Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and Titicaca Lake in 9 Days
Join us in visiting the Sacred Valley of the Incas including the Pisac Market and Ollantaytambo. Then hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu before taking a touristic bus to Puno where we´ll visit the Floating Islands of Uros on Lake Titicaca!.
Availability for the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and Titicaca Lake 9 Days/8 Nights
The Peruvian government has strict limitations on how many people are permitted to use the Inca Trail (permits are issued to about 200 trekkers per day and about 300 porters/guides with a total of 500 permits issued daily). We recommend booking the Inca Trail as early as possible, sometimes even 6 months in advance!.
We also recommend booking the Inca Trail trek before booking your hotels, flights, etc., since Inca Trail permits are limited!.
Daily departures are available throughout the year (March through January-February the Inca Trail is closed), even though the recommended period for this trek is April to October because it is the dry season.
All private service departure dates are adapted to your request any day you choose. Also contact us for group departure date availability.
We´ll start our Cusco and Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 7 Days / 6 Nights when you arrive in Cusco. We´ll pick you up at the bus station or airport and bring you to your hotel. You´ll have the rest of the day to relax and explore the city on your own depending on what time you arrive. Overnight in hotel.
Today we´ll visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas! We´ll start our day trip by leaving Cusco and traveling to Pisac to visit the P´isaq Archaeological Park and Pisac Market. When you visit the Pisac Market, you´ll notice that it is full with artisans selling their products like handmade textiles typical of the area, jewelry, pottery, and much more. If you don´t want to shop, you can also sit in one of the cafes and people watch while having coffee. You´ll have especially good views from the balconies overlooking the market. After we leave Pisac, we´ll have a buffet lunch together in Urubamba. After our lunch, we´ll keep traveling to Ollantaytambo. In Ollantaytambo we´ll notice many examples of Inca Architecture that still remains throughout the town.
Historians believe that Ollantaytambo may have been a fortress pointing at the strategic location, the heavy walls and guard posts. After we´ve visited Ollantaytambo, we´ll drive on to visit Chinchero which means ´Rainbow City´ where you´ll see the local people in their traditional clothing and following a lifestyle generations old. From this area you´ll also have a great view of the area around it because of the town´s location. Many people also come to see the colonial church which has painted murals and the traditional market. From here we´ll return to Cusco around 7:00pm. Overnight in hotel.
Today is when we´ll start our Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu! We´ll start by picking everyone up from their hotels and then driving outside of Cusco to KM82. The drive is about 2 ½ hours so you´ll have a short time to rest before the trek and have a snack if you haven´t had breakfast.
KM82 is where we´ll start our Inca Trail trek and is our first control point where your documents will be checked. Make sure to bring your passport and ISIC (International Student Identity Card) if you booked your trip with a student discount. We´ll start trekking from here to Miskay where we´ll have lunch together. After we´ve had lunch we´ll hike for about 2 hours to Wayllabamba.
We´ll camp in Wayllbamba tonight and if we hiked quickly today, we´ll have a lot of time to have tea and relax a little before our dinner. During dinner we can get to know the other people in our group, but make sure to give yourself enough time to have a good night´s sleep to be able to keep hiking tomorrow.
On the second day of our Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu, we´ll be woken up with a hot cup of coca tea! Most people will consider today to be their toughest part of the Inca Trail! After breakfast we´ll hike up to Dead Woman Pass which is at 4600 meters and the highest part on the Inca Trail trek.
We´ll hike uphill for about 5 hours and when we reach the top, we´ll have a well-deserved short rest, time to take pictures and enjoy the view before continuing our hike to our camp at Paccaymayu. The hike downhill should take about 2 hours and when we get to camp we´ll have some tea and time to rest before dinner. Make sure to bring a warm sleeping bag and clothing because tonight will be the coldest part of our trek since our camp is at 3600 meters.
