Classic Cusco and Lake Titicaca 6d/5n - Ascend Adventure Travel
Classic Tours > Classic Cusco and Lake Titicaca 6d/5n
Trip Notes
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Duration: 6d/5n

  • Visit the famous ruins of Machu Picchu one the 7 Man-Made Wonders of the World!
  • Climb Wayna Picchu, the famous “Young Peak”!
  • Scenic train ride to and from the ruins of Machu Picchu
  • Plenty of optional side-trips such as the Mandor Waterfall, Mt. Putucusi, Mt. Machu Picchu, the Inca Bridge, the Temple of the Moon and the Sun Gate.
  • The famous ruins of Pisaq and Ollantaytambo
  • The Pisaq Artisan Market
  • Breathtaking views of the Sacred Valley and Peaks reaching more than 5500 Meters!
  • Visit the Inca Fortress of Sacsayhuaman, the Temple of Qoricancha, the Cathedral in the main square and much more!
  • Explore the highest navigable stretch of water in the world – Lake Titicaca!
  • Overnight homestays on the island of Amantani
  • The magnificent floating islands of Uros!
  • Amazing handicrafts and weaving on the Island of Taquile
  • Bilingual guide and guided tour of Machu Picchu, the City of Cusco,  and the Sacred Valley
  • All transportation/transfers
  • Entrance fee to Machu Picchu
  • Round-trip train ticket on the PeruRail “Explorer” Train
  • Round-trip bus ticket Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
  • Meals: 5 breakfast, 6 lunches (sack lunch for Machu Picchu) and 5 dinners
  • 3 nights hotel in Cusco, 1 night hotel in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Town), 1 night with a family on the Island of Amantani Lake Titicaca (Rustic accommodations with blankets supplied)
  • Visit to Pisaq ruins (approx. 90 minutes)
  • Visit to Pisaq market (approx. 30 minutes)
  • Lunch in Urubamba (approx. 45 minutes)
  • Visit to Ollantaytambo (approx. 1 hour)
  • Visit to Chincheros (approx. 30 minutes)
  • Boat for Lake Titicaca and entry fees to the islands
Not Included:
  • Entry fee to Wayna Picchu and the Temple of the Moon ($10 extra, please let us know well in advance so we can reserve the tickets!
  • Aguas Calientes hot springs entry fee (S/10 or approx. $4)
  • Dinner the 3rd day
  • Cusco Tourist Ticket (good for 10 days, needed for City Tour and Sacred Valley Tour destinations S/130 or approx. $50 – purchase on arrival)
  • Entrance to Qoricancha Cathedral (S/10 or approx. $4)
  • Entrance to the Cathedral in the Main Square (S/25 or approx. $9)
  • Airport taxes
  • Hotel expenses such as: laundry, phone calls, alcoholic drinks
Packing List:
  • Hat and/or sunscreen
  • Six or seven changes of clothes
  • Comfortable walking/hiking shoes
  • Waterproof jacket or poncho
  • Camera
  • Original Passport
  • Overnight toiletries
  • Spending money
  • Insect repellant
  • Daypack or backpack and water bottle
  • Warm clothes for the evening / light clothes for the day
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Walking stick or poles (Suggested)
  • Fresh fruit or school supplies for the families in Amantani (no sweets please)
Possible Extensions/Upgrades:
  • Luxury Package: Includes either 4 or 5 star hotel accommodations (please specify), train tickets on the famous Hiram Bingham luxury train (known as the most luxurious train in all of South America), and private guided tours.
  • Train upgrade: Upgrade to the classy Vistadome train on the way to Machu Picchu, with better views, live entertainment and a complementary meal!
  • Hotel upgrade: Upgrade to a 4 or 5 star hotel! (Basic package includes accommodations in a 3-star hotel)
  • 1-Night extension: Want to spend an extra night in Aguas Calientes and visit the Machu Picchu ruins a second time? Just let us know!
  • 2nd entry to Machu Picchu for the second day: Want to visit the famous ruins twice? Just let us know!
  • Hotel in Puno on the last day
  • Private service, contact us for details
  • One day Cusco-Puno extension: Ride the Inca Express bus from Cusco to Puno – enjoy exclusive VIP service stopping along the way at the colonial town of Andahuaylillas to visit the amazing cathedral, then at the Incan ruins of Raqchi which was a monument to the God Wiracocha, buffet lunch in the city of Sicuani, the La Raya lookout point located at 4335 meters/14,200 feet above sea level, visit the town of Pukara and its amazing ancient artifact museum, and then end services in Puno.
Available Discounts:
  • Students (Requires a valid International Student Identity Card)
  • Children under the age of 11
  • Economy hotel accommodations (2-star or hostel style accommodations)

Volunteer Programs
Comin in 2013!

