For a great tour package for those short on time but want to cover all Sacred Valley with all of its treasures and archeological sites, and trek the 1 Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate, this is the perfect hiking packing.
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.
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 majestic Machu Picchu, the Incan ruins rich in history of its past and the thriving culture of the people who once resided there.
***It is very important for potential trekkers for the 1 Day Inca Trail to understand that you are doing the same trail as the 2 Day Inca Trail, just quicker. Trekkers need to be in moderate to excellent physical condition to be able to do this trek and arrive in Machu Picchu in time. If you think the trek may be too much, you may book the 2 day Inca Trail which arrives to Machu Picchu in one day but at a slower pace and later in the day and all of the trekkers stay a night in Aguas Calientes and visit Machu Picchu the next day for their tour. There is also time to be able to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain with the 2 day trek.
DAY 1: 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 to Urumbamba for lunch.
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 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 saltpans 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 saltpans and evaporated to produce a salt that is used for 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. Here we spend the night at your hotel in Ollantaytambo, ready to start the Inca Trail the next day.
- Hotel in Ollantaytambo: Tunupa lodge, Iskay Hotel depending on availability
- Meals: Breakfast
Day 2: Ollantaytambo – Km104 – Wiñaywayna – Sun Gate – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes – Cusco
Your guide will pick you up at your hotel at 5:30 am in Ollantaytambo to transfer you to the Ollantaytambo train station for the 6:10am Expedition train. After an hour 15 minutes train trip, we arrive at 104 kilometer (2,100m/6,927ft) of the Cusco-Machu Picchu road where we begin your trek and pass by the first check point. Afterwards, we begin a moderate climb for three hours to the magnificent archaeological site of Wiñayhuana (2,650m/8747ft). Once we arrive you may enjoy the spectacular views of the Urubamba canyon, stunning Inca sites and the connection with the traditional four day Inca Trail.
After we have had time to enjoy this beautiful sight, we continue our hike towards the Sun Gate (2,730mts/9,007ft). From there you will have the first spectacular view of Machu Picchu Citadel in all its brilliance and majestic monumentality. After enjoying the view, we walk downhill for about one hour to the citadel of Machu Picchu. Once there we will visit one of the most important mystic centers of the world: Machu Picchu Sanctuary. A 2.5 hour guided tour takes you into the fascinating history of these mysterious ruins.
After that you will have plenty of time for further exploration of Machu Picchu and taking photos before we head down to Aguas Calientes. In the evening (6:20pm) you will take the return Expedition train to Ollantaytambo and catch our private van to Cusco and your hotel. You will arrive around 10:00 pm.
Meals: Box Lunch
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult.
WHAT IS INCLUDED
- Sacred Valley Tour
- Entrances to the Inca cities and archeological sites
- Inca Trail permit
- Professional guide for two days.
- Expedition train from Ollantaytambo to KM 104 and from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.
- One nights hotel accommodation with private room, bathroom and breakfast included.
- Meals a indicated on the itinerary
- Bus tickets from Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes.
- Personal assistance.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED
- Hotel – optional upgrades
- Upgrade to Vista Dome: US$57 per person – return train in the afternoon at 6:20pm to Ollantaytambo only.
- Tips for your guide
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
US$527 per person without hotel
US$567 per person with 1 night hotel
***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!
- 18 to 25 years old: US$30 Information required on student card: name of university, student name, photo of student, expiration date etc. A copy of the card at booking is required & government approval for discount.
- 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.
- Upgrade to Vista Dome Train: US$57. (Aguas Calientes to Poroy (Cusco) at 4:43pm)
- Single Supplement – US$30
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
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 Sacred Valley & 1 Day Inca Trail
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 “Moray, Salt mines & Machu Picchu Trip”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 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 student 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 11 to 17 years, the discount is $30.
- For children from the age of 2 to 11 the discount is $40.
- 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 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 Moray, Salt Mine & Machu Picchu Trip, the deposit is not refundable at all!
DO I NEED MY ORIGINAL PASSPORT?
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!!
ARE WE DROPPED AT OUR HOTEL?
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 spend the night at Ollantaytambo before the trek, we wil pick you up there.
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.
The 1 Inca Trail Machu Picchu DOES NOT INCLUDE the extra porter, so, you will need to carry all your things, please try to pack as light as possible which is the key to enjoy this amazing trek
WHAT YOU SHOULD BRING FOR SACRED VALLEY & 1 DAY INCA TRAIL
- Original Passport (it has to be the same you have used for booking your trek)
- Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
- Water bottle: 2 liters
- Comfortable hiking boots with ankle support
- Toilet Paper
- Dress in layers
- Hand Sanitizer
- Wet wipes
- Personal medications
- Sun Hat
- Wool Hat only in the cold season
- Rain gear if rainy season
- Snacks like chocolate bars, cereal bars or any dry fruits
- Rain plastic poncho (provided by SAM)
- Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips