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If you are looking for an easier alternative to the 4-day trek but still want to enjoy time in the breathtaking Andean Mountains, this trip is for you! Hike along the original stone staircases of the Inca Trail up to Inti Punku, and be amazed by the views over the magical site of Machu Picchu.
Cuzco to Ollantaytambo to KM 104, Trek to Inti Punku (Sun Gate), Transfer to Aguas Calientes (L/D)
Accommodation pick-up at 3:45 - 4:00 am and transfer to the Ollantaytambo train station for the journey to KM 104, the beginning point of our trek. A 4-hour hike uphill will bring us to the archaeological site of Wiñayhuayna (2,700m) where our professional guide will explain the culture and history of the site. A well deserved lunch will be served after another short 10-minute hike. In the afternoon we will continue hiking to reach the Inti Punku (Sun Gate) where we will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the majestic Machu Picchu citadel. A tourist-class bus will transfer the group to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu town) where we will spend the night.
Overnight: Hotel in Aguas Calientes
Depart Aguas Calientes to Explore Machu Picchu & Return to Cuzco (B)
Take a tourist-class bus back up to Machu Picchu first thing in the morning for a guided tour with a professional bilingual guide who will explain the history and culture of Machu Picchu. If you desire to hike Huayna Picchu or return to the Inti Punku, you will have free time to do so. Wander around the site at your leisure after the tour to take photos and absorb the magical vibes of this miraculous mountain top citadel. Return to Aguas Calientes by tourist-class bus. In the town you will find internet cafes, cafes with board games and cards, plenty of shops and places to relax. Visit the local marketplace right next to the train tracks where you can shop until the train whistle blows signaling your return to Ollantaytambo. Take the bus back to Cuzco and get dropped off late in the day at the Plaza San Francisco. Please make your own way to the accommodation of your choice.
DESCRIPTION OF MACHU PICCHU GUIDED SITE VISIT: The one and only, the most spectacular (and not to mention most popular) archaeological site in all of South America. Your guide will take you on a 2-hour tour of Machu Picchu walking you through the most important sites and covering the history of the place (if you haven't already heard it all during the Inca Trail Trek). Then you will have free time to explore on your own and take pictures at your leisure.
Take an OPTIONAL hike up the steep peak named Huayna Picchu, which is located inside the Machu Picchu archaeological site. This sometimes muddy peak takes about 45 - 60 minutes to hike up and awards you with unforgettable views of Machu Picchu from a coveted perspective. Keep in mind that if you want to take this optional hike, you must now purchase your ticket at least 2 weeks in advance for an additional cost in order to get one of the 400 passes (200 people are allowed up at 7:00am and 200 more at 10:00am). Trekkers arriving from the Inca Trail will only arrive on time for the 10:00am trek. Most trekkers are usually too tired to do this extra trek, but true adventurers shouldn’t miss out! Please send us an email directly to request this extra ticket.
This hike is Moderate - a 10km trail mostly uphill, with 550 meters of uphill that might be difficult for people who are afraid of heights.
Cancellation by Client 30+ days prior to trek departure - Charged 65% of the total booking price Between 0 and 29 days prior to trek departure - No Refund
Single travelers will share a room with another traveler & couples will have a private room.
SUGGESTED PACKING LIST:
Bring or Rent in Cuzco: hiking poles, rain pants, rain poncho, trekking boots, sandals, warm socks, sweater, thermals, hat, gloves, sun hat, sun block, sun glasses, flashlight/torch, camera, extra batteries and memory card (there is limited to no electricity available during the trek), waterproof bags for your camera, hand sanitizer, personal first aid kit, water bottle. Bring extra cash for snacks, water, gatorade which doubles or triples in price along the trail.