Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Description of the excursion.
Peru’s best-known hike visited by thousands of tourists every year. The classical 43-km trek leading to the Sacred Inca City of Machupicchu combines the visit of mysterious archaeological sites, amazing mountain scenery and lush cloud forest This type of ecosystem is the habitat of unique species of flora and fauna, some of them threatened with extinction. The invaluable archaeological heritage of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu combines magnificently with the splendid natural surroundings.
Departure : Every day, including holidays.
DAY 1 Cusco - Km 82 - Llullucha Pampa
Early morning, we pick you up from your hotel and take you by our private transport to the starting point of this 4 day Inca Trail hike - Piscacucho, also called Km 82 (2,350 m). There, your Tour Guide gives you a briefing about the following Machu Picchu trek and after that, you cross the checking point of the Classic Inca Trail. Then you hike along the Urubamba River visiting the Incan archaeological sites of Willca Raccay and the enormous Llactapata. Later on, you continue up to the Cusichaca River Canyon offering magnificent views of the Cordillera Oriental; particularly, the Veronica Mountain (5,850 m). You have lunch in Chamana to later continue along the Cusichaca River observing several Incan agricultural stepped terraces and irrigation channels until reaching the picturesque village of Wayllabamba. Thereafter, you start ascending while appreciating various eco-systems along the way. Later in the afternoon, you get to the village of Llullucha Pampa, a place of your first campsite (3,850 m). There you have dinner and a rest afterward.
DAY 2 Llullucha Pampa – Chaquicocha
Early after breakfast, you continue your hike ascending towards the highest point of the trail - Abra Warmiwañusqa ( Dead Woman´s Pass) at 4,200 metres passing through the cloud forests of Yunkachimpa and Corral Punku offering excellent views of surrounding snowcapped peaks. From Warmiwañusqa, you descend to the Pacaymayo Valley (3,300 m), where you have a lunch break. Then you continue hiking through the valley to the Inca´s ruins of Runkuracay where a guided tour follows. Afterwards, you climb up and get over the second pass - Abra Runkurakay (3,860m) walking on this "Royal Inca´s Highway" down to the next Inka site - Sayacmarca. On the way, you pass the Yanacocha Lake. In the end, we get to our second campsite - Chaquicocha (3,670 m).
DAY 3 Chaquicocha – Wiñaywayna
Today, we start hiking passing through lovely subtropical vegetation and many important archaeological sites. Before we reach the first site, we get over Phuyupatamarca Pass (3,670 m) and just behind it, we can see the Phuyupatamarca Inka complex (3,600 m), one of the best preserved and most completed sites of this 4 day Inca Trail hike. The complex is located on the top of a mountain and it corresponds with its Quechuan name that means the "Town above the Clouds". After a guided tour, we have lunch there. Then, we start a steep descent via a cloud forest offering an opportunity to see beautiful orchids and different bird species on the way to our last campsite at Wiñay Wayna (2,700 m). There, we have a guided tour of the same-named impressive archaeological complex consisting of a religious sector, urban sector and an agricultural centre with lots of stepped terraces. Afterwards, we are served dinner and then we go to sleep to get ready for the exciting Machu Picchu hike!!
DAY 4 Wiñay Wayna - Machu Picchu – Cusco
This is the last day of the 4 day hike to Inca Trail so we get ready early in the morning and after breakfast, we start climbing antique steps to Inti Punku (the Sun Gate) to see the sunrise above the long-expected citadel of Machu Picchu!! Then, you enjoy a 2 and half an hour guided visit of the so called "Lost City of the Incas"!! Afterwards, you have an opportunity to climb either the peak of Huayna Picchu (45 minutes up and the same time back) or Machu Picchu Mountain (1 hour, 30 minutes up and down) on your own to take some panoramic pictures of Machu Picchu!! This 4 day trek to Machu Picchu finishes by afternoon's descend to the town of Aguas Calientes where we take a train back to Ollantaytambo, there you will take the tourist bus to Cusco. Arrival in the evening.
