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Cusco – Rainbow Mountain – Machu Picchu 5D/4N

This tour combines Cusco´s classic attractions, Machu Picchu, and one of Peru´s newest sensations, Rainbow Mountain. Spend five days surrounded by history, tradition, and stunning scenery in the heart of the Andes, as you fall in love with the region´s many wonders on the trip of a lifetime!

You will stay in quality hotels and hostels specially selected by our agency, and receive included private transportation to and from the airport on the first and last days of your tour. Please note that meals are not included on this tour; however, with several excellent restaurants in Cusco, you will have no trouble finding plenty to eat!

In order to book this tour, you must provide your passport and flight information. We recommend booking two to three months in advance for maximum ease and flexibility.

This package is not finished yet. We appreciate your understanding.

Summary

PLACES VISITED ON THE TOUR:

  • City of Cusco
  • Sacred Valley
  • Aguas Calientes
  • Rainbow Mountain
  • Machu Picchu

Day by day

Day 1: Arrival in Cusco – Optional City Tour

You will be welcomed at the Cusco airport by our staff, and escorted to your hotel or hostel.

In the afternoon, you will begin to learn about Peru´s enchanting history and culture on an optional tour (includes the historic city center, Temple of the Sun, Sacsayhuaman Fortress, Qenko Ruins, Puka Pukara, and  Tambomachay),

  • City Tour Start Time: Approximately 1:30-2:00 pm
  • City Tour End Time: Approximately 4:30 pm
  • Difficulty: Light
  • Weather : Warm and sunny, possible brief showers during the rainy season

Day 2: Sacred Valley tour -Nigh in Aguas Calientes

The tour begins at 8:00am with pickup at your hotel or hostel and a picturesque ride to the village of Pisac for a visit to its famous craft market. Located 33 kilometers from Cusco, the village of Pisac sits below one of Cusco´s most important archeological sites, where you will be able to explore an ancient Inca agricultural center and its stunning terraces. In Urubamba, or “The Heart of the Sacred Valley,” you can eat lunch (not included) in the shadow of snow-capped Chicon Mountain and explore the lush, palm-filled Plaza de Armas before continuing with the afternoon portion of the tour.
Next, you will arrive in Ollantaytambo, where villagers still live in ancient stone houses built by the Incas around Hanan Huacaypata Square. You will experience the majesty of one of the Inca´s most impregnable fortresses, as you climb to the scenic Temple of the Sun and admire the sophisticated engineering of the Baths of the Princess.
Finally, you will board the 4:30 p.m train to Aguas Calientes, After an approximately two-hour journey through the Andes, you will arrive at Aguas Calientes train station, where you will be greeted by our staff and escorted to your hotel and hostel to spend the night before your day at Machu Picchu. At dinner, you will be briefed on the next day´s tour and itinerary.

  • Tour Start Time: 8:00 am
  • Tour End Time: Approximately 4:30 pm
  • Difficulty: Light to Moderate
  • Weather : Hot and sunny

Day 3: Machu Picchu and Returing to Cusco

After an early wake-up call and breakfast, you will ascend to Machu Picchu either by bus or on foot to watch the sunrise. A guide will escort you through all the most important places within the ruins. Hiking to the peak of Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain is also available for an additional fee (USD $20).
After you´ve explored Machu Picchu, we will return to Aguas Calientes for lunch before taking the afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo (please note you must be in the station 30 minutes before the your train´s departure). You will be greeted at the Ollantaytambo station and driven back to Cusco.

  • Tour Start Time: Approximately 4:00 am
  • Arrival in Cusco: Approximately 10:30 pm
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging
  • Weather : Warm and humid; insect repellent recommended

Day 4: Rainbow Mountain Day Hike

Your day will begin at 3:00 am with pickup from your hotel or hostel for the drive to Pitumarca. As the sun rises, you will be able to watch the countryside´s various charming villages come to life among the peaks of the Andes. We will stop briefly for breakfast, then continue our journey to Chillca, located 3700 meters above sea level. From here, it is an approximately four hour hike uphill to the top, with its incredible views of the area´s red mountains (including the famous seven-colored peak) and steep valleys. After plenty of time for photos and videos, we will hike back down (approximately 2 hours) to Chillca for lunch and free time to explore the village and the homes of its inhabitants, who still practice several Inca traditions. You will return to Cusco at approximately 5:00 pm, where you should head to bed early before your day at Macchu Picchu.

