Our Inca Trail Itinerary to Machu Picchu

The Inca trail trek to Machu Picchu is a truly amazing, educational, challenging and must have experience in your life time. Our 4 day trek on the traditional Inca trail covers 26 miles over 4 days. We cross over 3 passes with the highest at 4,215m/ 13,828 feet. Cusco sits at 3,400m/ 11,152 feet and the city of Machu Picchu sits at 2,430m/ 7,972 feet on the edge of the Amazon. The positioning of Machu Picchu and the incredible way the Inca’s reinforced the mountain below the city from possible earthquakes, hand carved each structure, managed to cultivate crops, redirect water and positioned the city out of reach of invaders in truly remarkable. The journey to Machu Picchu will leave you inspired with true admiration for the incredible Incan people who ran these trials over 500 years ago.

We recommend spending two nights in Cusco prior to the trek, so we include three nights hotel in Cusco. Two before the trek and one night after the trek has finished. Acclimatization to the low levels of oxygen is important especially coming from sea level. On the day before the trek begins in Cusco, we organise a day trip through the Sacred Valley, exploring more of the Inca culture and buildings they left behind, as well as serving as an acclimatization day.

We are available 5 days a week in support of your training, preparation and answering any questions you may have. Ian has climbed Everest the top, climbed Kilimanjaro 19 times and lead numerous treks on the Inca trail to Machu Picchu. We have the experience and expertise to help you prepare and fully enjoy your Inca Trail experience. If you decide to sign up for our Inca Trail itinerary, we will send out our 35 page dossier on the trek with full information and details of undertaking this adventure. 

Our Inca Trail Itinerary to Machu Picchu

Day 1: Arrive into Cusco airport. Our team will pick you up from the airport and bring you to a nice comfortable hotel for your stay in Cusco. There are options to visit the world heritage Sacsayhuaman, wonder the streets of Cusco and enjoy this wonderful city. You will need to take it easy, stay well hydrated as you are at high altitude 3,400m/ 11,152 feet above sea level.

Day 2: Full day private Sacred Valley Tour including: Pisaq remains, Pisaq market, local corn beer brewery, Ollantaytambo remains, Ollantaytambo village and return to Cusco. The Pisaq and Ollantaytambo remains are very special experiences in themselves, along with mixing with the culture, this day will live long in the memory.  This day also gives your body a chance to acclimatize to the lower levels of oxygen.  After a long way you will return to your hotel in Cusco. The day your will start at 8am and finish at 6pm.

Day 3: The Inca Trail starts with the transfer from your hotel, in the early morning and transfer to the kilometre 82 (Inca trail check point) in a private bus. All gear will be sorted for the porters, we will check in and move into the National park at 2,954m/ 9,691 feet.  After an initial hill, the first part of the Inca trail is relatively flat for about two hours.  From the trail we will see Llactapata or “Inca archaeological site”, also from the trail it is possible to appreciate the impressive landscape, flora, fauna and villages with native people who still follow traditional Inca traditions. We will have lunch by the river bank and keep moving after the trek continues ascending lightly to a semi-tropical valley for two hours until the camp ground at Huayllabamba 3,100m/ 10,170feet.

Day 4: We will rise early this morning for breakfast before we start the part of the Inca trail which leads to the highest point, passing through different climatic and ecological zones as we ascend the Warmiwañusca pass at 4,215m/ 13,828feet.  We will ascend up to the high pass; the first section presents abundant vegetation with trees of wild origin. Because of this reason it’s known by many as the world’s highest cloud forest, where the landscapes flora and fauna start at 3,800m/ 12,467feet. We will have lunch at Llulluchapampa 3,850m/ 12,589 feet where you can see the valley you have come out of.  After this section of the Inca trail, it tends to be less forested up to the high point, and is typical of the Andean mountains, covered with Icchu, or straw, and mountains with perpetual snow. After an strenuous, approximately 6 hour trek up hill, you will get to the summit to celebrate.  We will rest up, take photos and start to trek downhill 700m/ 2,296 feet on rock steps and dusty trail to camp.  From the pass we will see the beauty of the deep valleys and distant snow capped mountains, and move slowly to our second camp ground at Pacaymayu 3,500m/ 11,482 feet.

