SHORT INCA TRAIL + RAINBOW MOUNTAIN
For the complete tour package that gives you everything your heart desires; Cusco, the capital of the Inca empire, Sacred Valley with all of its treasures to discovery and archeological sites, and the Short Inca Trail with Machu Picchu, and the New Rainbow Mountain Trek at the end of your journey, this adventure hiking package is the best choice possible.
Cusco or Qosqo in quechua, was the capital of the Inca empire called Tawantinsuyo. The streets of the city are over flowing with our country’s history. One can observe the different stages of the evolution from ancient times until the Conquest and its consequences. There are endless archeological sites to visit, grand cathedrals everywhere, museums, and lots of shops to explore.
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, Ollyantaytambo and Urubumba.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a stunning cultural show of Inca ruins, exotic side by side mountains, primitive lush vegetation and extraordinary ecological varieties. The trail goes through the National Park and enters through the Sun Gate with unforgettable views of Machu Picchu, through cloud pitted forest and finally into subtropical vegetation. Upon arriving to Machu Picchu, you will get a private guided tour, visiting all the hidden corners of the Inca monument. Take your time exploring the magestic Machu Picchu, the Incan ruins rich in history of its past and the thriving culture of the people who once resided there.
Enjoy the natural colours of the rarely visited Rainbow Mountain Trek, hiking through some isolated communities, in which you may interact with the local’s who are still keeping the culture alive! You’ll see snow capped peaks, herds of llamas, glaciers and turquoise lakes, all set within an incredibly colourful mountain range. The Rainbow Mountain trek offers a selection of wildlife including soaring condors, vicunas, bobcats and pumas. The colourful sandstone mountains in the Vinicunca area is probably the coolest thing you’ll see in Peru.
DAY 1: CUSCO CITY TOUR
Upon your arrival to the cosmopolitan capital Cusco you will be greeted by our representative and transferred to your hotel where you will receive a short briefing then given the morning to acclimatize. In the afternoon at 1pm, we will introduce you to the Imperial Cusco City. Cusco’s history lives in its streets, squares, valleys and towns. You’ll find stunning destinations and examples of fine engineering by Inca stonemasons and living examples of the mix of Andean and Spanish culture. Continuing our journey we visit the Santo Domingo Convent built over the Koricancha, as well as the ancient Inca Palace, the main worship center of the Sun God. Our discoveries continue at the unmatched and mesmirizing archaeological site of Sacsayhuaman and its military Inca architecture which dominates the city. Finally we are introduced to the contrasts of the indigenous ancients Qenqo, Pucapucara and Tambomachay sites, located in the north east of the city. We then head back to your hotel in Cusco by early evening.
- Hotel in Cusco: Best Western or Maytaq Wasin 3***
DAY 2: SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS (Pisac + Moray + Salt mines + Ollantaytambo)
We will pick you up at your hotel at 7;30am, 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, and 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 can 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 and then drive on to Urumbamba for lunch (not included)
With timeless charm we visit the archeological site of Moray also known as “The Greenhouses of the Incas” an evolutionary bowl of ecological difference. Levels of terraces are carved into a huge bowl, which was excavated by the Incas. The terraces have varied microclimates depending on how deep into the bowl they are, and so they were thought to have been used by the Incas to discover the optimal growing conditions for their crops.
Expanding on our journey to the colonial town of Maras, ascending our hike downhill to the pre-Inca salt mine. Thousands of salt pans have been used for salt extraction since before Inca times. A hot spring at the top of the valley discharges a small stream of heavily salt laden water, which is diverted into salt pans and evaporated to produce a salt that is used for human and animal consumption. Finally we drive to Ollantaytambo, to explore the age old and bustling Inca village and the massive Inca Ruins, with a tour provided by our guide. Here we spend the night at your hotel in Ollantaytambo, ready to start the Inca Trail the next day.
