Day 1: Meet our guide between 7:35 to 7:45am in the lobby of your Cusco hotel and travel through the mountains to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Relax and take in the spectacular views along the drive, including the World Heritage-listed Saqsaywaman citadel and Tambomachay, a historic series of aqueducts, canals, and waterfalls. The winding road descends 1,500 feet (457 meters) and travels alongside the sacred Urubamba River.
Arrive at the village of Pisac, where you can visit the lively traditional market and perhaps pick up some souvenirs. Then continue to Pisac's Incan ruins, which lie atop a hill with stunning views over the valley. Stroll around the ancient temples, altars, baths, water fountains, and marvel at the inti watana, a volcanic outcrop carved known as a "hitching post for the sun."
Climb back into your vehicle for the 40-minute journey to Urubamba, where you can enjoy a buffet lunch (own expense) before continuing on to the town of Ollantaytambo, another Inca archaeological site. Stroll around the temples, terraces, and storehouses under the watchful gaze of the Inca god Wiracocha, whose image is carved into Pinkuylluna Mountain overlooking Ollantaytambo. Later, board the train to Aguas Calientes, or Machu Picchu Town. On arrival, you will be collected from the station and taken to your 3-star hotel, where your guide will meet you for a short briefing ahead of your tour of Machu Picchu the following day.
* Enjoy a private Cusco city tour (optional, if you chose it instead of Sacred valley tour on day 1) before taking the train to Aguas Calientes. Visit Saccsayhuaman, Qenqo, Pucapucara, Tambomachay, The Cathedral of Cusco, and the Koricacha. Later, transfer to Ollantaytambo and take the train to Aguas Calientes.
Overnight at 3-star hotel Casa Andina Classic or Similar
Day 2: Machu Picchu - Cusco
After a restful night's sleep and an early breakfast, board a bus to Machu Picchu with your guide, arriving in time for sunrise. Head to Huayna Picchu (own cost, need to be requested in advance), the mountain which rises over Machu Picchu, and follow the steep path to the summit for incredible views of the ancient city of the Incas below. You can complete this trek on your own, without a guide, in around 2-hours.
Return to Machu Picchu and re-join your guide for a 2-hour tour of this 15th-century Inca citadel, visiting the main plaza, the circular tower, the sacred solar clock, the royal quarters, the Temple of Three Windows, and various cemeteries. Afterwards, you will have some free time to relax and soak up the views before taking the bus back to Aguas Calientes for lunch (at own cost) and perhaps soothe your muscles with a dip in the hot springs (own cost). In the afternoon, take the train back to Ollantaytambo where tour driver will be waiting to take you back to your hotel in Cusco.