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. Over 30 years’ experience in operating Inca trails have polished this itinerary to become what we consider the best way to experience the Inca Trail.
This itinerary is unique and special:
• We optimize your travel time and help you to acclimatize properly by exploring the Sacred Valley in depth like few other people do on your way to the trail head. This gives you a chance to get familiarized with Inca trails, get to exchange thoughts with your Guide and other participants in your group before the trek.
• You will avoid the extremely early wake up in Cusco (4:30 a.m.) and the 2 ½ hour drive to meet the crowds at the entrance to the Inca Trail. We are the only operator who has an exclusive “Inca Trail Base camp” at Km 82”, close to the entrance to the Inca Trail. Here, you can camp in comfort with the amenities of indoor plumbing toilets, hot showers and a wood fired sauna in a beautiful setting. OPTIONAL: Stay at our “Tented Huts”, sleep on premium comfortable beds in addition to private bathroom with solar hot shower.
• We have chosen what we consider the best campsites along the way. For your enjoyment, we have designed this itinerary spacing out the trekking days to smoothly gain altitude at the beginning and evenly distribute your efforts during the rest of the trek days.
• We use bio-degradable chemical toilets in order to avoid the public toilets that other operators use.
At 7:30 a.m. in the morning, we will pick you by private vehicle from your hotel in Cusco for a comprehensive Sacred Valley tour that will end at our exclusive Inca Trail Base Camp. This is the natural and most efficient way to get close to the trail head while getting acclimatized, minimizing road travel and becoming 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 leading to 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 ½ hour hike and visit, we will drive down the mountain for a short visit to the colonial town of the same name and their famous Indian handicraft market. Afterwards we will drive following the Urubamba River downstream to the city of Urubamba; here we will visit the local food market and have a private lunch at the local Hacienda “Marcabamba”. 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 rural road to our beautifully situated permanent Inca Trail Base camp at Km. 82, set on the banks of the Urubamba River, very close to the entrance to the trail. 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 exclusive 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.
After you 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 private campsite (toilets and hot showers) right below the splendid Paucarcancha Inca remains. This place has been beautifully restored, and we can freely visit it from our campsite. 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)
After enjoying 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. 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)
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)
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 goodbye 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 or 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 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 late that night. B, L.
Total distance: 11 km (6,84 miles)
Estimated walking time: 5 hours
Maximum altitude point: 3,700 m (12,136 ft)
Machu Picchu altitude: 2,400 m (7,872 ft)
*Note: Campsites on days 3 & 4 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.
5D4N Classic Inca trail USD $850.00 (Required minimum 2 participants to open group. Single traveller please contact us)
INCA TRAIL DISCOUNTS
All documents needed 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.
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 passengers on the Inca Rail Voyager return train leaving M. Picchu at 7pm. You can expect to arrive to your hotel in Cusco at about 10:30pm. Please advise if you prefer the 1 st class train instead (includes diner) or if you would like to book your own.
ADD ANY OF THESE OPTIONALS TO ENHANCE AND COMPLETE YOUR VISIT