Cusco, Machu Picchu and Inca Trail in 8 days

Itinerary

Cusco, Machu Picchu and Inca Trail in 8 days

Once in Lima, we’ll transfer to a national flight to Cusco (11,154ft/3.400m), trying to choose a flight around 9:30am arriving by midday. All members will be met at the airport and transported to the hotel. Rest and relaxation will be in order, focusing on acclimatization. The team will meet at 6pm for a briefing on what to expect in the coming days (-/-/-)

An exciting cultural touring day, we’ll first visit the local ruins of Sacsayhuaman on the way out of town. We’ll travel on to the Sacred Valley where we will tour the famous Pisac market, a good place to purchase local crafts and goods. Our last cultural visit in the Sacred Valley will be Ollantaytambo, which sits above the town in a beautiful setting. We’ll overnight in a hotel here, close to our departure point for the Machu Picchu trek (B/-/-)

We depart from Ollantaytambo early in the morning after breakfast. The transportation will drop us at km 82, the starting point of the Inca Trail. We start our hike walking along the left shore of the Urubamba River, following the trail along a flat terrain, we arrive in Miskay (9,184ft/2.800m), to then ascend and finally see, from the tallest part of an overlook, the Inca city of Llactapata (9,020ft/2.750m). From this point, we descend to the ruins, next to which we set our camp, after an approximated 3 hour walk. We spend the afternoon exploring and visiting this archaeological site. Overnight in the Camp (B/BL/D)

We wake up early, get breakfast and continue trekking along the valley created by the Kusichaca River, gradually climbing until we reach the farming community of Wayllabamba (9,840ft/3.000m). All along the way we see spectacular views of the Vilcanota mountain range on the opposite side of the Urubamba River, where the impressive Veronica peak reigns at 19,129ft/5.830m. Not to mention the diversity of wild flora and fauna that can be found all along the valley. Continuing through the trail, we leave Wayllabamba behind to begin the most difficult part of the trek, which consists of an abrupt and steep ascent that stretches for 5-6 mile (7 km) and reaches the first mountain pass in the Inca Trail, the Abra Wuarmihuañusca (Dead Woman’s pass). We only climb half way up the pass, stopping at Llullchapamba, where we camp and spend the night. Along the trek, the landscape changes from sierra to puna (a dry and high area with little vegetation), having the chance to spot domesticated llamas and alpacas grazing on ichu (highland straw), one of the few plants that grow at that altitude. We also cross an area called cloud forest, which is the habitat for many different kinds of birds like hummingbirds and sparrows and the Andean bear, which is also called the Spectacled Bear. We advise that on this day and the next one specially, your day pack is well stocked with candies, chocolates and coca leaves that will keep your sugar level high, and help with altitude sickness. The total hike today will be around 6 to 7 hours and around 7 miles (10 km). Overnight in the camp (B/BL/D)

After breakfast, we continue our hike up the highest point in the Inca Trail, reaching the mountain pass of Abra Wuarmihuañusca (Dead Woman’s Pass at 13,776ft/4.200m) after about 2 hours. Immediately after the pass, we descend into the Pacaymayo valley (11,808ft/3.600m), from which we then start to climb to the second pass, the Abra Runkurakay (13,022ft/3.975m). Half way up, we visit the archaeological complex with the same name. This site, located at 12,464ft/3.800m, consists of a small oval structure that is believed to have served the purpose of a watchtower. After going over the pass, we descend towards Yanacocha (Black Lagoon) and enter the cloud forest to finally arrive at Sayacmarca (11,887ft/3.625m). This is a beautiful complex made up of a semicircular construction, enclosures at different levels, narrow streets, liturgical fountains, patios and irrigation canals. Continuing up an easy climb, we arrive at the third pass, the Abra Phuyupatamarca (12,136ft/3.700m). Along this hike we can appreciate the magnitude of the Incas´ ancient craft, by walking along paths semi-detached from the mountain, and seeing rocks that fill up ravines in perfect order, saving the trail from the multileveled Andean geography. We go through an Inca tunnel to later arrive at the aforementioned pass and down to the complex of the same name. This is one of the most complete and best preserved archaeological complexes along the Inca Trail to Mach Picchu, and is located on the highest point of a mountain. Curiously, Phuyupatamarca means town over the clouds, from above, it is possible to observe a sophisticated sacred complex made up of water fountains with solid foundations, and also impressive views of the Urubamba River valley. We set our camp in Phuyupatamarca. The Total distance for today will be about 9 miles (12 km) and around 8-9 hour hike. Overnight in tents (B/BL/D)

