all our staff to know, understand and respect the local places and it´s people.
[tabby title=”Packing Checklist”]
WHAT YOU SHOULD BRING FOR THE SACRED VALLEY & MACHU PICCHU TOUR?
- A small backpack or carry bag (larger not allowed on the train or in Machu Picchu)
- A change of clothing for the second day
- Comfortable shoes or runners
- Water to drink
- Rain jacket or poncho
- A fleece or jacket,
- Basic toiletries,
- Insect repellent for mosquitoes
- Hat for the sun
- Some extra money for lunch, snacks and souvenirs
- Original passport (cannot enter Machu Picchu without it)
- ISIC Card if applicable.