Day 1: Cusco - Tambomachay - Qenko
After hotel pickup, you will start hiking from Tambomachay, just outside of Cusco. Pass through high passes through valleys, small communities and beautiful mountain lakes. See grassland and large open lakes and a wide variety of birds including Andean Geese, partridges and lapwings. The goal is to get to the village of Qenko, located close to Lake Qoricocha (Golden Water). See people in their traditional clothes of this Andean community. Learn about their methods of herding llamas and alpacas. Since few tourists come this way, people are very welcoming as they are intrigued to see who has come to visit their village.
Day 2: Qenko - Huchuy Qosco - Lamay - Aguas Calientes
Today, you will learn about the customs and culture of the Andean people and a visit the Incan site of Huchuy Qosco. Early in the morning head with your guide to one of the houses where you'll meet a local family. People are welcoming and eager to learn about you as you are of them. Afterwards, you'll have the chance to give gifts to the local people and buy some of their locally made souvenirs. You will then make your way to Huchuy Qosco. The route follows the original Inca Trail leading down a beautiful, secluded valley filled with native plants, flowers and birds. It really feels like another world compared to the high grasslands you've left behind. It will take 2.5 hours to reach Huchuy Qosco. Take in the views of the Sacred Valley and enjoy a guided tour of the site to learn about the Incan people and their culture. In the afternoon, head to the village of Lamay, where you will take a bus to Ollantaytambo and then a train to Aguas Calientes.
Day 3: Machu Picchu
Waking up early, you'll board the first bus back up to Machu Picchu to enter the site as it opens. Enjoy a 2-hour guided tour of the site and then explore this place on your own. You can also climb up the Huayna Picchu if you've purchased the permit before. Then, you'll take the train back to Ollantaytambo and a bus back to Cusco.