Get the most out of the Cusco region by visiting the city and its surroundings, which are filled with fantastic art and archaeological sites. The Sacred Valley holds huge Inca complexes, and the Inca Trail with Machu Picchu will provide a complete understanding of Andean culture and Inca architecture. You will finish the trip exploring the amazing Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley.

Cusco, Sacred Valley, Inca Trail & Rainbow Mountain 6 days

The Cusco city tour will take you to some of the city's most important Inca and colonial sites. You'll learn about the history and culture of the Inca Empire as you visit the Sacsayhuaman fortress, Qenqo, and more. On the Sacred Valley Tour, you can explore the vibrant local markets and try some traditional Peruvian cuisine. On our Sacred Valley tour, you'll visit ancient Inca ruins Pisac, Moray, Salineras of Maras, and Ollantaytambo, where we will spend the night in a hotel.

The Short Inca Trail hike is for those who want to experience a taste of the Classic Inca Trail without undertaking the full trek. We offer a short hike that takes you to some of the most stunning sections of the trail. This option is great for those who want to enjoy the trail's beauty without committing to the entire trek. The Rainbow Mountain hike is one of Cusco's most popular day hike hikes, also known as Vinicunca Mountain. This incredible mountain gets its name from its multi-colored stripes caused by mineral deposits in the rock.

Tour Highlights:

  • See stunning huge stones embedded in Inca walls.
  • Explore the Sacred Valley's most iconic spots.
  • Hike the iconic Inca Trail to reach Machu Picchu.
  • Enjoy the stunning views of Machu Picchu from the Sungate.
  • Experience the amazing Rainbow Mountain.

Tour at a glance:

  • Day 1: Arrival in Cusco - Afternoon city tour

  • Airport pick-up, check-in at hotel
  • Afternoon city tour: Plaza de Armas, Qoricancha, Saqsayhuaman, Qenqo, Pucapucara, Tambomachay, and Christ statue
  • Duration: 3.5 hours
  • Accommodation: San Agustin or Similar
  • Day 2: Sacred Valley Tour with Maras Moray

  • Full-day tour starting at 7:00 am
  • Mirador of Taray, Pisac ruins, Pisac market, lunch in Urubamba
  • Moray, Maras Salt Mines, Ollantaytambo
  • Overnight in Ollantaytambo
  • Accommodation: Tunupa Lodge or Similar
  • Day 3: Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

  • Early start, drive to Ollantaytambo train station
  • Hike from km 104 to Wiñaywayna, Sun Gate, and Machu Picchu
  • Dinner and overnight in Aguas Calientes
  • Accommodation: Susanna INN or Similar
  • Day 4: Discover Machu Picchu - Back to Cusco

  • Early morning bus to Machu Picchu
  • Guided tour, free time for photos
  • Return to Aguas Calientes for lunch
  • Vistadome Train to Ollantaytambo, transfer to Cusco
  • Accommodation: San Agustin or Similar
  • Day 5: Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley Tour

  • Early pick-up, drive to starting point
  • Hike to Rainbow Mountain, guided tour, Red Valley visit
  • Return to Cusco, arriving around 6 pm
  • Accommodation: San Agustin or Similar
  • Day 6: Transfer Out

  • Transfer to Cusco Airport for your flight to Lima

Included:

  • Airport Transfers
  • 5 nights hotel (Cusco, Ollantaytambo, & Machu Picchu Pueblo)
  • All transportation for the 6-day tour
  • Entrance tickets to all the places we visit
  • Cusco City Tour
  • Sacred Valley with Moray & Salineras of Maras
  • Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
  • Standard train to Km 104 Inca Trail
  • Panoramic Vistadome Train (One way)
  • Rainbow Mountain & Red Valley with Picnic
  • English-speaking tour guide
  • Meals mentioned in the itinerary

Not included:

  • Flight tickets
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain tickets
  • Travel Insurance
  • Meals not mentioned

Full Itinerary of the Short Inca Trail + Rainbow Mountain 6 day tour

Day 1: Arrival in Cusco - Afternoon city tour

We will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. In the afternoon, we have planned a city tour to explore the most remarkable plazas, streets, and temples, including Plaza de Armas, Coricancha, Saqsayhuaman, Qenqo, Pucapucara, Tambomachay, and the statue of Christ atop Cusco.

  • Included: Tourist van, tour guide, entrance tickets
  • Not Included: meals
  • Accommodation: San Agustin (or a Similar 3-star hotel)
  • Duration: 3h ½ 
  • Type: Walking tour

Recommendations: Bring a wind jacket and poncho just in case it rains, sunblock and hat, sunglasses, a poncho or rain jacket, and water. 

