Highlights of Inca Trail Hike
- Take a scenic drive from Cusco airport to the Sacred Vally of the Incas.
- Explore the Sacred Valley’s vibrant Andean culture.
- Visit colorful markets in Pisac or Chinchero.
- Trace the path of the ancient Inca civilization.
- Revel in your accomplishment after a 4-day hike the Inca Trail.
- Enenter Machu Picchu via the sun gate and visit the protected site of Machu Picchu, one of the world’s most remarkable archaeological wonders.
Departures year-round. Rainy season starts mid November and ends mid March.
*Personalized departure date
|Trip Length||8 days/7 nights|
|Walk Rating||Moderate to Challenging|
|Included||All breakfasts, all meals while camping.|
|Hotels||Luxury and Glamping|
|Single Supplement||Upon request|
This itinerary can be offered in Luxury, Premium and Deluxe categories and can be combined with other Peru excursions. Contact us for your personalized itinerary, pricing and details. firstname.lastname@example.org
DAY 1 CUSCO TO SACRED VALLEY
This itinerary sample begins on a Sunday but the trip can start any day of the week. Upon arrival in Cusco you will be met after luggage collection by our representative and transferred to your hotel in the Sacred Valley. Enjoy the 1.30hours scenic drive through a stunning landscape to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The Sacred Valley is at a lower altitude than Cusco which assists in the acclimatization. Depending on flight time, on the way to your hotel we can arrange an optional visit to Awanakancha Camelids Center where visitors get up close and personal with llamas, alpacas and even the rare and precious vicuña. See how the soft wool from these South American “camels” is used to make beautiful woven textiles. Continue to the town of Pisac, renowned for its Sunday colorful market where the local Indians meet to sell their merchandise as they have done for centuries. The handicraft market is open every day and is famous for its ceramic beads made into necklaces, earrings and other Peruvian artifacts.
The walk: not rated
Accommodations: Suggested Luxury Category, Rio Sagrado | Suggested Premium Category, Sol y Luna
DAY 2 SACRED VALLEY
This morning we will visit Chinchero´s town, one of the most typical towns in the sacred Valley of the Incas. Inhabitants live in the almost untouched Inca constructions where their ancestors once formed the greatest and most prosperous civilization in America. Continue to Moray, where you find “the Inca laboratory”. The circles were used for the development of different strains of crops at varying angles of terraces. Although the difference between neighboring terraces is very small, it is enough to create distinct micro-climates that change growing conditions. Then, hike to the ancient town of Maras with its out-standing Spanish door arches and vast church. Continue back down into the Sacred Valley of the Incas to the salt pans of Salineras. Here more than 5000 terraces still in produce salt that locals bring on mules to the market of Urubamba.
DAY 3 KM. 82 TO LLACTAPATA
The day begins with an 8 a.m. departure in private transport to km.82, the starting point of the Inca Trail. We start our hike along the left shore of the Urubamba river. Following the trail along a flat terrain, we arrive in Miskay (2800m/9184ft), to then ascend and finally see, from the tallest part of an overlook, the Inca city of Llactapata (2750m/9020ft). From this point, we descend to the ruins, next to which we set our camp, after having walked approximately 3 hours. We spend the afternoon exploring and visiting this archaeological site.
The walk: 5 Km/3.11 miles, estimated time 2.5 to 3 hours. Altitude 2,650 m (8,692 ft.)
Accommodations: Camping (B, L, D)
DAY 4 LLACTAPATA TO LLULLUCHAPAMPA
An early start to continue trekking along the valley created by the Kusichaca River, gradually climbing until we reach the farming community of Wayllabamba (3000m/9840ft). Along the way we see spectacular views of the Vilcanota mountain range on the opposite side of the Urubamba River, where the impressive Veronica peak reigns at 5832 meters above sea level. The trail continues from Wayllabamba to what is considered the most difficult part of the trek. There is an abrupt and steep ascent that stretches for 9 km and reaches the first mountain pass in the Inca Trail, the Abra Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman’s pass). We only climb half way up the pass, stopping at Llulluchapampa, where we camp and spend the night. Along the climb, the landscape changes from sierra to puna (a dry and high area with little vegetation), having the chance to spot domesticated llamas and alpacas grazing on ichu, one of the few plants that grow at that altitude. We also cross an area of the so called cloud forest, which is the habitat for many different kinds of birds like hummingbirds and sparrows and the Andean bear. We advise that on this day and the next one specially, your day-pack is well stocked with candies, chocolates and coca leaves that will keep your sugar level high, and help with altitude sickness.
The walk: 12 km/7.46 miles, Estimate time 5-6 hours, maximum altitude 3,850 m (12,589 ft)
Accommodations: Camping. Campsite altitude 3,850 m (12,589 ft) (B,L,D).
