Embark on an unforgettable adventure with our super customized 4 day itinerary of the Sacred Valley, 2 Day Short Inca Trail hike, and the incredible Rainbow Mountain. This tour is perfect for those who want both the ancient Inca history and outdoor adventure in ONE amazing tour! Visit the most important places in the Sacred Valley, including Pisac ruins and the Ollantaytambo fortress. Trek the short yet beautiful Inca Trail to the famous Machu Picchu. Then experience the spectacular colors of the Rainbow Mountain. This tour includes knowledgeable guides who provide valuable insight into the history and culture of the region, making it an educational and adventurous experience for anyone. Book your tour now and make unforgettable memories.
Your adventure begins with your guide picking you up from your hotel lobby at 7am. First, we drive to a close-by Camelid farm. Here you have an opportunity to feed and pet different breeds of alpacas, llamas and vicuñas (a rare and national animal of Peru). Watch local women use the wool from the animals to weave beautiful garments with intricate patterns. They have their natural dyeing process with all the organic material needed on full display. Visit their museum and souvenir shop with the option of purchasing a good selection of fair-trade alpaca and vicuña apparel. Inside the shop, there are shopping assistants to answer all your question but they do not pressure you into purchasing anything. Be sure to grab your certification if you purchase merchandise made with Vicuñas wool, they are protected by the government of Peru.
Next stop is the Mirador of Toray. Enjoy unspoiled views of the valley below, with its lush vegetation and the serene Urubamba River gently curving its way through the entire the Sacred Valley. This panoramic view of the valley is the perfect spot to catch a selfie and the lighting at this hour of the morning is golden.
After a short uphill drive, we make our way to the historical Archeological site of Pisac. Learn about the agricultural practices of the Incas and how they used the different level of the terraces below with varying micro-climates for their farming. They built their living quarters and food storage warehouses at the top of the hills, to take advantage of the cooler temperatures in order to preserve their produce. Discover at this Sacred Valley entry point the value this region had in terms of sustenance to the Incas and modern Cusco alike. The biggest Inca cemetery is also located here, with thousands of niches wrapped around the mountain side adjacent to the archeological site. According to local legend, there are still human remains inside some of the gravesites.
Following the walking tour, we take a scenic drive through the valley, passing through a small rural town with locals going about their normal day to day lives. We stop on the outskirts of Sacred Valleys´ commercial town of Urubamba for our lunch. Enjoy a scrumptious buffet lunch, with a great selection for any and all dietary needs/specifications. (Lunch is not included)
After replenishing our energy, we head over to the Pre-Inca Salt Mines of Salineras. As you approach the salt mines you will be met by thousands of salt pans that has the valley coated in a murky brown color. The locals have been mining salt for generations. They have full ownership and rights to these pans and have passed their ancient methods from one generation to the next. The small stream at the top fills up all the salt pans and once the water evaporates, they cultivate the salt to be sold for profit. Over 90% of the salt consumed in Peru comes from this humble small town. Any salt bought from the vendors at the mines directly supports this small local community.
Next, we visit another set of Inca Ruins. The ruins of Moray are a great example of how advanced the Incas were for that period. Even though they did not build initial structure, they did however see the opportunity to use this as a natural ¨greenhouse¨. Each layer has different temperatures, they used these different micro-climates to test the optimum growing point of their crops. They brought in different samples of soil from the Empire to achieve maximum results. The sun also hit each level at different angles, making sun absorption different at every section, they also built an intricate irrigation system. The locals of this area were using this for their own farming until it was reserved for tourism in the 70s.
Finally, we head to the bustling town of Ollantaytambo, the gateway to Machu Picchu and the world-famous Inca trail. Watching over the town is the Archeological site of the same name. This is where the last and greatest battle was fought between the Incas and the Spanish Invaders. Even though the Incas won this battle, they were later forced to retreat further into the jungle because their numbers had been continuously depleting from the Spanish flu and the many wars they had endured. The site has many boulders that had been carved, which had either been damaged from the war or a sign that this site was still incomplete at the time of the invasion. Your guide will give a comprehensive tour of this site and share all the important history associated with it.
Here you spend the night at your hotel in Ollantaytambo, ready to start the Inca Trail the next day.
An early start to an exciting day; you will leave the hotel with your guide at 5:30am. When you arrive at the train station, you will receive your lunch to add to your daypack. Your train departs Ollantaytambo at 6:10am and you will have just over an hour on the train to enjoy the passing scenery and enjoy your breakfast.
