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2 Days in Cusco: Alternative Rainbow Mountain Tour & Community Visit + Day Tour to Machu Picchu

USD $485.00

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City: Cusco, Mountains // Activities: Machu Picchu, Rainbow Mountains //

 Why you'll love this experience:

 Passionate and experienced guides that are happy to share incredible stories with you.

 Hike only for 45 minutes instead of 3 hours to the alternative rainbow mountain.

 Small (up to 8) instead of a large impersonalized group to keep your experience with your guide special.

 Discover the Machu Picchu and make this world wonder a highlight of your Peruvian adventure.

 

Make the most out of your time in Cusco and get to know its two highlights: Machu Picchu and the rainbow mountains. Without a doubt, Machu Picchu is the most popular tourist attraction in Peru. Get to know all the details about Pachacutec, about Hiram Bingham, the discoverer of Machu Picchu and about the historical events and stories related to it. Be prepared for vivid descriptions of the tour guide that make you feel like you are time traveling. Apart from that, you will enjoy the alternative tour of the rainbow mountains that are around 3 hours away from Cusco. The rainbow mountains will astonish you because of its variety of colors due to the existing minerals in its soil. Forget the typical trekking tour to the Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain where you will be with hundreds of other tourists fighting to get the best shot with no people on it. In comparison to that trek, you will not only see "one" Rainbow Mountain but numerous during the alternative tour. Also, you will not be complaining about the 3-hour hike as you only hike about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Most importantly, it is very likely that you will not see a large number of other people meaning you can enjoy the Rainbow Mountains and the postcard-like landscape almost for yourselves.

 

Please let us know which of the following options you prefer:

Expedition train:
The Expedition train is a tourist standard service with semi-panoramic windows. On board, you will be offered a simple snack that consists of a cold or hot drink and a sweet or salty option. Watch the video about the Expedition train.

Vistadome train:
The Vistadome train is the more luxurious option that has carriages with panoramic windows to the sides and on the ceiling so you can enjoy the landscape on comfortable leather seats. On board, you will be offered a snack elaborated with regional Andean products. On the way back, there will be a 20-minute show on board including a typical dance offered by the staff. Watch the video about the Vistadome train. 

Our recommendation is to spend the night before the Machu Picchu day tour in Aguas Calientes so that you sleep a little longer and have a more relaxed experience.

Machu Picchu Day Tour with Expedition Train with/without Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain:
 Departure time of train Return time of train
5:05 am 2:55 pm
7:00 pm (the night before from Ollantaytambo) 6:20 pm

Machu Picchu Day Tour with Vistadome Train:
 Departure time of train Return time of train
7:05 am 4:43 pm

 

If you want to take the Vistadome train and visit Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, you have the following options:

Departure time of train Return time of train
7:05 am (Vistadome 301) 4:43 pm (Vistadome)
7:04 pm (Expedition) (the night before from Ollantaytambo) 4:43 pm (Vistadome)

 

Itinerary:

*the following itinerary is just exemplary; you're free to choose the order of the tours with off-days in between (f.e. tour 2, day off, tour 1).

If you choose the Expedition train you will be picked up at your hotel two hours before the departure time of the train, if you choose the Vistadome train you will be picked up 1 hour before departure time (for all the hotels close to the Plaza de Armas) and head to the train station where you will board the train and make your trip to to the village of "Aguas Calientes" (2000 m).

Upon arrival at the train station, our guide will be waiting for you to accompany you to the bus that brings you to the entrance of Machu Picchu. It takes about 30 minutes by bus until reaching the incredible Wonder of the world "the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu", known as "the lost city of the Incas". When you arrive at the citadel of Machu Picchu, you will pass through the control where you receive your ticket. From this point on, the private tour will start and you will visit the main areas of the city such as the main square, the circular tower, the sacred solar clock, the royal quarters, the temple of the three windows and the cemeteries for approximately 2.5 hours. At the end, you will have free time to take a walk through the citadel and to visit Machu Picchu, the sun gate etc.

Photo Machu Picchu Day Tour cusco exploor peru

Then, you will return to the town of Aguas Calientes and you have the option to eat in one of the many restaurants (not included). Afterwards, you will take the train back and arrive in Poroy or in Ollantaytambo (please arrive at the station 30 minutes before the departure time of your train). When you arrive at the train station in Poroy/Ollantaytambo, please leave the station because outside our guide will be waiting for you to take you to your hotel in Cusco.

 
Our guide will meet you at your hotel in Cusco between 4:00 - 4:30 am (please be ready from 4:00 am onwards) for the Tres Rainbow hike in a private bus. Being on the road for a little more than an hour, we will visit a small village that is famous for its delicious bread. Here, you will try some of it and you'll also have the chance to visit the bathrooms. Shortly afterwards, you will arrive at the restaurant to enjoy an energetic breakfast with an incredible view over the valley.

Photo  Alternative Rainbow Mountain Tour exploor peru

At around 7:00 am, we will be entering the remote landscape, seeing locals with their animals on the street, children leaving to school and lots of wild alpacas. Once we arrive at the Palccoyo community, we will visit its potato museum (created in collaboration with exploor). Next, we will head up to the parking lot (you can use the bathrooms here) from where you can see the first of the three Rainbow Mountains. After our guide has shared some helpful tips, the hike to the other Rainbow Mountains will begin. Roughly an hour later you have reached the plateau at 4.900 m from where you can see all three rainbow mountains and the beautiful Andean landscapes. With some luck you will even get a sneak peak of the Ausangate mountain (6.375 m / 21,000 ft.), Cusco's highest mountain. Now is the time for a warm coca or muña tea and some artisanal chocolate made by our "abuelita". At this point, you will learn more about the history and about the fascinating nature that surrounds you. Afterwards, you will hike for 20 minutes until reaching the stone forest from where you can take postcard like pictures (this is optional as it's the toughest and steepest part; you can also stay at the plateau and meet up with the others later).

