|Trip Length||4||Trip Code||SA - VV - 09|
|Tour Group||2 - 16||Age Range||open age|
Classic Inca Trail 4: Tour Information
Hike the famous Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail offers the traveller a wonderful combination of scenery including magnificent mountains, fauna and flora, subtropical vegetation and the amazing Inca ruins.
Hike along the Urubamba River, up through valleys and over mountain passes as you wind your way through spectacular cloud forest to reach the ancient Inca Ruins of Machu Picchu. Following the footsteps of the ancient Incas you will be amazed and intrigued to learn from your expert guide all there is to know about this mysterious race. On the morning of the fourth day you will arrive at the Inca Sun Gate and will be rewarded with your first view of the magnificent lost city of the Incas, Machu Picchu. Enjoy a guided tour of the ruins and some time at leisure before returning to Cusco.
Day 1: Cusco (3,350m) – Km82 (2,800m) – Wayllabamba (3,000m)
Early morning rise. Our guide will pick you up from your hotel and we drive to the start of the trail (approx. 2 hours) taking you through the Sacred Valley to Ollantaytambo where we stop to take a break. We continue onwards to Km82 - the start of the trail. Here we enjoy the view of Veronica Snow Mountain (5,720m). We then commence walking for about 3 hours, whereafter we take lunch close to Llactapata Ruins and then continue our trek through lush farmland and woodlands to our first camp at Wayllabamba. (Lunch, Dinner)
Day 2: Wayllabamba – Warmiwañusca (4,200m) – Pacaymayo (3,600m)
After breakfast, we begin to walk the toughest part of the trail. After 3 hours walking we reach the highest point in the Inca Trail, Warmiwañusca, or more commonly known as Dead Woman’s Pass (4,200m), where you have a beautiful panoramic view of the area. After lunch we continue down to Pacaymayo where we set up camp and have a nutritious dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3: Pacaymayo – Phuya Patamarka (3,600m) – Wiñay Huayna (2,700m)
Today we ascend towards the second most important pass on the trail which lies at 4,000m. We reach the Inca Ruins of Runkurakay and the Inca citadel of Sayacmarca. We continue trekking towards Puya Patamarka (Cloud-level town), another important archaeological monument, where lunch will be served. After a short break we continue walking to Wiñay Huayna (Forever Young), a beautiful Inca construction. We camp near to the ruins and have well deserved nutritious dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4: Wiñay Huayna – Machupicchu (2,500m) – Cusco
A very early start after breakfast in order that we can arrive in time for sunrise at Machupicchu. We walk for about an hour through the forest before arriving at the Inti Punku (the Sun Gate), where we will have our first inspiring view of Machupicchu. We admire the view before setting off for the short walk into the ruins. There will be a 2 hour fully guided tour around the ruins, visiting the main sites and monuments. After the tour you will have free time to wander around and explore by yourself. In the afternoon we take the train back to Cusco, where you will be transferred back to your hotel. (Breakfast)
NOTE ABOUT CAMPSITES ON THE INCA TRAIL
Please note that we are not in control of the campsites we are issued with from the Institute of National Culture. In general your campsite allocation is dependent on how early you book, or rather, how many permits are left. The first 250 spaces are generally given to Winay Wayna (3rd campsite) and thereafter you will have a longer walk to Machupicchu on the last day and it could mean you do not make it for sunrise. Do not let this disappoint you as Machupicchu is marvellous in itself!
Day 1: CUSCO- PISKACUCHO KM 82- PATALLAQTA- CUSICHAKA- WAYLLABAMBA.(CAMPING) Vamos Amigos !!
Early pick-up from 5:00 am at your hotel, by 5:30 we board our private transportation. Make sure you carry your original passport and ISIC card if applicable. Our journey from Cusco to Piscacucho takes approximately 3 hours, beautiful views of the Sacred Valley, the Urubamba River, Andean towns, and the Inca town of Ollantaytambo. Along the way, we will stop to stretch our legs, use the bathroom, and enjoy a small breakfast, before continuing on to Piscacucho (2,680 m / 8,790 ft) start of the hike. There we will meet our camp crew and porters who will carry our belongings during our 35-mile hike (43 Km). Passports in hand, We clear the official Inca Trail check point, cross a suspension footbridge across the Urubamba River, and begin our trek with a gentle climb. We have three hours on relatively level terrain as we follow the course of the river, rewarded with superb views of Mount Veronica (5,750 m). The easy walk passes through a forest of giant cactus and native bushes. At Miskay we take the trail to the left, ascending gradually to Willkaraccay high above the mouth of the Cusichaca River and across from the Inca town of Llactapata (Terrace Town). Our vantage point is from a flat bluff above the extensive site, which was built as a fort because it commands the entrance to the Cusichaca Valley. The terracing system was used during Inca times for growing maize, a prestige crop that needed irrigation in the dry highlands. After a short rest, we continue another 15 minutes down to our lunch site at Tayaroc. Our path is adorned with native flowers and bromeliads growing in the boulders along the left side, and by majestic views of the mountains in both valleys. Walking times are always approximate, depending on weather conditions, group ability and other factors. After lunch, another 3-4 hours will bring us to the village of Wayllabamba (3,000 m / 9,840 ft), You will be rewarded with a Macho Tea hot drink and a buffet dinner will be offered. Guides will present our plans for the next great day. Have a good night. Buenas Noches!!!
