The Premium 8D7N Classic Inca Trail
to Machu Picchu
You only carry a daypack during the trek.
Designed for private groups or can be booked by a minimum of two people and left open for others to join.
We consider this our best Inca trail itinerary!
The Classic Inca trail to Machu Picchu is the most popular trek in South America: It combines a gratifying physical challenge with the opportunity to visit magnificent Inca remains only reachable by foot in the midst of unparallel natural beauty. High passes with breathtaking vistas of surrounding snow peaks and mountains filled with lush tropical vegetation joined by a well-preserved cobblestone trail that is a unique expression of Inca engineering. We at Ecoinka have over 30 years’ experience in operating Inca trails.
The 8D7N itinerary gives you two days of introduction into Inca culture, acclimatizing properly while visiting the most important sites in the city of Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Previous to your trek, you will enjoy a night’s rest at our private “Camp Km 82”, not far from the entrance to the Inca trail. Here you have access to hot showers and toilets with indoor plumbing plus a firewood sauna if you like. Once on the trail, we will gain altitude slowly during the first two days, then balance out the distances and effort during the rest of the days trekking. This exclusive itinerary also stays the second night on the trail at a locally owned private campsite at “Paucarcancha” with toilets and hot showers (something no one else offers).
DAY 1: CUSCO
Arrive in Cusco (we recommend flights in the morning) and we meet you at the airport to transfer you to the Hotel located near downtown within close reach of the main plaza. A warm Coca tea will ease up your adaptation to the high altitude (Cusco is at 11,200 feet above sea level) before you settle in your room to rest for what is left of the morning (highly recommended). Lunch is on your own (we recommend a light meal) and we meet at 2 p.m. for a guided City tour and nearby ruins of Cusco
Santo Domingo. – This church, built over what once was the most magnificent temple in the Americas: The “Koricancha” or Temple of the Sun. In Inca times, its courtyards were filled with life-sized gold and silver representations of all the flora and fauna of the Empire. Pizarro’s (Spanish conqueror) men looted the temple as part of the Inca Atahualpa royal ransom while he was held prisoner in Cajamarca; he was killed after the ransom completed. An earthquake destroyed the Santo Domingo church in 1950 revealing the Inca walls that were hidden by being plastered over. These walls of the Temple of the Sun are the finest example of Inca stonework in existence. The Cathedral. – The church is located in the northeast side of the Plaza de Armas, built in 1550. It contains over four hundred XII century paintings done by the members of the renowned Cusco School. The Lord of the Earthquakes altar weights over 52 pounds and is made of solid gold and studded with precious stones. The main altar is covered with sheets of silver. Sacsayhuaman. – Complex shows immense walls made up of huge stones distributed in a zigzag pattern in three platforms with an average of 1,181ft in length. These platforms are connected by flights of stairs and doorways in stone; one of these is 29ft tall and 15ft wide and weighs more than 100 tons. The largest stone block found in Sacsayhuaman stands 27.88ft high and weighs 361 tons. Inca Pachacuti employed 20,000 men for the construction of the complex and it took approximately 50 years to complete. Q’enko: An intricate possible ceremonial center inside a large rock with carved figures, seats and passages that give you a feeling of being a mysterious place filled with symbolism. Tambo Machay: A fascinating water fountain that provides continuously running water since the Inca times, surrounded by high quality stonewalls. A short walk from Tambo Machay will take us to the strategically located Puca Pucara. – Fortress overlooking the entrance from the east to Cusco area. Overnight at hotel in Cusco.
DAY 2: SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS
Starting early in the morning we’ll 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 through 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, continuously inhabited since Inca times until the present conserves 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’ll 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, it is located at 2700 meters above sea level (8,900 feet) and offers toilets with 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 overnight point before all our Inca Trail treks and is a wonderful place to relax and prepare for the challenge ahead. L, D.
Day 3: 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 and visit 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 this well-kept site estimated to be a “Tambo” or resting and control place where two valleys and rivers meet…B, L, and 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 4: 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 and, on the opposite side, our next 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, our rest moments are rewarded with spectacular views. We reach the 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 5: 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 are rewarded with unparalleled views of the snow- 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 the incomparable site of Phuyupatamarca, THE PLACE ABOVE THE CLOUDS at 3,680 Mts. We camp and have enough time to soak up some of the magical charm of this marvelous campsite…B, L, D.
