This is a quick escape straight to the lights of Cusco with a gentle itinerary so you can enjoy every moment of your adventurous trip. We begin in Cusco, where you will explore the archeological sites with a walking tour and from there you will go down to 8,000 ft. by train to explore Machu Picchu as a day trip. After 3 to 4 hours in Machu Picchu you will travel to the the Sacred Valley for your overnight stay.
The next day on the way back to the airport from the Sacred Valley you will have a chance to see the Ollantaytambo ruins and maybe the Pisac ruins, based on your departure flight schedule.
A cosmopolitan city with over 300 thousand inhabitants, located on the eastern side of the Andes at almost 11,000 ft. above sea level and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities, it has a complex history, woven with significant events and legends. It's an urban center created by the Incas, then added onto by the conquering Spaniards, who built Baroque churches and palaces throughout the ancient city, leaving its foundation intact. Much of its highly crafted early stone architecture is preserved in the ground floors of colonial and modern structures.
Known as the home and residence of gods and the spiritual and political capital of the Incan Empire, it is a city built in the shape of a puma that can only be seen from the air. You will walk through Incan streets that are illuminated by the sun every winter solstice, and experience some of the most important Incan and Spanish religious sites, such as Qorikancha, also known as the Golden Enclosure, which displays a sophisticated stone construction technology, and Cusco Cathedral, which is still in use today and contains an art gallery consisting of 17th-century canvasses in the Cusco School of painting, with a special highlight consisting of 'The Last Supper' featuring a guinea pig.
You will have the rest of the day to support the local economy at the unique galleries or at the handicraft markets. We will also explore Sacsayhuaman, an Inca fortress 400 ft./120 m above the city of Cusco. The site was built with massive boulders, some of which weigh more than 100 tons. The Spaniards did not believe that such monolithic stones could be moved by human beings and they attributed Sacsayhuaman's construction to the mythical Cyclops. Thus, this type of architecture is known as the "Cyclopean Inka style".
Spanish conquistadors. For sure, it was not an ordinary Inka settlement; it sat in an inaccessible location high above the Urubamba gorge and had exquisite engineering and architecture. Was it a spiritual and pilgrimage center located within a sacred geography? Or perhaps a royal retreat for the king, Inka Pachacutec? Or maybe the biggest or the first agricultural research center built by the Inkas? Whatever its purpose may have been, you will have a chance to explore every corner of the majestic Machu Picchu.
Our tour in Machupicchu will finish with the sunset, when the park rangers get rid of us from the site.
Evening return by train back to the Sacred valley.
Based on your flight out of Cusco, on the way back to the airport we will explore Ollantaytambo. Here you'll witness an exquisite example of Incan stonework: the unique Sun Temple made out of pink granite boulders each weighing 50 tons. We will walk through the marvels of a superbly preserved Incan town named in honor of an Incan warrior called Ollantay, who was deeply in love with Kusi Qoyllur, the forbidden and "high maintenance" daughter of King Inka Pachacutec. After this you will visit classic Inca ruins perched on a hill top in Pisac, where the western side is a gorge with vertical walls that house Incan burial sites on its sheer face, and on its eastern side lays a very fertile valley, along with well-preserved Incan farming terraces. Way up on the crest of the mountain there are hanging stairs and Incan "condos", surrounded by awesome views.Lunch & dinner at your expense
Hotels are in unique locations suited to exploring even more of the Sacred Valley and in Cusco you are located close to various restaurants, museums, shopping places and bars. They are not luxury, but they are not basic either. They have all the amenities that an adventure traveler like you might need, and they are charming.