The Inca Trail, a 4-day trek of 45 km, a gold mine of archaeological sites and Inca remains, will lead you in the footsteps of the Incas, from the Sacred Valley to the Citadel of Machu Picchu. You will cross breathtaking landscapes and witness the changes of ecosystems. You will taste high altitudes with cool temperatures, then after that dense forests, you will discover that the Peruvian climate is changing, sometimes revealing beautiful rainbows. Know that we will have to pass 3 passes, on a paved path with many steep stairs.
We will leave Cusco by private bus at 5.30am. Before reaching our departure point km 82, we will stop at Ollantaytambo for breakfast. Namely, km 82 is the name for the official starting point of the Inca Trail.
We will cross the Sacred Valley of the Incas until this point, where we will meet the rest of the team (porters, cooks ...). The trek will start with a suspension bridge that crosses the Urubamba River at an altitude of 2600 meters. The first day of the trek, the walk will be rather easy and will be a good warm-up for the following days. After a short walk, we will discover the first archaeological site of the trek: Llactapata, an agricultural center with large Inca terraces. We will take this opportunity to have our first meal, before continuing our walk. We will go up the river of Cusichaca to the village of Wayllabamba (3000 meters of altitude), then we will join Yuncachimpa (3300 meters), where we will spend our first night in camp, with a magnificent view on the majestic Nevado de Verónica.
Difficulty level : medium
Time of walking : 7 hours
Distance : 12 km approximately
Elevation : Cusco (3400 m) - km 82 (2600 m) - Llactapata (2650 m) - Wayllbamba (3000 m) - Yuncachimpa (3350 m)
The second day will be marked by steep drops, each of which will rise at its own pace, we will take many breaks. Early in the morning we will walk through the Llulluchapampa Valley (3850m). The first 3 kilometers, you will appreciate the wooded and humid region, rocked by the sound of the water. The trail will climb slightly through beautiful subtropical vegetation. The slope will then become steeper and the forests will gradually give way the bare landscapes of the "puna" altitude. We will climb gently to the Warmiwañusca Pass (4200 meters, the "Pass of the Dead Woman" in Quechua). This climb is known as the most grueling of all the Inca Trail and will require a significant physical effort.
After a short break, we will descend to the other side, up to the Pacaymayo River Valley (3500 meters), before starting to climb again to the archaeological site of Runkurakay (3950 meters). Perched on a rocky outcrop, this site served as a watchtower and tambo (relay) to the Chasquis (the Inca messengers). We continue the climb to the second pass, 3950 meters above sea level, before descending to the remains of Sayacmarca (3600 meters), a small city composed of a labyrinth of alleyways, squares, houses, terraces, fountains, etc. We will quickly reach the location of our second camp at Chaquicocha, 3650 meters above sea level with a splendid view of the mountains. After an excellent dinner prepared by our cooks, it will be time for a well deserved rest!
Level of difficulty: Difficult
Time of walking: 8 hours
Distance: 15 km approximately
Elevation : Yuncachimpa (3350 m) - Col de Warmihuañusca (4200 m) - Pacaymayu (3500 m) - Col de Runkuralay (3950 m) - Chaquicocha (3650 m)
This third day will be the most beautiful of the trek. You will witness the change of the ecosystem throughout your walk in the rainforest of Wiñaywayna. We will also walk along two lovely little lakes (3900m). We will start the day with a quiet climb and we will cross an Inca tunnel of about twenty meters, then we will cross a forest, before reaching the last pass, at 3700 meters above sea level. Below, the ruins of Phuyupatamarca: the "City above the clouds" (3600m), relay Inca, impresses by its circular walls and its ingenious system of aqueducts which still feeds the baths. We can enjoy a beautiful view of the snow-capped peaks and the Urubamba Valley.
The descent on the other side is under a thick bamboo roof. In the distance will appear the extraordinary ruins of Wiñay Wayna "Eternally young" (2700m) on a rocky spur in the heart of the forest and overlooking the valley of the Urubamba. Dominated by a vast set of Inca terraces, the urban complex is separated in two by a grand staircase that leads to the place of ceremony. The zig-zag stairs will take us to our last campsite.
Difficulty level : medium
Time of walking : 5 hours
Distance: 9 km approximately
Elevation : Chaquicocha (3650 m) - Phuyupatamarca (3600 m) - Wiñayhuayna (2700 m)
Departure will be before dawn, very slowly, with the flashlight, to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) located at 2700 meters altitude where you will have breakfast. From here you will have a panoramic view of Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu. We will end this unforgettable hike by taking advantage of the sunrise on the sacred site of Machu Picchu that will make us understand all the meaning and strength of worship that the Incas gave to the Sun God. It is a magical moment that can only be appreciated after the pilgrimage that we have just made in the footsteps of the Incas. After this memorable moment, we will descend to the actual site of Machu Picchu (2400 meters altitude), where our guide will make us visit and explain to us how was the life in the citadel, as well as the cults and ceremonies that realized the Incas in the many temples and sacred places present on the site. After 2 hours of guided tour, you can see the sanctuary of Machu Picchu, at your own pace. We will join Aguas Calientes in the afternoon where you can relax peacefully in the natural hot water baths. Afterwards, we will take the train back to Ollantaytambo, and the shuttle from the agency will take you back to your hotel in Cusco.
Difficulty level : medium
Time of walking : 2-3 hours
Distance: 5 km approximately
Elevation : WiñayWayna (2700 m) - Machu Picchu (2400 m) - Cusco (3400 m)
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO BRING
HOTEL & RESTAURANT
During the high season (May to August), we are subject to restrictions set by the Ministry of Culture, which provides us with passes for Mach Picchu, so the trek departure dates could be changed to one or two days past, we will then adapt the program so that you can make the most of it.
(1) Huayna Picchu mountain tour or Machu Picchu: To climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu, this requires a good time in advance. We take care of the booking and guarantee your entrance to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu. With, of course, an additional charge of $ 70.00 in addition to the entrance to Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail, according to the regulation of the Ministry of Culture (this new law came into force on July 18, 2011).
(2) Additional carrier : According to the law (26702) of the Ministry of Employment, the collaboration of an additional bearer will be granted at the request of the customer. However, the customer's luggage must not exceed 12 kilograms. The service costs USD 140 and includes transportation, entrance to the Inca Trail, food and camping equipment.
(3) Gratuities : For guides (and possible porters) are always welcome.
(4) Student card : To qualify for the $ 20.00 student discount, you must have a valid ISIC student card when booking - not just when you arrive in Cusco! The validity must correspond to the whole year in progress. When booking, we will need a copy of your card. The Ministry of Culture is strict when regulating student cards.
(5) CANCELLATION : For any last minute cancellation, the expenses already made by the agency will be at your expense. (See the terms and conditions)