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Inca Trail

5 days

Inca Trail

The 5-day (4-night) Inca Trail follows the world-renowned route of the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Hikers will arrive at Machu Picchu on the fourth day of the trek and descend directly to the small town of Aguas Calientes, for a well-deserved night’s rest in a comfortable hotel. Starting early, during the following day an experienced guide will provide a tour of the Inca city, after which there will be time for the optional ascent of Huayna Picchu or a visit to the Temple of the Moon, before the return train ride to Cusco. 

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Day 1: Cusco / Piscacucho (km 82) / Huayllabamba

Our vehicle will take us to the trail head at Piscacucho (76 kilometers by paved road and 15 kilometers by dirt road - 3 hours). From the trailhead we will follow the left bank of the Urubamba River, enjoying fine views of snow-capped Mount Veronica (5850 meters / 19,188 feet). After lunch we will visit the ruins of Llactapata before continuing along the Huayllabamba valley to our campsite near the village of the same name (2968 meters / 9737 feet).

 

Travel time: Cusco – Piscacucho: 91 kilometers / 56.5 miles (Paved road: 77 kilometers / 47.4 miles; dirt road: 14 kilometers / 8.7 miles); 3 hours

Trekking distance: 11 kilometers / 6.8 miles; 5-6 hours

Altitudes: Cusco 3400 meters / 11,159 feet; Piscacucho (Km 82): 2650 meters / 8692 feet; Llactapata: 2610 meters / 8563 feet; Huayllabamba: 2968 meters / 9737 feet

Meals: Lunch, dinner


Day 2: Huayllabamba / Pacaymayo

From the village of Huayllabamba the trail climbs steadily through high Andean woodland to the plain known as Llulluchapampa, just before the first pass, from where there are excellent views of the Huayanay mountain chain. After another two hours walking we will reach Warmiwañuska Pass (4205 meters / 13,795 feet), before descending as far as the canyon of the Pacaymayo River (3604 meters / 11,821 feet), where we will make our second camp.

Trekking distance: 7.6 kilometers / 4.7 miles; 7 hours
Altitudes: Huayllabamba: 2968 meters / 9737 feet; Llulluchapampa: 3767 meters / 12,359 feet; Warmiwañuska: 4205 meters / 13,795 feet; Pacaymayo: 3604 meters / 11,821 feet
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner


Day 3: Pacaymayo / Phuyupatamarca

The trail climbs to the second pass at Runkuracay (3950 meters / 12,956 feet), from where there are views of both the Vilcabamba and Urubamba mountain ranges. After a short rest we will descend along a paved Inca road to the ruins of Runkuracay and Sayacmarca, which have been recently restored. Here we enter the cloud forest and in the afternoon the trail continues via a series of stone steps past the ruins of Phuyupatamarca (3640 meters / 11,942 feet) where we will camp for the night.

 

Trekking distance: 7 kilometers / 4.3 miles; 5-6 hours

Altitudes: Pacaymayo: 3604 meters / 11,821 feet; Runkuracay Pass: 3950 meters / 12,956 feet; Phuyupatamarca: 3640 meters / 11,942 feet

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner


Day 4: Phuyupatamarca / Machu Picchu

From Phuypatamarca, the trail descends a vertiginous slope along a remarkable set of stone Inca steps, a descent of approximately three hours to the picturesque ruins of Wiñay Wayna (2665 meters / 8743 feet), an Inca site set in dense forest.

The Wiñay Wayna complex was once inhabited by Inca farmers who used terracing to reclaim these steep slopes for agriculture. It is composed of around structures (which have all been restored), as well as an irrigation system and a splendid Inca temple. You will have at least an hour to explore the ruins of Winay Wayna on foot.

In the afternoon we will walk for another two hours, enjoying the spectacular scenery along the way, with the Urubamba River far below, until we reach Intipunku (Sun Gate), from where we will get our first glimpse of Machu Picchu. From here it is a forty minute walk to the Inca city. Bus ride to Aguas Calientes (2070 meters / 6791 feet): 30 minutes

Trekking distance: 8.7 kilometers / 5.4 miles; 5-6 hours
Altitudes: Phuyupatamarca: 3640 meters / 11,942 feet; Wiñay Wayna: 2665 meters / 8743 feet; Intipunku: 2693 meters / 8833 feet; Machu Picchu: 2460 meters / 8071 feet; Aguas Calientes: 2070 meters / 6791 feet.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch


Day 5: Machu Picchu

Today we will make an early start to give us plenty of time to visit this lost city, which was rediscovered in 1911. Located at the top of a steep, forested hill overlooking the Urubamba River, Machu Picchu was hidden by dense vegetation for centuries until the American explorer Hiram Bingham began to clear the site.

Today the city has been completely restored and for visitors from all over the world it is an unforgettable sight. 

Our guided tour includes a visit to the temples, plazas, palaces, watercourses and residential areas of Machu Picchu and you will also have time to explore the ruins independently. 

Return to Cusco by train, transfer to hotel.

Optional: Hike up Huayna Picchu peak (2-3 hours), subject to availability.

 

Altitudes: Machu Picchu: 2460 meters / 8071 feet; Huayna Picchu: 2532 meters / 8307 feet; Aguas Calientes: 2070 meters / 6791 feet.  

 


View Inca Trail 5 days in a larger map


Included


Transport and tickets

  • Transport (private) from your hotel in Cusco to the trailhead.
  • Return train from Aguas Calientes to Cusco (Poroy station). Expedition class train. We can provide an upgrade to Vistadome upon request.
  • Transfer from the train station to your hotel in Cusco.
  • Entrance tickets to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu.
  • Round trip bus ticket to and from Machu Picchu.   

 

Camping equipment

  • Personal tent.
  • Air mattresses.
  • Kitchen utensils, complete tableware, chairs and tables.
  • Dining tent and kitchen tent,
  • Latrine tent
  • First aid kit and emergency oxygen bottle,

 

Team

  • English-speaking tour guide.
  • Cook.
  • Porters to carry camping equipment, food and up to 8 kilograms of each participant’s personal gear.

 

Food

  • Delicious meals as described in the above itinerary.  
  • Drinking water to fill your water bottle regularly (from natural sources, filtered and boiled).
  • Snacks in the morning and afternoon (fruit, biscuits, chocolate and energy bars, candy).
  • Hot drinks such as tea and coffee.

Not included

  • Sleeping bags (we offer sleeping bags for hire at an additional cost of US$25 per person).
  • Entrance fee to visit Huayna Picchu (subject to availability).
  • Meals not included in the itinerary.
  • Personal items, including personal medical supplies.
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes.


What to bring

  • Passport (bring additional photocopies of your passport).
  • A daypack for personal items (to be carried by the passenger)
  • Warm clothing for the Andean sections of the trek.
  • Rain jacket.
  • Long sleeved shirts (cotton).
  • Shorts for walking (optional).
  • Cap and sunglasses.
  • Sun block.
  • Digital camera.
  • Binoculars for bird watching enthusiasts.
  • Good hiking boots.
  • Walking poles, if you are used to walking with poles. Make sure they are not metal tipped, to protect the Inca Trail’s original stone steps. 
  • Swimming gear and sandals (if you would like to visit the thermal baths in Aguas Calientes). 
  • Flashlight. 

Important: Please remember that those who want to be a part of this adventure must be in good physical condition (try to train by walking each day for at least two weeks before departure).

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