Day 2: Sacred Valley Tour with Maras Moray

Your tour guide will pick you up at 7:00 AM from your hotel and drive you to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Our first stop is the Awanacancha Alpaca Center and Mirador of Taray, a beautiful lookout point offering picturesque landscapes of farmlands and snow-capped mountains. Next, we will visit the Pisac ruins and the Pisac market, known for its exquisite handcrafted artwork and textiles. Lunch will be served in the town of Urubamba.

The second part of our journey begins with a visit to the circular terraces of Moray and the Salineras of Maras. Finally, we will explore the fortress of Ollantaytambo, delving into its ancient cobblestone streets. The day concludes with an overnight stay at a hotel in Ollantaytambo.

  • Included: Tourist van, tour guide, entrance tickets
  • Not Included: Dinner
  • Duration: Full day
  • Type: Bus & walking tour
  • Accommodation: Tunupa Lodge (or a Similar 3-star hotel)
  • Considered: Easy

Recommendations: Bring a wind jacket and poncho just in case it rains, sunblock and hat, sunglasses, a poncho or rain jacket, and water. 

Day 3: Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

After breakfast at the hotel, we will pick you up around 5:30 AM and drive to the Ollantaytambo train station. We'll travel along the Urubamba River until we reach km 104 – Chachabamba, the starting point of our hike to Machu Picchu.

First, you'll pass through the checkpoint and prepare for the epic hike. Our journey includes a visit to the Inca site of Chachabamba. After this, we'll embark on a 4-hour hike to one of the most stunning Inca sites on the Inca Trail, Wiñaywayna. Here, we'll take time to explore the site and enjoy breathtaking views of the Andean mountains. An energetic box lunch will be provided to keep us fueled for the journey ahead.

Next, we continue to the Sun Gate (Intipunku), where you'll catch your first glimpse of Machu Picchu. By the time we arrive at the Sun Gate, most of the crowds will have dispersed, allowing for a more serene experience. We'll reach Machu Picchu in the afternoon, which is an ideal time for taking photos, as the guided tour is scheduled for the following day.

Finally, we take the bus to Aguas Calientes town (Machu Picchu Pueblo), where we'll enjoy dinner and spend the night in a hotel.

  • Included: Transfers, transportation, tour guide, Train to Km 104 (Expedition or Voyager), box Lunch, dinner, Entrance ticket to Inca Trail and Machu Picchu, bus ticket from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes, Oxygen tank, first aid kit, satellite phones.
  • Hiking distance: 16km / 10 miles
  • Highest altitude: 2700m / 8858ft
  • Considered: Moderate
  • Accommodation: Susanna INN (or a Similar 3-star hotel)
  • Meals: all included

Day 4: Discover Machu Picchu - back to Cusco

We'll start our day with an early breakfast before catching the first buses to the mountaintop where Machu Picchu is located. Upon arrival, we'll begin a guided tour lasting approximately 2 to 3 hours, during which we'll delve into the wonders of the ancient Inca citadel. You'll have the opportunity to explore the site with your guide, learning about the history and culture of the Inca people. There will also be ample time for taking photos and soaking in the breathtaking views.

After the tour, we'll return to Aguas Calientes for lunch. Later in the afternoon, you'll embark on a scenic journey back to Ollantaytambo aboard the exclusive Vistadome panoramic Train, which offers stunning views of the Machu Picchu canyon. Upon your arrival at the Ollantaytambo train station, we'll be there to meet you and provide a van transfer back to Cusco. We anticipate arriving in Cusco around 7:00 PM.

  • Included: Tour guide, roundtrip bus tickets in Machu Picchu, entrance ticket to Machu Picchu, train tickets in Vistadome train or 360° to Ollantaytambo, and transfer from Ollantaytambo station to Cusco city.
  • Not Included: Lunch and dinner
  • Accommodation: San Agustin (or a Similar 3-star hotel)
  • Walking time: 3 hours
  • Considered: Moderate

Day 5: Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley Tour

We will pick you up from your Cusco hotel around 4:30 a.m. We drive for about 3 hours to get to the starting point, where our chef will provide a delicious breakfast surrounded by amazing mountains. Then, we will hike to Vinicunca Mountain, a moderately difficult hike located in the Ausangate Mountain Range, the highest mountain range in the Cusco area. You will be given a guided tour of Rainbow Mountain's origins and will have time to take photographs. Then, we will visit the Red Valley region for another 30-minute walk. Following the visits, we walked back for an hour and had lunch. Then we return to Cusco, getting to the hotel around 6 pm. 

