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.
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: