Day 1: From Cusco to the Sacred Valley – Via Ferrata and Zip Line
Early in the morning, we’ll pick you up at your hotel, and we’ll travel in a private vehicle to Pachar, at 2899 meters (9511 feet) above sea level, near Ollantaytambo. Here we’ll meet our guides who will provide us with harnesses and will explain the via ferrata climbing technique and how to descend via zip line. We’ll start climbing and following the iron circuit until we reach the zip line (a pulley suspended from cables mounted on an incline or decline, propelled by gravity). The zip line will take us along the mountain with a spectacular view of the Urubamba River and Sacred Valley with its mountains and agricultural Inca terraces. Box lunch. Overnight in a hotel in the Sacred Valley.
Day 2: Sacred Valley – Canoeing down the Urubamba River
We’ll pick you up at your hotel and head to our private dock located in Pachar. There you will receive your rafting equipment and a talk about safety. After some practice in the flat areas of the river, we’ll start our journey over calm waters, as we admire the spectacular view of the mountains and archaeological remains. We’ll continue on towards Ollantaytambo and its amazing Inca terraces, as we experience Class 2 and 3 rapids. We’ll end our journey in El Resbaladero, a very strong Class 3 rapid featuring waves and small whirlpools. After lunch, we’ll have some time to explore the area, and to do some walking to see how the local residents harvest their crops and engage in agricultural work. We set up camp in the town of Cachiccata. Lunch en route, dinner at the campsite.
Day 3: Cachiccata – Trekking/Horseback riding to the quarries
After breakfast, we’ll depart our campsite and head toward the top of the hill, to the incredible Inca quarry, where we can visit Inca terraces and tombs until reaching the base of one of the most important mountains of the area, a granite geological formation called the Apu Buena Negra. Here, the guide will explain to us what techniques were used to cut and transport the rocks to the Ollantaytambo complex. After this explanation, we’ll continue down the same path used by the Incas to transport rocks of varying tonnage to the Ollantaytambo fortress. From the Cachiccata quarry, we have an amazing view of the Veronica mountain (one of the most important in Urubamba), and of the Pakaritampu pyramid, built on the bases of agricultural terraces, as well as the town of Ollantaytambo and its fortress. We start our descent after lunch as we admire the Sacred Valley of the Incas with its beautiful traditional houses and its fields of green corn bathed by the Urubamba River. Our trek ends at the Ollantaytambo fortress. The main source of income in the town of Cachiccata is agriculture, especially corn. The houses in this community were built on rock foundations, using adobe (mud bricks) to build one or two-floor homes, all with thatched roofs. We’ll have lunch on the way, and dinner at the campsite in Cachiccata.
Day 4: Cachiccata – Inca Trail Express – Km 104*
After breakfast, we will go from Cachiccata to the Ollantaytambo train station, to board the train that will take us to Km 104. From here we’ll trek for three hours to the Wiñay Wayna archaeological site, at 2900 meters (9514 feet) above sea level. En route, we will enjoy the views of spectacular waterfalls and an unforgettable landscape. After lunch we’ll have time to explore the ruins, and to walk through the homes, terraces and towers. We will then visit Inti Punku, or the Gate of the Sun, from where we will see for the first time the grandeur of one of the most important archaeological findings of our time, Macchu Picchu. We’ll go down to the entrance gate to the citadel, and from there we’ll board a local bus to the town of Aguas Calientes, where we’ll spend the night. *Dinner for this day is not included.
Day 5: Machu Picchu – Return to Cusco
We’ll take the first bus very early in the morning to Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas. We usually arrive in Machu Picchu at about 07:00 a.m., and at this time you can enjoy a peaceful visit to the citadel before most visitors arrive. After a guided visit through the complex, you will have time to explore it on your own. The more adventurous types can climb Huayna Picchu** and enjoy incredible views of Machu Picchu. At the scheduled time, we will go down to Aguas Calientes, where we’ll board our return train. Upon arrival, a private vehicle will be waiting to take us to our hotel in Cusco. * Lunch and dinner for this day are not included. ** Please note that the ascent to Huayna Picchu is restricted to a maximum number of visitors per day, therefore an admission ticket must be purchased in advance. **Please note: This schedule is for reference only and is subject to change.