Inca Trail Trek

Trip Style: Trekking Expeditions

The Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu is rated among one of the best hikes in the
world because of the exquisite beauty of its natural surroundings. The Inca paths
takes us through different ecosystems from high Andean plains to the cloud forest
allowing us to explore mysterious archaeological sites, half covered with jungle overgrowth that looks as if we were discovering them for the first time.  The trek finishes with awe inspiring sunrise at the lost city of the Incas: Machu Picchu. 

Day 1 Arrival to Lima

Upon arrival to Lima`s Airport, you will be welcomed by a Peruvian Soul representative and transferred to your hotel in Miraflores, where you are free to relax and wander around at your own pace. Depending on the time of arrival, we have plenty of suggestions for you so you can make the most of your first day in Lima.

Meals: None

Accommodation: Comfortable Hotel in Lima

 

Day 2 Arriving to Cusco & walking city tour

After an early breakfast we have a short drive to the airport to take our 55 minutes flight to the city of Cusco. If possible we will try to get  a seat on the left side of the aircraft as some of the best views of the Andes can be seen by this side of the aircraft. Upon arrival to Cusco airport you´ll be met by one of our representatives and taken in private shuttle to your hotel. The morning will be free to relax and acclimatize to the altitude.

In the afternoon we'll embark on a walking city tour which takes us not only through the most touristic sites in Cusco such as the Main Square, Cathedral and Koricancha or “Temple of the Sun”, but also along ancient streets, local markets and traditional neighborhoods where we will discover the magic of this beautiful city. The late afternoon will be free for you to wander around by yourselves.  We´ll be more than happy to give you our best recommendations of restaurants, shops and additional activities in the city.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Comfortable hotel in Cusco

Today`s tour is in private service

Day 3 Sacred Valley of the Incas—Pisac and Ollantaytambo

Today we´ll be picked up from our hotel at 9:00am and set off to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Our first destination will be the traditional Indian market of Pisac, a picturesque quechua village, where we shall be able to appreciate many native customs and observe innumerable local products. Afterwards we'll head for Urubamba, traveling next to the Urubamba River. We'll have lunch at a restaurant in Urubamba and in the afternoon we´ll visit the fortress and citadel of Ollantaytambo, built to watch over the entrance to this part of the valley and protect it from invasions from the Amazon. We'll have the chance to walk by the narrow streets and this way have a clear knowledge of how this military, religious and cultural center functioned during the Inca empire. Finally, we´ll be dropped in our hotel in the valley. The rest of the afternoon will be free for you to relax and get ready for your upcoming adventure.

Meals: Breakfast & buffet Lunch

Accommodation: Comfortable hotel in the Sacred Valley

Today`s services are in private

Note: In the morning you´ll need to repack your belongings, so you can take to the Sacred Valley and Inca Trail only the clothes you´ll need for the trek. You can leave your excess luggage in the storage rooms of the hotel.

Day 4 Inca Trail - Piscacucho Km 82 to Huayllabamba

The trail starts in Piscacucho, a community located at kilometer 82 of the railway from Cusco to Quillabamba. Here we meet the team of porters, cooks and assistants that will help us during the whole trek. We head to the first checkpoint of the route, where our guide will check the group, giving passports and entrance tickets to the officers. After passing the registration checkpoint at Piscacucho we cross the Urubamba River and start a gentle climb alongside the river with the background of the snowcapped Veronica Mountain until reaching Patallacta, the most important archeological site of this first day. In Patallacta we leave the Urubamba Valley and set off up the Cusichaca River to Tarayoc, where we set up the tent for lunch time. After Tarayoc the trail take us uphill to our first camp in the community of Huayllabamba.

Total trekking distance: 12.1 km/7.52 miles (6 hours)

Highest altitude: 3,000m/9,843ft (Huayllabamba)

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Today`s tour is in private service

Day 5 Inca Trail - Huayllabamba to Pacaymayo

For many, the second day of the trek is the hardest because we have to climb from 3,000m/9,842f to 4,205m/13,796f and then walk back down to 3,590m/11,788f. We leave our camp in Huayllabamba and start a steep climb of one hour until Ayapata. We continue following the trail climbing steeply alongside the river Llullucha in a zone with dense forests and full of vegetation called “Tres Piedras”. From here the trail becomes even steeper for a long 3km hike. The landscape with humid polylepis woodlands, bromeliads and quenelles are worth the effort. Finally, we reach Llulluchapampa which is the last point of the trail here we can buy snacks and bottled water. Restrooms are also available at this point. From here, a path on the left side of the valley climbs up to Wamiwañusca pass known by the local villagers as the “Dead Woman´s Pass”. This pass is the highest point of the Inca Trail (4,205m/13,796f). From this point and enjoying our victory we see the two sides of the mountain range. After resting for a while in this amazing spot on the top of the mountain we start our way down in a steep descent heading the Pacaymayo campsite, located at the end of a gorge at an altitude of 3,590m/11,788f.

Total trekking distance: 8.8 km/5.47 miles (6:45 hours)

Highest altitude: 4,205m/13,796ft (Wamiwañusca Pass)

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Today`s tour is in private service

 

Day 6 Inca Trail - Pacaymayo to Wiñaywayna

The third day impacts us with its beauty. We leave Pacaymayo early in the morning and start a steep ascent toward Runcurakay, an archeological circular site with a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains. Here we will be able to appreciate the magnificence of Inca engineering with perfect paving slabs of granite built following the contour of the cliffs and hillsides. Then we continue our climb up to the second pass of the route, the Runcuracay pass at 3,950m/12,960f. From here we enjoy magic scenery. In front of us the Vilcambama mountain range with the Pumasillo peak and behind, the snow capped top of the Veronica Mountain. We descend passing near the Qomercocha lagoon until reaching the archeological site of Sayaqmarka (3,600m/11,811f). After visiting the site the trail continues through a good preserved stone road that goes into the cloud forest with different types of ferns, bromeliads, bamboo plants, orchids and polylepis. Continuing the trek we climb more stairs and cross an Inca tunnel carved from rock. Once in the Puyupata pass (3,660m/12,007f), we stop for lunch and a brief rest to enjoy the landscape. Just 10 minutes later, we reach Phuyupatamarca site “Town above the clouds” at 3,630m/11,909f. After visiting the ruins we continue our way to Wiñaywayna, the goal of the day. The descent from Phuyupatamarka into the cloud forest is a perfect example of the excellent engineering the Incas achieved. Three hours after leaving Phuyupatamarka we reach Wiñaywayna “Forever Young” at 2,700m/8,858f, which is one of the most beautiful Inca sites on the route. Here we spend our last night before heading to Machu Picchu.

Total trekking distance: 13.4 km/8.33 miles (7:50 hours)

Highest altitude: 3,950m/12,960ft (Runkurakay Pass)

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 7 Inca Trail - Wiñaywayna to Machu Picchu

The fourth day, we leave our sleeping bags very early! The checkpoint at Wiñaywayna opens at 5:30am, so nobody can leave before that time. Nevertheless, it’s worth getting to the checkpoint early enough to be one of the first in line. This will increase our chances of getting to the Intipunku “The Sun Gate” before the first sun rays of the day light Machu Picchu.  This is something we don’t want to miss!

From Wiñaywayna to Intipunku it’s just a two hour hike. The final descent to the citadel takes us 15 minutes. Then we head down to the official checkpoint and exit the site. After passing this last control we are ready to explore Machu Picchu. We visit the citadel with a professional guide and then we have some time to explore it by ourselves. In the afternoon we take the train that goes back to Cusco.

Total trekking distance: 4.67 km/2.9 miles (2:10 hours)

Highest altitude: 2,680m/8,793ft

Accommodation: Comfortable hotel in Cusco

Meals: Breakfast

Day 8 Free day in Cusco

Cusco is one of the most interesting cities in Peru and South America. Today we'll have the entire day to explore the streets and plazas of this UNESCO World Heritage City at our own pace.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Comfortable hotel in Cusco

Day 9 Cusco to Lima

Today, we'll have some free time to maybe take a last walk around Cusco`s shops and markets and then, at the coordinated time, we`ll head to Cusco`s  airport to board your flight to Lima and connect with your international flight home.

Meals: Breakfast

What's Included

Accommodation

  • 01 night in a Comfortable Hotel in Lima
  • 03 nights in a Comfortable Hotel in Cusco
  • 01 night in a Comfortable Hotel in the Sacred Valley
  • 03 nights Camping on the Inca Trail

Included Transports

  • Private Transfers from/to hotels and airports
  • Tours as stated in program.
  • Expedition Train Service from Machu Picchu to Cusco

Meals

  • Meals as detailed in the program.

Guides & Porters

  • Orientation meeting in Cusco (previous to departure date)
  • Porters for the whole camping equipment.
  • Professional bilingual guide plus one assistant for every nine clients

Equipment

  • Mountain tent for two, mattress, kitchen dishes, kitchen tent, dining tent, toilet tent, table and chairs.
  • First aid kit with oxygen & shortwave radios
  • Sanitary equipment (disinfected dishes, filtered water, etc)
  • Environment care (all the garbage goes back to Cusco, portable toilet treatment)

Entrance fee

  • Entrance fee to the Inca Trail + BTG + Cathedral + Koricancha

 

NOT INCLUDED

  • Porters to carry personal luggage
  • Sleeping bag
  • Domestic flights (Lima/Cusco/Lima) and  airport taxes
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not described in the program
  • Tips for porters, guides and cooker