2 Days in Cusco: Alternative Rainbow Mountain Tour + Day Tour to Machu Picchu (free airport pickup included)
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.
*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).
You will be picked up at your hotel in Cusco at a convenient time and head to the train station in Ollantaytambo. There, you will take the train 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 (the bus ride takes about 25 minutes). From this point on, the Machu Picchu tour will start and we will continue to the “Casa del Guardián” to enjoy the typical panoramic views of Machu Picchu. This is the ideal spot to take various photos. Afterwards, we’ll move on to the next viewpoints from where our guide will show you the different parts of the Machu Picchu ruins we will visit. The guided tour takes around 2 hours and we will visit the agricultural sector and then the ancient city of the Incas (temple of the sun, inca palace, the holy square, the three windows, the main temple, the holy stone, the sector of the three doorways and the mortars sector).
After the guided Machu Picchu tour, you will return to the town of Aguas Calientes by bus and you have the option to eat in one of the many restaurants. In the afternoon, you will take the train back and arrive in Ollantaytambo (please arrive at the station 30 minutes before the departure time of your train). When you arrive at the train station in Ollantaytambo, please leave the station because outside your driver will be waiting for you to take you to your hotel in Cusco.
4:00 am: Pick-up from your hotel in Cusco
5:45 am: Breakfast with an incredible view over the valley
8:00 am: Visit of the Palccoyo community's potato museum (created in collaboration with exploor in October 2018)
9:30 am: Arrival at the parking lot (view of the 1strainbow mountain) + Briefing
10:00 am: Visit of the 2ndrainbow mountain
10:30 am: Visit of the 3rdrainbow mountain + break with coca tea and snacks
11:00 am: Hike up to the stone forest (optional) with a spectacular view
11:30 am: Head back to the car and then drive to the restaurant
1:50 pm: Lunch in local restaurant
4:30 - 5:00 pm: Arrival in Cusco and drop-off at your hotel
Note: All times are approximations.
- Airport pickup and transport to your hotel in Cusco (only Cusco city center)
- Hotel pickup and drop-off
- Fluent English/ Spanish speaking local guide
- Private tour or small group tour with 2-8 people (please select above)
Alternative Rainbow Mountain Tour:
- Visit of local community
- Breakfast and lunch (vegetarian and vegan food options available)
- Snacks: Cookies, coca leaves and a coca/muña tea when arriving at the mountain
- Hike with Alpaca (it's optional: only joining us in case there is no snow, very low probability of having snow)
- Trekking poles
- First-aid kit and oxygen
Machu Picchu Tour:
- Round trip Expedition train tickets
- Entrance to Machu Picchu
- Entrance to Machu Picchu Mountain (optional and depending on availability*)
- Shuttle tickets Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes
*If you reserve the tour at least 1 month in advance, it’s very likely that there are still tickets available. Less than 1 month, most likely all tickets are sold out.
- Tips for your guide
- Accommodation at night
- Entrance to the Rainbow Mountain area (S/ 10)
- Alternative Rainbow Mountain tour: 4:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Machu Picchu tour: Daily departures
- Bring change in order to pay small expenses, such as for using the restroom or to support the locals by buying their handicrafts (from 4 up to 100 soles). Donations to the community, such as old clothes or utilities, such as pens, notebooks etc. are more than welcome.
- Clothing: Bring your backpack, a rain cape, gloves, a hat, hiking shoes, an extra pair of socks and wear layers of hiking clothes so you'll be warm
- Bring sunscreen, sunglasses and some extra money
- Pack some snacks and coca leaves
- Use only hand luggage for your tour to Machu Picchu, as the maximum weight allowed is 5 kg (you can store your luggage at your hotel in Cusco)
- Bring your camera or video camera
Terms of Reservation:
- Due to high demand during the high season, please book your tour at least 48 hours in advance to guarantee a spot.
- 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:
- For private tours minimum 1 week before. The earlier you book, the better the train times we can organize for you.
- For group tours minimum 1 month before.
- Minimum 2 people
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 40% refund.
- If you cancel less than 24 hours before the start of the tour, there won't be any refunds.
Machu Picchu Tour:
- There won’t be any refunds for this tour as we proceed with the purchase of the entrance tickets, the train tickets etc. as soon as you have made your reservation.
- Going to Machu Picchu Mountain staying the previous night in:
- Cusco: You'll first hike Machu Picchu Mountain and do the guided Machu Picchu tour afterwards. Your guide will await you at the entrance to Machu Picchu mountain. As the hike to Machu Picchu Mountain is exhaustive, you may feel tired afterwards and won’t enjoy your Machu Picchu tour that much. That’s why we recommend staying in Aguas Calientes the night before if you want to do the Machu Picchu Mountain hike. You will stay around 30 minutes at the top to enjoy the views.
- Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu town): You'll first do the Machu Picchu tour and then hike Machu Picchu Mountain. Your guide will drop you off at the entrance to Machu Picchu mountain. From this point on, an official guide provided by the government (private tours are not available) will be with you. You will stay around 30 minutes at the top to enjoy the views.
- The seats in the train are chosen by the train company itself; there is no possibility to influence your seat from our side.
- In the case of flight delays, inconveniences with the train schedule or bad weather (rain, landslides, etc.) we do not assume any responsibility, but your travel insurance most likely will offer coverage for these cases. This also holds for the airport pickup. The driver arrives 5 minutes after your arrival and waits up to 25 minutes outside on the parking lot when leaving the building (with a sign and your name on it). In case of any delays, you’ll have to get to your hotel on your own as the driver has to continue with his work. For any refund on this service, please claim it with your airline.
- If you want to fly your drone at the Palccoyo Rainbow mountain, you have to pay S/ 50 to the local community.
- Bathrooms are available at the breakfast & lunch restaurant and at the parking lot.
- It is possible that the community, as well as the alpaca, are not available due to reasons beyond our control (sickness of community member, family issues or others). The probability is very very low and we are in daily contact with them to make sure everything will be fine for the next day. Still, the probability exists. We are not to be held liable in case no lama or alpaca will be available or in case of any circumstance arising with the animals. We will proceed with the tour without any refund.
- Changes or upgrades are subject to 1.) availability and 2.) an extra charge as stated in our Terms and conditions.