The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

(9 Opinions)
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Roger Ward

Lebanon

Our guide (German Cruz) and everyone associated with Explorandes made this an unforgettably great trip. My son and I enjoyed it tremendously. We really enjoyed the 5 day/4 night itinerary. My only “criticism” is that you fed us too well. We were expecting to have to supply ourselves with snacks during the day but the cooking staff more than supplied us with snacks and food. If we had known how well we would be provisioned we would have left some extra snacks at home and saved some space and weight.

15 February, 2019

Nicola Hodgson

United States

It was a truly amazing trip. Brilliantly organised, very well supported. Our guide Claudia was authoritative, motivating, kind and knowledgeable. We would absolutely recommend Explorandes to other people.

11 January, 2019

Ena Lee

United States

It was absolutely amazing. The guide and porters made everything so easy for us. The food was amazing, the guide was extremely knowledgeable, encouraging and helpful and the porters were so accommodating. Everything exceeded my expectations.

14 December, 2018

Robin Rietveldt

United States

High quality team, food, campsite, great route (not a lot of people around), great group size, mini inca and Machu Picchu at the end were phenomenal.

9 October, 2018

Christine Ward

United States

A trip of a lifetime! We loved every minute of every day.

7 October, 2018
1
Overview

Depart from Cusco on the 5-day journey which begins at Km 82, the start of the famous Inca Trail. Our highly trained guides, deeply familiar with the web of classic and lesser-known ancient Inca footpaths will expertly lead you through breathtaking high alpine passes, humbling valleys, dense cloud forests, and rushing rivers, past ancient Inca ruins and remote Andean settlements to ultimately arrive at Machu Picchu via Inti Punku (the Sun Gate), always a step behind the crowds.

Our team of porters and skilled cooks will await you at each campsite with a delicious hot meal and a comfortable place to rest your head each night, all the while leaving next to no impact on the land, communities, and environment en-route.

On the final day, visit the Machu Picchu citadel on a guided tour which brings to life the impressive ruins and lifestyle of its former inhabitants. As you return to Cusco, reflect on your newfound knowledge and unforgettable memories.

Duration

5 Days / 4 Nights

Season

March – January

The Inca Trail is closed in February

Group Departures

Every Wednesdays & Sundays

Private Departure:

On request  

Itinerary

Day 1Cusco/Ollantaytambo to Llaqtapata

As the sun rises, we embark our scenic 5-hour trek on a rarely visited section of the Inca Trail. The classic route crosses the Urubamba River at Km 82, however we follow the river downstream to cross at Km 88. By starting slightly later and taking a slightly different routes creates some space between our group and other trekkers.

Take a break for lunch at Q’oriwayrachina ruins before crossing the Urubamba River at Q’ente. Here you have the option to visit the archaeological sites of Wayna Q’ente and Llaqtapata. Tonights campsite is located amidst the nearby Inca terracing. (L/D)

Trekking time, approx 5-6 hours
Distance 11km

Day 2Lllaqtapata to Llulluchapampa

After a hearty breakfast hike the narrow Cusichaca Valley. Along the trail pass traditional houses until we reach the traditional Andean community of Huayllabamba.

From here the cobble-stone Inca Trail ascends steeply through ancient native forest exploding with the sounds of nature. After the first pass the trail begins to level out as we reach our campsite at Llulluchapampas. Admire the breathtaking views of Mt. Huayanay and a first glimpse of the rare Andean cloud forest of quenua trees (polilepsi). (B/L/D)

Trekking time, approx 6 hours
Distance 9km

Day 3Llulluchapampa to Phuyupatamarca

Leaving the campsite, the day begins with a steady uphill ascent to Warmiwanusqa Pass (also know as Dead Woman’s Pass) at a breathtaking altitude of 13,829ft (4215m). From the summit, soak up the rewarding views of the snowcapped Andes. Descend to the Pacaymayo River for a well deserved break and hearty lunch.

After lunch, ascend to Runkuraqay ruins and the second pass at 12,960ft (3950m). Continue downhill to the site of Sayacmarca at 12,300ft (3,750m) on the original Inca Trail, passing a dry lake and our first sightings of cloud forest. The walk along the ridge offers a leisurely respite from the day’s challenging ascents and long descents as well as incredible views of the beautiful Aobamba Valley. We continue along the ridge through amazing landscapes with views of spectacular Mt. Salkantay on the western side, as well as Mt. Pumasillo silhouetted on the horizon to the north.

We follow the stone trail until we arrive at Phuyupatamarca campsite, also known as “the village over the clouds.” (B/L/D)

Trekking time, approx 7-8 hours
Distance 14km

Day 4Phuyupatamarca to Machu Picchu

The day we’ve all been waiting for – Machu PIcchu.

Early, but not too early, we wake for a spectacular sunrise just a short hike uphill from our campsite. Here, our porters will be waiting for us with steaming hot cups of coca tea. This site is known to deliver some of the best sunrise views in the entire Machu Picchu Sanctuary.

After breakfast, continue our trek along the trail passing Phuyupatamarca ruins. The flag-stoned trail begins to wind sharply down, taking us into the cloud forest to the well-preserved ruins of Winay Wayna. Along the same trail the Incas once used, we trek for two hours through dense cloud forest until we reach Machu Picchu via Intipunku (the Sun Gate), where the magnificent citadel unfolds. After some time soaking in the glorious view and meandering through the citadel we take the bus to Aguas Calientes village and overnight at your chosen hotel. (B/L/D)

Trekking time, approx 7 hours
Distance 11.6km

Day 5Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo/Cusco

Return by bus to the gates of Machu Picchu where you will begin a guided three-hour tour of the citadel.

Your guide will take you through the different sectors, bringing alive the history and stories of these ancient and iconic ruins. Feel like you’re taking a step back in time as you soak up the astonishing views of these impressive ruins.

After your tour around the citadel, return to Aguas Calientes village for the train journey to Ollantaytambo or Poroy with transfer to Cusco. (B/L).

Gallery
Included
Not included
  • Transportation to road head and return from Ollantaytambo to Cusco (or Sacred Valley)
  • All meals on trek and lunch at Machu Picchu local restaurant (day 5)
  • Two-man three season tents and inflatable mats
  • Kitchen and dining tent with stools and tables
  • Bilingual guide
  • Cook and camp crew
  • Porters that carry equipment and luggage
  • First aid kit and oxygen
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Tips
  • Taxes
  • Personal gear
  • Laundry services
  • Additional tours
  • Personal insurance
  • Airline tickets (where applicable)
  • Sleeping bags (available for rent)
  • Extras

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Dates
START DATEEND DATEDETAILSSTATUS
10/04/201914/04/2019The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuSold out
14/04/201918/04/2019The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuSold out
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20/10/201924/10/2019The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
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06/11/201910/11/2019The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
10/11/201914/11/2019The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
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