Anywhere you go in the world, there tends to be a well trodden path created by many tourists who...
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The Inca Trail
Transport - Minibus, in country flight, on foot, bus.
Accommodation - Hotels (3nts), camping (3nts), Guesthousesl (3nt).
Meals - 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches & 3 dinners.
We often have multiple itineraries so please check to see which itinerary is suitable for you, by selecting the relevant tab.
Fly to Lima
Transfer on arrival to your hotel in Lima. Hotel - 1 night.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Cusco,
On arrival, there will be a trip briefing with your tour leader in the hotel reception at 14.00. A walking orientation tour this afternoon reveals more of Cusco’s historical and archaeological treasures. The imperial city was laid out in the rough shape of a puma. Today, its orderly streets bear witness to the extraordinary skill of Inca stonemasons; many are still lined with precisely interlocked stonework which serves as the foundation for later buildings from the colonial era, creating an atmospheric pastiche of contrasting architectural styles. With your local guide, you explore the inner city on foot. Hotel - 1 night (B)
The Sacred Valley
You spend this morning exploring the vast fortress of Sacsayhuaman. The skillfully constructed outer walls consist of massive blocks of stone, the largest weighing over 350 tonnes. Close by you also visit some of Cusco’s outlying Inca sites – Q’enqo, Puka Pukara and Tambo Machay. A short drive of about 30 minutes brings you to Pisac where the local Thursday market fills the main plaza with bustle and brightly-coloured costume. Sitting high above the town perch the ruins of Pisac with sweeping terraces and spectacular views. After a 40-minute drive through the heart of the valley you arrive in Yucay your base for the next two nights.
Hotel - 2 nights (B)
The Sacred Valley
The Sacred Valley was the heartland of the Inca Empire; full of farmer’s fields, mountain views and quiet rural charm; you have the whole day to enjoy its delights. There is plenty to do in the valley; you can take to mountain bikes for a stunning ride from Chinchero via the Inca ruins of Moray before descending past the salt pans of Maras; alternatively you can explore on horseback or go white water rafting on the Urubamba River, stretch your legs with some stunning walking or relax and enjoy the peace (all optional). (B)
Driving along the Sacred valley, you pass many buildings that show the highly developed organisation of the Inca; nowhere more so than the terraced complex of temple, fortress and granary at Ollantaytambo, guarding the entrance to the Urubamba Gorge. We stop to explore the Inca site before a short drive takes us to the trailhead at the entrance to the national park at Piscacucho. You begin the walk before lunch along the banks of the Urubamba river below the snow-capped peak of Mt. Veronica. Then in the afternoon a gentle climb brings you to a pleasant campsite just beyond the ruins at Llactapata (2950m). You carry only a daypack containing personal items as a team of porters carries all your main luggage, camping equipment and supplies. You will be provided with a duffle bag in which to put items needed for the trek. Anything you don’t need is left behind in Cusco in your main bag. Dome tents for sleeping are supplied and meals are served in a mess tent with folding tables and stools. The camp sites have basic toilet and washing facilities. Your team of porters and cooks take care of all camp chores leaving you free to relax and enjoy the magnificent Andean scenery. About 4/5 hrs easy walking today. Camp - 1 night (BLD)
You are woken with a hot drink and a bowl of warm water at your tent to prepare for what will be the most demanding climb of the trek. You follow the course of the Cusichaca River, ascending a broad valley to the village of Wayllabamba (3,000m), the last human habitation on the trail. Your porters go ahead and prepare your lunch which will be waiting close to the summit. The trail steepens through fertile cloud forest and eventually onto high altitude grassland until we reach the highest point of the entire trail, called Warmiwañusca or Dead Woman’s Pass, located at 4200m. We pause to rest and enjoy the views before starting a steep descent into the valley below and our camp at Pacaymayo (3700m). About 6/7 hrs demanding walk mostly uphill. Camp – 1 night (BLD)
It will be a cold morning in the high Andes as we leave camp and start the ascent to the second pass at Runkuracay (3998m). At the summit we may experience spectacular views of the surrounding mountain glaciers and steep fertile gorges in the knowledge that the most strenuous parts of the trail are behind us. On the descent we encounter the first long stretches of original Inca paving leading to the Inca ruins of Sayacmarca high on a rocky spur above the trail. The mountain-top trail now meanders through thickets of cloud forest and even a short Inca-made tunnel until you reach our camp above the ruins at Phuyupatamarca (3800m). The Inca named this settlement the “town in the clouds” and you will see why as you observe the clouds rising from the temperate valleys hundreds of meters below. About 6/7 hrs moderate walking. Camp – 1 night (BLD)
You awake to a spectacular vista and set off this morning on one of the most beautiful parts of the trail. A steep downhill section of some 2000 Inca steps brings you to your lunch stop at the picturesque ruins of Winay Wayna – meaning ´forever young` - considered by many to be their favourite ruins. Excitement mounts as you conquer a steep flight of steps and arrive at Inti Punku, the Sun Gate. The toil of the day is forgotten at a stroke as you are treated to a spectacular view of Machu Picchu below. After lingering to admire the panorama, you walk through the site and catch a bus down the narrow access road to rejoin the Urubamba River in the village of Aguas Calientes where you check in to your accommodation and enjoy a well-earned long shower.
About 4/5 hrs walking today, mostly downhill. Basic Hotel – 1 night (BL)
Machu Picchu & Cusco
Rising early this morning your group has Machu Picchu ruins largely to itself before the train brings in day-visitors from Cusco. The magnificent lost city, rediscovered by American archaeologist Hiram Bingham in 1911, stands on a high saddle dominated by the jungle-clad peak of Wayna Picchu. You have time to make the vertiginous climb to its summit for dramatic views of the city spread out below or simply just wander the myriad of steps and stairways of the site, revealing as they do a vast complex of immense structural, historical and archaeological worth. Later in the day you catch the train back to Cusco. Hotel - 1 night (B)
Lima/ Fly Home
Transfer to the airport for a flight to Lima and connect with your international flight home. (B)
Save 5% on the Inca Trail
Save 5% off this trip when you book 6 months in advance.
* Prices shown on Dates/Prices page are before discount. Discount is applied in checkout (step 3).
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