DAY 5 LLULLUCHAPAPAMPA TO PHUYUPATAMARCA
After breakfast, we continue our hike up the highest point in the Inca Trail, reaching the mountain pass of Abra Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman’s Pass – 4200m/13776ft) after about 2 hours. Immediately after the pass, we descend into the Pacaymayo valley (3600m/11808ft), from which we then start to climb to the second pass, the Abra Runkurakay (3970m/13022ft). Half way up, we visit the archaeological complex with the same name. Next, we descend towards Yanacocha (Black Lagoon) and enter the cloud forest to finally arrive at Sayacmarca (3624m/11887ft). This is a beautiful complex made up of a semicircular construction, enclosures at different levels, narrow streets, liturgical fountains, patios and irrigation canals. Continuing up an easy climb, we arrive at the third pass, the Abra Phuyupatamarca (3700m/12136ft). Along this climb we can appreciate the magnitude of the Incas´ ancient craft, by walking along paths semi-detached from the mountain, and seeing rocks that fill up ravines in perfect order, saving the trail from the multileveled Andean geography. We go through an Inca tunnel to later arrive at the aforementioned pass and down to the complex of the same name. This is one of the most complete and best preserved archaeological complexes along the Inca Trail to Machupicchu, and is located on the highest point of a mountain. Curiously, Phuyupatamarca means ¨town over the clouds¨. From above, one can observe a sophisticated sacred complex made up of water fountains with solid foundations, and also impressive views of the Urubamba River valley.
The walk: 15km/9.32miles, estimated time 8 hours
Accommodations: Camping, Campsite altitude 3,60o m/ 12,033 ft. (B,L,D)
DAY 6 PHUYUATAMARCA TO MACHU PICCHU
Today, we might have the chance to appreciate one of the most spectacular sunrises in the Inca Trail, provided the sky is clear, as Phuyupatamarca’s location offers awesome views at this moment of the day. We then start our way through the long descending stone steps which will lead us to Wiñaywayna (2650m/8692ft), where we find a campsite equipped with a restaurant, bar and bathrooms with hot showers. Wiñaywayna is the biggest archaeological site in the Inca Trail besides Machupicchu and 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 leave Wiñaywayna to climb to Intipunku, or The Sun Gate. This will take an hour of hiking along a trail of flat stones on the edges of cliffs in highland jungle. From this fabulous spot, we may enjoy spectacular views over the sacred citadel of Machupicchu, weather permitting.
DAY 7 MACHU PICCHU TO CUSCO
This morning you may rise early, and walk through Machu Picchu at sunrise, something which people of strong spirituality believe to be the highlight of a visit to Machu Picchu. We will also have a private guided tour of the ruins. If more hiking interests you then there is the chance to hike up the Huayna Picchu – the highest mountain which is actually part of the ruins and a spot with excellent views of the surrounding area, as well as a unique view of the famous ‘lost city’, (approx 2.5 hours). At 4:45 p.m. we reconnect at the ruin entrance for the half hour bus ride from Machu Picchu to the train station in Aguas Caliente. Board the deluxe Hiram Bingham train to Cusco (Poroy station) and enjoy a gourmet dinner and entertainment on board. Estimated arrival time in Cusco is 9:15 p.m. Private transfer to your hotel in Cusco is provided.
Accommodations: Suggested Luxury Monasterio Hotel | Suggested Premium Casa Andina Private Collection (B, L, D)
DAY 8 CUSCO To LIMA
This morning visit the ruins of Cusco, starting with the impressive fortress of Sacsayhuaman; Kenko, the amphitheater and religious center; Tambomachay, the Inca Baths and center of worship to the water god; and finally Puca-Pucara the red fortress built to protect Tambomachay. Continue touring the city of Cusco, visit Koricancha, The Temple of Sun- combined sacred sites of Koricancha and Santo Domingo in Cusco vividly illustrate ancient Andean culture’s collision with Western Europe. Visit the Cathedral, found on one of the streets of the main square of Cusco. Afternoon return flight to Lima.
B= breakfast included, L=lunch included, PicL=picnic lunch included, D=Dinner included
All bookings through Garth Allen Marksted Travel, Quebec Licensee.
* Important Note: In order to preserve the environment, permits for the Inca trail are limited and are issued on a first-come, first-serve basis. We recommend booking at least 4 months in advance in order to obtain a permit.
* Personalized Departure Dates: We can customize any of our trips to begin on a date that is convenient to you. You may want to consider arriving a day before the trip starts to better adjust to the effects of high altitude or combine this trip with a stay in Cusco and Lima.