Get the most out of the Cusco region by visiting the city and its surroundings, filled with fantastic art and archaeological sites. The Sacred Valley holds huge Inca complexes, and 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 sites like the Sacsayhuaman fortress, Qenqo, and more.

During 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 is a great option for those who want to enjoy the trail's beauty without committing to the entire trek.

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.

Trip details:

  • Duration: 6 Days / 5 nights
  • Depart: Cusco city
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Season: All year round 
  • Destination: Cusco region


  • See stunning huge stones embedded in Inca walls
  • Explore the Sacred Valley surroundings 
  • Explore the iconic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
  • Enjoy the stunning of Machu Picchu from the Sungate
  • Experience the amazing Rainbow Mountain

Itinerary at a glance

Day 1: Arrival at the airport of Cusco and explore the city in the afternoon

Day 2: Tour the Sacred Valley of the Incas and spend the night in Ollantaytambo

Day 3: Hike the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and spend the night in Aguas Calientes

Day 4: Explore Machu Picchu citadel and return on the Vistadome Panoramic trains

Day 5: Hike Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley with picnic meals

Day 6: Transfer to the airport


  • All transportation for the 6 days
  • Entrance tickets to all places we visited
  • English-speaking tour guide
  • Meals mentioned in the itinerary


  • Flight tickets
  • Lunch in Aguas Calientes after the tour in Machu Picchu
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain tickets
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips

Important Information

  • Group tours every with daily departures, subject to permits availability 
  • Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are available
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level.

Booking and Cancellation Policy

  • To book this tour, you need an initial of 400.USD per person
  • Initial payment is non-refundable and non-transferable.
  • Cancellation within 24 hours or less, 90% of the total price is due
  • The trip can be canceled due to force majeure

Full Itinerary of Short Inca Trail + Rainbow Mountain 6 days

Day 1: Arrival in Cusco - Afternoon city tour

We will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. In the afternoon, we will have a city tour exploring the most remarkable plazas, streets, and temples like; Plaza de Armas, Coricancha, Saqsayhuaman, Qenqo, Pucapucara, Tambomachay and the statue of Christ on top of Cusco. 

  • Included: Tourist van, a guided tour with an English-speaking professional guide, entrance tickets to the Coricancha, Saqsayhuaman, and the 4 ruins (Cusco tourist ticket), 3-star hotel in Cusco.
  • Not Included: meals
  • Recommendations: Bring a wind jacket and poncho just in case it rains, sunblock and hat, sunglasses, a poncho or rain jacket, and water. 
  • Duration: 3h ½ 
  • Type: Walking tour

Day 2: Sacred Valley Tour with Maras Moray

Your tour guide will pick you up at 7.30 am from your hotel and drive to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Our first stop is Mirador of Taray, a beautiful lookout point where you will enjoy picturesque landscapes with farmlands and snow-capped mountains. Next, you will drive to Pisac ruins and Pisac market. Pisac has a hands and crafts market where you can get fine artwork and textiles. Lunch is in Urubamba town. 

The second part of begins with visiting the circular terraces of Moray, the Salienras of maras, and finally visiting, the fortress of Ollantaytambo, where we explore the ancient cobblestone streets. We spend the night in a hotel in Ollantaytambo. 

  • Included: Tourist van, English-speaking tour guide, entrance tickets (Sacred tourist ticket), lunch in a tourist restaurant, and a 3-star hotel in Ollantaytambo.
  • Not Included: Dinner
  • Recommendations: Bring a wind jacket and poncho just in case it rains, sunblock and hat, sunglasses, a poncho or rain jacket, and water. 
  • Duration: Full day
  • Type: Bus & walking tour
  • Accommodation: Tunupa Lodge (or a Similar 3-star hotel)
  • Considered: Moderate

Day 3: Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

After breakfast in the hotel, we will pick you up around 5.30 am and drive to Ollantaytambo train station, traveling along the Urubamba River until we arrive at km 104 – Chachabamba, from where we begin hiking to Machu Picchu. 

You will pass the checkpoint first, use the restroom, and prepare for the long hike. You will visit the Inca site of Chachabamba and then hike for about 4 hours until we arrive at one of the most beautiful Inca sites on the Inca Trail called Wiñaywayna. We will explore the place and get amazing views of the Andean mountains. Before continuing to the Sun Gate (Intipunku), we will have an energetic box lunch. Then we will get to the Sungate to catch the first glimpse of Machu Picchu. All crowds will be gone when we arrive at the Sun Gate. We will get to Machu Picchu in the afternoon and have the chance to take some photos since the guided tour is the following day. We take the bus to Aguas Calientes town (Machu Picchu Pueblo) for dinner and spend the night in a hotel. 

  • Included: Transfers, transportation during the trek, English-speaking 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, luggage storage, and 3-star hotel in Aguas Calientes.
  • 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 wake up and have breakfast early to take the first buses to the mountain top, where Machu Picchu is located. Once there, we start the guided tour for about 2 to 3 hours, exploring the best of the ancient Inca citadel. During this time, you will explore the site with your guide and learn about the history and culture of the Inca people. You will also have plenty of time to take photos and enjoy the stunning views. After the guided tour, you will return to Aguas Calientes for lunch.

Later in the afternoon, you will board the exclusive Vistadome Train to Ollantaytambo, enjoying the amazing view of the Machu Picchu canyon on the way back. At Ollantaytambo train station, we will be waiting for you and will transfer you by van back to Cusco. The arrival time is around 7.30 pm.

  • Included: English-speaking 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: Casa Andina Plaza (or a Similar 3-star hotel)
  • Walking time: 2 1/2 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 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: Pick up from the hotel, English-speaking guide, Picnic, Breakfast  & Lunch, Snacks, water, hot drinks, Entrance tickets to Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley, First Aid Kit, Oxygen tank, Satellite phones, Trekking poles, Trekking chef, porters, Picnic equipment, (Tents, chairs, tables), Private portable toilets
  • Not included: Dinner
  • Accommodation: Casa Andina Plaza (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. 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: 

  • 1100. USD  for adults
  • 1060. USD  for children & students
To book the Short Inca Trail + Rainbow Mountain tour, you must make an initial payment of 400.USD per person, the remaining balance can be paid online, in installments, or Cusco with any credit card or PayPal with no booking fees at all.

Student Discount:

  • 40$ off per person

All travelers under 17 will have a $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 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 days 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 in a van with short hikes when visiting the sites. 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 Rainbow Mountain Tour is variable. During the rainy season is expected to have rainy days. 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 snow is in some seasons. 

Do I need a permit for this tour?

To hike the Short Inca Trail is required to book the IncaTrail, permits. These permits can only be booked through an authorized tour company and are nonrefundable and nontransferable. 

To enter Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley, we require 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. 

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Monday Sep 25, 2023
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