5D4N CLASSIC INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU
Includes an active visit to the Sacred Valley of the Incas
Maximum of eight participants in a group
Moderate to Rigorous
This is our classical version of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, the most popular trek in South America
This trek is unique:
Incomparable beauty, spectacular views plus outstanding Inca remains all joined by a well preserved cobblestone original Inca trail.
This itinerary is special:
• You optimize your travel time and help to acclimatize properly by exploring the Sacred Valley in depth like few people do on the way to the trail head at “Camp Km.82”.
• For your enjoyment, we have designed this itinerary spacing out the trekking days to smoothly gain altitude at the beginning and evenly distribute you efforts during the rest of the trek days.
• We are the only operators to use our exclusive “Camp Km. 82” where you can enjoy nature with the amenities of indoor plumbing toilets, hot showers and a wood fire sauna in the midst of beautiful setting. The best way to begin the Inca trail: Fresh and relaxed right from camp. You will avoid the extremely early wake up in Cusco (4:30 a.m.) and a 2 hour bus transfer to meet the crowds at the entrance to the Inca trail.
• We use Biodegradable chemical toilets in order to avoid the public toilets most operators use.
DAY 1: SACRED VALLEY VISIT AND “CAMP KM. 82”
At 7:30 a.m. in the morning, we will pick you by private vehicle from your hotel for a comprehensive Sacred Valley tour the day before you enter the Inca Trail. This is the natural and most efficient way to get close to the trail head while getting acclimatized and familiar with Inca trails. We will drive over the “Ccorao” pass above Cusco to descend on a winding road to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Here we will hike on Inca trails trough the magnificent Inca citadel of PISAC considered as one of the outstanding Inca remains because of the quality of the stonework and breath-taking location on a mountain saddle overlooking the Sacred Valley. After a 1 1/2hour visit and hike, we will drive down the mountain for a short visit to the colonial town of the same name with a quick stop at their famous Indian handicraft market. Afterwards we will drive following the Urubamba River downstream to Urubamba city; here we will visit the local food market and have lunch at a local restaurant nearby. Afterwards we will visit Ollantaytambo, considered the most authentic living Inca town. This town has been continuously inhabited since Inca times until the present, conserving its original urban layout and stone walled homes. A guided walking tour through the extensive ruins and cobblestone paved narrow streets will make you feel like you are travelling back in time. From here, we will travel for 40 minutes on a mostly unpaved road to our beautifully situated permanent campsite “Camp Km. 82” set on the banks of the Urubamba River, very close to the entrance to the trail at Km. 82. Located at 2700 meters above sea level (8,900 feet), it offers indoor plumbing, hot showers and a firewood sauna. From the camp, we also enjoy panoramic views of the snow-capped Mt. Veronica (20,275′). This private campsite is the resting point before all our Inca Trail treks and is a wonderful place to relax and prepare for the challenge ahead. L, D.
Day 2: KM.82 TO PAUCARCANCHA
This morning, after a delicious buffet breakfast, we meet our porters and go through the entrance control station to begin our trek following the left bank of the Urubamba River. After a couple of hours of gentle hiking, we reach a point to view the extensive Inca ruins of Llactapata. We continue hiking, this time away from the Urubamba River ascending and following the Cusichaca River towards the village of Huayllabamba, we have a picnic lunch nearby and continue ascending to a 40 min. detour from the main trail that will take us to “Paucarcancha” a magnificent archaeological site. We find our camp set up right next to the ruins on a locally owned private campsite (with toilets and hot showers). We will have time to visit the well-kept site that is estimated to be a “Tambo” or resting and control place where two valleys and rivers meet. B, L, D.
Total distance: 13 km (8 miles)
Estimated walking time: 5-6 hours
Maximum altitude point: 3,240 m (10,627 ft)
Campsite altitude: 3,240 m (10,627 ft)
Day 3: PAUCARCANCHA TO PACAYMAYU
After enjoying the beauty of this special campsite and a nutritious breakfast, we begin hiking on a shortcut trail above the village of Huayllabamba. We register at the Park’s 2nd control station (now in the protected area) to continue on an ascending trail with increasingly rewarding views. Later, we hike through an interesting cloud forest of native trees before we reach our lunch spot at “Llullucchapampa”. We have lunch enjoying views of the far away Huayllanay Glacier on the opposite side. Energized with lunch we will tackle the high pass known as “Warmiwañusta” or Dead Woman’s Pass (4,200 meters above sea level). We’ll slowly ascend towards the high pass taking deep breaths while rewarded with spectacular views. We reach the pass, take time for a rest and the classical pictures before we begin descending to reach our campsite at Pacaymayu about 1 ½ hours away in valley. B, L, D.