You get off the train at the famous Km104, where your trek begins! (2,000m/6,560 ft. above sea level). After crossing the Urubamba River on a picturesque foot bridge, you will show your passport at the checkpoint and visit your first Inca site. The first hour and a half of this trek is a gentle upward climb. Along the way you will stop at several outlooks where you have an expansive view of the Urubamba River. You also pass through several microclimates, including a cloud forest, so be ready for damp or even rain at any season of the year. The following hour and a half of the trek is a slightly steeper uphill with a beautiful waterfall as your reward at the end!
Be sure to take some time for photos as you cross the bridge below the waterfall. As you do you will find yourself gazing up at the spectacular Wiñay Wayna! (2,600m/8,500ft above sea level) These amazing Inca ruins have a fascinating history and some parts are still hidden by the dense jungle. Hiking through lush sub-tropical jungle your guide will be happy to tell you all about the ruins, the incredible flora and fauna of this microclimate and answer any questions you have before the short 5-minute walk to your lunch spot.
You have lunch at a covered shelter at the Wiñay Wayna campground, which is the last campground for those hiking the Classic Inca Trail. Nearby are restrooms and outdoor sinks to wash your hands. Take your time enjoying your hearty, gourmet lunch and admiring the tropical flowers around the campground. Be sure to notify us of any food allergies or dietary restrictions when you book!
After lunch, you have a mostly flat walk to the Sun Gate, from which you have your first view of Machu Picchu! The hour-long walk is a gentle path rolling up and down, and does end with a set of steep stairs carved directly into the bedrock by the Inca. Once you reach the stairs you will know that you’re almost at the Sun Gate! As you turn the corner from the Sun Gate, you will enjoy your first breathtaking view of Machu Picchu. So, take some time to savor the moment and take photos. The last 60 minutes down from the Sun Gate provide many opportunities to take more unique photos of Machu Picchu. There are also a couple more important Inca sites between the Sun Gate and Machu Picchu, so make sure to go slowly and enjoy your time walking in the footsteps of the Inca. Don’t be afraid to ask your guide questions about these historical places.
Once you reach Machu Picchu, you will have time to take more photos from the viewing platforms above the site (Guard House), where you can take the famous postcard pictures of Machu Picchu. You will arrive in the afternoon, as the archeological area starts to empty of tourists, which gives you the opportunity to take beautiful photos in the afternoon light with fewer people in your shots. Take your time to enjoy this magical experience before wrapping it up with a bus ride down to Aguas Calientes. After checking into your hotel you will have a delicious dinner, then have time to walk around this picturesque little town, visit the hot springs, or just throw up your legs and rest after such an exhilarating day.
You will leave an overnight bag at the Ollantaytambo train station to be sent by train directly to Aguas Calientes.
This is the day you’ve been waiting for! After an early breakfast at your hotel, you’ll take one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu so that you can be there to witness the sunrise. It is a truly extraordinary site and not something you’ll want to miss! Your guide will give you a guided tour of Machu Picchu, which takes about two hours. You will see many of the most important parts of Machu Picchu Citadel and learn about the significance of the ancient buildings.
After your tour, those who have booked in advance for an extra hike up Huayna Picchu will have time to enjoy those views on their own. When you have had your fill of the exceptional views of Machu Picchu, you will take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes for lunch (not included). Depending on your train departure time, you may also have time for some shopping, sightseeing or a visit to the museum or hot springs.
The Expedition train will take you back to Ollantaytambo at 2:55pm or 3:20pm, following the spectacular Urubamba River. Close to Aguas Calientes, the canyon is narrow and the river has many beautiful sections of whitewater. You can also see Wiñay Wayna from the train, if you look up high on the steep canyon wall! Back at Ollantaytambo, your driver will meet you at the exit from the train station to take you back to your hotel in Cusco in our private vehicle. You can expect to arrive at your hotel by 7:00pm.
Your amazing Rainbow Mountain Trek Adventure begins with pick up from your hotel at 4am! We set out on our drive for 3 hours through the South Valley to our trailhead at Llacto (4,638m/15,216 ft). Due to our early start the drive is dark but that will give you some time to catch a little more sleep before our exciting day ahead.