Day 5: After a good night’s sleep and early start, the trail moves steeply up the opposite side of the valley wall, towards the second pass. About halfway up there is a small round roofless stone building, this Inca archaeological remains is known as Runcuracay. The building is thought to have been an astronomic site. After the trail continues climbing towards the second pass “the Abra de Runcuracay”, which is at around 3,950m/ 12,959 feet. We will continue towards the 3rd pass 3,670m/ 12,040 feet walking past Sayacmarka, Chaquiqocha, Phuyupatamarka and make the long journey down to our camp at Wiñayhuayna 2,700m/ 8,829 feet. Tips will be given this evening.

Day 6:  The final leg of our journey on the Inca trail. We will be up early 3am for breakfast and quick pack up. We will talk the short distances to the Machu Picchu entrance gate and wait for opening.  From Wiñayhuayna to Intipunku is an easy trek, following a broad level path, which winds comfortably through scrub and light woodland, where colourful butterflies flutter across the trail. After about an hour and 30 minutes, the trail comes to a narrow flight of stone steps leading upwards into a small stone structure with a grass floor a few meters square. This is Intipunku, the Gateway of the Sun, and through the rectangular doorway you can see Machu Picchu. From Intipunku, a pathway leads directly downhill to Machu Picchu itself which takes about an hour. From here we will take pictures and enjoy the beauty of the sight of this spectacular city. We will take a full city tour of Machu Picchu for about two hours.  Those who had selected to climb Wayna Picchu will branch off and with great view looking back on the lost city. If not climbing Wanya Picchu you can take time to explore the magical Machu Picchu for yourself. Usually around 1pm you will get on the bus provided just outside the main entrance gate to get us to Aguas Calientes.  From Aguas Calientes, we will take the train all the way back to Ollantaytambo where we then transfer to a private bus which will take us the remaining 2 hours back to Cusco.  Once you arrive in Cusco you will have a well deserved shower before heading out to celebrate!

Day 7: You will be picked you up from your hotel in Cusco depending on your flight time.  We will drive you to the airport in order to take your flight for your onward journey. There are options to join tours to the Amazon, lake Titicaca and other treasures Peru has on offer.

IAN TAYLOR TREKKING SERVICE INCLUDES:

 

* Hotel in Cuzco 3 nights (San Agustin International) 3 stars or similar

* Airport pick up and drop off

* Day Tour of  the Sacred valley (additional acclimatization)

* Transfer from Cuzco hotel & start of the Inca Trail

* Entrance ticket to Inca Trail

* Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu

* Bus ticket Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes

* Train ticket Aguas Calientes – Cusco

* Transfer train station to hotel in Cusco

* Porters (carry tents and cooking equipment) and cooks

* Porters will carry your personal gear of 10kg per person, extra weight will be

charged at your personal expense

* Guided visit of Machu Picchu and the ruins along the trail

* Bilingual professional guide during all Inca Trail circuit

* All meals along the Inca Trail

* Camping equipment including tents, kitchen tent, mattresses, etc.

* Kitchen Equipment

* Vegetarian food available on request with no extra charge

* Transfer station to your hotel in Cusco

* 5 days a week office support before the trip

PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE: 

* Personal Equipment of trekking

* Additional Taxi

* Lunch and Dinner on the last day

* Visit to the Hot Springs in Aguas Calientes

* Summit Huayna picchu $75

* Tips $100 per person

Additional information on the Sacred valley tour

Cusco is a museum in itself, Full of Incan tradition, temples, terraces, history and architecture.  After learning more about Cusco we will move northwest out of Cusco the guide will explain about Incan history and culture and explain a little about the Incan site Sacsayhuaman which looks out over Cusco. You will see Tambomachay, Pucapucara and visit a local market.

You will stop and view the Urubamba Valley, you will see Incan plantations and visit the amazing site of Pisaq. You will be given a guided tour around Pisaq for around 2/3 hours and continue onto lunch.

After lunch you will continue onto Ollantaytambo and spend approximately 2 hours. These old Incan sites sit above the new village and you will learn more about this unique location.  You will continue onto Chincheros with Incan and colonial sites before visiting some local textile stores and returning to Cusco for the night.

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