Tour Start Time: Approximately 3:30 am (pickup from your hotel or hostel)
Tour End Time: Approximately 7:30 pm (return to Cusco)
Total Walking Distance: Approximately 15 kilometers (six to seven hours)
Altitude: 4,326 masl — 5,020 masl
Difficulty: Challenging
Weather : Cool and windy. Layered and thermal clothing highly recommended.

DAY 05: Return to Lima

We will pick you up from your hotel and bring you to the airport for your flight to Lima.

 

Price

Price: 599.99 dollars per person and Group Services

After you have sent us your booking form and confirm deposit was made  will send you an electronic receipt confirming your trek has been officially booked and also to confirm the exact departure date of your trek.

Can I upgrade the hostel to a hostel in Cusco and Aguas Calientes?

Every traveller has their own expectations for accommodation and that is why we offer you the option to book your own hostel independently. The hostels that Inka Trail Backpacker books are considered basic and if you wish to upgrade to a hotel you need to either do this yourself or ask us to book the new hotel for you.
If you wish to book a hostel independently, a US $10 discount is given per person off the tour price. You can use this money to pay for an alternative hostel.

The upgrade Hotel options are; 

Tierra Viva  Hotels in Cusco and Aguas Calientes are 70 dollars per person per day
Casa Andina Hotel in Cusco and Aguas Calientes are 80 dollares per person per day

Discounts

  • Under 18 Discount $20
  • Under 7 Discount $50

Important Notice Regarding Student Discount Eligibility 

We offer a student discount (USD $20.00). However, due to several incidents of users falsifying personal data, the ISIC card is no longer valid for purchasing a discounted tour. As of July 1, 2017, the rules for purchasing student tickets to Machu Picchu have changed: discounts are only available with presentation of a student visa granted by the Peruvian embassy or consulate in the student´s country of origen and/or by the National Superintendent of Migrations. These documents must be provided at the time of purchase; discounts cannot be applied retroactively and refunds or reimbursements in this case are not available. Please send us a scan or photocopy of your passport, student visa, and university ID card or transcript so that we are able to

Optional Activities in Machu Picchu

  • Huayna Picchu Mountain $20
  • Machu Picchu Mountain $20
  • Extra in Aguas Calientes $25

Rental Items

  • Small day pack $20

Included/ Not Included

Included

  • Transportation to and from the airport on your arrival day in Cusco
    City Tour (transport and guide,entrance fees to see the sites in the Cusco City  tour)
    Sacred Valley Tour – Night in Aguas Calientes (Transfer from your hostel,Guide who is fluent in English,Tourist bus to the sites in the Sacred Valley, Tourist tickets or Entrance fees to see the sites in the sacred valley tour, Lunch in the tour, One night stay in an Aguas Calientes hostel
    Machu Picchu Tour (Round trip train tickets (tourist class) (Ollanta – Aguas Calientes – Ollanta)Round trip bus tickets (Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu.) Profesional bilingual tour guide Entrance to Machu Picchu,Transportation back from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.
    Three nights in a Cusco hostels with hot shower,wife, Hostal name are :Mama simona, Ecopacker, Kocopelli
    Rainbow Mountain Day Hike (Transport, guide,breakfast,lunch and entrance fee to the mountain
    Transportation to and from the hostel and airport

    Not Included:

    All breakfast, lunchs and dinners that are not mention in the tour itinerary
    Flights (Lima – Cusco – Lima)
    Entrance to the mountain of Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Peak (optional $20 USD).
    Entrance to Qoricancha (15 soles) and Cathedral (25 soles)Salt mine of maras (10 soles)

What you need to bring

  • Original passport and migration card (TAM).
  • Sneakers or light/tennis shoes.
  • Water bottle
  • Raincoat (long poncho) during the rainy season.
  • Long-sleeved shirts.
  • T-shirts
  • Long pants.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Sunscreen, sunhat, sunglasses
  • Binoculars.
  • Medicine and / or personal items/toiletries
  • Toilet paper
  • A backpack or lightweight suitcase (between 5-6 kilos)
  • Camera or camcorder, film, memory cards.
  • Cash in small denominations of Peruvian nuevo soles
  • Bathing suit for the hot springs (optional).

Why us ?

Why does Inka Trail Backpacker charge less than other Inca Trail operators?

