The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of the most famous trekking routes in the world and just one example of the approximate 40000 kilometres of roads built by the Incas some 500 years ago! Inca road roads were built across the deserts, highlands and jungles stretching from Colombia in the north to Chile in the south! The Traditional or Classic Inca Trail tour starts in the Sacred Valley and finishes in a jungle region going through a range of vegetation types in route. The Classic Inca Trail trek is a once in a lifetime experience, never to be forgotten. Check out our porter welfare information.
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Day 1.- Cusco – Ollantaytambo – KM 82 – Llactapata – Wayllabamba
You will be picked up from your Cusco hotel early in the morning in private transport. You should have breakfast in your hotel or bring some snacks. We will stop in Ollantaytambo for last minute purchases, plus an opportunity for breakfast if you wish. We will continue to Pisacucho (also known as Kilometre 82) where the trail starts. On arrival at Kilometre82, it is necessary to show entrance tickets, passports and (if paying a student rate) student card. Crossing the Urubamba river we begin our trek through typical dry forest growing cacti, prickly pears and the Tara tree. We will walk around 3 hours (6kms) to Llactapata the first archaeological site on our journey. 4 kilometres of gentle uphill through farmland takes us to Wayllabamba and our campsite for the night.
Day 2.- Wayllabamba – Llulluchapampa – Pacaymayo
This is generally considered the most challenging day of the trek. We will wake early in order to get a good start. Leaving small villages and farmland we will enter the sub tropical forest and lunch around Llulluchapampa. From here we will start a steep ascent towards the highest pass (Abra de Huarmihuañusca/’Dead Woman’s Pass’ – 4200m/13779ft). There is an amazing sense of achievement upon reaching the top. We will continue downwards 600ms (1980 feet) over 3 kms (1.8 miles) through very humid forest to the evening campsite of Pacaymayo.
Day 3.- Pacaymayo – Sayakmarka – Phuyupatamarca – Wiñay Wayna
After another early breakfast we will walk to the beautiful Inka site of Runkurakay one of the check points and the beginnings of the original royal Inca trail to Machu Picchu. We will continue on to Sayakmarka one of the most beautiful Inka remains on this, the Classic Inca trail. After lunch we trek through some very beautiful scenery ,with, the entrance to the cloud forest and the fabulous examples of orchids and humming birds we will walk for another hour to Phuyupatamarca (meaning ‘Town in the Clouds’) and to reach the third highest point on the trail (3680m). There are also wonderful views of Salkantay Mountain. From here we have 3 hours of downhill into the forest and Wiñay Wayna and our camp for the evening. This is the most popular campsite with access to hot showers and a cold beer. A short distance from this campsite is located the Inca site of the same name ‘Wiñay Wayna’ (‘Forever Young’). Even if you are tired after your day’s trek, don’t miss out on visiting the most impressive site on the trail. Make sure you ask your guide about visiting this site!
Day 4 WiñayWayna – IntiPunku – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes – Cusco
We will rise very early on this day in order to arrive at the (‘Sun gate’) (2730m/8792ft) before sunrise. This early morning hike is the final part of the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and from the Sun Gate you have your first view of the mysterious and enigmatic Machu Picchu. After some time there, we will walk down the last part of the trail to the spot where you can take the classic photo (picture postcard shot) of this ancient city. Finally we visit Machu Picchu itself! A walking tour (approximately 2.5 hours) is given by your guide and after this you can explore the mysterious city by yourselves. If you still have energy you can also climb Huayna Picchu (2720m/8923ft)!!! It takes 45 minutes to reach the top. (New system requires permit purchased separately) You will meet your guide in Aguas Calientes (it can be reached by bus or on foot) for lunch and to be given your train tickets back to Cusco. Note: The train included in all tours is the Backpacker service (to Ollantaytambo) and then bus to Cusco. For those who wish a more flexible train timetable, you might like to upgrade to a Vistadome train. This is an extra $30 per person and must be nominated AT BOOKING.