Total distance: 10 km (6,12 miles)
Estimated walking time: 6 hours
Maximum altitude point: 3,950 m (13,776 ft)
Campsite altitude: 3,600 m (12,033 ft)
Day 6: PHUYUPATAMARCA TO MACHU PICCHU
The view of Sacred Salkantay Mountain and the sunrise in “Phuyupatamarca” are considered major highlights of the trek. We will rise early to watch the sun come up with the 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 tip them (voluntary). 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. 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. Stay at a hotel in the town of Aguas Calientes, down bellow by the Urubamba River… B, L.
Total distance: 11 km (6,84 miles)
Estimated walking time: 5 hours
Maximum altitude point: 3,600 m (11,772 ft)
Machupicchu altitude: 2,400 m (7,872 ft)
DAY 7: MACHU PICCHU
You will have a full day to savor or appreciate Macchu Picchu on your own. A ticket to hike up to Wayna Picchu is included (depending on availability). In the afternoon, you board the train to return to Cusco or Ollantaytambo. Transfer you to your hotel in Cusco is included…B. Lunch and Dinner on your own.
OPTIONAL FOR DAY 7: GUIDED VISIT TO MACHU PICCHU (SEE BELLOW)
DAY 8: CUSCO
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight from Cusco. End of our services…B.
This trek includes:
- General Tourist Entrance Fees for Cusco and Sacred valley (BTG, Cathedral and Koricancha)
- All transfers described in the itinerary.
- Return Expedition train from Machu Picchu to Cusco and transfer from Station to your Hotel.
- All meals mentioned as B, L, and D at the end of each day in the itinerary.
- Service of bilingual local official tour guides.
- All group camping and cooking equipment: Passenger tents based in double occupancy. Dinning tent with tables, silverware and chairs. Toilet tent.
- Experienced Chef to cook meals during trek.
- Porters (to carry tents, food and cooking equipment)
- Porters to carry personal gear up to a maximum of 10kg per person (10 Kg includes sleeping bag and sleeping pad)
- Boiled water to fill in your water bottle every morning and night, and at lunchtime.
- First-aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle.
- Bus ticket from Machu Picchu ruins down to the village of Aguas Calientes – 6th day and Up and down on Day 7th.
- Tourist type Hotels***: Tupac Yupanqui hotel in Cusco. Andina Luxury hotel in Aguas Calientes. Upgrade options available, please request prices.
Does Not Include:
- Meals not specified after each itinerary day.
- Airport departures taxes.
- Optional tipping to staff.
- Additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors.
- Optional Guided visit to Machu Picchu on day 7th (unless you have contracted options for Day 7).
- Expenses such as medical immunizations (if any).
- Travel insurance.
- Other expenses of a personal nature (liquor, laundry, and so on.)
- Trip member must provide sleeping bag.
INCA TRAILS DISCOUNTS: All documents need to obtain discounts must be scanned (clean enlarged copy please) and emailed to us before we purchase permits (at the time of booking) otherwise you will not be able to obtain the discount.
- Student discount: 50% of entrance fee (US$50.00 approximately; depends on the exchange rate). Students require a valid International Student Identity “ISIC” card and must be under 25 years old (Please note that Youth Travel Cards are not valid).
- Youth discount from 8 to 15 years old: 50% of entrance fee. (US$ 50.00 approximately; depends on the exchange rate). Passport copy required for all bookings.
- Children up to 7 years old: Enter the trail free. Passport copy required for all bookings.
There are a variety of train schedules, services and prices. Train bookings depend on availability and it is sometimes difficult to obtain booking on the train we/you request. We will try and book the train offered, but if we need to make decisions and there is no time to consult with you, we reserve the right to switch your booking to the most convenient train available. Any price difference will be adjusted accordingly including upgrades.
THE GUIDED VISIT TO MACHU PICCHU OPTION ON DAY 7:
Please Note: This option must be requested before the trip begins in order to make the previous necessary arrangements.
Your trek Guide will accompany you to Machu Picchu and provide a further in-depth guided tour of the site.
Your Guide will stay one more day with you to again visit Machu Picchu for further explanations on the site and to visit other areas of Machu Picchu, hike up to Wayna Picchu or the Temple of the Moon with you. In the afternoon return by train to Cusco.
- 2nd day entrance fee to Machu Picchu-
- Bus up/down to Machu Picchu