- Hotel in Ollantaytambo: Tunupa lodge, Isky Hotel depending on availability
- Meals: Breakfast
DAY 3: CUSCO – 104 kms – WIÑAYHUAYNA – SUN GATE – MACHU PICCHU
With a compacted 2 days of excitement ahead we pick you up from your hotel by 5:30am, and drive you to the train station for the 6:05am train. A 1.5 hour free flowing train ride to 104 kms (2,100m/6,927ft) takes us to the beginning of our trek, where we cruise past the first checkpoint with ease. Afterwards we initiate a moderate climb for three hours to the chiselled remnants and remote archaeological site of Wiñayhuana. (2,650m/8747ft). As we view out with an open mind and heart, we embrace the spectacular plunging views of the Urubamba Canyon, the ethnic wonder of ancient Inca sites, and we make our connection into the traditional four day Inca Trail. After being at one with this beautiful sight, we continue onward towards the Sun Gate (2,730mts/9,007ft). Following the ancient remote footpath we grasp onto our first spectacular view of Machu Picchu in all its brilliance and majestic monumentality. As we move closer to the Citadel of Machu Picchu, you will feel her energetic vibrations of this spiritual capital. After time to take photos, we take our bus to Aguas Calientes, where we spend the night in our hotel.
- Meals: Breakfast hotel, Box Lunch & Dinner.
- Accommodation: La Cabaña Hotel 3*
- Difficulty: Moderate.
DAY 4: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO
Bursting with excitement on your final surreal day, we take the first bus to Machu Picchu archeological site, making sure we tour every nook and cranny of this New 7 Wonder of the World and UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. The Citadel of the Incas, Machu Picchu, what an unforgettable experience. 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. Or you can stay still and find the peace within as you sit in the pure delight of the moment. Finally, climb Huayna Picchu to appreciate the beauty and magnificense of Machu Picchu and the valleys below.
If you wish to indulge in a few of the following activities on your own you can (not included in the price):
- Climb Huayna Picchu – appreciate the beauty and magnificence of Machu Picchu from there. (additional fee)
- Climb Machu Picchu Mountain – appreciate the beauty and magnificence of Machu Picchu from there. (additional fee)
- You will be given some time to walk to the Sun Gate or Inti Punku. ( No additional fee)
- Other optional activities in Aguas Calientes include a visit to the new local museum or to the hot springs. (entrance fee)
When you are ready, you will descend to Aguas Calientes, have a leisurely lunch on your own, and later on board the Expedition train at 4:22pm for the return trip to Cusco stopping at the Ollantaytambo Station, where you will catch our private van back to Cusco and your hotel.
- Hotel in Cusco: Best Western or Maytaq Wasin 3***
- Meals: Breakfast
Day 5: Cusco – Pitumarka – Qesiuno – Rainbow Mt – Quesiuno – Cusco
We will pick you up from your hotel at 4am, and begin with our amazing Rainbow Mountain Trek Adventure. We set out on our drive through the South Valley, ending up at the trailhead at Quesiuno (4,326 m / 14,189 ft) is 3 hours. Along the way there are amazing views of farming Inca terraces, valleys and rocky mountains.
Once we reach the train-head, we start off on our hike following a lovely stream. You will be immediately surprised by the herds of alpacas and llamas. Continually you’ll have views of the Ausangate Mountain as we hike through different villages and interact with the local people who are still keeping the culture alive,
After a total hike of 4 – 5 hours, we finally reach our destination….the Rainbow Mountains (5,020m /16,466ft). After being awed by their beauty, you’ll have time to explore the area. You can take pictures or just soak up the environment. We will spend approximately 30 minutes at the top.
At this point, we hike back down the way we came. The hike takes 2-3 hours. Our private van will be waiting for us when we return.
We will embark on the 3 hour drive back to Cusco and drop you off at your Cusco hotel, arriving between 8.00 and 9.00pm.
- Hotel in Cusco: Best Western or Maytaq Wasin 3***
- Meals: Breakfast
Day 6: DEPARTURE FROM CUSCO
After having breakfast at the hotel, enjoy your remaining time in Cusco city then in the afternoon we will drop off at the airport to take your plane back to Lima.
