Permits have a daily quota and the Inca Trail completely shuts down for the month of February. The tour companies pick you up as early as 5am to drive to the trailhead which is one and a half hours away. Ill be posting a packing list soon theres definitely things Id do differently if I did it again. The duration of the trip by train (one way) depends on the station where the train is taken: If you want to know more information about the scheduales train and services, please visit: train from Cusco to Machu Picchu. In addition, the rainy season brings delicious seasonal fruits that you can not taste anywhere else in the world. Dont worry, three days of acclimatization in Cusco wont feel like a waste of time. In Cusco city, its possible to see many of the Cusco highlights in 3 days, but of course, you would need to utilize guided tours and/or drivers. For this stop, I was particularly thankful to not be in a big tour bus because the road to get here is a bit dangerous. Follow this street by foot past Plaza San Francisco. Peru Travel Resources | Visiting Machu Picchu the Basics. You had the opportunity to see so much! When you reach Calle Tupac Amaro youll see Mercado de Abastos, which is an indoor market filled with food and other trinkets. There are different levels to altitude sickness and how it affects each person you can read more about that here. Involvesall tourist attraction of the lost city of the Incas, Circuit #3:This ticket involves the Machu Picchu mountain ticket. Take all the photos you can, then you can choose between them. Take it easy when you land in Cusco and try not to do anything too strenuous. The mountain is called Vinicunca in the native Quechua language. That's right. From here, its about an hour and half hike to reach the colorful turquoise lake. s.src = u + '?v=' + (+new Date()); Be mindful that the rain can fall heavy and that mudslides and landslides can occur. The highlight of this trip is the visit to the Inca site of Cachicata, the quarry that supplies the stones used in the construction of Ollantaytambo. At least 2 days of acclimatization are necessary before starting any activity in At nearly double the elevation, Waqrapukara elevation is 13,580 ft. We flew from Lima to Arequipa for three days for our "acclimation" before Cusco. Search, watch, and cook every single Tasty recipe and video ever - all in one place! Alternatively, in the local markets and restaurants visited by locals, and a vast majority of the public transportation options and collectivos, no English is spoken. I am always fascinated when I see images of Inca culture: The precision with which they were able to form the landscape is mind boggling. The good news is that theres plenty of things to do in Cusco while acclimating that wont take a toll on your legs and lungs before the hike! This area is known for its handwoven goods. If drinking, it may be best to take a taxi home instead of walking. The Absolute Best Things to Do in Cusco Peru, The Complete Oaxaca Itinerary for 3 Days to 2 Weeks, Game-Changing Camino de Santiago Tips for First Time Pilgrims, A Taste of the Picos de Europa National Park in Northern Spain, 2023 Packing up the Pieces Journey Theme by Restored 316. In the morning we will visit fascinating ruins located very close to the center of Cusco: Sacsayhuamn, Kenko, Puca Pucara and Tambomachay. Once in the city of Cusco (Peru), the visitor should approach the chosen train station (Poroy, Urubamba or Ollantaytambo station). Ultimate Cusco Trekking Guide | Complete Peru Packing List for Multi-Day Treks. This train highlights the Peruvian highlands and is a luxury experience in Peru. Detailed Travel Guide | Cusco & Sacred Valley Itinerary in One Week. In Kenko we can tour the mysterious underground room carved into the rock and follow the path of the channels that transported the chicha for the ceremonies that took place there. Symptoms may be mild to rather extreme. Imagine you get to Cusco, get altitude sickness, and then have to hike a mountain the next day? Really I would say just don't drink alcohol. From Poroy Station (Cusco): The trip takes approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes. They varied from 8-25. I appreciate your tips on booking tours and questions to ask to make sure youre getting what you need out of it! Before plan how many days to spend in Cusco and Machu Picchu, if you plan to make this trip on your own and not on an organized tour, know that any trip to Cusco and Machu Picchu, begins with the purchase of tickets to Machu Picchu, especially if what you want is the Huayna Picchu mountain, since the Huayna Picchu tickets+ circuit 4 must be booked at least 4 months in advance and still, you will have to settle for the tickets available for the remaining days. The guide will likely stop on the way so that you can buy an entry ticket. The mineral sediments were left revealing the diverse colors. WebAusangate Trek To Rainbow Mountain Without Guide From 4 to 6 Days Ausangate To Rainbow Mountain Trek Comprehensive Hiking Guide in Cusco Peru. Treks to Machu Picchu range from the Inca Trail, Salkantay Trek, or the intrepid and advanced Choquequirao to Machu Picchu trek. Obsessed with travel? Planning to acclimate to the altitude in Cusco before hiking the Inca Trail? The only way to access the park is via a two day trek from the small village of Cachora. So, how many days to spend in Cusco and Machu Picchu? If a Cusco Free Walking Tour doesnt interest you, heres a few more ideas for a Cusco itinerary. At the briefing, you get to meet your guide and learn the final details on the hike. Use this last day to explore more of the city wandering the streets and picking up souvenirs. When youre ready to start moving, buy a ticket to La Catedral (S/ 25). Enjoy every moment! This is enough for most people. The main Rainbow Mountain viewpoint sits at a shocking 17,060 feet (5200 meters). Travel Tip | If spending more than a month in Cusco, look for guesthouses or apartments that offer a monthly discount code. So nice that you were there for the parade! The Inca Jungle