THE INCA TRAIL & THE BEST OF CUSCO

This once in a lifetime trip takes you on a journey through varied and colorful Peru. Wander through the truly amazing city of Cusco and take in a city filled to the brim with Inca and Spanish history, stunning churches, colorful local markets, weaving demonstrations, amazing restaurants and cozy bars. For 10 days you will explore this heroic land, reliving the journey of the Incas by hiking the historic Inca Trail, rated by many among the best trips of the world. In the space of four days, you will experience a walk where history, geography, local flora and fauna will fill your senses and take your breath away. Our service includes native “Quechua” porters for your luggage as well as delicious meals during the trip. On arrival you will get to spend plenty of time in Cusco and / or the Sacred Valley whilst acclimatizing to the altitude before heading out onto the trail.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

The time when a traveler could roll into Cusco and set up an Inca Trail trek for the following day—or week, or month—has long since passed. To limit damage to the trail, the Peruvian government now limits access to 500 persons per day, porters included. Permits for the peak summer season sell out months in advance.

FIXED -DEPARTURES

 


TOUR CATEGORY
  • Active
  • Archaeological
  • Cultural
  • Trekking
  • Nature

LOCATION
  • Cusco
  • Huayllabamba
  • Machu Picchu
  • Ollantaytambo
  • Pacaymayo
  • Phuyupatamarca
  • Pisac
  • Sacred Valley
  • Sacsayhuaman

ACTIVITY LEVEL
  • Moderate to Challenging

DURATION
  • 10 days

WHEN TO GO
  • April to November
  • January and March

CUSCO

  • Wander the capital of the Inca Empire with your guide.
  • Take a horseback ride around archeological sites
  • Learn how to cook some of the finest cuisine in the world with local chefs.

SACRED VALLEY

  • Enjoy the vibrant and colorful markets full of beautiful hand crafted clothing or souvenirs
  • Walk through ancient salt pans and meet native weavers as they create beautiful rugs or traditional clothing

INCA TRAIL

  • Retrace the steps of the Incas and visit great archeological sites accessible only on foot.

MACHU PICCHU

  • Take your first look at the “Lost City of the Incas”
  • Climb Huayna Picchu or walk until the Sun Gate

DAY 01 ARRIVE LIMA

Upon arrival and after picking your luggage and clearing customs, walk across the sky bridge to the comfortable Costa Del Sol Wyndham Hotel to check in for the evening.

DAY 02 FLY CUSCO - WALKING CITY TOUR

Breakfast

Airport check in for your one hour flight to Cusco. Giving you the time to acclimate to the altitude, a private guided walking tour of Cusco is a great way to see and experience Cusco first hand. Explore with your perfect English speaking guide the Inca capital, wander through this city of terra-cotta roofs, cobblestone streets, and colorful markets, visit the stunning bohemian area of San Blas, meeting the locals and taking in some of the key sites in Cusco as well as some off the beaten track.

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DAY 03 CUSCO SURROUNDINGS

Breakfast

In a private visit, you will enjoy one of the most renowned walled complex of Cusco, Sacsahyuaman one of the best examples of the Inca architecture. For those looking an active itinerary, horseback riding, mountain biking or even whitewater rafting can be arranged. Rest of the evening is free to relax, explore and shop with your private guide, in this incredible cosmopolitan Inca capital also named as Navel of the World. Explore the nightlife in Cusco´s varied and exciting pubs where live folk music, good food and lively atmosphere abound.

MAKE IT DIFFERENT (OPTIONAL)

Love to Cook? The Peruvian Cuisine, is widely regarded one of the most delicious and diverse in the world. Our rustic kitchen set in the countryside of Cusco provides the perfect setting for your hands-on cooking lessons and demonstrations with our talented Peruvian chefs. Our products are bought from the local markets and providers, whom you will get to know during our market tour, and you will hand-pick some of your own ingredients from our very own on-site garden and greenhouse.

ASK OUR EXPERTS TO UPGRADE YOUR EXPERIENCE

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DAY 04: SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS

Breakfast

This full day tour will take you through all the most famous and popular parts of the Sacred Valley. Its “Sacred” character (for which it was named) has survived the passage of time and that magic continues to amaze visitors today. Few places in the Inca Empire could compete against the beauty and wealth of this valley.

This private guided tour will become one of the highlights of your trip. Stopping in the famous and vibrant market of Pisac, take in the sights and sounds of this unique experience, test your bargaining skills and don’t forget to stock up on affordable souvenirs for friends and family! You may also hike the amazing Pisac ruins located on a nearby mountaintop from where you will enjoy a breathtaking view of the valley including hundreds of famous Inca agricultural terraces.

There are a number of additional sites worth exploring on this day trip, including the unique terraced crop fields of Moray, the seldom visited town of Maras, the Maras Salt Mines which were extremely important to the Incas as their supply of salt and still provides salt today that you can buy for a few soles. As well as their historical importance, the Maras salt mines are also a beautiful sight to see. You may also enjoy a colorful textile demonstration based on ancient Inca techniques, visit the living Inca town of Chincheros with its unique colonial church that was built on the top of an Incan palace by the Spaniards, or stop at Awanakancha or Textil Palace, where you can meet native weavers and see South American camelid species, including llamas, alpacas, guanacos and vicuñas. You will stay overnight in one of the principal villages of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Ollantaytambo or Ollanta (as the locals call it); a spectacularly beautiful place along the Urubamba River with a gorge lined by agricultural terraces and snowcapped peaks rising in the distance.