  • Included: Tour guide, Picnic meals, Entrance tickets, First Aid Kit, Oxygen tank, Satellite phones, Trekking poles, Trekking chef, Picnic equipment (Tents, chairs, tables), Private portable toilets
  • Not included: Dinner
  • Accommodation: San Agustin (or a Similar 3-star hotel)
  • Walking time: 4 hours
  • Considered: Moderate to challenging

Day 6: Transfer Out

Today, we will take you back to Cusco Airport to catch the flight to Lima or elsewhere. You must be ready there at least two hours before.

Short Inca Trail + Rainbow Mountain 6 days Packing list

This 6-day tour includes tours in the town and hiking tours; some days, you will go back to the same hotel, and others, you will be changing to a different hotel. See below the detailed packing list you need per day and each tour. 

You will arrive in Cusco with a piece of big luggage; it depends on how long your vacation is in Peru. Depending on the tour and day, you will take your bags with you or leave them at the hotel. Here are some specific tips on how to pack and store luggage.

List of things to bring on the City Tour in Cusco

When you get to Cusco's airport, we'll take you to your hotel in the city's center. You'll have time to unpack, eat lunch, and relax before our city tour of Cusco in the afternoon.

During the city tour, you must bring a small, comfortable backpack to carry essentials for the day. Your luggage stays in the hotel.

  • A small daypack
  • Sun protection
  • Rain gear
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Warm light jacket
  • A good camera
  • Snacks, water
  • Some money in cash

Packing list for the Sacred Valley Tour

On the second day of the tour, we will travel to the Sacred Valley in a full-day tour, and you will need to travel with all your belongings to the hotel in Ollantaytambo. Have an early breakfast, check out, and wait for your tour guide at 7.30 am for pick up. 

During the day, you will be visiting several Inca sites, Local markets, and some of them include hiking for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Make sure you are always prepared with a small bag or daypack to carry essentials. Your luggage remains in the car. 

  • Comfortable bag or daypack
  • Sunscreen, insect repellent
  • Sunscreen, hut
  • Shoes for walking
  • Warm clothes
  • Camera
  • Smacks, water
  • Cash to buy souvenirs

List of things you should bring on the Short Inca Trail

On the 3rd day of the tour, you will have an early breakfast in your hotel and wait for pick up around 5.30 am. We will transfer you to the train station to board the first train to km 104 and hike to Machu Picchu. 

You are responsible for carrying a small backpack with all your belongings for the 2 days tour. Your big luggage should return to Cusco with the driver. 

You must ensure that your backpack is light and comfortable; we do not have porters during the short Inca Trail. Below is a list of things you should bring on the Short Inca Trail:

  • A good pair of hiking shoes: You will be doing a lot of walking, so a good pair of shoes is essential. Look for something with good support and grip.
  • A daypack: This will be your main carry-on for the hike. Make sure it's comfortable to wear and has enough space to store all your essentials.
  • Water: You will need to stay hydrated, especially at altitude. Bring plenty of water and some electrolyte drinks to keep yourself going.
  • Food: No restaurants are on the trail, so you must bring your food. Pack snacks and easy-to-prepare meals that will give you the energy you need to hike.
  • Clothing: layered clothing is best, as the weather can change quickly at altitude. Be sure to pack a rain jacket and warm layers for the evenings.
  • First aid kit: Always be prepared for minor injuries and illnesses. Pack bandages, painkillers, insect repellents, and other items.
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses: The sun is intense at altitude, so ensure adequate protection from UV rays.
  • Rain gear: the short Inca trail is located in the cloud forest region, and rain can occur anywhere. 

Packing list for Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley

You can leave your bags at the hotel and don't have to check out because we're returning to the same hotel. You need to take a small daypack that you will carry with everything you need for the day. 

Remember that Rainbow Mountain is a day climb at a high altitude and that the weather could be harsh and cold. Get ready for bright, cold, windy, and wet days.

  • A good pair of hiking boots – these should be comfortable and provide good support for your ankles.
  • Hiking socks – make sure these won't give you blisters!
  • A daypack – this doesn't need to be anything too fancy, but it should be big enough to fit all your essentials.
  • Water bottle – at least 1 liter, but more if you can carry it.
  • Snacks and lunch – energy bars, fruit, nuts, etc.
  • Sunscreen and lip balm – the sun is intense at high altitudes!
  • Hat or headscarf – to protect you from the sun and keep you warm.
  • Warm Jackets, gloves
  • Hiking sticks
  • Sunglasses – again, to protect your eyes from the intense UV rays.
  • Camera! – to capture all the incredible views

 Price for the Short Inca Trail + Rainbow Mountain 6 days

Price per person:

  • From US$ 950

To book the Short Inca Trail + Rainbow Mountain tour, you must make an initial payment of US$ 400 per person; the remaining balance can be paid online, in installments, or in Cusco.