The herds of alpacas and llamas surround us at the traihead, where we stop for a superb breakfast prepared by our very own private chef. Unfortunately, the trail restrooms are not in the best condition and we reccomend you use this opportunity to use the restroom before we begin our journey. After a delicious and hearty breakfast we hop back in the van and begin our gradual incline accompanied with stunning views of the Ausangate Mountain and glaciers. This is a great place to interact with the local people, who are still keeping traditional Quechua culture alive and we hope you ask your guide to teach you a few phrases in Quechua. Learn about their traditional clothes and the significance of the different hats worn by the men. We hike at a smooth and steady pace, because even though the hike is gradual, we are still walking at very high elevations. This lends itself to unexpected altitude sickness, which we will take every caution to avoid.
After hiking up for about 1.5 hours, we finally reach our destination: Rainbow Mountain, at a staggering (5,020m /16,466ft). The last 600m is a very steep incline at very high altitudes and we highly recommend you take your time. There is no rush as the end result will be worth every step. After admiring the unique beauty of this colorful landscape, you will have time to explore the area. We recommend the short hike up the neighboring hill to catch a better angle and picture of the striking colors. We will spend approximately 30 minutes at the top. Afterwards, we take a short hike across to the Red Valley to enjoy the red colorfull valley and mountains. Finally, we hike the same trail up back down to the trail head where our driver and van will be waiting to drive us to lunch.
We will embark on the 3-hour drive back to Cusco and drop you off at your Cusco hotel, arriving around 6:00pm.
**Huayna Picchu Mountain is optional trek within Machu Picchu Citadel which do not include a guide. The climb is usually done on your own after your tour of Machu Picchu Citadel. If you would like the extra hike to be guided, please request in advance. There is an extra cost for this extra guided tour.
***The Short Inca Trail & Rainbow Mountain Trek is almost always available, except February when the Inca Trail is closed for maintenance. Join in with our group and get the best deals!
***Private Service is available for $250 USD more per person.
***All entrance fees are included and we operate our tours in small groups averaging 5 people with a maximum of 8!
**Huayna Picchu Mountain is a optional trek within Machu Picchu Citadel which do not include a guide. The climb is usually done on your own after your tour of Machu Picchu Citadel. If you would like the extra hike to be guided, please request in advance. There is an extra cost for this extra guided tour.
SAM CORPORATIONS is a family owned travel agency and a tour operator that specializes in tours all over Peru. We are based in Cusco with many years of personal experience trekking and traveling every nook and cranny of Peru. SAM CORPORATIONS is a 100% Cusqueñian Company without any shareholders.
Our focus is on creating small personalized tours & treks strictly and only operated by local professional staff catering in PERSONALIZED and HIGH QUALITY SERVICE. We guarantee a luxurious service and promise to never cut corners.
We take pride in our reputation as a RESPONSIBLE & SUSTAINABLE tour operator. Our staff are our extended family. We support them financially and ensure long term growth by offering them a fair salary. We are proud of our team, without them we wouldn’t be able to offer the best service and lifetime experiences to our clients.
SAM CORPORATIONS knows how important it is to trust in a reliable honest operator to create an unforgettable adventure while in Peru. We stand by our word and deliver on our promises
To ensure a more personalized service for our guests, at SAM CORPORATIONS we have a policy that our groups will not exceed 8 people. This fact alone sets us apart from other companies that operate departures with bigger groups.
We are so proud of our guides! They are highly professional and speak fluent English. They are very knowledgeable and passionate about their country. Our guides are dedicated to continuous personal and professional development. They do research to ensure that you receive accurate and recognized theories in Inca and Andean culture. They are adventure and travel enthusiasts, sharing only the best of what they have personally experienced. Our crew is fun loving, great sports and well-educated. They all hold degrees in one of the following: Archaeology, Tourism, Botany, History or Anthropology.
At SAM CORPORATIONS, we have always believed that we should give back to the local isolated communities. Therefore, as part of our commitment to responsible tourism, we always do many service projects and hire locally.
SAM CORPORATIONS is proud to be able to support our beautiful local people. We use a holistic approach to sustanability and community development. We participate in multiple social projects, we employ from these communities and pay them an above average wage. Self- sustainibilty and long term growth is our main focus.
A beautiful reflection of our attitude in everything we do, is that we wish to make life richer and more meaningful for all involved.
Please read the following information carefully; it will help you answer all of your questions about our services and the Short Inca Trail & Rainbow Mountain Trek.
You will be greeted at the Cusco airport and taken to your hotel, please ensure that you inform us of your flight details at least 14 days prior to arrival. Look for our representative holding an orange SAM Corporations board at the exit from the arrivals terminal.
