Cusco and the Short Inca Trail | Discover South America

Cusco and the Short Inca Trail

  • Winay Wayna
7 days / 6 nights from £1,150 per person Based on two people sharing double or twin rooms in standard accommodation. Flights are available separately.
Pick & Mix tour in Peru

Enjoy a taste of the stunning Inca Trail to Machu Picchu on this walking holiday in the Cusco area. Hike the ruins around Cusco and take the short Inca Trail to Winay Wayna (one of the most impressive sites on the longer Inca Trail) before spending the night in a comfortable hotel in Aguas Calientes, visiting Machu Picchu the next day. No camping required!

Day

City

Activity

Overnight

Meals*

Day 1

Cusco

Arrive Cusco and transfer to hotel

Cusco

-

Day 2

Cusco

Morning Cusco Ruins Walk with private guide

Cusco

B

Day 3

Cusco

Free day in Cusco

Cusco

B

Day 4

Cusco

Full Day Group Sacred Valley Tour ending Ollantaytambo

Ollantaytambo

B, L

Day 5

Cusco

Two Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu - Day One

Aguas Calientes

B, L, D

Day 6

Cusco

Machu Picchu (2,400m/7873ft) & return to Cusco

Cusco

B

Day 7

Cusco

Depart Cusco

-

B

* B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner


Day 1: Arrive Cusco and transfer to hotel

Upon arrival in Cusco you will have a private transfer to your chosen hotel. The rest of the day is free to start exploring the city or relax and acclimatise to the altitude. Spend the night at our standard hotel in Cusco.

Day 2: Morning Cusco Ruins Walk with private guide

You will be picked up from your hotel by your private English speaking local guide for a morning walk around the ruins above the City of Cusco. You will travel to Tambo Machay (the Water Temple) in a private vehicle, and from there walk back down to the City of Cusco. The walk takes about 4 hours, stopping to visit the archaeological sites of Puca Pucara (the Red Fort), Q'enko with its underground alter, and the impressive fortress of Sacsayhuaman. You will be back in Cusco in time for lunch, where there are plenty of restaurants to choose from. The rest of the afternoon is free. Spend the night at our standard hotel in Cusco.

Day 3: Free day in Cusco

After breakfast, you have a whole day to enjoy the City of Cusco. You might want to visit some of the city's varied museums, the handicraft markets, or the central San Pedro market, as well as the San Blas neighbourhood and you will surely want to try a local restaurant or two. Spend the night at our standard hotel in Cusco.

Day 4: Full Day Group Sacred Valley Tour ending Ollantaytambo

After breakfast, you will meet your guide for a full day Group Tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Your first stop is the picturesque town of Pisac and its colourful handicraft market. At midday you will stop for a buffet lunch at a traditional restaurant. In the afternoon you continue to the town and Inca Fortress of Ollantaytambo, a huge administrative, agricultural, civil, military and religious complex from the time of the Inca Empire. The rest of the group will continue back to Cusco but you will check into your hotel and have free time in the afternoon and evening to appreciate the town of Ollantaytambo when most other tourists have left. Spend the night at our standard hotel in Ollantaytambo.

Day 5: Two Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu - Day One

You will be collected from your hotel early in the morning by your private English speaking guide and have a transfer to Km104 of the railroad, where you will begin your trek. After walking on a steady uphill gradient for approximately 4 hours you will reach the Inca site of Wiñay Wayna ('Forever Young') (2680m/8792ft), one of the most impressive sites on the trek. The trail passes through lush and verdant cloud forest where you will see a variety of plants, flowers and birds along the way. From here you will join the Inca Trail itself, continuing on to the 'Inti Punku' ('Sun gate') (2730m/8792ft) from where you will have your first dramatic, panoramic view of Machu Picchu (2400m/7873ft). Before reaching Machu Picchu, you will take a side path off the trail to go down to Aguas Calientes, leaving the visit to Machu Picchu for the next day. Dinner in Aguas Calientes is included. Spend the night at our standard hotel in Aguas Calientes.

Day 6: Machu Picchu (2,400m/7873ft) & return to Cusco

You will have an early start today as you take the bus up to Machu Picchu, arriving in time to watch the first rays of sunlight hit the citadel. Then your guide will start the 2 hour tour which takes in the major sectors of the site, the Intiwatana or sun dial, the Sun temple and the Condor temple among others. After the tour you will have a chance to explore the city independently. When you are ready you can take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes where there are plenty of restaurants to choose from for lunch. In the afternoon you will travel back to Cusco. Spend the night at our standard hotel in Cusco.

Day 7: Depart Cusco

At the appropriate time you will have a private transfer from your hotel to Cusco airport, to check-in for your flight.


Included:
  • 6 nights in 3* hotels in twin or double rooms with private bathrooms, including breakfast
  • All ground transport mentioned
  • All necessary transfers with Spanish speaking driver
  • Tours as described with English speaking local guide (in a group unless otherwise specified)
  • Entrance fees to all places visited on your tours unless otherwise specified
  • Meals as indicated
  • Days 5-6: The Short Inca Trail
  • Professional bilingual trekking guide
  • First aid kit including oxygen
Not Included:
  • Unspecified meals and services
  • Optional tips for guides and/or drivers
  • International and domestic flights
  • Airport taxes

Click on image to enlarge
Winay WaynaPisacSaqsayhuamanWinay WaynaOllantaytamboDiscover South America's Heather on the Inca TrailSun Gate at Machu PicchuMachu Picchu

Standard hotels and lodges are clean, comfortable and well located. They have en-suite bathrooms with hot water and towels, and some in-room facilities like a TV and phone. Depending on the location, many will have wi-fi at least in the lobby areas if not in the rooms. They are often small, locally-run establishments, and are tastefully decorated and full of charm. You can expect hotel staff to speak basic English. Our standard accommodation is usually classified locally as 3*.

It goes without saying that Superior hotels are also clean, comfortable and well located.  They offer that extra bit of comfort and a wider range of facilities (such as heating, hair dryers, cable TV, wifi in rooms, restaurant and sometimes room service). Rooms should be of a good size and you will have an en-suite bathroom with towels and some toiletries.  Staff will normally speak good English.

All our tours are fully customisable - please ask us about any changes you would like to make to this itinerary.