When you come in from Lima we’ll take you to Cusco where you can tour the Sacred Valley of the Incas, including the Pisac Market and the Inca town of Ollantaytambo. Afterwards see Machu Picchu by hiking the Inca Trail!
Today we’ll take you from your hotel to the airport in Lima where you’ll board a flight to Cusco. When you arrive in Cusco, we’ll pick you up and bring you to your hotel where you can rest and acclimatize to the altitude of Cusco. Overnight in hotel.
Today we’ll take a tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas and we’ll start by picking everyone up from their hotels and we’ll leave Cusco at around 9:00am. Our first stop will be in Pisac where we can visit the Pisac Market. You can browse the market for souvenirs, great for all the people on your list! There are many local artisans selling their textiles, jewelry, pottery, and more as well as local farmers selling their fruits and vegetables. Besides shopping and browsing, you can also have a good time people watching! There are also archaeological remains which we’ll visit at the P’isaq Archaeological Park before we go on to Urubamba for a buffet lunch. We will leave for Ollantaytambo after lunch.
Ollantaytambo is believed to be an Inca fortress because of the strategic location on which it was built as well as its strong walls and guard posts. The town has many structures/ruins left from the Inca Empire which you can appreciate while touring the area. After we’ve visited Ollantaytambo we’ll go on to Chinchero which is a town that has kept its traditional way of life for generations and seems untouched in many ways by the Spanish conquest.
They do have a church which interests many because of its interesting murals. After we’ve visited Chinchero we will head back to Cusco. The estimated arrival time will be around 7:00pm. Overnight in hotel.
We will begin our Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu Today! We will leave Cusco early after we’ve picked up everyone in your group from their hotels. From Cusco we’ll go to KM82 which will be where we will start our Inca Trail trek. The drive to Km 82 is about 2 ½ hours from Cusco giving you some time to rest or have a snack if you didn’t catch breakfast.
Km 82 is the first Inca Trail check point so make sure you don’t forget to bring your passport and ISIC (International Student Identity Card) if you booked your tour with a student discount. After we pass the checkpoint we’ll hike to Miskay which will be our lunch spot. After we’ve had lunch we’ll hike to Wayllabamba which will be an uphill hike for about 2 hours. This will be our first camp and if we’ve made good time on our trek today, we’ll have time to relax before dinner giving us time to get to know the rest of the people in our group!.
On our second day we’ll be woken up by the porters with a hot cup of coca tea! After arranging our things we’ll have breakfast and start our trek. Today will likely be the toughest part of your Inca Trail experience! We will leave camp and hike up to Dead Woman Pass which at 4600 meters will be the highest point on the Inca Trail trek. This uphill hike will be about 5 hours long, but once we reach the pass we can take some time to rest, take pictures and enjoy the view.
From here we will hike downhill for about 2 hours before reaching our camp at Paccaymayu. Today will have been a tiring day, so you’ll especially enjoy the dinner and get a very good night’s sleep! But make sure to dress warmly since tonight will be the coldest along the trek due to the elevation of the camp (3600 meters).
In the morning we’ll be woken up again with a hot cup of tea before breakfast. After breakfast we’ll continue the Inca Trail trek for the third day. We’ll leave Paccaymayu and hike uphill for about an hour to Runkuraqhay where we’ll visit the Inca ruins and then climb the Runkuraqhay Pass which is at 400 meters. From here we’ll hike downhill for 45 minutes before we reach the Sayacmarka ruins.
After our visit there, we’ll hike to Chakiccocha where we’ll have lunch. After a short rest and lunch, we’ll keep hiking to the ruins of Phuyupatamarka before we hike the Phuyupatamarka Pass which is at 3600 meters. We will then hike downhill for an additional 2 hours before we reach our destination for the day, Wiñayhuayna.
Wiñayhuayna will be our campsite where we’ll have dinner together for the last time with your group. It will also be the last time you’ll have dinner with the porters and your cook, so it will be a goodbye dinner of sorts where you can say goodbye and if you would like to leave them a tip, this would be a good time.
This will be our last day on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu! We’ll have hot coca tea at around 3:30am and then breakfast before hiking to the Inca Trail checkpoint. Make sure to bring your passport and ISIC (if it applies to you). After waiting for them to let us pass, we’ll hike to the Sun Gate. This will be our first view of Machu Picchu so we’ll stop here for a little while to take pictures and enjoy the view. We’ll keep walking from here to the checkpoint outside of Machu Picchu where they’ll check 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. Once everyone is inside, you’ll take a guided tour of the main areas of Machu Picchu for about 2 hours. Afterwards you’ll have time to walk around this enigmatic city on your own. When you feel like you’ve taken enough pictures and had a good view of Machu Picchu you can take a bus down to Aguas Calientes. Depending on how long you want to roam around Machu Picchu, you will have some time to buy snacks or have lunch before boarding your train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo. In Ollantaytambo we’ll pick you up and bring you back to Cusco.
Note: The time table for the trains may change according to the train company’s availability. There will also be changes to your itinerary and price if you decide to change your departure time, or upgrade to the Vistadome Train. If you booked later than most of your group for your Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu, you may not be in the same train as the rest of your group. Overnight in hotel.