Your briefing will take place the night before your trek. It will be held at our office at 6 or 6:30pm, depending on your confirmation email details. The office is located at Calle Garcilazo 210; office 213 (second floor).
Of course! During the Short Inca Trail & Rainbow Mountain Trek your main luggage can be store at our office or at your hotel, whichever is more convenient for you.
FIRST, to book your Short Inca Trail & Rainbow Mountain Trek, we need you to fill out our booking form by clicking on BOOK NOW on our homepage or click the link here: BOOK NOW.
Please be ready with the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group). We cannot purchase an Inca trail permit, entrance to Machu Picchu or the train without the following information:
*** We will need each participant’s passport at the time of booking. They will be need, in order, to purchase tickets.
SECOND, we require a deposit of US$211.00 per person in order to purchase a your Inca Trail permit, entrance to Machu Picchu and train ticket. You can make you deposit by clicking on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on the top of our home page, or you can click on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on our booking page or click here on the payment method of your choice, either VISA or PAYPAL.
If you would like to avoid the high credit card fees in Peru, you may pay in cash at our office (US dollars or Peruvian soles) here in Cusco. There are many ATMS within the historical center to withdraw money. You can also pay by VISA or PAYPAL online but you will have to pay a 5.5% service fee, charged by VISA and PAYPAL. To pay your balance through PAYPAL, you need to log into your PAYPAL account and use our email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unfortunately the answer is No. Once the Short Inca Trail & Rainbow Mountain Trek Permits have been bought, the government does not allow any changes, so we can’t change any departure date after the tickets have been bought. Tickets are also not transferable nor refundable.
*** If you cancel your Short Inca Trail & Rainbow Mountain Trek, the deposit is non-refundable!
YES! You have to bring your original passport and it is very important that it is the same passport number you sent to us to book your entrance to Machu Picchu, train ticket, other entrances and reservations. The rangers will check when you enter Machu Picchu. The train company will also check your passport before allowing you to board the train.
In case you are renewing your passport or changing your name, go ahead and send us your old passport information to secure your permit, and we can change it when you get your new passport number or updated your name for a fee of $25 per person. We must have a copy of your old and new passport to make the change. Before you change your passport keep a copy of your old one.
If you do not wish to pay this fee you will need to bring both passports to Peru with you. You can enter Peru with your new passport but you will need to show both passports, old and new to be to enter into Machu Picchu or the train. If you do not have both you will not be allowed to enter into Machu Picchu or get on the train. They are very strict about this here!!
If you’re happy with the services provided, a tip – though not compulsory – is appreciated. While it may not be customary in your country, it’s of great significance for the people who will take care of you during the tour. It inspires excellent service and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many SAM Travel Peru destinations. Of course you are free to tip as much as you feel appropriate, depending on your perception of the quality and the length of your tour. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
Yes, we are a local sustainable & responsible tourism operator for that we incorporate the universal principles of tourism: protect the environment and benefit the local communities respecting their culture and religion. With this in mind, we have trained all our staff to know, understand and respect the local places and it´s people.
The Short Inca Trail & Rainbow Mountain Trek does not include extra porter. Please try to pack as light as possible which is the key to enjoy this amazing trek.
WHAT TO BRING IN YOUR DAYPACK ON THE INCA TRAIL
****WHAT TO PUT IN THE DUFFEL THAT WILL BE SENT TO AGUAS CALIENTES
Our company is 100% locally owned. We directly contribute to economic development and environmental sustainability in Peru.
The quality of our service is one of our most important values which demands all our effort, determination, and courage to be successful in what we are doing and the services we provide
We aim to have a positive impact in all the areas that we visit. Through our training sessions and social projects, we empower women, indigenous communities and children
Our groups never exceed 10 people, giving you a personalized tour in our small comfortable vans
Interested in visiting only specific destinations? No problem, all our packages can be fully customized to suit your budget and schedule. Contact our travel advisors to plan the most comprehensive trip of a lifetime.
We commit socially and culturally to the community and adapt our business strategies to the preservation of the environment
Contact our travel advisors to plan the most complete trip of your life.
Simplified ease of communication, text us on WhatsApp, email or call us.
Our guides are local and have vast knowledge in Peruvian culture and history.
100% local company. Development and environmental sustainability
Our groups never exceed 10 people, giving you an unforgettable experience
Discover an exceptional journey where perfection meets adventure.