7 nights/ 8 days

Cusco to Cusco

Every hiker dreams of hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu at some point in their life. It is a remarkable hike that retraces the steps of the Inca, crossing Dead Woman’s Pass (4,200 meters or 13,800 feet in elevation), and visits several isolated Incan ruins en route, ending at the Sun Gate overlooking Machu Picchu. For those willing to break a sweat, it offers stunning views of the surrounding cloud forest, jungles, and peaks of the Andes Mountains.

2017 Dates May 27-June 3 SOLD OUT
Oct 6-13 $1995 (Single Suplement $341)
Trip Leader(s):Olga + Local Guide(s)
Places Visited:Cusco, Sacred Valley, Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, Aguas Calientes
Activities:Trekking
Group Size:Min. 2 Max. 16
Travel Style:Comfort/Camping
Physical Rating:Difficult

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Highlights Include:

* 5-Day hike along the famous Inca Trail to the lost city of the Incas, Machu Picchu
* Enjoy a full day guided tour of Machu Picchu with the option of climbing Huayna Picchu, named one of the 20 most dangerous hikes in the world by Outside Magazine.
* Soak in the hot springs of Aguas Calientes
* Take a train with large panoramic windows from Machu Picchu back to Cusco

Day 1: Cusco

Upon arrival, you’ll be transferred to your hotel where you can start acclimating to being at 11,000 ft elevation in this beautiful city. This site was the historic capital of the Inca Empire from the 13th into the 16th century until the Spanish conquest. In 1983 Cusco was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

In the afternoon, we’ll take a walking tour of Cusco city and it’s archaeological and historical sites.

INCLUDED:

  • Airport Transfer
  • Half-Day Cusco Walking Tour

Overnight at Casa Andina or similar

Day 2: Cusco Ruins, the Sacred Valley & Pisac Ruins (B, L)

Today, we’ll head out of Cusco to visit the main Inca ruins in the Cusco valley. We’ll visit Sacsayhuaman, Tambomachay, Pucapucara, and Q’enco. Leaving early by vehicle, we wind our way on the road to Sacsayhuaman, a vast fortress built on three platforms, overlooking the city of Cusco. From here we continue to Q’enco, a site of worship with a high rock carved into the shape of a Puma which dominates a series of canals, passageways painted with animals. The road continues uphill to reach Pucapucara and Tambomachay, a site with Inca baths. From here, we descend to the Sacred Valley overlooking the Pisac village and ruins, our first view of this beautiful Valley that runs from east to west.

The Spanish built the present-day town of Pisac along the Urubamba River half a century after the conquest, but the surviving terraces of it predecessor, Inca Pisac, are still draped across the mountains above. The signature terraces — stacked 40 high — are visible throughout much of the switch-backed drive from the market. The buildings are scattered nearly two square miles of the slope, and include fortifications, aqueducts, granaries, homes, and ceremonial spaces. A road takes us up to the ruins of Pisac where we will do a short hike over to the main temple and extended terracing before heading down to the village for lunch.

After lunch, we’ll head back to Cusco and spend the rest of the day relaxing or exploring the city.

INCLUDED:

  • Guided tour of Cusco Ruins, the Sacred Valley & Pisac ruins
  • Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Overnight at Casa Andina or similar

Day 3: Inca Trail – Cusco to Llaqtapata Camp (B, L, D)

With your guide, you’ll be transferred from your hotel to Pisaycucho. You’ll start hiking at Km 82 on the railway along the Urubamba River stopping at Q’oriwayrakina for lunch. At Km 88, you’ll cross a small bridge at Q’ente and hike to the Llaqtapata campsite. If there is time, you may take a side trip to visit the archaeological remains of Qente and Machu Qente and the Llaptapata ruins. The camp is located amidst Inca terracing.

INCLUDED:

  • Guided Inca Trail Trek w/ Porter Support
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Hiking time: 5-6 hours
Distance: 11 km (approx 6.8 miles)
Overnight at Llaqtapata Campsite

Day 4: Inca Trail – Llaqtapata to Llulluchapampa Camp (B, L, D)

The Inca Trail winds slowly up to the Cusicacha Valley passing houses of settlers to finally reach the Andean community of Huayllabamba. From here the trail ascends steeply to a large pampa (meadow) below the first pass. At this campsite there is a breathtaking view of Mt. Huayanay. Along the trail up this narrow hanging valley is a rare Andean cloud forest that harbors the Que’ua tree, a rare forest found in the Andes.

