OVERVIEW OF THE TREK
|Max. Elevation||4225 metres above sea level|
|Min Elevation||2400 metres above sea level|
|Considered||The most beatiful trek to Machu Picchu|
The Inca Trail the “Royal highway” to Machupicchu nowadays is known as the most famous trek in South America and is rated by many to be in the top 5 treks in the world. Located in amazing place surrounded by sacred mountains, lush cloud-forest, subtropical jungle and, of course, a stunning mix of Inca paving stones, ruins and tunnels. Machu Picchu, the mysterious “Lost City of the Incas. is an independent guide to the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu aimed at helping visitors to decide whether the Inca Trail is the trek for them. Although there are literally thousands of kilometres of “Inca Trails” throughout Peru this website concentrates on the Classic 4-day Inca Trail trek that starts at km82 (82 kilometres along the railway from Cusco to Aguas Calientes) and treks high up into the mountains passing the Inca ruins of Llactapata, Runkurakay, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca and Wiñay Wayna before finally arriving at Machu Picchu for sunrise on the 4th day of the trek. We have include information about when is the best time to do the trek, how best to prepare for it, and recomendations about this trek.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu really is an beautiful and only one trek and we hope that with a little advice and planning it turns out to be an incredible and unforgettable experience. Good luck and happy trekking! Do with us the safety way to get this new wonder of the world MACHUPICCHU the sacred place !!
The Inca trail is located in the National park which is controlled by the Peruvian government. Due to crowds, only 500 people per day (this includes tourists, tour guides , cooks, and the porters) are allowed on the trail. For this reason, you must book at least 4 or 5 months in advance to avoid disappointments. Huaynapicchu mountain needs to be booked in advanced. If you want to stay an extra night at Aguas Calientes village just let us know so we organize your return train the next day at 2.55 pm to Ollantaytambo then a bus to Cusco. You can organize your accommodation by yourself or we can assist with the accomodations for you.The return train is tourist train with comfortable seats and nice views along the way. There is an option to upgrade it to Vista dome luxury train which is an extra $30 per person. Please let us know when you are making your booking.
If for any reason you miss out on a famous Inca Trail trek permit, you can still hike our Alternative treks : Lares trek, Salkantay trek, P’isaq valley trek(new one) discovering the Incas culture still alive or Huchuy Qosqo trek which include visiting Machu Picchu as well.
ITINERARY OF THE TREK.
Day 1: CUSCO – KM 82 – LLACTAPATA – WAYLLABAMBA – AYAPATA.
We’ll pick you up from your hotel between 5:30-6:00am and travel to Km 82. Along the way we’ll stop at a viewpoint above Urubamba (a village in the Sacred Valley) where we will have our breakfast which your guide will prepare for you. You’ll arrive to Km 82 at 9:00am and we’ll go through the first Inca Trail checkpoint to begin our trek (please make sure you have your passport with you to enter the Inca Trail). The first 2 hours of the trek are relatively easy. There will be plenty of flora and fauna such as hummingbirds, falcons and orchids and other native plants and we will enjoy beautiful views of Mount Veronica, the third highest mountain in the Cusco area. After this we’ll arrive to our first Inca site, Patallacta. Patallacta was an Inca checkpoint for the approach to Machu Picchu. From Patallacta it’s another 2 hour hike to our lunch stop. After lunch we will hike for an additional 2 and a half hours until we reach the first night’s campsite (Ayapata, 3300 meters). On this last stretch we pass through 2 small communities. If you want to buy any energy drinks or snacks you can do so here, you can also buy any essential items such as batteries that you may have forgotten. We’ll arrive to our campsite by 5:00pm and after settling in for a bit you can relax and have a drink and something to eat with your porters, chef and guide. By 7:30 your dinner will be ready, afterwards you can get some well deserved rest.
Walking distance: 8.7 miles/14 km (6-7 hours)
Campsite altitude: 3.300 meter high above sea level.