Classic Cusco and Lake Titicaca 6d/5n

This tour package combines the activities of the Machu Picchu Experience, the Cusco and Sacred Valley Tour, and the Lake Titicaca Experience. In this adventure, we will visit the areas in and around the historical capital of the Inca Empire - such as the Sacred Valley, Cusco, and the famous ruins of Machu Picchu. Then, we will board a plane for Lake Titicaca and enjoy the splendid scenery of the highest navigable lake in the world – and visiting the floating and natural islands and enjoying one night of rural home-stays.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
The Cusco City Tour

In this fascinating 1 day tour, we will pick you up from your hotel at 9:00 AM and board a tourist van and drive 20 minutes to the entrance of the famous Incan Fortress Saqsayhuaman.  This fortress was built by the Inca ruler Pachacutec in the 1400’s and includes some of the biggest stones used in Incan constructions (Some weighing over 120 tons!).

After exploring these magnificent ruins, we will board the van and proceed to our second stop – Tambomachay (which means “young fountain” in Quechua.  This is the site of the famous “Incan baths” – a sacred fountain which runs all year round. 

Next, we will take a short drive to the Inca lookout point of Pucapucara – used by Incan soldiers to guard the city and store food – here we will enjoy an amazing view of the entire Cusco Valley. 

At this point, we will return to Cusco and get to know some of the most important sights in the city.  First, we will stop at the Main Plaza and visit the great Colonial Cathedral. This structure represents one of the most important Catholic churches in South America – as it was used to evangelize the Incan people after the Spanish Conquista.  This breathtaking colonial structure also houses over 350 original colonial-period paintings.

Our last stop is the Temple of Qoricancha.  This unique monument juxtaposes traditional colonial architecture with that of its traditional Inca predecessor – the Catholic Temple of Saint Dominic is actually built on top of the foundation of the Incan Temple!  After a tour of the temple, we will conclude the City Tour and return you to your hotel. 

Day 2
The Sacred Valley

At 8:00 AM, an Ascend Travel representative will pick you up at your hotel for the transfer to the Sacred Valley. We will travel past the ruins of Saqsayhuaman and Tambomachay on our way to the impressionable Sacred Valley of the Incas. Our first stop is the town of Pisac, where we will first climb the valley road to the amazing ruins high above the colonial town. The Pisaq ruins are famous for their ample agricultural terraces located along steep cliffs surrounding the town. At the top of the agricultural terraces, we will visit the famous Incan sun temple in the section of the ruins known as "Intihuatana." This temple includes the famous "Hitching Post," supposedly used to tie up the sun on its journey around the Earth. This temple is also believed to have served astronomical purposes for Incan Priests. We will also see ancient Incan crosses, which represent three levels of existence (the "Upper" world, the "Everyday" world, and the "Under" world).

After visiting the ruins, we will descend to the town of Pisaq where we will visit the famous Pisaq market. Although very quiet most of the week, the town of Pisaq springs to life every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday – and the market is famous for handmade ceramics, silver jewelry, embroideries and tapestries - most of the goods are sold directly from the artists that create them.

Next, we will board our van to our next stop, which is the town of Urubamba. Here we will enjoy an awesome buffet of local cuisine at a colonial hacienda or tourist restaurant before heading to our next destination.

After a drive of about 45 minutes along the banks of the beautiful Urubamba River, with beautiful views of high-mountain peaks and glaciers reaching over 5500 Meters (or 18,000 feet), we will reach the great Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo. This town, apart from its amazing scenery and natural beauty, is significant due to the fact that many of the intact Inca structures are still used by the local people. We will observe impressive carvings in the mountain, enormous stone blocks perfectly carved by the Incans, inhabitants in their traditional dress, and we will ascend amazing agricultural terraces to get a spectacular view of the surrounding valley and mountains.

Our final stop is the village of Chincheros, high above the Sacred Valley, where we will get a breathtaking view of the glaciated peaks of Mt. Chicon and Mt. Veronica, visit the famous colonial church and archeological site, before continuing on another 45 minutes to Cusco where we will arrive around 6:00 or 6:30 PM.

Day 3
Cusco - Aguas Calientes

We will pick you up from your hotel between 6:30 and 7:00 AM and travel to the town of Poroy (1/2 hour from Cusco) to board the train to Machu Picchu.  This amazing journey by train takes you through the famous Sacred Valley of the Incas where you’re jaw will drop with the views of giant snow-capped mountains, green fields, charming Incan towns, and the raging Urubamba River.  During the journey, you will observe the climate change from Andean highlands to the lush “Ceja de Selva” (Eyebrow jungle) where the Machu Picchu ruins are located.   