Maximum Altitude:3,000 m/10,824 ft
Minimum Altitude:2,680 m/8,790 ft
Distance Travelled:12 km approx
Approximate Walking Time:6-7 hours / Ascent up: 620 m
Day 2: WAYLLABAMBA- AYAPATA- LLULLUCHAYOQ- DEAD WOMAN´S PASS- PACAYMAYO- (CAMPING),
After breakfast, around 8:00 am we re-start our walk from camp to Ayapata valley first, it takes around 1 hour followed by a soft uphill climb through woods and along a stream (3,300 m / 10,824 ft) Today is our great challenge day but with plenty of time to enjoy, it is the biggest climb of our hike, strenuous because you gain 1,200 meters in elevation planned in 2 stages, but it is rewarded with spectacular views up the mountain, partly it is an old inca Stone steps, surrounding with impressive snow-covered peaks as (Apu Huayanay mountain in our back). You will take 2-3 hour hike with several stops to catch your breath to reach the lunch place at Llulluchapampa Valley with expectacular views around, along the trail, we ascend steeply uphill through the Corralpunku Valley to the Llulluchayoc Zone, where you can see some species of birds, withith luck we will see tinny hummingbirds, falcons and black-chested buzzard eagles or perhaps we see the king of the andean heights the Condor, so respected and venerated at andean towns. We will soon enter into a beautiful cloud forest, or polylepis woodland (QeuĂ±as and Chachacomos small andean trees) and the treeless grasslands of the puna regiĂłn, habitad of tarucas and pumas. From here, you can see the highest mountain ahead called dead womanÂ´s pass. At Llulluchapampa our camp crew will be waiting for us with a delicious Peruvian lunch. After lunch there is a time to rest maybe a short nap. After lunch we continue our hike for another 2-3 hours -600 meter ascent up to the top of the mountain, WarmiwaĂ±usca mt. (Dead Womanâ€™s Pass) located at 4,200 meter /13,776 feet. Here you will discover a special feelings at this top maybe the sacrality of this point or just you coping with lack of oxygen in your brain. The path still climbs along a large number of steps, some of them newly laid to protect the mountain from erosion. You can walk at your own pace, stopping to catch your breath whenever you like. This last hard climb brings us to Dead Womanâ€™s Passâ€¦ you made it !!! Once the full group reaches this pass, we take a short rest break before beginning a steep descent into the Pacaymayo Valley for 2-3 hrs approx to reach our camp for tonight. This site has an incredible view over a valley, nearby waterfall and snow-covered peaks. You will find that your energy returns as we proceed along this downhill segment. Camping set, Tea time and Buffet Dinner. You are free to walk in you own pace. This campsite is popular with tour groups and although facilities here are reasonable good, with two toilets blocks. No showers, hot water buckets are offered for washing.
