Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
9 Days - Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Arrival in Cusco
Upon arrival, we will be met at the airport and transferred to selected hotel. Balance of morning at leisure. We'll enjoy an afternoon guided tour of the nearby Inca ruins including Kenko, the ceremonial bath of Tambomachay and the amazing Sacsayhuaman, a huge fortress of massive stones. We will also take a tour of the city including the Koricancha, temple of the Sun, a nice example of the Inca architecture, The 12-angled stone, the Main Plaza, the Cathedral and much more. Return to your hotel later in the day. Return to your hotel
Your excursion will now take you out of Cusco, to visit the main Inca ruins in the Cusco valley. This will include stops at Tambo Machay, Puca Pucara, Kenko, Sacsayhuaman and some lesser known ruins as well. These impressive sites serve as a great introduction to Inca history, and by walking around them, you will continue to acclimate to the high altitude of Peru. After your tour, you will be transferred back to your hotel with the remainder of your day to enjoy at leisure.
At the morning departure to "Sacred Valley" to visit the colorful Pisac Indian Market; where trading products just the way like in ancient times. 2 After lunch at the local restaurant, we will visit the Ollantaytambo Fortress., which was the royal estate of Emperor Pachacuti who conquered the region. He had the incas built the town and a ceremonial center. At the time of the Spanish conquest of Peru it served as a stronghold for Manco Inca Yupanqui, leader of the Inca resistance.
Piskakucho (Km. 82) – Huayllabamba
A spectacular early morning drive through the Sacred Valley of the Incas takes us to our trailhead at Km. 82 of the Machu Picchu railroad. After getting acquainted with our trail crew we set out, crossing a footbridge to hike a gentle two hours down the Urubamba canyon, and then visit imposing sculpted Inca farming terraces and the settlement of Llaqtapata on the banks of the Cusichaca side river. We then climb a short way up the Cusichaca valley to Huayllabamba, the last inhabited village on the trail, where we camp.
Huayllabamba – Pacaymayo
From Huayllabamba we begin a steeper ascent, climbing the Llullucha valley along a stream that rushes through enchanted native unca woodland. Crossing the rim of a small plateau, we abruptly find ourselves in the puna, the treeless grasslands of the high Andes. Here a stretch of open trail climbs beneath mighty crags to our first and highest pass, Warmiwañusca (4,200m/13,776ft). From Warmiwañusca we can look back to the spectacular snowpeaks and valleys of the Huayanay massif, and ahead to a distant view of tomorrow’s trail to the second pass. Descending a stepped stone trail we encounter our campsite in a clearing of the forested Pacamayo valley.
Pacaymayo – Phuyupatamarca
We pick up an Inca stairway and ascend again past the small Inca site of Runkuracay. As we reach the second pass the landscape opens onto spectacular new views to the snowpeaks of the Pumasillo range. We descend again to the ruins of Sayacmarca (Inaccessible Town), an intricate labyrinth of houses, plazas and water channels, perched precariously on a rocky spur overlooking the Aobamba valley. The Inca trail, now a massive buttressed structure of granite paving stones, continues along the steep upper fringes of the cloud forest through a colorful riot of orchids, bromeliads, mosses and ferns. At the third pass we camp by pinnacles topped with Inca viewing platforms, overlooking the archaeological complex of Phuyupatamarca (Cloud-level Town).
Phuyupatamarca – Machu Picchu
We explore the wondrous maze of Inca stone towers, fountains and stairways spilling down the mountainside at Phuyupatamarca then begin a long descent through everchanging layers of cloud forest. An Inca stairway partly cut from living granite leads us finally to the site of Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young), the largest and most exquisite of the Inca Trail sites. In the afternoon we follow the last stretch of trail across a steep mountainside through a lush, humid cloud-forest of giant ferns and broad-leafed trees. Suddenly we cross the stone threshold of Intipunku (Sun Gate) and encounter an unforgettable sweep of natural beauty and human artistry -a backdrop of twisting gorge and forested peaks framing the magical city of Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu – Cusco
We return to Machu Picchu by bus and spend the day in both guided and individual exploration, visiting the most fascinating features of this astounding and mysterious Inca settlement. Some will want to take the optional hike to the summit of Wayna Picchu for an amazing overview of the site, while others may want to investigate Machu Picchu’s multitude of hidden nooks and corners. After a full-on experience of this glorious monument to the Inca achievement, we return to Aguas Calientes and board the return train to Cusco.
Today, you will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the airport.
English speaking guide
Porters who carry the camping gear
First aid kit, incl. emergency oxygen
Inca Trail entrance fee
Accommodations as detailed
All transfers as detailed
Duffel bag for porters to carry your allotted 10 lbs.
Meals as indicated (All dietary requests available)
High quality four seasons tents (Eureka)
Sleeping bags (Alta Montaña & North Face) and Sleeping mattress (Thermarest)
Huayna Picchu entrance
Airline tickets (where applicable)
Personal gear or items