After an approximately 4 hour-long voyage by train, we will arrive in the town of Aguas Calientes (better known as Machu Picchu Pueblo).  An Ascend Travel tour guide will meet you at the train station and transport you to the hotel where we will be spending the night.  We will grab lunch at a nearby restaurant, and then the rest of the evening we will have free time to get to know the town of Aguas Calientes.  Some possible activities include visiting the nearby Botanical Gardens or the Machu Picchu Museum, soaking in the namesake hot springs, shopping at the local market, or walking to the luscious Mandor waterfall. For those wanting a more daring and physical experience, you can climb the steep Putucusi Mountain (a grueling 3-hour hike with steep inclines and ladders that are as long as 20 meters each! Not for those who are afraid of heights).  We will have a group dinner with our guide at night and discuss our visit to the ruins the following day.

Day 4
Machu Picchu! - Cusco

This is the day you've been waiting for. We will wake up before first light to be among the first to arrive at the famous ruins. Machu Picchu, the "Lost City of the Incas," is located at approximately 2500 meters (or 8,000 feet, which is significantly lower than the city of Cusco). At 5:45 AM, we will take the bus up to the ruins and arrive around 6:20 AM. Machu Picchu is situated between two peaks, Mt. Machu Picchu ("Old Peak" in Quechua) and Wayna Picchu ("Young Peak" in Quechua). We will enjoy a 2-hour guided tour of the ruins in which we will learn about Incan architecture and uses of different structures, as well as visit the Main Square, the Temple of the Three Windows, the Sacred Sundial and the ancient burial grounds. After the guided tour, you will have free time to continue to visit the world-famous ruins. Some possible activities besides visiting the main ruins include:

  1. Climbing Wayna Picchu (approx. 1 and ½ hours and special entrance ticket required)
  2. Visiting the Temple of the Moon (approx. 3 hours and special entrance ticket required)
  3. Walking to the Inca Bridge (1 hour)
  4. Climbing the last part of the Inca Trail to Intipunku ("Sun Gate," 1 and ½ hours)
  5. Climb Mt. Machu Picchu (twice as tall as Wayna Picchu and less crowded, approx. 2 hours)
Around 4 PM we will descend to Aguas Calientes where we will grab a quick dinner before heading to the train station and returning to Cusco where you will arrive after nightfall and be dropped off at your hotel. This concludes an unforgettable journey to one of the 7 Man-Made Wonders of the World!

Day 5
Puno - Lake Titicaca – Uros – Amantani

We will depart Cusco on an early flight to the City of Juliaca (1 hour from Puno – 1 day extension of travel by tourist bus to Puno and overnight in Puno available). We will take a shuttle to Puno and head directly to the port to board our boat for the tour of Lake Titicaca. Our first stop is the magnificent Uros Floating Islands. These islands are made out of totora reed and were originally designed to escape attacks from the Inca and Colla civilizations – the people living on these islands much the same as their ancestors hundreds of years ago. We will visit the locals on these islands and have the chance to observe their traditions, their native dress, and their skilled artisan work (which you will also have the chance to purchase).

After our visit to Uros, we will proceed to the natural island of Amantani (3 hours by boat).  During our trip to Amantani, you will have the chance to take in the magnitude of the Lake and sit on the roof of the boat for a better view. When we arrive at Amantani, the locals will be there to welcome us and we will have the opportunity to spend the night in home-stays with the families on the island. During the visit, you will have the opportunity to climb to the tallest point of the island, see the Temples of Pachamama and Pachatata, and enjoy a cultural celebration with your host family. Meals will be prepared by the locals, who are well trained in proper food preparation.

Day 6
Amantani – Taquile – Puno

Today we will wake up early and enjoy a traditional breakfast prepared by your host family. After saying our goodbyes, we will return to the dock and board our boat for a visit to the last island on our itinerary – the beautiful island of Taquile.  The people of Taquile are known for their beautiful artisan crafts, which you will have the chance to buy, as well as keeping their native traditions alive. They will teach you sophisticated weaving techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation. After a delicious lunch, we will take a hike to the other side of the island, learn about the different types of plants dotting the landscape, and observe some beautiful ancient Incan ruins.  Our boat will meet us on the opposite side of the island and we will board and head back to Puno.  We will arrive before nightfall and shuttle you to your 3-star hotel in Puno.  Tonight, you will have the chance to explore Puno and visit the Main Square before bed.

End of services “Classic Cusco and Lake Titicaca.”



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