Come hike a piece of history! This famous trail was constructed and used during the Inca empire. You’ll see many Inca ruins and flora and fauna unique to Peru along this well marked path.
This is by far the best way to arrive at and appreciate Machu Picchu: walking in the footsteps of the people who created it.
You’ll arrive at the international airport in Lima (the majority of flights arrive at night between 8pm and 2am). Our team will be waiting with a private vehicle to take you to the hotel of your choice. Depending on your itinerary, you’ll visit some of the most important museums in the city. (Optional)
Early in the morning, you’ll return to the Lima airport to take your flight to Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire. Upon your arrival, the Land of the Inkas team will be waiting to greet you. During the trip to the center and tour around the Plaza in a private vehicle, the guide will give a brief introductory talk about the city. You’ll have the rest of the day free to acclimatize, relax and enjoy the exceptional atmosphere in Cusco, home to the some of the most amazing history and culture in South America.
On the third day, we’ll visit the most important tourist sites in the city and its surroundings. This is an opportunity to try new things and to learn about the history of Cusco and the daily life of its people. Our destinations today include churches, museums and archeological sites. In the afternoon, we’ll visit the fortress of Saqsaywaman and the complexes of Qenqo, Pucapucara and Tambomachay. All of these were highly important sites in the Inca religion and are located close to Cusco. After our explorations, we’ll return you to your hotel to spend the night.
We’ll continue our excursion by heading out to the Sacred Valley, which awaits us with its warmer climate. The town of Pisac is our first stop. All along the road out to the ruins there, you can see remains of Inca agricultural activity. You’ll take in the sweeping panoramic views of the Andean mountains and visit the towns of Calca and Urubamba. After lunch, our journey continues towards Ollantaytambo, whose layout still shows signs of Inca planning, with its cobbled streets and Inca fort. We will spend the night in a hotel here.
We’ll get up early today and head for Km 82 in bus, the start of our Inca Trail adventure. We’ll meet our Andean Native porters here for the first time, our companions for the entire trip. We’ll cross the Urubamba River over a hanging bridge and then start along the rugged trail. We’ll be able to see the Vilcanota range and the snowcapped Mt. Veronica Wakaywillque (Sacred tear) . We’ll then follow the Cusichaca (“Bridge of Joy”) River along a narrow path to the village of Huayllabamba 9,586 ft / 2922 mt, our campsite for the night.
We’ll get an early start today and continue along a narrow gorge. We’ll walk through a leafy forest full of quinua plants, an edible species high in nutrients and protein which is revolutionizing cooking across the world. From here, the path ascends to wide plains and continues up to the high point of the trail known as “Dead Woman’s Pass” (“Warmiwañuska” in Quechua). After this steep climb, we’ll rest and catch our breath for a moment, then descend to Pacaymayo to camp for the night.
This part of the Inca Trail has the majority of the ruins. We’ll visit the ruins of Runkuracay, then climb up to the second highest point on the trail before taking a much-deserved break in the community of Sayacmarca. We’ll then walk a little farther to get to our campsite at Phuyupatamarca (the place of the clouds).
We’ll leave Phuyupatamarca for the ruins of Wiñay Huayna (Young for ever) and pass by a section of cloud forest before arriving at the Sun Gate (“Intipunku”). This famous landmark is a welcome sight for all weary adventurers, for it means that you have nearly arrived at your destination of Machu Picchu. After visiting the ruins, we’ll bus down to the nearby town of Aguas Calientes where you can soak your tired bones and muscles in the hot springs there before retiring to your hotel.
We’ll return to Machu Picchu early today to enjoy the ruins in all their splendor. You can choose to summit either Machu Picchu Mountain (meaning “Old Mountain” in English) or Huayna Picchu (“Young Mountain”). If the idea of climbing one more mountain doesn’t appeal to you, you can choose to descend to the Moon Temple. In the afternoon, we’ll catch the train back to Ollantaytambo and then continue on in a private car to the textile market in Chinchero. At the market, you’ll be shown the process of making alpaca wool textiles and have the opportunity to buy some before we return to the hotel in Cusco.
On the final day, we’ll take you to the Cusco airport for your return flight to Lima and your connecting flight home.
* In case you want to visit any additional sites, you can add extensions on to your original package. If you choose an extension, we’ll organize the connection to your next destination. Someone from the Land of the Inkas team will accompany you to ensure that you make your connection and that everything goes smoothly.