The descent will take approximately 45 minutes before we arrive at the car (toilet stop) and then head back down to the community. Here, you will have another chance to interact with the community members and their alpacas while learning more about their lifestyle. Following this, we will be on the road for approximately one hour driving to our lunch spot where some delicious Peruvian specialties are waiting for us. Once everyone is satisfied, we will return to Cusco and drop you off at your hotel at approximately 4:30 pm with some unforgettable memories.

 Included:

Alternative Rainbow Mountain Tour:

  • Private transport with hotel pick-up from all hotels/hostels/AirBnBs close to the Plaza de Armas (see "Pickup / Drop-off" info below) 
  • Fluent English/ Spanish speaking local guide during the Tres Rainbows hike
  • Visit of local community (donations are welcome)
  • Breakfast and lunch 
  • Artisanal chocolate snacks made by our "abuelita" (grandma) and a coca/muña tea when arriving at the mountain
  • Trekking poles
  • First-aid kit and oxygen
  • Communication radios

Machu Picchu Tour:

  • Round trip train tickets 
  • Private transfer from your hotel (for all the hotels close to the Plaza de Armas) in Cusco to the train station in Poroy/Ollantaytambo and back to Cusco with drop-off at your hotel
  • Professional English-speaking private guide
  • Bus transfer from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu Sanctuary
  • Entrance to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (if you choose the option above)

 Not Included:

Machu Picchu Full Day:
  • Accommodation at night
  • Drinks
  • Tips for your guide
Alternative Rainbow Mountain tour:
    • Entrance to the Rainbow Mountain area (S/ 10)
    • Pick up from hotels outside of Cusco city
    • Donations to the community (you're welcome to bring unused clothes or pens, notebooks etc.)
    • Tips for your guide

     Schedule:

    • Alternative Rainbow Mountain tour: 4:00 am - 5:00 pm
    • Machu Picchu tour: 04:00 am to 10:00 pm

     Duration:

    • Two 1-day tours

     Recommendations:

    • Bring change in order to pay small expenses, such as for using the restroom
    • Bring your backpack, a rain cape and layers of clothes so you'll be warm
    • Take gloves, a hat, hiking shoes + an extra pair of socks with you (in case of snow) and if you want to you can bring hiking poles as well
    • Bring sunscreen, sunglasses and some extra money 
    • Pack some snacks and coca leaves

     Terms of Reservation:

    • Minimum 1 day before
    • Minimum 2 people
    • If there are not minimum 2 people in total in your group for the day you chose you have the option to:
      • postpone the date of the tour
      • receive a refund
      • pay the difference to the private tour and do the private tour

    For Machu Picchu:

    • Minimum 1 week before (so that the train tickets can be reserved before)
    • In case you would like to climb the Huayna Picchu mountain, please make your reservation at least 2 months in advance.

     Terms of Cancellation:

    Alternative Rainbow Mountain Tour:

    • If you cancel up to 3 days before the start of the tour, you'll receive a 100% refund.
    • If you cancel less than 3 days before the start of the tour, you'll receive a 50% refund.

    Machu Picchu Tour:

    • If you cancel minimum 5 days before the start of the tour you will receive a refund of 50% (only in case the train tickets haven't been bought yet).
    • In case the entrance tickets (Machu Picchu and/or Huayna Picchu) are bought by us already (tickets that include Huayna Picchu: normally 2 months in advance to avoid booking problems due to the daily Huayna Picchu limit; Machu Picchu: approx. 1 week in advance during low season and 2 weeks during high season), the price of those tickets cannot be returned or claimed.

     Pickup / Drop-off:

    • Pickup from your hotel
    • Drop-off at Plaza de Armas or your hotel (private tours)

     Info:

    • As a (non postgraduate) student under 25 years old you can use the discount code "mapistudent" in the checkout and you'll get a $20 discount. You need to have your valid student ID card with you for the Machu Picchu day tour, if not the discount will not be applied (if you have an ISIC card, bring it as well). On your student ID, the date of issue and the expiry date should be clearly visible and the expiry date should be in the same year as your Machu Picchu visit. 
    • Once the booking has been made online, it won't be possible to make changes to the train tickets etc. as they will be purchased as soon as possible.
    • The seats in the train are chosen by the train company itself; there is no possibility to influence your seat from our side.
    • Please let us know if you prefer window seats for the Vistadome train (no guarantee but we will do our best to coordinate accordingly).
    • In the case of flight delays, inconveniences with the train schedule or bad weather (rain, landslides, etc.) we do not assume any responsibility.
    • There are two-time slots for visits to Machu Picchu:
      • 6:00 - 12:00 and 12:00 - 17:30
    • If you want to go to Huayna Picchu please consider the following:
      • You have to make your reservation at least 2 months before 
      • There are 2 schedules:
        • 7:00 am - 8:00 am
        • 10:00 am - 11:00 am

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