trekto Machu Picchu 4 Days is one of the best alternative routes of the Inca Trail, which will take you on a combined route, between mountain biking, hiking and few sections by car, as well as optional adventures how; Rafting and zip line or zip line, for 4 days until arriving at Machu Picchu, definitely an unforgettable experience. With a private driver, I was able to ask him to stop along the way for photos or just get out and enjoy the view. If you are looking for a way to extend your itinerary, adding a multiday trek Another great thing to do in Cusco is browse the many artisan shops. To get to Machu Picchu by train you must book tickets online in advance. Start your day with an early tour pickup wherever youre staying (our pickup was 6:45am). The possibility of climbing the other mountain and not die trying to do both in one day. I mean this quite literally! The Lares Valley is one of the best options for those who want to be in contact with nature and local people, see beautiful landscapes without bumping into many tourists, and if you are lucky at the highest point you can see one of the largest birds in the world: condors. These leaves are a staple plant to help fight altitude sickness and can either be chewed or steeped in tea. Do as the locals do and use these medicinal leaves to help combat altitude sickness symptoms. Coca leaves in their natural form are a mild stimulant compared to coffee. We enjoyed the buffet lunch at Inca House Restaurant. Next door is another station that has favorable bus companies like Civa and Cruz del Sur. Arriving at the airport, take a taxi to your accommodation. Cusco, a city with one of the highest elevations in Peru, sits just above 11,000 feet. Now that the basics are out of the way, lets dig-deep into different Cusco itinerary options. The neary town of Urubumba is a great place to stop for lunch. I am yet to visit Peru but its on my list! This is the best way to visit Rainbow Mountain to avoid the crowds. After booking Machu Picchu tickets, the next thing is to book train tickets, then you can worry about plane tickets, hotels and guides. The city of Cusco sits around 11,400ft. I think this is a great way to prepare for a hike! Look like lots of history to explore in Cusco! Required fields are marked *. I made an appointment to get a prescription (called Acetazolamide) and my doctor recommended I take them starting the night before, and then 1-2 per day as needed. 3) Drink lots of water because you may become dehydrated. in your suitcase and leave it at your hotel, hostel or tour company office. So you're going to Cusco! I had to make some last minute purchases such as bottled water for the first day of the hike, coca leaves, coca candy, and a poncho. Week Number Calculator Find the week number for any date. Most Cusco tours to the Sacred Valley include the four sites of Pisac, Chinchero, Moray, and Ollantaytambo. Do they offer a private or small group options? Its one of the more ornate churches I have been in so it was nice to just sit and soak it in for a while. Your email address will not be published. The short answer is at least two to three days. I did not know this at first and was panicking the entire weekend trip. TOUR OF CUSCO AND MACHU PICCHU IN 2 DAYS Day 01: Route in However, I have seen Cusco in the rainy season and everything is so lush and full of life, it truly is remarkable. The nights during dry season are much colder than rainy season. Given time, your body can adapt to the decrease in oxygen molecules at a specific altitude. Find Humantay Mountain sitting picturesquely in the backdrop. Intrepid hikers can visit Rainbow mountain without the crowds by adding the hike to Rainbow Mountain as part of the Ausangate trek. : Yes!! Try to hop in on the morning Blue Team Free Walking Tour Cusco. Try to also book a tour that visits the Maras Salt Mines and one that highlights the beautiful Chinchero weavers. However, if you want your first vision of Machu Picchu to be from the Puerta del Sol (Inti Punku), but you don't want to walk for 4 days, you can choose the short Inca Trail (2 days). There is not one in Maukallacta, but three! The local guides stop by many of the top places to see in the Cusco Historical Center and give a brief history of the Inca empire and the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors. Some tour companies will stop so you can learn a bit about how they dye the yarn and weave the unique patterns native to Chinchero. The authentic village is centrally located and close to so many of the Sacred Valley highlights. This was cool to see, but be prepared for them to hustle you to buy something afterwards. During the rainy season, expect cloudy skies and showers, usually heaviest in the afternoon. You can buy the tourist ticket in the Plaza de Armas of Cusco, this will serve you not only to visit places like Sacsayhuaman, and other archaeological sites around the city, but to visit the churches of Cusco and the archaeological sites in the towns of the Incas' Sacred Valley. Here are the questions I recommend asking: I prefer to go at my own pace in small groups. This incredible trek near Cusco never dips below 4,000 meters and can include an add-on hike to Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley. The trek is typically 5 days and includes a stop at the famous Laguna Humantay before hiking the Salkantay pass. There are no shortages of Cusco Hotels, hostels, guest houses, and bed and breakfasts in Cusco. Most people visit as a guided day tour from Cusco as the tour companies provide oxygen. Packing up the Pieces is all about authentic off-the-beaten-path experiences, comprehensive travelogues, detailed hiking and adventure guides, alongside my personal struggles and heartfelt moments while on the road. We were so fortunate to experience the festival! You can utilize the above Cusco travel guide for 3 or 4 days and space out time between Cusco and the Sacred Valley. We believe that this is the ideal way, but it can vary if it comes from very low places, since it will need a previous acclimatization, and it can be done in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, to then go to Machu Picchu and finish its journey in the city of Cusco. Watch the sun go down in the San Blas Plaza, or keep climbing the steep staircases to watch the sun go down at one of the best parks in Cusco, Qenqo Chico. Fromepic hikes around the worldto adventures closer to my home inMinnesota, Im here to help you discover what adventure means to you! It is recommended you drink lots of waterbefore and during your trip Cusco is about 75 kilometers from Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo only 32 kilometers. The Cusco historical city center is extremely walkable, so one of the best ways to enjoy the Imperial City is to simply walk, stroll, and take it all in. Please reference my handy chart above, but NYC (where I permanently live) is 33 ft above sea level, while Cusco is 11,200 ft above sea level. Instead I opted for a delicious meal at Morena on Calle Plateros. Skip Rainbow Mountain until after the Inca Trail! Ollantaytambo is a popular stop on any tour of the Sacred Valley but its also a common starting point for hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Traveling Cusco independently really allows for an immersive experience and is budget friendly. To hike the Inca Trail you must obtain a permit, which are limited. I love pleasant surprises like that. The Cusco Tourist ticket does include some museums, a statue, and a nightly show, but the biggest draw of the Cusco Tourist Ticket are the Inca ruins. Heres how to visit Maukallacta as a day trip from Cusco. To be honest, the citadel looks great from the mountains, but within the citadel there is much more to know. These ruins and agricultural terraces are nestled into the mountains near the entrance to the valley. They also recommend the best restaurants in Cusco Peru, share local gems, take you through the bohemian San Blas neighborhood, and walk you past the famed Cusco 12 angle stone. The Ausangate Trek is a high-altitude 70km hike in the Peruvian mountains near Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of the most magical experiences Ive had to date. It was a bit confusing to work through all of the options (especially since my Spanish is not great). Is that we should visit the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu in two days. Hi! The Cusco tourist ticket includes the best places in the city, the Cathedral of Cusco is probably the first place you visit in your journey through the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, then you can walk to the Coricancha. On day 2 I had a really bad headache all day. The short answer is at least two to three days. I will like to stop by all those sites. Wow, there is so much to see and do near Cusco! Especially the first day you arrive. for this exact reason. document.getElementById( "ak_js_1" ).setAttribute( "value", ( new Date() ).getTime() ); This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. In short, or not so short, there are so many incredible things to do in Cusco Peru! After half a day you can have lunch in Urubamba, the commercial center of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and if you did not know, the best white corn in the world is produced in this town. Heres a breakdown of things to do in Cusco while acclimating by day. Do not forget to take the Tourist Ticket, which includes the entrance to the most important archaeological sites. Cusco itinerary for seven days of travel Days One and Two: Cusco. Sacred Valley Travel Guide | Over 60+ Things to Do in the Sacred Valley Peru. . The short answer is at least two to three days. But, this will vary greatly depending on your fitness level, typical altitude, and many other factors. You will see incredible landscapes on that old path. If you have more time to spare, there are so many neat Cusco day trips to add to a Cusco itinerary that many tourists miss. Symptoms include headaches, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and lightheadedness. The Classic Inca Trail is a bucket-list item for many travelers. Inca civilization has caught my fancy for long and it sure features in my bucket list. In my humble opinion, there is no bad time to visit Cusco, since the city offers so many unique things to do and each season has its perks. Huayna Picchu tickets is most popular tickets in the all travellers. Deposit: $538. Thanks so much! Or People who live at lower elevations and are not used to higher altitudes and people who have had altitude sickness previously seem to have a higher risk for altitude sickness. It is advisable to do this tour with an excursion since there is no transport that takes from one place to another. With less time, private drivers and organized tours will help maximize sightseeing possibilities in Cusco. Disclaimer: Theres a chance this post contains affiliate links, and I receive a small (but grateful) portion of the sale. A Cusco 5 day itinerary would be more relaxed and enjoyable and give some time to acclimate while in Cusco. Those considering multi-day trekking in Cusco should shoot for at least one month in Cusco. The Choquequirao Trek pass through a winding road built in recent times by the Peruvian government, the road to Choquequirao from the second day of the tour is regularly demanding, however it is rewarded by the captivating landscape beauty and a welcoming climate that belongs to the ecological floor of the jungle eyebrow, and above all the charming archaeological park located on a rugged topography, which at the time of the height of the Incas was undoubtedly a place of greater importance in a political and administrative sense, probably with a lower category religious in front of Machu Picchu. This process is known as acclimatization and generally takes 1-3 daysat that altitude. If you prefer to do it on your own, you can hire a taxi to take you on the tour. Walk for 4 days to enter the Inca City of Machu Picchu. You photos are wonderful. Enjoy Huchuy Qosqo (20 PEN /$5.25 USD) and continue all the way downhill into Lamay in the Sacred Valley.