- Meals: Breakfast
WHAT IS INCLUDED
- City Tour
- Sacred Valley Tour
- Rainbow Mountain Trek
- Entrances to the Inca cities and archeological sites
- Expedition Train – Aquas Calientes to
- Professional guide for four days.
- Expedition train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes and from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.
- Fourth nights hotel accommodation with private room, bathroom and breakfast included.
- Meals a indicated on the itinerary
- Bus tickets from Aguas Calientes – Machu picchu -Aguas Calientes.
- Personal assistance.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDE
- Hotel – optional upgrades
- Huayna Picchu Tickets: US$75 per person
- Machu Picchu Mountain: US$70 per person
- Upgrade to Vista Dome: US$57 per person (Aguas Calientes to Poroy (Cusco) at 4:43pm)
- Tips for your guide
- Rental of horse at Rainbow Trek if wanted
ADDED VALUES FOR FREE
- Transfer from the airport to hotel: (Cusco Hotel only).
- SMALL GROUPS: up to 8 hikers
- EARLY TRAIN: for the return to Cusco from Aguas Caliente
Price & Availability
***The Rainbow Mountain & Short inca Trail Tour Package is always available (except February when it is closed for maintenance). This trek still takes you into Machu Picchu by walking through the SUN GATE, you will get to explore some amazing Inca ruins along the way like Wiñaywayna Inca city
***The fantastic Rainbow Mountain & Short inca Trail Tour Package is available on any date that will suit you – Join in with our group and get the best deals.
Price: US$877 per person with hotels
Price: US$697 per person without hotels
***Private service is available for $75 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 Mountain: US$75 per person
- Machu Picchu Mountain: US$70 per person
- Walking Poles: US$7 for pair and whole trek.
- Extra Porter: US$60 for the trek
- Upgrade Hotel in Aguas Calientes: US$40 to 3*** (Can upgrade to 4 or 5 star also)
- Upgrade Hotel in Ollantaytambo: US$55 to 3*** (Can upgrade to 4 or 5 star also)
- Upgrade to Vista Dome: US$57 per person
- Single Supplement – US$30 2* for single travelers
WHY CHOOSE SAM TRAVEL
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 TOUR & SHORT INCA TRAIL PACKAGE
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.
Please read carefully the following information; it will help you answer all of your questions about our services and Rainbow Mountain & Short inca Trail Tour Package
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 trekking 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 Rainbow Mountain & Short inca Trail Tour Package 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 SHORT INCA TRAIL ADVENTURE HIKING PACKAGE
Please be ready with the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group). We cannot purchase an Inca trail permit, 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 Inca Trail permit, 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.
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 Rainbow Mountain & Short inca Trail Tour Package, the deposit is not refundable at all!
DO I NEED MY ORIGINAL PASSPORT FOR THE SACRED VALLEY TOUR & SHORT INCA TRAIL PACKAGE
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!!
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.
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The Rainbow Mountain & Short Inca Trail Tour Package does not include extra porter, so, you will need to carry all your thing, please try to pack as light as possible which is the key to enjoy this amazing trek.
What you have to take with you for the Sacred Valley Tour & Short Inca Trail Package + Sacred Valley?
- Original Passport (it has to be the same you have used for booking your trek)
- Valid, GREEN ISIC card (if you booked as a student)
- Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
- Water storage: 2-3 litre Camelbaks are encouraged.
- Comfortable hiking boots with ankle support
- Toilet Paper
- 2 t-shirts
- 1 hiking pants at least
- 2 sets of undergarments
- 2 sets of hiking socks
- Couple Fleece/ Thermals
- Warm clothes, down jacket
- Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves, take them)
- Small bottle of soap: we provide warm water each day to wash.
- Battery Charger: No electricity along the trek
- Large plastic bags will be provided at the office — Please ask for them.
- Face moisturizer
- Hand Sanitizer
- Wet wipes
- Toothbrush and paste
- Personal medications
- First aid kit: band aids, moleskin, etc.
- Sun Hat
- Wool Hat
- Rain gear
- Snacks like chocolate bars, cereal bars or any dry fruits
- Coca leaves.
- Rain plastic poncho (provided by SAM)
- Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips