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Inca trail to Machu Picchu now considered as a national reserve, this magnificent hike is for travellers who like the hiking adventure, with breaks, in a single day. The beauty and history of the area surround the hiker every step of the way. With its gorges and passes and climatic mountain views. True Andean highlanders, the Incas knew and loved the countless natural zones that lay within the folds of their vast domain. Their trail traverses a startling variety of microclimates, beginning with an arid cactus zone on the Urubamba valley, rising through native forest to bleak high-altitude grassland, and ending in mossy cloud forest drapped with orchids and bromeliads. This trek of approximately 43 km consists of trekking four days and finishing upon arrival at the Citadel of Machu Picchu.
Archaeological, cultural, ecological, hiking and camping
05 Days – 04 Nights
GROUP SERVICE: (2 to 8 people MAX): Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. It is recommended for everybody who likes the adventure, families, honeymooners and couples.
PRIVATE SERVICE: All inclusive for families with children, honeymooners and couples. Special trek programme just for you, and you can depart any day you wish and choose the group size, we don’t add any people, is arranged just for you. All private groups include additional services, such as: extra porters, horses to ride and to carry your personal gear (for alternate treks), First class Vistadome train, luxury hotels if required.
Pick-up from your hotel at 06:00 a.m, transfer by bus to Km 82. Piscacucho the main entrance of the Inca trail, crossing the Sacred Valley of the Incas where you will enjoy Andean towns and Quechua communities arriving at 09:30 a.m, here is time to introduce our staff such our Andean porters, assistants and chefs. Starting here our trek, crossing a footbridge to hike for two hours hiking down to the Inca farming terraces of Llaqtapata, then we’ll climb a short way up to Huayllabamba, the last inhabited village on the trail where we’re gonna camp with all camping equipment you will have a beautiful view of the snow-peaked Veronica Mountain.
We’ll climb the steep-sided Llullucha valley passing a rushing stream and through enchanted native polylepis woodland. Crossing the rim of a small plateau, we’ll abruptly find ourselves in the puna, the treeless grasslands of the high Andes. The trail traverses an open slope opposite mighty mountain crags as we’ll ascend to the first and highest pass, Warmiwañusca (Dead Woman), up to 4,200 masl approximately. You will not only enjoy incredible panoramic views from here but you will also have the satisfaction to have reached the top. After lunch in Vizcachayoc, we will descend towards Pacaymayo (3,500 masl) for dinner and camp.
After having a delicious breakfast, we’ll pick up an Inca stairway and ascend again passing the small Inca site of Runkuracay. As we’ll reach the second pass, the landscape opens onto spectacular new views to the snow peaks of the Pumasillo mountain range. We’ll descend to the ruins of Sayacmarca (Inaccessible Town), an intricate labyrinth of houses, squares and water channels, perched precariously on a rocky spur overlooking the Acobamba valley. The Inca trail, now a massive buttressed structure of granite paving stones, continues along the steep upper fringes of the cloud forest through a colourful riot of orchids, bromeliads, mosses and ferns. At the third pass, pinnacles topped with Inca viewing platforms overlook the archaeological complex of Phuyupatamarca , pausing to explore the wondrous maze of Inca stone towers, fountains and stairways that spill down the mountainside here, we’ll begin a long descent through ever-changing layers of cloud forest. An Inca stairway partly cut from living granite leads us finally to our camp by the ruins of Wiñay Wayna (Young Forever), the largest and most exquisite of the Inca Trail sites.
An early morning hike will take us across a steep mountainside through lush, humid cloud-forest of giant ferns and broad-leaf vegetation. Suddenly, we’ll cross the stone threshold of Inti Punku (Sun Gate) and encounter an unforgettable sweep of natural beauty and human artistry – a backdrop of twisting gorge and forested peaks framing the magical city of Machu Picchu. We’ll complete the final leg down the royal flagstone walkway, passing outlying shrines and buildings and into the heart of Machu Picchu, a guided tour of the highlights and some individual exploring among Machu Picchu’s multitude of hidden nooks and corners.
This day, you will have time to explore the town, do shopping and enjoy the Hot Springs that are located close to our hotel during the day; you will be ready to cash the train back to Ollantaytambo train station and transport to Cusco City.
Entrances Tickets to Machu Picchu – Wayna Picchu Mountain and Machu Picchu Mountain are limited, check the availability: www.machupicchu.gob.pe
Please note that you must book and pay a deposit in advance, so we can secure your spots. For high season (May to October, 4-5 months in advance, low season: November to April, 2-3 months in advance). Student price for people under the age of 24, you need to indicate in the comments section of the booking.
Note: Horses will carry the heavy gear; you will hike carrying only your personal pack, sleeping bag and pad.
If you are considering to bring special photography equipment or other heavy accessories, or just simply don’t want to carry anything, please request an additional horse ($95 USD) to carry your personal belongings, this way you will freely enjoy the hike (this is highly recommended if you have never hiked over 10,000 ft.). Chefs will deal with all the kitchen chores.
You just need to remember that you are able to go at a speed that is comfortable for you. Take your time, pace yourself, and enjoy. Inca Trail is considered as a moderate hike, not a technical hike but high altitude may affect some people.
We recommend the use of trekking poles, especially for those passengers with known knee problems. There are multiple times during the trek that trekking poles are handy, be it ascending a mountain or walking along the rough trails.
It’s impossible to predict who will be affected by altitude. Your ability to adapt to high altitude is determined by your genetic makeup and has little to do with fitness or health. Most people will have no problems as long as they take the time to acclimatize properly. A full 2-day trip spent in Cusco (3,399 masl), taking it very easy and drinking plenty of water is enough for some people but if you can arrange to have minimum 2-3 days in case of any travel disruptions as well then this is what we recommend as there is also so much to do here! The highest point, you will reach while hiking the Inca Trail reaches 4,280 masl on the 2nd day.
We recommend that you purchase a 1.5 – 2liter bottle of water to take with you on the first day. Every night during the trek, we will boil water so you can refill the same bottle every morning before setting out. If you are planning to drink from any streams or waterfalls, we strongly suggest you bring water purification tablets or filters. You will also be able to buy water along the way on Day 1, for the first few hours of Day 2, then again on the afternoon of Day 3, and of course at Machu Picchu.
Some people actually like to go during the rainy season because there are fewer tourists but we say please be prepared for wet weather and have suitable clothes and equipment.
You first encounter Machu Picchu as the sun rises over the high mountains encircling it. It is already dawn but this impressive moment of Machu Picchu coming out of the shadows of the looming mountains is awesome.
As long as you book and pay in advance for certain dates in high season it may be necessary to pay 3-4 months in advance, last minute bookings of this trek will possibly miss out on permits in high season so, we can include the Machu Picchu Mountain permit instead, the trail to Wayna Picchu is safe, very steep with use of chains and not recommended for those with vertigo. It is about an hour and a half round-trip. And there are only 2 times during the day, it can be climbed with a sign in and out security system.
This card means International Student Identity Card (ISIC) and is the internationally accepted form of student identification. The government accepts ISIC and discounts for the entrance to Machu Picchu. You must scan your ISIC card to you at the time of your booking and carry your ISIC card on the trek.
It is indispensable such as the natural hot springs in “Aguas Calientes” (10 soles), and/or Cocalmayo hot springs in Santa Teresa town and tips for the trekking staff, souvenirs, snacks in Machu Picchu, bottled water, drinks, etc. You should take at least 300 soles as emergency money.
Completely fluent in English. Our guides are also one of the most popular aspects of our tours some of them being historians and archaeologists and all demonstrate a great passion for their culture and heritage.