If you want to see the best that Cusco has to offer, learn all about the amazing history of the Incas, and be astounded by sheer natural beauty, our 4 Day Rainbow Mountain and Machu Picchu tour is for you. Whether you’re traveling by yourself, as a couple, or in a group, we’ll plan your itinerary down to the last detail, so all you have to do is enjoy yourself.
This tour will take you through the most important and surprising tourist attractions in southern Peru. We’ll start with a complete city tour through the ancient city of Cusco—the capital of the Inca empire. You’ll visit the Cathedral, Qorikancha or Temple of the Sun, as well as the archaeological sites of Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Puca Pucara, and Tambomachay.
Then we’ll be on our way to the charming Sacred Valley of the Incas towards Ollantaytambo, the last inhabited Inca city to this day, where you’ll board a train along the most stunning railway. It’ll take you from the Andean mountains to the start of the Amazon jungle where Machu Picchu is located, one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. You’ll be astounded by the finely carved stone blocks that are arranged in complete harmony with nature on top of a quartz mountain. You’ll visit its squares, temples, steps, and agricultural platforms on a 2-hour guided tour.
Finally, you’ll discover the beauty of the Vinicunca mountain—also known as Rainbow Mountain or Mountain of 7 Colors—which attracts thousands of tourists due to its uniqueness and incredible natural beauty. The varied mineral composition of its soil has caused colored ribbons to adorn the body of this gigantic site. This sure is one epic trip you don’t want to miss out on when visiting Cusco.
Day 1 :We welcome you to Cusco – City Tour Cusco Half Day
A representative of Ausangate Trekking will be waiting for you at the Cusco Airport to take you directly to your accommodation. Cusco is located at an altitude of 3,400 m / 11,155 ft so you’ll need some time to acclimatize.
After a short rest, we’ll pick you up from your hotel to explore Cusco on a city tour. Our trip begins in the fascinating Qorikancha or Temple of the Sun, probably the most important Inca site within the city of Cusco. While you marvel at the exquisite architecture of the place, our guide will share with you a bit of Inca history to help you better understand the ancient culture.
We’ll then continue to the Plaza de Armas (Main Square) to visit the Cathedral that holds approximately 300 paintings from the famous Cusqueña School in the city. The Plaza de Armas itself is a wonderful place to sit and immerse yourself in the local atmosphere and watch the world go by.
Later on, we’ll visit the impressive Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman, located to the north of Cusco city. It’s characterized by having been built with huge rocks that weigh tons. Ancient Inca architects cut and polished these giant rocks to build zig-zag walls that span hundreds of meters. Despite only a small portion of the original site remaining, the colossal dimensions of Sacsayhuaman continue to inspire and surprise its visitors.
We’ll then continue to the Qenqo temple, carved from a single stone block. This temple has manmade tunnels, one of which forms an amphitheater. The original purpose of the amphitheater has been lost over time, but most experts agree that the area was used to worship the sun, moon, and stars. We’ll also visit Puca Pucara, a site that the Incas used as a military control center. Our tour ends in Tambomachay, an Inca archaeological site that boasts a series of aqueducts and channels with two water fountains.
At the end of the day, we’ll take you to the door of your hotel to enjoy a relaxing night. You’ll have time to get a spot for dinner before heading to bed for another exciting day tomorrow.
Day 2 : Cusco | Chinchero – Moray – Maras Salt Mines – Urubamba – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes
Today you’ll enjoy a delicious breakfast at your hotel before we pick you up to go to the beautiful town of Chinchero (3,762 m / 12,343 ft) on our way to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. There you’ll find beautiful architecture as well as fine textile art.
We’ll continue to the impressive Moray archaeological site (3,385 m / 11,106 ft) made up of a series of giant circular terraces and a complex irrigation system. Moray is known as the largest agricultural laboratory in the world because it was used to cultivate food that only grows in tropical climates.
After feeling the energy of this intriguing site, we’ll continue with the salt mines in Maras that are close by. These are a set of more than 3,000 small white pools from which salt is extracted. These small pools are filled with water that evaporates, producing the salt that the residents collect and package to sell in different markets in the region. This salt has a pink hue and is well known for its healing properties and delicious flavor. It makes for a great gift for someone back home and is perfect for cooking with.