Considered: Moderate day (get used to the Inca trail)
Weather : warm and windy
Day 2: AYAPATA – DEAD WOMAN’S PASS – PACAYMAYO – CHAQUIQOCHA.
Second day early your porters will wake you up early with a hot cup of coca tea to get you ready for the day. You’ll have 30 minutes to pack your things and then have breakfast at 5:30am so we can set off by 6:30am (today is our longest day which is why we have such an early start). We’ll hike for roughly 4 hours to the highest pass of the trek, Dead Woman’s Pass (4215 meters). Along the way there are beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and lots of flora such as Unca trees, ferns, begonias, bromelias and orchids. We’ll also see plenty of birdlife such as finches and hummingbirds, if we’re lucky we may spot a condor soaring above us. On reaching the pass we’ll stop for a short break to enjoy the views before setting off again to descend to the next valley (Pacaymayu Valley – Hidden River). It’s another hour and a half down the side of the valley to lunch and to refill our water bottles. After lunch we begin ascending again to the second pass of the trek. It’s 2 hours to the pass and along the way we’ll stop at a small Inca site (Runcu Raccay) and two huge waterfalls cascading down the opposite side of the valley. After the 2nd pass, it’s another hour downhill to reach the magnificent Inca site, Sayacmarca (unaccessible village). We’ll stop here for a rest and to watch the sunset over the Vilcabamba mountain range. It’s just another 20 minutes until we stop for the night at our second campsite Chaquicocha (Dry Lake, 3600 meters). After dinner, if you’re not too exhausted, we can do some star gazing. Your guide will point out the Milky Way, the Southern Cross and other constellations for you.
Walking distance: 9.94 miles/16 km (7-8 hours)
Campsite altitude: 3.600 meter high above sea level (chilled weather)
Considered: Top day (we will survive two passes)
Area : Andes and the cloud forest
Weather : Cold and rainy
Day 3: CHAQUIQOCHA – PHUYUPATAMARKA – WIÑAYWAYNA.
Our unforgettable day with a beatiful sunrise, We begin early again, waking up at 6:00am and breakfast at 6:30am. Day 3 is commonly believed to be the most beautiful day of the whole Inca Trail. We hike for 2 hours along what is known as Inca flat (gradual inclines) where we can take in the flora and fauna of the region. As we reach the peak of the jungle which is also known as the cloud forest, we will have the opportunity to see the beauty of the Salkantay snow capped peak and the panoramic view of vilacabamba mountain range. There will be 2 hours hike to the last peak (phuyupatamarka 3600 meters high above sea level) from where you will overlook the Urubamba river down the valley of Machu Picchu perched above it, there are also stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Furthermore, this point will be the eaisest part of the hike as we walk down steps for approximately 3 hours to our last campsite, close to Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young), the most spectacular Inca site on the trail after Machu Picchu. During the descend we visit 2 Inca ruins, Puyupatamarca (The Town in the Clouds) and Intipata (terraces of the sun). We arrive at our campsite around 1:00pm to have lunch and then relax for the entire afternoon so you’re relaxed and ready for your final day at Machu Picchu. There will be a small talk at around 4:30pm to visit the inca ruins of Wiñay Wayna and we’ll spend about an hour and a half there. We will explain the significance of the site and combine all the information given during the trek so you’re fully prepared for your visit to Machu Picchu the next day.
We like to spoil our guests as we enjoy our last feast with the porters and chefs. It’s an Inca Trail tradition to organize a ceremony in the evening to introduce the member of the staffs to the tourists once again and give thanks (if you wish to provide tips for them). It is advisable to go to bed at a reasonable time in order to get up in the early hours of the morning for the preparation to Machu Picchu.
Walking distance: 6.2 miles/10km (5 hours)
Campsite altitude: 2.600 meter high above sea level. (Chilled weather)
Considered: Easy day (Just down hill)
Area : High cloud forest
Weather : Warm and very humid
Day 4: WIÑAYWAYNA – INTI PUNKU – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO.