Today, we might have the chance to appreciate one of the most spectacular sunrises in the Inca Trail, provided the sky is clear, as Phuyupatamarca´s location offers awesome views at this moment of the day. We then start our way through the long descending stone steps which will lead us to Wiñay Wayna (8,692ft/2.650m), where we find a campsite equipped with a restaurant, bar and bathrooms with hot showers. The campsite has the same name as the complex located only five minutes away from the lodge. Wiñay Wayna is the biggest archaeological site in the Inca Trail besides Machu Picchu and consists of an impressive complex made up of an agricultural center with numerous terraces, a religious sector and an urban sector, offering spectacular views over the already narrower Urubamba River valley. After our visit, we leave Wiñay Wayna to hike to Intipunku, or The Sun Gate. This will take an hour of hiking along a trail of flat stones on the edges of cliffs in highland jungle. From this fabulous spot, we may enjoy spectacular views over the sacred Complex of Machu Picchu, until here we will be walking for about 6 miles (8 km) and 5 to 6 hours. Beside we will visit the Inca Complex, in the Temple of the Sun, where their main trade is observed, then the Intihuatana, the sacred rock group, the Temple of the Three Windows, the mausoleum, among other places of interest for tourists. This will give the tourist free time to take photos, scroll on their own wherever their interests are, and drive back to the Hotel in Aguas Calientes. Overnight in the hotel (B/-/-)

We will leave early in the morning our hotel in Aguas Calientes, this time with the whole group, after breakfast and drive up again to Machu Picchu by tourist bus. We will enter the Inca Complex around 6:00 am, so as to enjoy the sunrise on the site. After a guided tour of the archaeological area, including information about the life and customs of the Incas, we will have enough time to enjoy Machu Picchu, we will use time until noon and even climb the Huayna Picchu, and after that we will drive down to Aguas Calientes, leave Aguas Calientes by train. While waiting for the train, we will have the time to have lunch in one of the restaurants of the town. In addition, we can enjoy the hot springs in Aguas Calientes to relax before our departure to Cusco. Overnight in the hotel (B/-/-)

Transfer from the hotel to the airport (B/-/-)

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Cusco, Machu Picchu and Inca Trail in 8 days

Airport pick-up and drop-off to and from hotels
2 nights hotel in Cusco (Double room)
1 night hotel in Ollantaytambo (Double room)
1 night hotel in Aguas Calientes (Double room)
Service of a professional bilingual tour guide
Sacred Valley Tour (touristic bus and professional guide)
Buffet lunch in Sacred Valley tour
Service of porter (to carry all the camping equipment)
Service of porter (to carry 7 kilos of the personal equipment of each passenger)
Transportation to Kilometer 82 (start of Inca Trail)
Train and bus back to Cusco after Inca Trail trek
Water during the trek
Bus ticket from Machupicchu - Aguas Calientes
Bus ticket up and down from Aguas Calientes - Machupicchu - Aguas Calientes
Duffel bag for your personal items (to be carried by porter)
Permits and entry fees for the Sacred Valley tour
Permits and entry fees for Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
Fees to Huayna Picchu
All meals signed above with B: Breakfast, BL: Box lunch and D: Dinner
Dining tent with tables and chairs 2 person tent and basic sleeping mat
Oxygen bottles for emergencies
Government Tax, office service charge and booking fees
International airfare & Lima to Cusco
Travel and medical insurance & emergency evacuation insurance
Meals in the cities (Lima, Cusco, Aguas Calientes etc.)
Tips
Single supplement
Single Tent
Sleeping bag
Walking Sticks
Inflatable Mattress

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