What is Included:
Pre-trek briefing (Our guide will visit your hotel a day before the trek for your briefing).
Transfer by private vehicle to the initial point of the Inca Trail at Km 82.
Accommodation: camping (3 nights).
Inca Trail Permit and entrance fee to Machu Picchu.
Meals: 3x breakfast, 3x lunch, 3x dinner, 3x afternoon´s hot beverages (If you are a vegetarian, please advise us in advance. A vegetarian meal option is for NO extra cost!).
Experienced bilingual Tour Guide (a group up to 8 participants has 1 Tour Guide, a groups over 8 participants receives 2 Tour Guides).
A professional Cook.
Porters to carry food, camping and cooking equipment.
Camping equipment: Personal double tents (4 person tent which allows for greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks).
Inflatable mattress (Term-a-Rest Mattress).
Water every day (excluding the first 4 hours of the trek when you need to bring your own).
Tables and chairs, cooking tent with cooking equipment, dining and toilet tents and bottled gas.
Tourist train (Expedition Class) from Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) to Ollantaytambo.
Tourist bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.
First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle.
Breakfast on the first day and last lunch in Aguas Calientes Town,
A sleeping bag (for up to -5°C);
A shuttle bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes Town ($ 12 one way, $24 - a round trip);
Entrance fee to Huayna Picchu ($65) or Machu Picchu Mountain ($55);;
Extra Porter to help you carrying up to 15 kg of your personal belonging (USD 130; the Extra Porter can be shared between 2 persons);
Tips to local staff (please note: it is a custom to give tips in Peru; however, it is not obligatory);
Other extras not mentioned.
We recommand to bring:
A medium backpack (40 liters) for the walks.
Walking sticks with rounded and rubber ends.
Camera and extra batteries, chargers and adapters.
Personal toilet items, most important are wet tissues because there are not showers or proper sanitary installations.
Personal medications kit (plasters, bands, cotton, alcohol, aspirins, pills for stomachache, medicine to avoid altitude sickness, contact lenses cleaner, etc.).
Mountain boots or hiking shoes.
A hat or cap
Woollen gloves, scarves and socks.
Rain gear for the rainy season.
Long pants or slacks.
Sweaters and a jacket.
Towel and toilet paper.
Swimsuit (for Aguas Calientes hot springs - not included).
Sun screen Lotion.
A bottle of water and some purifying pills.
Dried fruit, candies and chocolate.
Headlamp and batteries
Some local currency for not included services and tips
Inca Trail Availability
We offer daily departures on the Inca Trail (excluding February when the trail is closed)
It is strongly recommended to book your Inca Trail at least 4 to 6 months in advance as permits can quickly sell out.
It is necessary to arrive in Cusco at least the day before the trek because departures are very early in the morning, before the arrival of the first flights.
Do not organize anything for the day of the return of the trek, because the arrival in Cusco is late in the evening.
Do not plan to take a bus or plane that day at the risk of missing it in case of delay. Please notice that there are not public services on the trek (running tap water, sewage, electricity or telephones).
The main problem a trekker might encounter is altitude sickness. The Inka Trail goes over 4000 m of altitude. Below you will find some elementary things to consider:
The best is to arrive at least two days before the trek so your body gets used to fonction properly in high altitude. Rest for at least 1 hour at your hotel upon arrival, walk slowly and don't hesitate to take a cab even for short distances.
We recommend to drink coca- leave infusions (mate de coca) upon arriving to Cuzco. Every public place and hotel have some and even some hotels give it to customers for free.
If you smoke, try to slow down a little bit.
Eat light, low fat meals or easy to digest food.
Tap water in most of Peru is potable, but the chemical and bacteriological content varies from place to place. To avoid problems, we recommend you to always drink bottled water.
During the Trek, walk calmly the first day, avoiding useless efforts.
Drink enough water during walks.
Do not hesitate to stop and get some rest if you feel the lack of oxygen.
Alert your guide if you feel sick. He is trained and will be able to help you or to take necessary measures.