INCLUDED:

  • Guided Inca Trail Trek w/ Porter Support
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Hiking time: 6 hours
Distance: 9 km (approx 5.6 miles)
Overnight at Llulluchapampa Campsite

Day 5: Inca Trail – Llulluchapampa to Phuyupatamarca Camp (B, L, D)

A steady ascent on the Inca Trail up to the Warmiwañusqa pass (Dead Woman’s Pass) at 4,200m (13,800 ft) affords a magnificent view of your ascent and the trail ahead of you. You’ll descend on a restored Inca Trail down to the Pacaymayo River to then ascend again to the ruins of Runkuraqay and the second pass at 4,050m (13,200ft). From here, you’ll walk down to the site at Sayacmarca at 3,850m (12,551ft) on the original Inca Trail, passing a dry lake and the first signs of the cloud forest. A beautiful location overlooking the Aobamba Valley, it affords a respite for a leisurely walk through its imposing structures. Continue along the ridge through amazing landscapes, viewing Mt. Salkantay from the western side and Mt. Pumasillo, a silhouette to the north on the horizon. Walking through a rolling flag stoned trail you arrive at Phuyupatamarca (the village on the edge of the clouds) in whose vicinity you’ll camp.

INCLUDED:

  • Guided Inca Trail Trek w/ Porter Support
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Hiking time: 7-8 hours
Distance: 14 km (approx 8.7 miles)
Overnight at Phuyupatamarca Campsite

Day 6: Inca Trail – Phuyupatamarca to Machu Picchu via Winay Wayna and Intipunku (B, L)

An early departure today will have you trekking along a buttress and passing Phuyupatamarca ruins. The flag stoned trail winds sharply down into the cloud forest to the well restored ruins of Wiñay Wayna, located below the ridge on the same water course as the previous site. After a two hour walk through a cloud forest covered Inca Trail you’ll arrive at Machu Picchu the way the Incas used to come, watching the magnificent citadel at your feet from Intipunku (“the door of the sun”). Upon arrival, you’ll take a shuttle to your hotel in Aguas Calientes and once you get settled, relax your sore muscles in the Hot Springs of Aguas Calientes (not included).

INCLUDED:

  • Guided Inca Trail Trek w/ Porter Support
  • Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Hiking time: 6 hours
Distance: 9 km (approx 5.6 miles)
Overnight at Waman Hotel or similar

Day 7: Machu Picchu and return to Cusco (B, L)

A half hour bus ride will bring you back to Machu Picchu for a guided visit, which on average takes about three hours. Your’ll explore the extraordinary Inca remains with your guide, including an optional climb up Huayna Picchu, the towering mountain behind the site. For many people, climbing Huayna Picchu is one of the highlights when visiting Machu Picchu. The climb itself is interesting as you will see how the Incas cut out steps in the rocks as you wind around the side of a mountain. It will also allow you to see Machu Picchu from different angles. From a distance, the mountain looks impossible to climb without necessary tools, but the climb is quite possible for anyone who is averagely fit. The views of Machu Picchu seen from Huayna Picchu are breathtaking and really gives you an impression of the magnitude of the site.

In the afternoon, we’ll return by Expedition train to Cusco and transfer to our hotel. If we have any energy left, we can explore Cusco’s excellent nightlife. With a vast abundance of nightclubs, restaurants, bars and lounges, Cusco comes alive at night with the sights, sounds and experiences of a most fascinating, vibrating metropolis.

INCLUDED:

  • Full Day Tour of Machu Picchu
  • Expedition Train to Cusco
  • Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Optional: Climb Huayna Picchu $85
Overnight at Casa Andina or similar

Day 8: Cusco 

Today is departure day and you’ll be transferred to the airport at the appropriate time.

INCLUDED:

  • Airport Transfer
  • Meals: Breakfast

What’s Included?

4 nights hotel/ 3 nights camping
All meals indicated in the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L= Lunch, D=Dinner)
All transfers listed in the itinerary
Half-Day Cusco Walking Tour
Guided tour of Cusco Ruins, the Sacred Valley & Pisac ruins
All entrance fees & activity guides
Porters that carry equipment and luggage
Fully supported 5-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu trek including: Large two-person tents and Thermarest sleeping pad, Inca Trail permits, all porters, cook team, dining tent and commissary gear, and portable toilet for Inca Trail (shared services)
Bilingual, certified guides (with first aid kit and oxygen)

What’s Not Included?

Roundtrip international airfare to Cusco
Beverages & Meals not specified
Optional Activities and pre- and post-tour extensions
Tips for your guide, porters, cook and crew, & drivers
Personal Expenses
Travel Insurance
Airport taxes and excess baggage fees

 

Trip Length
7 nights/8 days
Travel Style
Comfort/ Camping
Physical Rating
Difficult
Price
Starting at $1995