At Inka Trail Backpacker, we offer you the basic and essential version of the popular tours in the region. We are a 100% local company that wants to provide everything you will need at the real cost of operations—never unfair upcharging! That is why our slogan is “Fun, Not Fancy Trip.”

Are you a certified company?

Inka Trail Backpacker has been a Licensed Inca Trail Tour Operator since 2014. All companies managing the Inca Trail must be certified and have an Inca Trail operators license. This license is issued annually each December; Inka Trail Backpacker is licensed through the year of 2018.
Our license as an Official Travel Agency is under the name Inka Trail Backpacker E.I.R.L
Our License as an Inca Trail Operator is under the name of INKA TRAIL BACKPACKER E.I.R.L We also work with partner company licenses, such as INTI SUN TREK E.I.R.L and GRUPO CAMINOS DEL PERU E.I.R.L. For tourists´protection, getting the permit for the Inca Trail from the government is a complicated and stringent process: in order to guarantee an Inca Trail Permit for all the tourists that have decided to book their adventure with us, we are registered to book using any of the above mentioned company licenses. We are all registered on the official Government web site: www.machupicchu.gob.pe.

Does Inka Trail Backpacker care for their porters?

Yes, we absolutely take care of our porters. We do not charge you less than other companies at the expense of our porters’ pay and wellbeing. Since the end of 2014, Inka Trail Backpacker has been paying our porters a wage of 200 soles for the 4 day trek, plus their transportation costs. That is nearly 20% above the legally required minimum wage agreed upon with the Porters Union. Following talks with our porters, they have told us that they know of only a few trekking companies that offer such competitive pay and benefits. Only two companies pay slightly more (and charge their clients almost US$100 more than us). Of the remaining 170 other licensed trekking operators, only about 60% pay the legal wage and 40% pay less than the legal wage. Some companies pay only 70% of the legal wage. Unfortunately, this is difficult to prove as their porters receive a low wage but are asked to sign receipts showing they received more!
However, improving porter welfare is not just about paying fair wages. It is important that the porters have adequate food, a warm and dry place to sleep, and access to medical attention, just the same as any other member of the group.
The wages that the porters get paid are by no means high by Western standards, but you have to look at wages relative to other professions in Peru. For example, a school teacher gets paid the equivalent of about US$350 per month and has trained for 5 years to become a professional. A porter, if he works 4 treks a month, receives about the same if you include his tips. Most porters are seasonal workers and have no formal qualifications. For just 16 days work per month, they receive wages similar to a teacher who works 22 days. Inka Trail Backpacker also tries to help the porters in additional ways, such as financial and educational support for their families.

Trek with like-minded travellers

As a traveller, you know that one of the most rewarding and memorable experiences of going to new places is meeting people along the way. When you book a tour with us, you can be confident that your group will be filled with similar travellers looking for adventure in the Peruvian Andes. Our groups provide a great opportunity to meet new people and bond with them in an exciting environment. You never know who you will meet!

Community

We are really proud of the work we do for our community. This is a main focus for our company. We have worked with villages directly to help supply them with needs, buy all our food from local farmers and markets, and serve the freshest ingredients.

Office Location

Our office is located close to Main Square at 392 Calle Triunfo (the street is also called Sunturwasi), inside the Centro Artesenal Arte Inka Building, which is on the corner across the street from the Museo Arzobispal and the Twelve-Angled Stone, by a small fountain. We are on the second floor, in Suite 209.

 

Travel info

 

Do the tour guides speak English?

Our team of guides are all local to the Cusco area and speak both Spanish and English fluently. Many of them also speaking Quechua (the native language of Peru). With degrees in tourism and with two years minimum of experience under their belts, they are full of energy, information about the native flora and fauna, and the Inca sites, with a vast knowledge of ready sourced stories and legends told by the Andean people.

How many people are there per group?

Group size depends on the day´s activity: the Sacred Valley Tour will have about 25-30 people, the Rainbow Mountain Tour will have twenty people maximum, and Machu Picchu will have sixteen people maximum.

Renewal or change passport number?

If you plan to renew or change your name on your passport between making your trek booking and starting your trek, you can book your trek or tour with your current passport number or name, but you must send us a copy of your old passport and a copy of your new passport when you have them. We can then make the change with the government before you arrive. The extra cost to make the change is US$25 per person. (This will cover the change in number or name for your Inca Trail Permit, Machu Picchu Entrance, and train.)

If you do not advise us of the change or do not want to pay the fee, bring the original of both passports (the old and new one). You can enter Peru with your new passport but you must show the government authorities your old passport in order to enter the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu or train. If you cannot do so, you will not be allowed to start your trek by the government officials. All names and numbers must match!!

Return train after your day at Machu Picchu: Your return train to Cusco is the Expedition train, which departs either at 6:20 or 8:20pm and  9:45 p.m. We can also book an afternoon train departure time of 2:55 or 4:35 p.m. for you if you prefer, at an extra cost of US $25. The train we will book depends on availability and will be confirmed at your briefing. There is also an option to upgrade your train to the Vistadome train which is an extra US $65 per person. Please let us know your preference at the time of booking the tour. Unfortunately, none of the trains go straight to Cusco—they run either to Ollantaytambo or Poroy. In either case, we will transfer you back by bus to your hotel in Cusco.

Can I change my return train ticket?

It may still be possible to make changes to your return train ticket if you don’t want to take the 18:20p.m train You will have to take your train ticket personally to the train station in Aguas Calientes and ask them to change the return ticket for an early one. You will probably be asked to pay an extra administration fee, which will depend on the train service and departure time. Changing the ticket will be subject to availability of spaces on the train

Tips for the Staff: Tips for porters, cooks and guides are always welcome. The porters are also very grateful for small gifts, such as clothing and school equipment for their children. A normal amount for the group to tip is S/60-80 for each porter and S/120 for the chef. The group will pool money for the tip, this is not an individual amount.

Refunds: If Inka Trail Backpacker fails to confirm the reservation, your payment will be refunded in full.

Health and Safety: A participant must declare if he/she has any sickness or medical disorder and must bring his/her own medication. We recommend that you meet with a doctor before you book the trek if you have questionable health.

Huayna Picchu Climb: Only 400 people can climb this mountain per day. If you are interested in climbing Huayna Picchu, tickets need to be booked in advanced. The price for the ticket is US $65. It is recommended to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain at 10:00 a.m. Otherwise, you will miss out on the walking tour of Machu Picchu.

Can I have vegetarian meals, vegan, special meals?

We offer standard meals as well as a vegetarian meal option. Just let us know if you want vegetarian meals when you book your tour.
Vegetarian meals have no red meat, chicken or fish. We will assume that eggs and dairy are OK. We can also cater to lactose-intolerant and gluten free diets (mild reactions only, no life threatening allergies accepted- see below). We reserve the right not to accept a tour booking based upon dietary requirements, this may be because we already have several people booked requiring special meals and don’t want to further inconvenience our cook. Thanks for your understanding.

Meal options:
Standard (no dietary requirements, will eat everything),
Vegetarian,
No red meat (chicken & fish ok)
No fish (red meat and chicken ok)
Lactose-free (mild reactions only)
Gluten free (mild reactions only)

Unfortunately, we don’t offer a combination of the above i.e we don’t accept vegetarian AND Gluten-free.

Storage during your tour: You can leave any of your belongings  at your hotel or hostel you were previously staying in. These hostels/hotels usually have a secure, locked room where you can store your belongings. If you do not trust your hostel, we would be more than happy to securely store your belongings for you.

Why is my tour balance is more expensive when I pay with a credit card?

When you pay with a credit card or PayPal, there is a 6% service charge added to the total cost of your final tour balance. However, there is no service charge if you pay with cash; for this reason, the total cost of the tour will be higher when you pay with a credit card.

FAQS

What type of hostel does Inka Trail Backpacker use for this tour in Cusco and Aguas Calientes?

We always book through the MamaSimona, Ecopacker, Kokopelly in Cusco, and Tambo Inn or Tambo B&B hostels in Aguas Calientes,  These hostels offer comfortable beds, hot showers, WiFi, and breakfast.
However, we can only guarantee these hostels will be reserved for you if you book your trek 2 months in advance. Otherwise, we may be forced to offer you an alternative hostel to stay in.

Can I upgrade the hostel to a hostel in Cusco and Aguas Calientes?

Every traveller has their own expectations for accommodation and that is why we offer you the option to book your own hostel independently. The hostels that Inka Trail Backpacker books are considered basic and if you wish to upgrade to a hotel you need to either do this yourself or ask us to book the new hotel for you.
If you wish to book a hostel independently, a US $10 discount is given per person off the tour price. You can use this money to pay for an alternative hostel.

 

How far in advance should I book my tour?

We recommend that you book your trek approximately two months in advance. This allows you maximum choice in selecting the details of your day at Machu Picchu; morning entrances to the site are extremely popular and sell out quickly. Although it is possible to book your trek closer to your expected travel date, your options will be more limited.

Is transportation to and from the Cusco airport included?

Yes, transportation to and from the airport is included in your tour.

Do we take the 5:30 a.m. bus to Machu Picchu on Day 3?

If you have booked far enough in advance (at least three months in advance for the high season, May–September) to secure morning entrances to Machu Picchu, you may take the 5:30 a.m. bus, or you can hike for approximately 90 minutes up the famous stairs to the entrance of Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes. However, if you do not book at least a month in advance, it is very difficult for us to guarantee morning entrances or tickets for the first morning bus to Machu Picchu.
You will receive your return train tickets for your return trip to Cusco once your guide has finished your walking tour of Machu Picchu.

What is the difference between the three circuits at Machu Picchu?

As of July 1, 2017, visitors to Machu Picchu must follow one of three circuits through the site with their guide. Circuit 1 is the most physically demanding, and follows the classic route through the upper portion of the site before curving down to the lower portion. Circuits 2 and 3 will take you through the middle and lower portions of the site. You must choose which circuit you want when you buy your ticket.

What is the difference between Machu Picchu Mountain and Huayna Picchu?

Huayna Picchu is the small mountain behind the Machu Picchu ruins, which can be seen in the background of nearly every photography of Machu Picchu. A limited amount of visitors are allowed to hike the mountain per day for an additional cost; entrances must be booked several months in advance and cannot be booked separately from your entrance ticket to the Machu Picchu archeological site.
Machu Picchu Mountain is the other peak at the Machu Picchu site which is available for visitors to hike for an additional cost. It is usually not visible in any photographs of Machu Picchu. The steep ascent takes about an hour and a half to complete, and ends at the mountain´s 3,082 masl peak, where there are incredible views of the region. Four hundred visitors a day are permitted to do this trek; like Huayna Picchu, entrances must be booked in advance and cannot be booked separately from your entrance ticket to the Machu Picchu archeological site.

Is there a direct train from Cusco to Machu Picchu?

The train travels between the town of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley and Aguas Calientes, a small town located fifteen minutes below the Machu Picchu complex. The journey from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes is an hour and forty minutes. (The return journey will be about three and a half hours, because the drive from Ollantaytambo station to Cusco is about an hour and forty minutes.) From Aguas Calientes, it is either a fifteen minute bus ride or hour hike up to Machu Picchu. There is no direct train from Cusco to Machu Picchu. Although there is an additional station located at Poroy, about 25 minutes from Cusco, it is not always open. Train service from Ollantaytambo, meanwhile, is constant and reliable. Furthermore, taking the train from the Poroy station extends the total length of your journey between Cusco and Aguas Calientes to more than four hours, instead of three and a half.

Are all activities on the tour mandatory? How flexible are itineraries?

At Inka Trail Backpacker, we are committed to providing your ideal experience in Peru. Therefore, if there are any adjustments you would like to make to reflect your fitness level, lifestyle, or personal interests, we are happy to help! Our itineraries are reasonably flexible and activities can be removed or substituted as necessary.

 

Should I tip the guides? How much is appropriate?

A tip is customary, but the amount is at your discretion and whatever you feel is appropriate based on the service you have received; please remember to always be courteous and respectful with our guides.

Is there a minimum group size?

There is no minimum group size; however, if a group is especially small (fewer than four people), we reserve the right to combine tours and activities with groups from other tour operators in order to keep costs down. We will not combine you with a group from another country.

Do I need to speak Spanish?
All of our guides are bilingual and speak both Spanish and English.

Contact Us

Please make sure to type your e-mail address well otherwise We can not answer it. We promise to always answer within 24 hours (usually within the hour). If for some reason you do not receive any reply within 24 hours check out your spam,junk folder. You can either email address: inkatrailbackpacker@gmail.com

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Book your Inca Trail to
MACHU PICCHU  2018
$499.99 per person

Starting on Thursday, October 5th, the Ministry of Culture will begin allowing licensed Inca Trail tour operators, like Inka Trail Backpacker to secure the permits for their pre-booked clients. They are now available.

So if this is a journey you dreamed about making next year, do not wait...book now. Permits are limited and sell out quickly and in order to secure the start date you really prefer, early reservations are needed.