Peru’s most famous trek, visited by thousands of touristseach year and for some the sole purpose of their visit to this country. It is considered among one of the most spectacular treks in the world due to its beautiful surroundings that include different ecological environments, from highland desert to the cloud forests. Trekking this impressive Inca trail will lead us through various mysterious archaeological sites, partly covered by dense forests until we reach Machu Picchu citadel. This is the classic Inca Trail, which includes a visit to Inca archaeological centers, mountain range views, the observation of flora and fauna and the arrival to the cloud forest. What more could you ask for?
DAY 1: CUSCO TO HUAYLLABAMBA
Pick up from the hotel in Cusco or the Sacred Valley early morning. We will drive to Piskacuchu, a community located on Km 82 of the Cusco – Machu Picchu railway, the Inca Trail begins here.
We will start off by crossing a bridge over the Urubamba River and following a fairly flat path by its left side until we reach Miskay, from this point it is uphill all the way to the impressive Inca city of Llactapata. We will continue through the valley of the Kusichaca River, to gradually hike on a moderate slope for about 5 hours until we reach Huayllabamba. We will be camping here for the night. During this trek you will be spoilt by spectacular mountain views of Urubamba and enjoy the wonderful variety of flora and fauna, as well as the beautiful Verónica snow peak, which with its 5,832 msnm / 19,134 ft, is the region´s highest.
DAY 2: FROM HUAYLLABAMBA TO PACAYMAYO
Breakfast will be served around 6am, make sure you eat plenty as today will be the most challenging day of the trek. It consists of a steep uphill slope that covers 9 km. taking us from Sierra to Puna, making this the highest point of the entire trek (4,200 msnm / 13,780 ft). Immediately after the mountain pass, we will descend to Pacaymayo valley were our camp will be prepared.
DAY 3: PACAYMAYO TO WIÑAYWAYNA
This is the longest day but also the most impressive and interesting due to the number of archaeological complexes and the cloud forest that we will cross. From Pacaymayo it is uphill all the way until we reach the ruins of Runkurakay. This archaeological site has an oval structure and is said to have been used as an observation tower. After the mountain pass, we descend to Yanacocha and enter into the cloud forest finally arriving at the comlpex of Sayacmarca. We will continue with a moderate uphill hike until we reach Phuyupatamarca mountain pass. During this part of the trek you will see the sheer magnificence of the Incas, walking along practically hanged paths on the mountains, passing through an Inca tunnel. This is one of the most well preserved sites and is located on the highest part of the mountain. Interestingly, Phuyupatamarca means “tower over the clouds”.
From Phuyupatamarca we continue our descent along an Inca stairway that will lead us to Wiñaywayna, an impressive archaeological center surrounded by agricultural terraces, with both religious and urban section. Nearby we will set up camp for our last night. This campsite provides bathrooms with hot showers, a visit to the ruins and even a bar where you can relax after enjoying your dinner.
DAY 4: WIÑAYWAYNA TO MACHU PICCHU
An early start to the last day, wake up call will be at 4am. Leaving Wiñaywayna we will head towards Inti Punku or Sun Gate, arriving approx. 1hour later. The most spectacular views can be seen from the edge of the mountain side over the Cloud forest. From this point we will be able to enjoy the sunrise over Machu Picchu citadel.
From Intipunku we shall descend towards Machu Picchu arriving at the entrance 40 minutes later. Once at reception we will arrive at the check point, register and leave our packs. If you need the bathroom or to purchase any drinks or snacks now would be a good time to do so before beginning the 2 hour guided tour. On returning from the tour there will be enough time for you to explore the ruins at leisure and to climb the Huayna Picchu. The views from Huayna Picchu are absolutely breathtaking and you get the most amazing view of the whole citadel, the valley and the surrounding mountains. In the afternoon we will be taken by bus to Aguas Calientes and from here board the train back to Cusco or Ollantaytambo. Private transport will be arranged to take us back to the hotel.
Porters will be provided to carry all our equipment and the client’s personal belongings (these must not exceed the 6 kg (13 pounds), including sleeping bag and pad).
Since this trek can be quite a challenge, we recommend you to be in regular shape.
We recommend that you break-in your trekking boots/shoes beforehand to avoid discomfort and nasty blisters.
During the day the temperature is approximately 10°C (50°F), and can fall as low as -5 °C (23°f) during the evening. Depending of the time of the year it could also rain.