Maximum Altitude:4,200 m/13,776 ft
Minimum Altitude:3,000 m/9,840 ft
Distance Travelled:12 km approx
Approximate Walking Time:7-8 hours / Ascent up: 900 m
Day 3: RUNKURAKAY- SAYAQMARKA- CHAKICOCHA- AOBAMBA- PHUYUPATAMARKA- INTIPATA- WIŃAYWAYNA (CAMPING)
After breakfast, around 7:00 am. The path climbs very steeply from Pacaymayo camp in a well preserved paved path â€“Camino Inca and takes 1 hour to reach the ruins at Runcuracay, a circular structure with a rectangular outbuildings perched on the edge of the valley, an old Inca -tambo where chaskis rested, guard post, lookout point or a ritual building, the site is best viewed from higher up the path. The second pass (3,950 m / 12,956 ft) called as well as Abra de Runcuracay, is another hour up, beyond a series of false summits and at the top of a series of steep staircases. Just before the real pass, the path winds between two tarns where Andean gulls sometimes gather. The second pass is another broad saddle, boasting excentional views, in clear weather, you can look back to the Dead Womanâ€™s Pass and forward to a breath-taking sweep of snow-capped peaks. These include the 6,000-meters Pumasillo (Pumaâ€™s Claw) massif. From here, most of the trail is downhill. Having descended through a short tunnel the trail begins a series of tight switchbacks, dropping height quickly until it reaches a small viewpoint atop a promontory. Beyond here descend is more gradual and the path curls and coils across the slopes. To the right on the pass lies a large, algae-covered lake, whilst ahead of you Sayacmarca Inca town is visible. Time to explore, learn interesting lectures from your guides, after on we continue descending and the path bring us to Chakicocha (3,400 m / 11,000 ft) nice camp where we stop to rest and lunch. There are toilet facilities. From here after lunch the hike is exceptionally beautiful because we will pass the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, then we descend to WiĂ±aywayna and Intipata, and enjoy dramatic vistas of the Aobamba Valley. This stretch of the trail is of well-kept paved stone, still in great condition after many centuries. Your lungs will appreciate the fact that todayâ€™s hike is much more down than up, and significantly shorter than yesterdayâ€™s. In getting to Phuyupatamarca (the Town of the Clouds), we will pass through the first of two short, natural tunnels in the mountains. After visiting this site, we will descend about 2,000 stone steps to WiĂ±aywayna. If you have not had any knee problems up to this point, you may after this descent. If you have had prior knee injuries, we recommend hire a porter for your belongings, use trekking poles to relieve some of the stress on your joints. There is an additional short hike to Intipata another imponent Inca site with farming terraces before we get to our camp site for the night. Around 5 pm, we will arrive to our camp at WiĂ±aywayna (2,700 m / 8,856 ft), once set in our tents and before it get dark we hike for 5 minutes to have an espectacular views and a tour around this site, the most preserved and biggest Inca site among the other sites on Inca Trail. There will also be many more trekkers gathering here in thsi camp, ready for the final hike into Machu Picchu tomorrow. We therefore recommend taking extra care of your personal belongings here. Keep an eye on your daypacks and donâ€™t leave anything outside your tent at night. Tea time and Buffet Dinner. Please note that the hostel that for decades existed here is closed. Cold showers, no drinks and basic toilets.
Maximum Altitude:3,750 m/ 12,300 ft
Minimum Altitude:2,700 m/8,856 ft
Distance Travelled:16 Km approx.
Approximate Walking Time:7-8 hours / Descent : 700 m
Day 4: WIŃAYWAYNA- INTUPINKU - MACHUPICCHU (HUAYNAPICCHU) -CUSCO.
We will get up very early -around 4:00 am -to get to Inti Punku (the Sun Gate), overlooking Machu Picchu for the first rays of the sunrise. This will be a hike of 1-2 hours, with significant upward stretches in the last half. You will be hiking in darkness for one hour, so a head lamp is strongly recommended please follow instructions of your guides and watch out your steps. From Inti Punku (the Sun Gate), a final easy 50-minutes walk downhill steps will bring us first to the upper south sector of Machupicchu (The Guardian houses) The trail ends at a series of terraces, which present classic views of the overall city, after enjoying a panoramic view we must walk straight down to the entrance of Machu Picchu. (backpacks storage for 5 Soles available at the gate.) Few minutes later we will continue on to explore the site, with explanations provided by the trek guide(s). The formal tour will end in the late morning, after which there will be a couple of hours for more exploring on your own, or to just collapse under a tree in the central plaza area.
Additional Options: If your legs, lungs and energy still hold up after our four days of hiking, it may be possible to climb the peak of Huayna Picchu, behind the main site. However, special permits are required and they are issued in limited quantities. So if you are interested please book and pay in advance for this Ticket and request for the 2nd turn at 11:00 am, otherwise you may instead hike to the Inca Bridge or do others walks around Machupicchu.
In the early afternoon, bus to Aguas Calientes and lunch will be provided at â€śLos Viajerosâ€ť hostel down in the town of Aguas Calientes. There you will also be able to store your backpack, take a shower and/or look around the town a bit before catching the train back to Cuzco. Arrival to Cusco is generally around 8-8.30pm.
Maximum Altitude:2,700 m / 8,856 ft
Minimum Altitude:2,400 m / 7,872 ft ( Machupicchu )
Distance Travelled:8 Km approx plus exploration of Machu Picchu
Approximate Walking Time:6-7 hours / Descent : 300 m
Local Tour Payments (LTP) or a Kitty payment, if stated is paid direct to your tour leader / crew on day 1.