Children & Student Discount:

  • US$ 40 off per person

All travelers under 17 will have a US$ 40 discount. If you are 25 years old or under when traveling, you can get a 40$ discount with your student ID. Please advise by email to give you a code for the discount.

Valid Student ID:

To get the student discount, travelers should have a Valid ID with the following:

  • 25 years old or less at the time of entering Machu Picchu. Older than 25 can not enter as a student
  • The ID must have the Name of the university, name, and photo of the student
  • The ID must have a valid expiration date
Machu Picchu Valid Student ID TreXperience

Invalid Student IDs:

Student IDs are not eligible for a discount when:

  • Traveler is older than 25
  • Expired ID
  • Student ID without expiration date
  • ISIC cards are not valid. 
Invalid student ID for Machu Picchu TreXperience

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Short Inca Trail + Rainbow Mountain FAQs

The trekking experience in the Andes is one of the most unforgettable experiences you will ever have. The trek takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery you will ever see. You will be amazed by the landscape's vastness and the mountains' beauty.

What is the Short Inca Trail and Rainbow Mountain 6-day tour?

This adventure tour combines the best in Cusco in only 6 days. You can explore Cusco, the best of the sacred valley, and the impressive Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley.

How long is the hike on the Short Inca Trail?

The Short Inca Trail is 16 km long and starts at Km 104 on the Cusco to Machu Picchu railroadCusco-Puno road. 

How long is the hike at Rainbow Mountain?

Take a 3-hour van from Cusco to the trailhead to reach Rainbow Mountain. The distance from the trailhead to the summit of Rainbow Mountain is around 6 kilometers, including the Red Valley. The whole duration of the hike is about 3.5 hours.

What is the best time of year to take this tour?

The best time of year to hike the Short Inca Trail and Rainbow Mountain Tour is from April to October. The weather is generally dry and stable during this time, making for ideal hiking conditions. Remember that Rainbow Mountain can be quite cold at high altitudes, so pack appropriate clothing.

How difficult is the tour?

This package includes a city tour in Cusco and the Sacred Valley tour. You will explore the sites in a van with short hikes. The most challenging part of this tour is hiking the Short Inca Trail and Rainbow Mountain.

  • Short Inca Trail

The tour is considered easy to moderate difficulty. If you are moderately fit and have no health issues, you should be able to complete the tour without any problems. The highest altitude reached on tour is 2700m at Sungate, lower than Cusco city. 

  • Rainbow Mountain 

The Rainbow Mountain tour is not difficult but can be challenging due to its location and altitude. This fantastic mountain is located at 5200 m (17060 ft), and you need to acclimatize in Cusco a few days before. 

What is the weather like?

The weather on the Short Inca Trail is humid and hot. The Inca Trail and Machu Picchu are located in the cloud forest, and the Rainbow Mountain Tour is variable. During the rainy season, rainy days are expected. However, temperatures will not decrease below 5°C.

The weather in Rainbow Mountain is cold and dry. This mountain is located up in the Andes, above 4700 meters on average, and the weather is windy and cold, and there is snow in some seasons. 

Do I need a permit for this tour?

Hiding the Short Inca Trail, booking the Inca Trail permits is required. These permits can only be booked through an authorized tour company and are nonrefundable and nontransferable. 

To enter Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley, we are required to purchase an entry ticket but are not required to do it in advance; the tickets will be bought at the place we visit. 

What will you see during the tour?

During the Short Inca Trail, you will see incredible Inca sites such us Chachabamaba, Wiñaywayna, Sun Gate, and Machu Picchu. You will also enjoy the fantastic landscapes of the cloud forest. 

During Rainbow Mountain, you will enjoy the natural landscapes of the Andes, the colored mountain, and the reddish hills or Red Valley. 

What is the food like?

You will travel with a tour guide for the Short Inca Trail, but no porters or chefs. We will provide you with an organic, packed lunch and dinner in a local restaurant in Machu Picchu Pueblo. 

You will travel with a tour guide and chefs during Rainbow Mountain to prepare excellent meals. We provide picnic breakfast and lunch with fresh local products. 

Wednesday Jun 26, 2024
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Monday Jul 01, 2024
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From$1100.00USD
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