Wake up time is at 3:30am. We’ll eat breakfast at 4:00am and start trekking by 5:30am. We’ll wave goodbye to our porters and chef and then it’s all steam ahead to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku). From here we have spectactular views of the mountains and Machu Picchu in all its glory. We reach the Sun Gate by 6:30am to see the sun rise, illuminating Machu Picchu. The day is just awakening and you can here the dawn chorus in the air. From the Sun Gate it’s another hour trek down a stairway to reach the lost city of the Incas. As we approach, the views of the city just get better and better. At about 7:40am we reach the checkpoint and enter Machu Picchu to begin our 2 hour guided tour of the city. After the tour you’ll be given your bus tickets to make your way down to Aguas Calientes and you’ll have between 3-4 hours to explore it by yourself. At about 1:30pm we’ll meet at a restaurant in Aguas Calientes to have the last lunch together. At lunch you’ll be given your train tickets. We’ll then meet again 30 minutes before your train departs and all go together to the train station. If you like there is an optional hike up Machu Picchu mountain which takes about an hour and a half to reach the summit. From here you can enjoy fantastic views of Machu Picchuand Huayna Picchu mountain and the surrounding scenery. If you’re interested in this, please ask your guide for directions.
Walking distance: 3.1 miles/5 km (5 hours)
Considered : The most exciting and magicical day (Early wake up 3.30 am)
Area : High cloud and tropical forest
Weather: Hot and very humid (requires a lot of water)
THE TREK INCLUDED.
- Pick up from your hotel by your tour guide.
- Bus drive to km 82 with spectacular views of the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
- Professional English speaking tour guide (2 guides when we have more than 8 guests, both have studied tourism and the Inca history at the university).
- Entrance fee to the Inca Trail National Park.
- Entrance fee for Machu Picchu Archaeological Sanctuary.
- Superb porters to carry the equipment, tents, food, cooking gear, and dining tents.
- Permits and entrance fees for our porters and cooks.
- 4 breakfasts, 4 snacks, 4 lunches, 3 happy hours, and 3 dinners. All of these meals are prepared by our cook and his assistant.
- Coca tea each morning in your tent for a gentle start.
- Boiled water after breakfast, lunch, dinner and to refill your water bottles.
- Happy hour with some local drinks which is prepared by our cook.
- Snacks every morning.
- Oxygen tank and first aid kit.
- Vegetarian food and specialized diets by request.
- 2 people per tent (4 man tents, clean, waterproof)
- Dining + kitchen tent, camping tables, chairs and the all dishes.
- 2 hrs Machu Picchu guided visit and interpretation tour.
- Bus from Machu Picchu down to Aguas Calientes village.
- Tourist train return to Ollantaytambo then by bus to Cusco.
THE TREK NOT INCLUDED.
- Sleeping Bag
- Trekking poles
- Hot Springs in Aguas Calientes “Machupicchu town” (10 soles)
- Last lunch in Aguas Calientes
WHAT YOU NEED TO TAKE:
- Original passport
- Student card if it is applicable (needs to be sent at the time of your booking)
- Day Pack
- Sleeping bag
- Hiking boots and sandals (very important)
- Trekking poles
- Warm clothes : layers for variable temperatures, especially at night.Thermals : Gloves / scarves : wool socks / wool hat for cold nights: About 4 T-shirts for the entire trek
- Head lamp (very important)
- Camera and extra batteries
- Sunscreen / hat and sunglasses
- Personal medical kit
- Insect repellent
- Rain Gear: a good rain jacket and rain pants and plastic rain poncho.
- Toilet paper
- Small towel
- Camel bag – if not you can take plastic bottle
- Extra money for drinks & tips, souvenirs, etc (soles or dollars) At least 200 extra soles
Bathing clothes for the hot springs (optional) Recommended for those who stay extra night.