The last Inca capital was established in the region of Vilcabamba, complex and inaccessible, because of the civil wars of the XV century. Vilcabamba was dominated by Manco Inca after the Spanish invasion; it was one of the administrative centers built in honor of the emperors of the last Incan dynasty in exile from Manco Inca to Tupac Amaru. They created a Neo Imperial state in order to preserve religious and astronomical knowledge while respecting the traditions of other pre-Incan cultures.
Vilcabamba is located northwest of Cusco, in the Eastern Cordillera Andes, between glaciers and high jungle, and bounded by two deep canyons: Apurímac on the left, and Willcamayu on the right. At the bottom of each, runs a torrential river that has carved for centuries one of the most beautiful and spectacular Andean landscapes.
We will leave Cusco at 5:30 in the morning towards the village of Cachora (2850m), a beautiful place surrounded by mountains and the majestic glacier Padreyoc (5571m). We will also meet the muleteers who will accompany us throughout the circuit. After passing Capuliyoc (2800m), we will continue the descent to our campsite Chiquisca (1930m).
Time of walking : 6 hours
Climate : hot
Elevation : Cusco (3400 m) - Cachora (2850 m) - Chuiquisca (1930 m)
After breakfast, we will start a descent of about 30 minutes to Playa Rosalína (1550m), then we will climb to Marampata (2850m), where we will await a superb panorama of the archaeological site of Choquequirao (3033m). We can sometimes observe the flight of the condor in the mountains of Vilcabamba. Camping 25 minutes from the site of Choquequirao.
Time of walking: 7 hours
Climate : hot and cold
Elevation : Chuiquisca (1930 m) - Playa Rosalina (1550 m) - Marampata (2850 m) - Choquequirao (3033 m)
C’est au lever du jour que nous visiterons le site archéologique de Choquequirao, « le berceau d’or » (3033m). Nous explorerons ce site archéologique, dont 30 % a été restauré. Nous visiterons la section des palais, les fontaines, le temple de l’homme d’Eglise, la section de lamas et l’Usnu. Puis, notre circuit continuera au col de Choquequirao (3270m) et nous passerons le site archéologique de Pinchaunuyoc (2450m). Finalement, nous descendrons au point le plus profond de la lagune de Río Blanco (1900m) ou Río Silvestre, où nous passerons la nuit.
Temps de marche: 6 heures
Climat : chaud avec des moustiques.
Dénivelé : Choquequirao (3033 m) - Col de Choquequirao (3270 m) - Rio Blanco (1900 m)
It is both the most arduous and spectacular day with its multiple ecosystems. In Maizal (3000m) we will take a break to enjoy this wonderful landscape. The Inca Trail is a little damaged by erosion due to heavy rainfall. In San Juan (4170m), we will enjoy the beautiful views of the landscape (valleys, mountains and glaciers). Our campsite is located in the small village of Yanama (3530m).
Time of walking: 5 hours
Climate : hot and cold with mosquitos
Elevation : Rio Blanco (1900 m) - Maizal (3000 m) - Yanama (3530m)
We will drive in the morning to the highest pass of this expedition "Yanama" (4670m). If we are lucky we will be able to see the theft of a condor. During the day we enjoy views of the snow-capped mountains like Salkantay (6264m) and Pintuyu (5450m). Our campsite is located in the Totora pampa valley (3200m).
Time of walking : 8 hours
Climate : hot with mosquitos
Elevation: Yanama (4670 m) – Yanama pass (4670 m) - Totorapampa (3200 m)
At Totora Pampa we will contact Andin Quechua. Agriculture and livestock are the main activities, which explains the wide variety of quality products: tubers, fruit trees, coffee, etc. The vegetation is more and more luxuriant and we will be able to identify some species of flora. We stay in La Playa (2100m) or in Lucmabamba (2020m).
Time of walking : 7 hours
Climate : hot with mosquitos
Elevation : Totorapampa (3200 m) - La Playa (2100 m) - Lucmabamba (2020 m)
Remark: The entrance to the thermal waters of Santa Teresa (1830m) is optional, the itinerary can be modified by mutual agreement with the group.
It is early in the morning that we will take the Inca Trail from Lucmabamba to Llactapata (2650m) where we will explore the archaeological ruins melted in the vegetation with a breathtaking view of the Machu Picchu mountain. We will then descend to Hidroeléctrica (1930m) where we will have to take the train to Aguas Calientes (2050m). We will sleep in a hotel.
Time of walking: 6 hours.
Climate : hot
Elevation : La Playa (2100 m) - Llactapata (2650 m) - Hidroeléctrica (1930m) - Aguas Calientes (2050 m)
We will leave the hotel after breakfast at 5.30 am and drive to Machu Picchu (2400m). We will arrive at the Inca city at 06:00. After a guided tour of the archaeological site (including information about life and culture of the Incas), you will have time to explore Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu. We will leave Aguas Calientes by train at 14h55 or 18h20. Until you leave, you will have time to have lunch in one of the beautiful restaurants. Or you can enjoy the thermal baths of Aguas Calientes, to relax.
Time of walking : 2 hours
Time of transport : 4h30
Elevation : Aguas Calientes (2050 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)