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3 Days in Cusco: Alternative Rainbow Mountain Tour & Community Visit + Humantay Lake Tour + Sacred Valley

USD $277.00 $325.00

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City: Cusco, Mountains // Activities: Trekking to the Rainbow Mountains, Humantay Lake & Sacred Valley //

You will visit the Rainbow Mountains, the Humantay lake, and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Have you ever heard of these destinations before? Come and get to know them with your guide and fall in love with Cusco's unique nature! This is not the common trekking tour to the Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain that you have probably heard of before and where you will be with hundreds of other tourists fighting to get the best photo with no people on it. The alternative Rainbow Mountain tour allows you not only to see "one" Rainbow Mountain but numerous, you will not hike 3 hours but only about 45 minutes to 1 hour and, most likely, you will not see any other large tourist groups around meaning you have the entire landscape almost for yourself. You will also get to know the Humantay lake, one of Peru's most impressive lakes at 4200 m with crystal-clear water. Within a single hour of walking, you will discover incredible places that are totally worth the trekking effort. You will walk along the Salkantay trek and the sacred mountain, the second highest mountain in Cusco. Apart from that, you will be visiting the Sacred Valley of the Incas, undoubtedly a must see when in Cusco. Travel back in time with your local guide while you get to know Pisac, the archaeological complex of Moray, the salt mines of Maras and the ruins in Ollantaytambo. With this tour you will most certainly get to know some of Cusco's incredible sites.

Difficulty of treks: easy-medium

Note: Minimum 2 people. 

 

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).

This Experience Normal Rainbow Mountain
Mountain Palccoyo (3 Rainbow Mountains) Vinicunca (1 large mountain)
Daily Tourists 50-100 800-1000
Hike Duration 45-60 minutes 3-4 hours
Schedule 4:00 am - 5:00 pm 4:00 am - 5:30 pm
Time on top 2 hours 40 minutes
Guide The best possible Professional
Group Size 2-10 15-20
Participants ES/EN (%) 5/95 70/30
Transport with Small to large van Large van to bus
Known since 2017 2015


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.

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.

Others With us
Arrival With other groups Be the first one up there
Guide Professional The best possible
Participants ES/EN (%) 70/30 5/95
Transport with Large van to bus Small to large van
At around 3:30 am, you will be picked up from your hotel in Cusco (please be ready from 3:15 am onwards). Then, you will be on the road for around 3.5 hours. During the trip by bus, you can see the beautiful landscapes, typical villages of the Andes, amazing mountains, valleys and crop fields. You will stop in the colonial town of Mollepata for breakfast.



Afterwards, you will start the hiking tour from Soraypampa (3800m), which is aprox. 2 hours away from the lake. On the way to the Humantay lagoon, you will see the snow-capped Salkantay (6375m), the Humantay mountain (5835m), inter-Andean valleys surrounded by mountains and the unique flora and fauna of the Andes. Reaching the highest point of 4200m (Humantay Lagoon), you will have enough time to explore the surroundings and to take some photos. Then, you will descend 1 hour to take the bus and to return to Molletpata, where a delicious lunch awaits you. Afterwards, you will return to Cusco so that you arrive at approximately 4:00pm.

You will be picked up from your hotel in Cusco at 6:30 am and then we will head to the town of Pisac to visit one of the most imposing archaeological sites of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Here, we can see the impressive ruins of Pisac while enjoying unique views of the entire valley from the top. The next stop is the artisan handicraft market of Pisac, the perfect place to find typical souvenirs.

photo Sacred Valley tour cusco exploor peru


At around 10:00 am, we will get to know the archaeological site of Moray. Here, we will face a construction that is a clear proof of the extraordinary agricultural progresses that the Incas developed regarding the management of climates, soils and humidity. Two hours later we will head to the salt mines of Maras, which are not far from Moray. Together with your guide, you will enter the mines, learn about their history and have enough time to take some pictures. If you want to you can buy some of the special salt to take it home and use it for cooking (recommended by Gastón Acurio, one of the most renown chefs in Peru).

At 1:30 pm, it's time to continue to Urubamba where we will have lunch consisting of various Peruvian culinary specialties. Once we're ready to go, we will drive along the Urubamba river heading towards Ollantaytambo (arrival at 3:00 pm), a very important temple for the Inca known as "the last living Inca city". We will explore its ceremonial centres, observe the impressive rock formations and find out more about the history behind it. Now that we have visited the last site of the tour, you can either return to Cusco with the guide at 6:30 pm, stay in Ollantaytambo or head on to Aguas Calientes.

 

 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

Humantay Lake tour:

  • Private transport with hotel pick-up from all hotels close to the Plaza de Armas (see "Pickup / Drop-off" info below) 
  • Fluent English/ Spanish speaking local guide
  • Visit of the Humantay lake
  • Breakfast and lunch
  • Artisanal chocolate snacks
  • Trekking poles
  • First-aid kit and oxygen
  • Communication radios

Sacred Valley:

  • Private transport with hotel pick-up from all hotels close to the Plaza de Armas (see "Pickup / Drop-off" info below)
  • Fluent English/ Spanish speaking local guide
  • Artisanal chocolate snack
  • Sacred Valley day tour
  • Lunch buffet 

 Not Included:

Sacred Valley Tour:
  • Breakfast
  • Tourist ticket = entrance to sights in the Sacred Valley (partial ticket valid for 2 days S/ 70, general ticket valid for 10 days S/ 130 per person)
  • Entrance to Maras Salt Mines (S/ 10 per person)
Alternative Rainbow Mountain and Humantay Lake Tour:
  • Entrance to the Rainbow Mountain area and to the Humantay Lake (S/ 10 each)
  • Pick up from hotels outside of Cusco city
  • Donations to the community (you're welcome to bring unused clothes or pens, notebooks etc.) on the Alternative Rainbow Mountain tour
  • Tips for your guide

 Schedule:

  • Alternative Rainbow Mountain tour: 4:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Humantay Lake tour: 3:30 am - 4:00 pm
  • Sacred Valley tour: 6:30 am - 5:30 pm

 Duration:

  • Three 1-day trips

 Recommendations:

  • Bring change in order to pay small expenses, such as for using the restroom
  • Use a small trekking backpack, a hat, gloves and a rain cape
  • Camera and binoculars 
  • Take your sunglasses and sunscreen with you
  • Bring water and snacks

 Terms of Reservation:

  • Minimum 1 day before
  • Minimum 2 people
  • If you buy the group tour and there are not minimum 2 people in total 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

 Terms of Cancellation:

  • 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.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the start of the tour, there won't be any refunds.

 Pickup / Drop-off:

  • Pickup from your hotel (only if your hotel is close to the city center of Cusco. In case you stay further away, meet up at the Plaza de Armas - taxi cost approx. 10-15 Soles)
  • Drop-off at Plaza de Armas
  • Private tours include pickup from- and drop-off at the hotel.

 Info: 

  • We are not to be hold liable in case of delayed flights, inconveniences with train schedules or bad weather.

     Information about the Local Guides:

    We only select the best guides whose services comply with our quality and security standards.

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