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

USD $480.00

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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 Pachutec, 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:

Option 1: Morning tour of Machu Picchu (entrance from 6:00 am onwards) from Aguas Calientes
Option 2: Afternoon tour of Machu Picchu (entrance from 12:00 pm onwards) from Aguas Calientes 
Option 3: Morning tour of Machu Picchu (entrance from 6:00 am onwards) from Cusco
Option 4: Afternoon tour of Machu Picchu (entrance from 12:00 pm onwards) from Cusco



*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).

Your local guide will meet you at your hotel in Cusco at 5:00 am for your alternative Rainbow Mountain trip in a private bus. After a 3-hour shuttle drive to the Ananiso community, passing traditional villages with amazing views of the Andes, valleys, and mountains, you will reach the starting point, which is at 4.300 m.
First, you’ll get acquainted with your fellow travelers and stretch your legs while receiving important information from your guide about the hike. Afterwards, you'll begin the hike for 1 hour on a small path crossing the Palomino Valley with some lovely views over some beautiful rock formations of the area. At 4.900 m, you will explore the area and you will be able to spot much Andean wildlife such as alpacas, llamas, condors (Vulture gryphus) and the rarely seen vicuña (wild llama family).
Photo  Alternative Rainbow Mountain Tour exploor peru

Once you have arrived at the Rainbow Mountain, you will have a great view over the entire region and also of the Ausangate Glacier, which is 6375 m high (21,000 ft). After a well-deserved break and some energizing snacks, you will have enough time to take some photos and breathe the fresh air of the Andes. You will spend about 2 hours at the summit, depending on the weather conditions, and then it's time start the descent of 20-30 minutes to the starting point where the driver will be waiting for you. After this outstanding day tour, you will return back to Cusco, in a private bus, arriving at your hotel around 5:30 pm.
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.

You will be picked up at your hotel (for all the hotels close to the Plaza de Armas) at 4:00 am. Then, you will head to the train station located in the town of Ollantaytambo where you will board the train at 6:40 am or at 7:20 am and make your trip to to the village of "Aguas Calientes" (2000 m) where you will arrive at approximately 8:20 am or 9:00 am, respectively. Upon arrival at the train station, a 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 will receive your ticket. From this point on, the guided tour will start and you will visit the main areas of the city such as Main Square, Circular Tower, 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 eat in one of the many restaurants (not included). At 2:30 pm, 4:12 pm or at 7:00 pm, you will take the train back and arrive in Ollantaytambo at 4:10 pm, 6:00 pm or at 8:40 pm (you must 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 a guide will be waiting for you to take you to your hotel in Cusco (1 hour and 30 minutes by car).

  • 04:00 am: Pick up at the hotel (for all the hotels close to the Plaza de Armas) and bus ride to Ollantaytambo
  • 04:00 am: Trip to Ollantaytambo
  • 06:40 am or 7:20 am: Trip to Machu Picchu
  • 08:20 am or 9:00 am: Arrival at Aguas Calientes
  • Afterwards: Bus ride (20 min) & entrance to the citadel of Machu Picchu (2.5 hour guided tour)
  • Return bus ride (20 min) to Aguas Calientes
  • Lunch (not included)
  • 2:30 pm, 4:12 pm or 7:00 pm: Departure of train to Ollantaytambo
  • 4:10 pm, 6:00 pm or 8:40 pm: Arrival to Ollantaytambo & bus ride to Cusco for 1.5 - 2 hours
  • Arrival at the city of Cusco 


Alternative Rainbow Mountain Tour:

  • Private transport from and to your hotel in Cusco
  • Fluent English/ Spanish speaking indigenous guide(s) 
  • Small snack having arrived at the summit (Coca- or Muña tea and fresh bread)
  • Breakfast (quinoa drink, tea, coffee, bread, omelets, pancakes) and lunch 
  • Oxygen and first-aid kit
  • 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 Ollantaytambo and shared transport with drop off near Plaza de Armas (Plaza Regocijo or Plaza San Francisco) in Cusco. If you choose "Private Transport", you will be picked up from- and dropped off at your hotel.
  • Transfer from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu (round trip in bus CONSETUR)
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu Sanctuary
  • Professional English speaking guide
  • Entrance to Huayna Picchu (if you choose Huayna Picchu above)

 Not Included:

  • Entrance for the alternative Rainbow Mountain tour (S/ 5 for Peruvians, S/ 10 for foreigners)
  • Pick up from hotels outside of Cusco
  • Accommodation at night
  • Drinks


  • Alternative Rainbow Mountain tour: 5:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • Machu Picchu tour: 04:00 am to 10:00 pm


  • Two 1-day tours


  • 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
  • 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 choose the local train, you will have to buy your tickets on the 1st day of your arrival since the sale of the local train is personal and the reservation can be made 1 day before (depends on availability).

 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%.
  • 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 (only in the city center of Cusco. In case you stay outside, meet up at the Plaza de Armas - taxi cost approx. 10-15 Soles)
  • Drop-off at Plaza de Armas or Plaza de Regocijo (due to the rush hour that might leave you waiting 1-2 hours in the van in case we'd drop-off every participant)


  • The operator is not liable in case of delayed flights, inconvenience with train schedules, or bad weather, such as rains, snowfall, landslides, etc.

Machu Picchu Tour:

  • As a student 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.
  • The seats in the train are chosen by the train company itself; there is no possibility to influence your seat from our or any travel operator's side.
  • Maximum group size is 15 people
  • Please mention your preferred time for the return train (2:30 pm, 4:12 pm or at 7:00 pm) from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo (subject to ticket availability).
  • In the case of flight delays, inconveniences with the train schedule or bad weather (rain, landslides, etc.) the provider is not responsible.
  • There are two time slots to visit Machu Picchu:
    • 6:00 - 12:00 and 12:00 - 17:30
  • If you want to go to Huayna Picchu please consider the following:
    • Make your reservation at least 2 - 3 months in advance
    • There are 2 schedules:
      • 7:00 am - 8:00 am
      • 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Information about the Local Operator:

We only select the best tour operators whose services comply with our security standards, good equipment and a fair price for every destination.


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