5D4N INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU “BACKPACKER”
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”
Led by your Guide and optimizing your travel and acclimatization time, we take advantage of the road trip from Cusco to the trailhead and actively experience the incredible Sacred Valley of the Incas in a way only a few people do.
At 7:30 a.m. in the morning, we will pick you up by private vehicle from your hotel for a Super Sacred Valley tour the day before you enter the Inca Trail. 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 present, conserving its original urban layout and many 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 trail entrance at 2700 meters above sea level (8,900 feet), it offers indoor plumbing, hot showers and a firewood sauna. From the camp, we will enjoy panoramic views of the snow-capped Mt. Veronica (20,275′). This private camp is the starting point of 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 HUAYLLABAMBA
After we are introduced to our crew and porters, we will walk over to the Inca trail control station, here we quickly go through the entrance control procedure and begin our trek following the left bank of the Urubamba River. After a couple of hours of gentle hiking, we reach a viewpoint to enjoy 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 our campsite right bellow the 2nd Park Control Station with splendid views of Mount Veronica. You will find your tents set up and ready for you. Time to rest before we are served a complete dinner and retire for the night. B, L, D.
Total distance: 12 km (7,47 miles)
Estimated walking time: 5-6 hours
Maximum altitude point: 3,000 m (9,840 ft)
Campsite altitude: 3,000 m (9,840 ft)
Day 3: HUAYLLABAMBA TO PACAYMAYU
After enjoying the beauty of the views from this special campsite and a nutritious early breakfast, we begin this challenging day: Today we will go over our highest pass. We register at the Park’s 2nd control station 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 far away Huayllanay Glacier and the high pass known as “Warmiwañusta” or Dead Woman’s Pass (4,200 meters above sea level). After lunch, we slowly ascend towards the high pass; during our rest moments, we share spectacular views. We reach the high pass, take time for the classical pictures and begin to descend to our campsite at Pacaymayu. B, L, D.
Total distance: 11 km (6,84 miles)
Estimated walking time: 6-7 hours
Maximum altitude point: 4,200 m (13,776 ft)
Campsite altitude: 3,500 m (11,480 ft)
Day 4: PACAYMAYU TO WIÑAYWAYNA
An early nourishing breakfast bolsters our energy for a long day’s hike 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 breath-taking views of the snow-covered peaks of the Cordillera Vilcabamba and the lush valley vegetation below. 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 nearby and continue to the incomparable site of Phuyupatamarca, THE PLACE ABOVE THE CLOUDS at 3,680 Mts. We continue and after descending on a trail with over 1,000 steps, reach our campsite at Wiñay Wayna (FOREVER YOUNG) and have enough time to soak up some of the magical charm of the marvellous ruins nearby. B, L, D.
Total distance: 16 km (9,94 miles)
Estimated walking time: 8 hours
Maximum altitude point: 3,950 m (12,792 ft)
Campsite altitude: 2,650 m (8,692 ft)
Day 5: WIÑAYWAYNA TO MACHU PICCHU
Very early rise with the idea in mind that today we will reach Machu Picchu, the lost City of the Incas. This morning we say good by to our crew and porters, 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 will catch the train to go home. After breakfast, we hike a couple of hours to reach Inti Punku (THE GATE TO THE SUN). From here, we first see the spectacular city of Machu Picchu below us. After we soak in the magical beauty, we will enjoy the spectacular sunrise over the mountain peaks and see the first light shinning over Machu Picchu. A quick descent along the wide royal Inca road and we enter the mysterious citadel to have a tour in detail and spend some time wandering and wondering in the midst of its eternal beauty. In the afternoon, we will take the bus to the town of Aguas Calientes by the Urubamba River, to catch the return train to Cusco or stay at the hotel nearby (Hotel not included in price). B and Box lunch.
Total distance: 4 km (2,49 miles)
Estimated walking time: 2 hours
Maximum altitude point: 2,700 m (8,829 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:
- Transfer from Cusco or Ollantaytambo to Km.82
- Entrance fee to the Inca trail to Machu Picchu.
- Accommodations in double occupancy in top quality tents, 2 people in each 4 people capacity tent.
- Dinning tent: With tables and tablecloth, chairs, plus all silverware
- All meals marked as B, L, and D at the end of each day in the itinerary.
- Service of Official bilinguals Guides.
- All group camping and cooking equipment: Passenger tents based in double occupancy. Dinning tent with tables, silverware and chairs. Toilet tent.
- Camp staff: Cook, assistants.
- Cooking stove and equipment
- Porters (to carry tents, food and cooking equipment).
- Bio-degradable dishwashing detergents used by our kitchen staff
- Others: hot water every morning and evening for washing purposes / boiled water to fill in your water bottle every morning and night, and at lunch time.
- First-aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle.
- Bus ticket from Machu Picchu down to the village of Aguas Calientes – 4th day
- Toilet tent with biodegradable chemical toilet.
Does not include:
- Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Cusco.*
- BTG (Boleto Turístico) Ticket to enter sites in Cusco and Sacred Valley.
- Any meals not specified after each itinerary day.
- Optional tipping to staff.
- Travel insurance.
- Other expenses of a personal nature (liquor, laundry, and so on.)
- Trip member must provide sleeping bags and pads (rental ones 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.
At present, 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 your own if you like. 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 quote and bill you train prices separately at the same price you will find in the train web sites (see below). If you prefer, you can chose and 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 groups on the Inca Rail return train leaving M. Picchu at 16:12 each day arriving to your hotel in Cusco at about 19:45 p.m.