MAKE IT DIFFERENT (OPTIONAL)

We highly recommend having an extra day in the Sacred Valley. Many visitors without a lot of time on their hands almost race through the valley’s highlights and markets on a daylong guided tour. Seeing it this way is certainly a worthwhile experience, but it really doesn’t compare to experiencing everything the valley has to offer at a more leisurely pace that allows you an overnight stay or two in the valley and the chance to soak up the area’s immense history, relaxed character, stunning scenery, and in the dry season, gorgeous spring weather.

ASK OUR EXPERTS TO UPGRADE YOUR EXPERIENCE

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DAY 05 INCA TRAIL - CUSCO - KM. 82 - HUAYLLABAMBA

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Following a transfer from the hotel to Km. 82, we meet our porters and equipment and start our escorted trek by the porters, traversing semi-arid terrain along the Uruamba River with magnificent views of snow-capped mountains. As we leave the Urubamba valley you will have the opportunity to get an amazing overview of the valley before setting off to the Kusichaca River and our first campsite in Huayllabamba (around 3000 m.a.s.l – 9842 f.a.s.l).

Overnight camping.

Km. 82 to Huayllabamba: 11 km / 6 hours approximately.

DAY 06 INCA TRAIL - HUAYLLABAMBA - PACAYMAYO

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

After a healthy breakfast we begin the walk to Warmihuañusca pass (4200 mts – 13780 ft.). After a short time, we will reach the top of the pass where it is possible to see the route leading to Runkurakay ruins. At the end of a gorge, we will stop in Pacaymayo (3600 mts. – 11811 ft.), our second camp.

Overnight camping.

Huayllabamba-Pacaymayo: 7km / 7 hours approximately

DAY 07 INCA TRAIL - PACAYMAYO - PHUYUPATAMARCA

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

A while after departing from Pacaymayo and following a zigzagging but short ascent will take us to the circular Runkurakay ruins. There is no sign of human life, only amazing forests and steep hills. After a good rest, we start our way down where you will notice that the Inca Trail is well preserved from this point on. Soon, we reach the steps going up to Sayacmarca ruins (3620 mts. – 11877 ft.). From Sayacmarca the stone road begins to go into the jungle, continuing our trek towards Phuyupatamarca ruins. The trail crosses the “Lago Seco” and “The Tunnel”, a natural cavity produced by a landslide but adapted by the Incas. The Inca Trail continues on through hills full of moss and fern and after crossing a small pass, it is possible to see the Ceremonial Center of Phuyupatamarca ruins (3650 mts. – 11945 ft.), where we will set our camp.

Overnight camping.

Pacaymayo – Phuyupatamarca: 7 km / 6 hours approximately

Note: if passengers must return to Cusco the 4thday, then campsite must be Wiñaywayna.

Pacaymayo – Wiñaywayna: 9 km / 7 hours approximately

DAY 08 PHUYUPATAMARCA - MACHU PICCHU

Breakfast, lunch

We start early the next morning following the trail, and soon see the Urubamba valley and river. The path goes down to Wiñay Wayna ruins (2650 mts. – 8694 ft.), the second most important ruins after Machu Picchu. Heading then towards Inti Punku (2740 mts. – 8990 ft.), the Gate of the Sun, our last pass, Machu Picchu (2450 mts. – 8038 ft.) appears and will truly take your breath away. We visit Machu Picchu briefly so as not to spoil the full day guided tour including breakfast and lunch the following day.

Phuyupatamarca – Machu Picchu: 9 km / 7 hours approximately.

Wiñaywayna- Machu Picchu: 5 Km / 4 hours approximately.

Some itineraries can have any of the two above mentioned campsites, as this will be up to the discretion of the Peruvian National Park Service, and we have no control over it.

MAKE IT DIFFERENT (OPTIONAL)

Take the option of a Luxury Inca Trail.

ASK OUR EXPERTS TO UPGRADE YOUR EXPERIENCE

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DAY 09 MACHU PICCHU RUINS AND BACK TO CUSCO

Breakfast

Without a doubt the best time to view Machu Picchu is at dawn before the crowds arrive on the train. We drive up to the ruins in time for the opening and savor the views and the atmosphere as the light changes as the sun rises. We have the rest of the morning to explore the ruins at our own pace and perhaps walk up the famous Inca Trail to the ‘Gateway of The Sun’ (Inti Punku) or hike Huayna Picchu Mountain, for the best view of Machu Picchu. During the afternoon we descend from the archeological site to the railway station, and embark on the afternoon train, which slowly winds its way through the Andean countryside to Ollantaytambo where we transfer to our vehicle for the drive back to our hotel in Cusco. (The hiking permits for Huayna Picchu are not included, please ask our staff if you would like to include it, remember that it sell out in advance).

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DAY 10 FLY LIMA AND RETURN HOME

Breakfast

Fly back home.

MAKE IT DIFFERENT (OPTIONAL)

Ask our experts about an extension to the Titicaca the highest navigable lake in the World , the enigmatic Amazon or the mysterious Nazca lines.

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