Inca trail to machu picchu 5 days
Description of the excursion.
The 5 day option is highly recommended for group of families or group of friends who wish to spend more time close to each and pace of the classic 4 day Inca Trail.
The 5 day trek is also recommended for older people who want to take their time and enjoy the Trail.
Inca Trail is one of those things that everyone should do once in their life and the 5 day version allows you to enjoy it to the full!
Departure : Every day, including holidays.
DAY 1 Cusco – Ollantaytambo – KM 82 – Hatunchaca
We will depart from Cusco at 04:00 a.m. in a transport and head toward KM 82, the starting point of the Inca Trail. After this beautiful drive, your chef will prepare breakfast before you head out for the hike. We start our hike walking along the left shore of the Urubamba River, following the trail along a flat terrain, to the community of Miskay (2800 m /9184 ft). The first two hours of the trek are relatively easy as we make our way to our first Inca site, Patallacta. This is an Inca checkpoint for the approach to Machu Picchu. After we arrive to Patallacta, we will make our way down into the canyon to enjoy lunch and the views of Patallacta. From Patallacta, we will continue on the trail at an easy pace, while enjoying the scenery and hearing stories from your tour guide. It's about a two hour walk to reach our camping site at the village of Hatunchaka (3,300 meters).
DAY 2 Hatunchaca – Dead Woman’s Pass – Pacaymayo
We wake up early to begin our ascent to Dead Woman´s Pass. The views of the snow-capped mountains and the cloud forest are fantastic. This first stretch is the most difficult part of the trek. It consists of a steep ascent that stretches for nine kilometers, which will bring us to the first mountain pass in the Inca Trail, Abra Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman’s pass). We will stop at Llulluchapampa to relax and to buy any last essentials. We may be able to see deer and falcons in this area. From Llulluchapampa, the landscape changes from cloud forest to puna (a dry and high area with little vegetation). We will have the chance to spot domesticated llamas and alpacas, who graze on ichu (one of the few plants that grow at that altitude). Following, it's a two hour walk up to the pass, where we can enjoy the beautiful panorama and a refreshing cup of coca tea. After we've made it to the pass, it's downhill for the rest of the day. After about two hours, we'll stop for lunch and have a free afternoon in the Pacaymayo valley.
DAY 3 Pacaymayo – Runcu Raccay Pass- Sayacmaraca Ruins – Phuyupatamarca
After breakfast, we will continue our hike up the opposite side of the valley, as we make our way towards the second pass on the trek. Along the way, we will see fantastic views of waterfalls and flora and fauna. Half way up, we will stop and visit the Inca site of Runcu Raccay (an Inca watchtower), and to catch our breath before we continue our climb to the pass (4,000 meters). From the pass, we will once again begin our descent back into the cloud forest. After about an hour, we arrive at Sayacmarca, one of the most beautiful ruins on the Inca Trail, where we'll have a one hour, guided tour. From Sayacmarca, we will continue to our lunch spot at Chaquicocha (dry lake), where you will see some of the fantastic flora and fauna the Inca Trail has to offer. From Chaquicocha onwards, we will walk along Inca flat (gradual inclines), as we make our way towards our final campsite, Phuyupatamarca (3,680 meters). This area of the Inca Trail had stunning views of the Vilcabamba mountain range, as well as abundant flora and fauna. After another two hour walk, we'll arrive to our campsite, where we'll get our first view of Machu Picchu mountain and the Urubamba river. We'll settle in to our campsite, and have the chance to explore the Inca site. As the sun goes down, we can enjoy the beautiful sunset over the snow-capped peaks.
DAY 4 Phuyupatamarca – Wiñay Wayna – Sun Gate – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calienteso
Today, we will have the chance to enjoy one of the most spectacular sunrises on the Inca Trail, weather permitting. After breakfast you´ll have a guided tour of Phuyupatamarca, and then we will start our way down the long descending stone steps. This will lead us to Wiñay Wayna (2,650 m/8, 692 ft), which is where we will camp for the night. As we near the bottom of the staircase, we'll take a side path of the main route to visit the site of Intipata (Terraces of the Sun). This site has beautiful views of the Sacred Valley. It was an important agricultural site for Machu Picchu. We'll spend some time at Intipata, and then continue on to Wiñay Wayna. Wiñay Wayna is the biggest archaeological site on the Inca Trail, besides Machu Picchu. It consists of an impressive complex made up of an agricultural center, with numerous terraces, a religious sector and an urban sector, offering spectacular views over the already narrower Urubamba River valley. After our visit, we will have our last lunch with the porters. Following, it is a tradition on the Inca Trail to have a thanking ceremony for all the hard work the porters and cooks have provided. If you wish, you may leave a tip for them, at this time. After we've said goodbye to our team, we will carry on to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku), where we'll get our first views of Machu Picchu. It takes about an hour of hiking along a trail of flat stones in the highland jungle to reach the Sun Gate. Following, it is about another hour down to the site itself. Upon arrival, we'll have a chance to enjoy the sunset and to see Machu Picchu without crowds, before taking the bus to your hotel in Aguas Calientes.
DAY 5 The Most Important Day (The Lost City of The Incas ”MACHUPICCHU”) – Cusco
We will wake up early and board one of the first buses to Machu Picchu, to enjoy the sunrise at the citadel (if the weather allows). These buses are first come, first serve, starting at 5:30 a.m. You'll have a two hour tour of the Inca citadel, and then some free time to explore. When you are done with the citadel, you will take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes, and meet for our last lunch in town. Lunch with your group is optional and is not included in the trek cost. Following, you will take the afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo, where our bus will be waiting to take you back to Cusco and drop you off at your hotel.
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 (4 nights).
Inca Trail Permit and entrance fee to Machu Picchu.
Meals: 4x breakfast, 4x lunch, 4x dinner, 4x 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.