This trip lets you enjoy the Inca Trail, one of the most famous treks in the world. It follows an ancient Inca pathway road built by the Incas 500 years ago. Today's trailhead is some distance from Cusco, and the walk takes four days at a gentle pace to reach Machu Picchu. Once back in Cusco enjoy a well deserved á la carte dinner at Cusco’s best restaurant. A free day in Cusco, previous to the Inca Trail, helps acclimatizing better to the altitude. And a second one, after the trek, allows for further exploration of the beautiful city of Cusco and its vibrant art scene, before flying back to Lima.
DAY 1 ... – LIMA
You will be met at the airport and privately escorted to your hotel.
DAY 2 LIMA (B)
Your sightseeing tour explores Miraflores and San Isidro, the modern districts of Lima and its historic center, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassic movements also reached Peru and a handful of well-preserved buildings offer a glimpse of the blend of past and present that characterizes the capital. One of the best examples and included in our tour is the cathedral (16th century) containing the remains of the Spanish conqueror Pizarro. The next stop is at San Francisco the city’s most visited church (1674). Its underground tunnels lead to catacombs that served as cemetery until 1808 and still contain bones and skulls.
DAY 3 LIMA – CUSCO (B)
Flight to Cusco. Our comprehensive afternoon tour includes the major sites of interest in Cusco. The tour starts with Sacsayhuaman, a hilltop fortress that overlooks the city of Cusco. The largest stones used in its construction are nearly 8.5 m (28 ft) high and weigh 360 tons, fitting so perfectly together that a single piece of paper would not fit between two stones. Then we are driven to Kenko, the temple dedicated to Mother Earth. Before we head back to Cusco we stop at Puka Pukara (the red fortress) and Tambomachay (the resting place of the Inca). Once in the city we visit the Koricancha or Temple of the Sun, a fine example of the fusion of Inca and colonial architecture. Just within walking distance we will enter the cathedral with its magnificently carved woodwork, ornate altar and many hundreds of canvases from the 17th-century 'Cusco Painting School'.
DAY 4 CUSCO (B)
Day at leisure. Take the chance to explore the city in from a different perspective. A coach emulating the mule-pulled streetcars that once traversed Cusco takes you around the city. Several departures from the main square are offered daily. The ‘Tranvia de Cusco’ travels 75 minutes and passes by 40 attractions and sites around the city. Among others the beautiful Plaza Regocijo, the church La Merced (1651), the Fortress of Sasayhuaman and the statue Cristo Blanco. The tour costs S/. 25 per person and is accompanied by a Spanish/English speaking guide.
DAY 5 CUSCO – PISKAKUCHO – WAYLLABAMBA (B,L,D)
A spectacular early morning drive through the Sacred Valley of the Incas takes us to our trailhead at Km. 82 of the Machu Picchu railroad. After getting acquainted with our trail crew we set out, crossing a footbridge to hike a gentle two hours down the Urubamba canyon, and to then ascend and finally see, from the tallest part of an overlook, the impressive Inca site of Llactapata (2,650 m / 8,692 ft) on the banks of the Kusichaca side river. We then gradually climb for about 5 hours the Kusichaca valley to Wayllabamba, the last inhabited village on the trail, where we camp.
Distance: 12 km (7,47 miles)
Walking time: 5-6 hours
Max. altitude: 3,000 m (9,840 ft)
Campsite altitude: 3,000 m (9,840 ft)
DAY 6 WAYLLABAMBA – PACAYMAYO (B,L,D)
We start today with the most difficult part of the trek. We climb for 9 km the steep-sided Llullucha valley past a rushing stream and through enchanted native polylepis woodland. Crossing the rim of a small plateau, we abruptly find ourselves in the puna, the treeless grasslands of the high Andes. The trail traverses an open slope opposite mighty mountain crags as we ascend to the first and highest pass Warmihuañusca (4,200m/13,776ft). Here we encounter spectacular views of the trail ahead to the second pass, and look back to the sweeping snow-capped peaks and valleys of the Huayanay massif. Note the diversity of wild flora and fauna that can be found all along the valley. The trail descends to the floor of the forested Pacaymayo valley (3,600m /11,811ft), where we camp.
Distance: 11 km (6,84 miles)
Walking time: 6-7 hours
Max. altitude: 4,200 m (13,776 ft)
Campsite altitude: 3,500 m (11,480 ft)
DAY 7 PACAYMAYO – WIÑAY WAYNA (B,L,D)
This day is the longest but also the most impressive, due the number of archaeological sites that we visit and learn about from our guide. We pick up an Inca stairway and ascend again past the small Inca site of Runkurakay (3,970m /13,024 ft). As we reach the second pass, the landscape opens onto spectacular new views to the snow-capped peaks of the Pumasillo range.
We descend to the ruins of Sayacmarca (Inaccessible Town), an intricate labyrinth of houses, plazas and water channels, perched precariously on a rocky spur overlooking the Aobamba valley.
The Inca trail, now a massive structure of granite paving stones, continues along the steep upper fringes of the cloud forest through a colorful riot of orchids, bromeliads, mosses and ferns. At the third pass pinnacles topped with Inca viewing platforms overlook the archaeological complex of Phuyupatamarca (Town over the Clouds). Pausing to explore the wondrous maze of Inca stone towers, fountains and stairways and also impressive views of the Urubamba River (2,700m/ 8,860 ft), we begin a long descent through ever-changing layers of cloud forest.
An Inca stairway partly cut from living granite leads us finally to our camp by the ruins of Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young), the largest and most exquisite of the Inca Trail sites.