Then, we´ll continue onto Urubamba to enjoy a Peruvian buffet lunch of many different traditional dishes for you to choose from. After a rest, it’s time to head aboard our private transport to Ollantaytambo, where the train that’ll take us to Aguas Calientes will be waiting.
Once you reach the Machu Picchu town, you’ll check into a nice hotel (shared rooms) to cool off before dinner. You can also take advantage of your free time to enjoy the thermo-medicinal waters or wander around and explore a little. You’ll need to go to bed early because tomorrow we’ll be visiting the impressive Inca city of Machu Picchu.
Day 3: Aguas Calientes | Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu – Ollantaytambo – Cusco
After a well-deserved night of rest, the day you’ve been so excited for has arrived: Today, you’ll stroll through the magical and mysterious streets of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu.
Our day begins bright and early at dawn to make sure we beat the large crowds and so you can enjoy the site in peace. We’ll board a bus that’ll take around 25 minutes to get to the entrance of the Inca city, and we’ll enter just before the sun begins to paint this impressive place with a golden hue.
Take some time to soak up the vibes and impressive view of one of the 7 Wonders of the World and feel how its powerful energy vibrates. You’ll take a guided tour for 2 hours to the most important areas and then have plenty of time to explore Machu Picchu on your own. If you have the extra entry ticket, you can hike up to the imposing Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain for a spectacular panoramic view of the entire complex.
Around noon, you can take the bus to Aguas Calientes or walk back through the middle of the dense vegetation that’ll surround you on a downhill hike. Don’t worry, the whole way is signposted, and it’s a pretty route if you feel up to it.
You’ll have the afternoon free to have lunch at the restaurant of your choice and take a walk around the rest of this pretty town. Your train will leave for Ollantaytambo at sunset, but don’t forget to be at the station 30 minutes earlier than the departure time! From Ollantaytambo, we’ll take you back to your hotel in Cusco.
Day 4 : Cusco | Llactoc – Rainbow Mountain – Llactoc – Cusco
Our final day of adventure begins at 4:00 am. We’ll pick you up from the door of your hotel to head for 3 hours towards the Southern Valley in our private transport. Remember that the starting point of our walk is at 4,630 m / 15,190 ft, but you should be accustomed to the altitude by now. Along the way, we’ll observe picturesque Andean towns, agricultural platforms from the Inca period, fertile valleys, and beautiful rolling mountains. Even at this early hour in the morning, the herds of llamas and alpacas will entertain you while you enjoy a delicious continental breakfast to give you the energy you need to get started.
We’ll continue our journey until we reach the starting point of the hike. From there, we’ll head down a meandering path in the middle of the Andean mountains following a pretty stream. As you ascend, you’ll be rewarded with an impressive view of the Ausangate glacier (6,372 m / 20.905 ft), the tallest in all of the Cusco region.
Take a few minutes to understand why this mountain is of such importance to the Andean people. This whole region is home to many people and small communities, and you’ll have the opportunity to see them working the land. You’ll be amazed to see the traditional clothing they use that they make themselves thanks to the practice of textile art that they have inherited from their ancestors. The colorful patterns on their garments are similar to those of Vinicunca mountain.
By keeping these traditions alive, an ancient culture is preserved. Your guide will teach you about the meaning of some clothes and, if you want, you can ask him to teach you some words in Quechua—the language of the Incas and local communities to this day. After an hour and a half walking, we’ll get to the amazing Rainbow Mountain of Cusco (5,100 m / 16.732 ft).
While you’re at the top, take some time to admire the unique beauty of this impressive natural formation and feel the thrill of witnessing a unique natural spectacle that can only be seen in Peru and China. You’ll explore the surroundings for a little while and your knowledgeable guide will explain the theories that exist regarding the origin of this mountain that appears as though it’s been taken from a colorful dream.
Take some memorable photographs or simply immerse yourself in the landscape that also boasts the splendor of the great mountain Ausangate in the distance. There, we’ll take a break between 30 minutes and 1 hour, depending on the speed of your steps and the weather condition. If you want to stay longer, inform your guide. You’ll have time to enjoy the surroundings and recuperate your energy for the hike back down.
It’ll take between 45 minutes and an hour to arrive back where we started. Then, we’ll make our way to Cusipata by car to enjoy our well-deserved lunch. We’ll then board our private transport back to the city of Cusco. At approximately 5:00 pm, we’ll drop you off at the door of your hotel for you to enjoy a relaxing evening as you please.