Total distance: 11 km (6,84 miles)
Estimated walking time: 7-8 hours
Maximum altitude point: 4,200 m (13,776 ft)
Campsite altitude: 3,580 m (11,742 ft)
Day 4: PACAYMAYU TO PHUYUPATAMARCA
An early nourishing breakfast bolsters our energy for a day’s hike, this time on the original cobblestone paved trail left by the Incas. We can appreciate the lovely changes in vegetation and geology as we pass through different ecological zones. We climb up and over the second-high pass at 3,950 Mts. On a clear day, our efforts will be rewarded with unparalleled views of the snow-covered peaks of the Cordillera Vilcabamba and the lush valley vegetation. Masterful Inca engineering is today’s highlight along the trail as we discover the Inca remains of Sayajmarca at 3,640 Mts., explore them, have a picnic lunch and continue to camp at the incomparable site of Phuyupatamarca, THE PLACE ABOVE THE CLOUDS at 3,680 Mts. We have enough time to soak up some of the magical charm of this marvellous campsite. B, L, D.
Total distance: 10 km (6,21 miles)
Estimated walking time: 5-6 hours
Maximum altitude point: 3,950 m (12,956 ft)
Campsite altitude: 3,700 m (12,136 ft)
Day 5: PHUYUPATAMARCA TO MACHU PICCHU
The views of Sacred Salkantay Mountain and the spectacular sunrise in “Phuyupatamarca” are both considered highlights of the trek. We will rise early to watch the sun come up with the exiting idea in mind that today we will reach Machu Picchu, the lost City of the Incas. After breakfast, we say good-bye to our crew and porters and we have a chance to voluntarily tip them. Most of them will take a detour from the main trail and head to the town of Aguas Calientes where they catch the train to go home. After breakfast, we hike on lush high jungle terrain for a couple of hours. We go down a clear stone paved trail with numerous incredible stairways, a small tunnel and several viewing terraces. We will come to the ruins of Wiñay Wayna (FOREVER YOUNG) to visit this outstanding Inca site and have lunch nearby. We continue on to Inti Punku (THE GATE TO THE SUN). From here, we first see the spectacular city of Machu Picchu below us. After recuperating our breath and taking memorable pictures we`ll quickly descent along the wide royal Inca road to enter the mysterious citadel. Here we will have a tour in detail of the site at a less crowded time of the day and enjoy wondering in the midst of its eternal beauty. Take the bus down to the train station to catch the 7p.m. return train to Cusco (a delicious Diner will be served on board on the 1st Class train). Expect to be at your hotel in Cusco at 11 p.m. B, L.
Total distance: 11 km (6,84 miles)
Estimated walking time: 5 hours
Maximum altitude point: 3,700 m (12,136 ft)
Machupicchu altitude: 2,400 m (7,872 ft)
PLEASE NOTE: Campsites in this itinerary may vary. They are subject to change according to assignments made by the governmental institution regulating the use of the Inca Trail.
This trek includes:
- Sacred Valley tour with lunch.
- Transfer from Cusco/Ollantaytambo to Km.82
- Permits/entrance fee to the Inca trail and Machu Picchu.
- Accommodations in top quality tents, 2 people in each 4-man tent Passenger tents based in double occupancy.
- 4 Breakfast, 5 Lunches, 4 Dinners (mentioned as B, L, D at the end of each day in the itinerary.)
- Service of local official bilingual (English-Spanish) guides.
- Service of camp staff: Cook, assistants, porters. Porters will carry your personal belongings in a duffle bag or pack up to 10 Kg. each person.
- All group camping and cooking equipment carried by Porters.
- Dinning tent: With tables and tablecloth, chairs plus all silverware.
- Toilet tent with biodegradable chemical toilet.
- Fist aid medical kit with oxygen bottle.
Does not include:
- Return train from Machu Picchu to Cusco*
- Integral General Tourist Entrance Fees for Cusco and Sacred valley.
- Optional tipping to staff.
- Trip member must provide sleeping bag and pad (rentals available).
- Students under 25 years old: 50% of Inca trail entrance fee. Require a valid International Student Identity Card “ISIC”. We need the scanned copy of the ISIC card to purchase permits at the time of booking. Please note that Youth Travel Cards are not valid.
- Youngsters and Teenagers 8 to 15 years old: 50% of Inca trail entrance fee Scanned passport copy required at time of Booking.
- Children up to 7 years old: Enter the Inca trail for free. Passport copy required at the time of booking.
NOTE: The scanned copies of the ISIC and/or Passport are a MUST at the time of Booking. That is, before you send your deposit so we can purchase permits. After the permits are purchased discounts will not be possible.
*Return trains from Machu Picchu to Cusco.
There are a variety of train departure times and prices. We reserve return trains for all our passengers as a precaution but you are welcome to book/buy your own if you prefer. We will reserve what we consider the most convenient return train for you and avoid the ones that pollute the air with extensive black smoke. We will bill you trains separately in your Final Balance. (Price is the same as offered in the train web-site plus a 6% Credit Card commission). If you prefer, you can choose to purchase your train tickets directly (please let us know if you do so we can cancel the reservations we make). You can obtain your train tickets at the following web sites: www.incarail.com.pe, www.perurail.com.
Note: We are presently booking all our Inca Trail Premium passengers on the Inca Rail First Class return train leaving M. Picchu at 7pm. Includes Dinner on board. You can expect to arrive to your hotel in Cusco at about 10:30pm. Please advise if you prefer the Executive train instead or if you would like to book your own.