The Sacred Valley, in Cusco was the center of the Inca universe, its climate, excellent soil, the Urubamba river which crosses over 100kms., Different altitudes and ecological levels created the conditions for this valley was the pantry food and resting place of the Inca court.
Very pleasant climate, we are between 2700 and 2900 m., the landscape is flat, there are different ecological zones from the sacred peaks, to the valleys surrounded by greenery and corn. Here grows the famous giant white corn Urubamba (Paraqay).
In The Sacred Valley is the largest concentration of archaeological sites in Peru, there are more than 350 places, a monumental and other lesser known as the cave paintings of Chahuaytire, on the heights of Pisac. Along the banks of the Vilcanota or Urubamba River as it is called from Pisaq, you can find towns founded by the Spaniards who seem frozen in time as well as countless Inca buildings such as temples, forts, palaces, religious centers, terraces, urban centers and water systems, some easily accessible a short walk as it is only necessary to access them, while others require, because of the distance, walking for a few hours on trails that are drawing by mountains.
One of the greatest achievements was Tawantinsuyo eradicate the hunger, based on constant biological research, acclimatization, domestication of plants for human consumption, and great industriousness. Quechuas having two distinct natural seasons, in their rainy season and part of the dry were engaged in agriculture, and in the dry season were builders and craftsmen.
Few people in the ancient world developed agricultural infrastructure with features here had, just have a look at the fields near the Qosqo to imagine the deep agricultural conviction Tawantinsuyo where all the valleys and plains were cultivated, using even the dry, rocky slopes of mountains where farming terraces were built.
This also assumes that you have a traditional Monday through Friday nine to five and strive to live that travel life.
Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. (Credit: Go Get Peru)
These days the trend of once a year two week vacations are out the window. Instead, they’ve been replaced, among millennials especially, with more frequent trips taking up shorter timespans. Why take one trip a year when you can take five? And this trend isn’t going to go away anytime soon thanks to the new type of travel culture that’s developing.
So it’s no surprise that tour agencies are embracing this trend and developing more and more trips like this one: a six day, three night (two nights are red-eye flights) adventure to Machu Picchu. This “express tour” offered by Go Get Peru, is catering to that fast-travel audience and the overwhelming popularity of the tour is proof that these trips are what travelers want right now. Since not everyone has the luxury of taking off on an adventure whenever they please, especially when they need to work to pay the bills or have a startup that isn’t quite ready to run on its own, trips like this one are perfect.
So what should you expect on a fast-travel trip like this one?
Well, you’ll take off from either New York or Miami late Thursday night on a redeye to Lima. From Lima you’ll connect to your flight to Cusco early Friday morning, putting you at your final destination late Friday morning (day one of your work vacation days).
From the airport, you’re picked up and taken to your hotel in Peru’s Sacred Valley. There’s a tour to explore the neighboring town of Pisac, a lively village about 40 minutes from where you’re staying, and its local market, where street vendors sell all of those famous alpaca sweaters and so much more that you shouldn’t leave Peru without (including a belly full of empanadas). Bargaining and interacting with the vendors here is half the fun.
The next morning (Saturday) starts bright and early when you head to the Ollanta Station to take the Vistadome Train up to Machu Picchu. This is the day that the trip is all about. You’ll spend about three hours exploring everything that the “Lost City of the Incas” has to offer before heading back on the train and eventually to your new hotel in Cusco.
Sunday is spent as leisure in Cusco where you can opt for a full day or half day tour of the city and a home hosted dinner, or just take your chances exploring Cusco the best way you see fit. I recommend opting in for the half-day morning tour – it includes a visit to a local market (where locals actually go), a stop at a traditional cemetery and a meeting with a local Andean shaman. The tour also includes a cooking class with a local chef who will show you how to make a traditional dish from Cusco.
The city of Cusco has also been deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Credit: Go Get Peru)
Monday morning and early afternoon (day two of your work vacation days) are spent in Cusco before heading back to the airport for your early evening red-eye flight back home. From Cusco you head back to Lima and then you’re off to your final destination – either New York or Miami. Your flight home arrives early Tuesday morning (you’ll be scheduled to land at 9:30 am if you’re heading back to New York), where you’re just one taxi ride away from your office.
While short trips are becoming more popular, there are some risks with fast-travel trips like this one. Flight delays for example can mess up your entire itinerary. And with redeyes making up two “sleeps” of the itinerary, this tour isn’t for the luxury traveler looking for a slow vacation. This is an itinerary maximized to make the most of your time and vacation days.
The Machu Picchu Express package from New York City starts at $1349 and includes airfare, accommodations, and a day-trip to Machu Picchu. City tours and excursions are offered at an additional cost.