Distance: 16 km (9,94 miles)
Walking time: 8 hours
Max. altitude: 3,900 m (12,792 ft)
Campsite altitude: 2,650 m (8,692 ft)
DAY 8 WIÑAY WAYNA – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO (B)
An early morning hike takes us across a steep mountainside through lush, humid cloud-forest and broadleaf vegetation. Suddenly we cross the stone threshold of Intipunku (Sun Gate) and encounter an unforgettable sweep of natural beauty and human artistry –a backdrop of twisting gorge and forested peaks framing the magical city of Machu Picchu.
We complete the final leg down the royal flagstone walkway, past outlying shrines and buildings and into the heart of Machu Picchu, where we spend the rest of the morning with a guided tour of the highlights and some individual exploring among Machu Picchu’s multitude of hidden nooks and corners. In the early afternoon a bus takes us to the small town of Aguas Calientes, where we board our return train to Cusco.
Distance: 4 km (2,49 miles)
Walking time: 2 hours
Max. altitude: 2,700 m (8,829 ft)
Campsite altitude: 2,400 m (7,872 ft)
Note: park authorities may occasionally designate different campsites than those indicated in this itinerary
DAY 9 CUSCO (B,D)
Day at leisure. Today you have the opportunity to explore Cusco’s markets on your own. Here you will have the chance to purchase all sorts of beautifully hand made items fashioned and sold by the local inhabitants.
This is the last venture of the young and talented chef Jaime Pesaque's that has already opened 'embassies of the Peruvian cuisine' in Punta del Este, Miami and New York. The menu features contemporary Peruvian cuisine made with local ingredients while the atmosphere vibes a casual chic ambiance. Designed by the renowned architect Jordi Puig, Calle del Medio, has a unbeatable location with views of Cusco's main square and the cathedral.
DAY 10 CUSCO – LIMA – ... (B)
Flight to Lima. We suggest you a walk through Barranco, Lima’s traditional ‘belle epoch’ district. Barranco is a pleasant suburb of Lima that has kept its character much better than most of the city and the bohemian heart of the city.
Price per person in USD sharing TWIN Prices valid through December 23rd 2013
*Min. 2 persons
Domestic flights (net price per person in USD)
Lima – Cusco - Lima
* Air fares subject to change according availability
ABOUT THE INCA TRAIL
Since the park authorities allow only 500 people (about 200 tourists and 300 trekking staff) to enter the Inca Trail network for any given day, it is important to book well in advance (at least 3 months in advance).
Trek permits are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations have to be submitted to National
Institute for Cultural Affairs in Cusco. Bookings are only accepted by the authorities when
-date of birth and
-passport numbers of passengers
are provided. To maintain the confirmation of trek permit, a pre-payment is needed. The reimbursement of payment is not possible under any circumstance. This measure was introduced to avoid irregularities and unfair competition among Inca Trail operators.
Please take note that the authorities in Cusco do not accept changes in names or passport numbers. In case you get a new passport number (different to the one you gave us for confirmation) you need to show your old passport to the authorities in the control station in the start of the trail. Should it not be possible to take your old passport with you, only a notarized copy will be accepted by the authorities controlling the access to Inca Trail.
In case you need an extra porter to carry your personal backpack we highly advice you to send us the reservation as soon as possible in order to guarantee this service.
Average trekking duration: 6 to 8 hours per day with several long ascents and descents
Altitude: the highest point on the trek is 4,200m (13,776ft) but we will camp below that level
Season: from January to December (alternative route in February)
Cusco’s climate is divided into two differentiated seasons: the rainy season, from November to April (the heaviest rainfalls occurring usually between January – March); and the dry season, from May to October.
Grade: moderate to challenging
OUR INCA TRAIL PRICE INCLUDES
Transfer from Cusco to the start of the trail for Inca Trail Classic
Entrance fees for the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
Three-season Timberline 4 Outfitter tents: 4-person expedition tent for DOUBLE occupancy to offer more comfort and enough space for backpacks
Foamy sleeping pad
Dining tent with tables and chairs
Experienced English speaking guide
Cook and cooking equipment
Porters (to carry tents, food and cooking equipment)
Well-paid and well-treated porters (accommodation in tents for guides, cook and porters, no porters under age of 18, fair wage, no more than 18 kg of trek load, insurance in case of accident)
All camp waste is hauled out of the park
Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B: Breakfasts, BoxL: Box lunch, L: Lunch, D: Dinner) as well as daily morning snack and daily tea service except last day)
Boiled water during the mornings to refill water bottle
Warm water in the mornings and nights for washing
Comprehensive first-aid kit including oxygen bottles
Bus ticket from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes town
Transfer from the train station in Cusco to your hotel
Porter for your personal backpack and sleeping bag
Lunch and dinner on the last day of the Inca Trail
Sleeping bag (can be hired at an extra cost in Cusco)
Entrance fee for Huayna Picchu mountain
ADDITIONAL SERVICES AT EXTRA COST
Personal porters can be hired to help carry your personal backpack and sleeping bag. A porter can carry up to 18 kg, what should be enough for two people
‘Eureka’ sleeping bag, extreme
18°C (includes sleeping bag liner)
Thermarest self-inflating mattress
An extra hotel night in Aguas Calientes can be arranged at additional cost (depending on the
selected hotel category)
WHAT TO BRING
Rain jacket or poncho
Warm clothes (jacket, fleece and sweaters)
Flashlight and batteries
Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain or cold
Sun block and insect repellent
Towel and toilet paper
Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, etc.
Cash (no ATM machines in Aguas Calientes)
Swimsuit (if you plan on visiting the hot springs at Aguas Calientes after the trek)