We´ll start the day off with another hot cup of coca tea before breakfast! After breakfast we´ll continue the Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu and leave our camp at Paccaymayu. We´ll hike uphill for about an hour to the ruins of Runkuraqhay and then on to the Runkuraqhay Pass which is 4000 meters. Afterwards, we´ll hike downhill for 45 minutes to reach the Sayacmarka ruins and then on to Chakiccocha.
In Chakiccocha we´ll have lunch and rest for a little while before hiking on to the ruins of Phuyupatamarka and then the Phuyupatamarka Pass which is at 3600 meters. After we´ve climbed over the Phuyupatamarka Pass we´ll hike downhill for another 2 hours before we reach Wiñayhuayna.
Wiñayhuayna will be the last stop today and we´ll camp here tonight. Today during dinner, we´ll have a sort of ‘goodbye dinner´ since the porters and cook will be leaving very early in the morning, after breakfast. If you would like to give them a tip, this would be a good time. Make sure to have another good night´s sleep since tomorrow we´ll be visiting Machu Picchu!.
Today we´ll wake up around 3:30am with our last hot cup of coca tea to wake us up! We´ll have breakfast and wait in line for the checkpoint to open. They will check our documents again, so remember to have your passport and ISIC (if it applies to you) ready. When they let us pass, we´ll hike to the Sun Gate. At the Sun Gate we´ll take some time to celebrate, take pictures and enjoy our first view of Machu Picchu! After this short break we´ll keep hiking to the checkpoint outside of Machu Picchu where they´ll heck your documents again before letting you enter. Beforehand, you can take a bathroom break outside of the city and store your large backpack which will cost 3 Peruvian Nueva Soles. When we´re all inside, we´ll take a guided tour of this magical city of Machu Picchu!
The guide will teach you about the history of Machu Picchu and show you some of the most important sites within the city. After about 2 hours of the tour, you´ll have time to wander around Machu Picchu on your own, soaking in the mysterious atmosphere of this enigmatic city. When you´ve roamed around the city and taken your pictures, you can take a bus down to Aguas Calientes.
Depending on how much time you´ve given yourself before your train leaves, you can have lunch (not included) and go souvenir shopping and buy snacks before you board your train. You´ll take the Expedition train to Ollantaytambo. In Ollantaytambo we´ll be waiting to bring you to Cusco. You should be in Cusco at about 10:30pm. Overnight in hotel.
Today we´ll leave Cusco behind and head out to Puno. We´ll take a touristic bus to Puno and along the way we´ll visit a few interesting archaeological sites like Pukara, Andahuaylillas and Raqchi as well as enjoy the beautiful landscapes. We´ll have drinks throughout the day and a buffet lunch. When we arrive in Puno we´ll bring you to your hotel. Overnight in hotel.
Today we´ll go to the Titicaca Lake for a tour of the Floating Islands of Uros and Taquile Island! We´ll begin the day by picking you up from your hotel and bringing you to the harbor on Titicaca Lake. We´ll board a touristic boat and visit the Floating Islands of Uros first. The floating Islands were first constructed centuries ago by the Uros people to help keep them safe from other tribes. They gather reeds which can be found in the shallow parts of the lake, bundle them together tightly and use these to make the floating platforms on which they build their reed houses. Here they live together as a community and we´ll learn a little more about their culture while we visit them. After some time with the Uros people, we´ll board our boat and travel to Taquile Island which is about 2 hours away.
The local community which has lived on Taquile Island for many generations still speaks Quechua and is known for their weaving tradition. They are well known for their "Chullos", knitted hats earflaps, and "The Calendar Waistband", showing the annual cycles connected to rituals and agricultural activities. While you are walking on Taquile Island, you´ll have a great view of Titicaca Lake. You´ll also see the traditional houses on the island which are inhabited by people who are direct descendants of the Incas. When we´re at the top of the island, we´ll have lunch together. After lunch we´ll walk back down to Taquile Island´s small harbor and board our boat to travel back to the harbor in Puno. From here we´ll bring you back to your hotel. Overnight in hotel.