Trek Cusco, Sacred Valley
and Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
8 Days / 7 Nights
You can check out the Inca sites around Cusco on the City Tour and the Sacred Valley of the Incas by visiting the Pisac Andean Market and the Inca town of Ollantaytambo. You’ll round off your visit of the Cusco region with an Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu!
We’ll take a tour of the city of Cusco and hit the main attractions left behind by the Inca civilization like Sacsayhuaman and Koricancha among others. We’ll then hike the famous Classic Inca Trail, seeing more ruins along the way, before ending up in the magical destination of Machu Picchu!
Day 1: Arrival Cusco – Transfer to Hotel
You’ll start your Cusco and Sacred Valley and Inca Trail 8 Day / 7 Nights Tour with your arrival to Cusco. From the Airport or bus station, we’ll pick you up and bring you to your hotel, giving you to time to relax and get acclimatized to the altitude. Overnight in hotel.
Day 2: Cusco City Tour
On your second day in Cusco you’ll be able to see some of the main sites left behind by the Incas on our Cusco City Tour. We’ll begin our 5 hour tour with Koricancha/Santo Domingo Monastery. Koricancha was the main temple where they worshipped the Sun God and you can still see parts of the temple. The Santo Domingo Monastery was built on top of the remains after taking all the gold out of the temple as well.
From here we’ll visit the Sacsayhuaman remains which are located above the city of Cusco. It was called the Head of the Puma since it was located where the head would be in relation to Cusco which was built in the shape of a Puma during the Inca Empire. Although the Sacsayhuaman site is a remnant of a once great place, it is still very impressive due to the large stones used and the striking architecture.
The next site we’ll visit is Quenqo meaning ‘labyrinth’ and also left behind by the Incas. Experts believe this site was used for ceremonial purposes. This is also the beginning of the famous Inti Raymi festival. Historian believe that.
PucaPucara was a ‘tambo’ (control points made throughout the Inca Empire) and it’s next on our tour. Pucapucara is believed to be a controlled entry point for those wanting to enter the city of Cusco. Our last stop will be Tambomachay which is outside of the city of Cusco. It is believed to be a temple dedicated to the worship of water and likely a very important ceremonial center. Overnight in hotel.
Day 3: Sacred Valley of the Incas Tour
Today we’ll continue visiting the area around Cusco by going on the Sacred Valley of the Incas Tour which will take about 10 hours in all. We will start the tour by picking you up from your hotel at around 8:30 and around 9:00am we should be leaving Cusco for the Sacred Valley of the Incas which was an important area for the Inca Empire. We will begin with Pisac which, at this point, is very famous for its Pisac Market. Here you can go shopping for souvenirs since there are many artisans trying to sell their goods as well as farmers selling their produce which they will bring in from miles around. If you wouldn’t like to buy anything, there are still interesting cafes, some of which have balconies from where you can watch people buying and selling in the market.
From here we’ll go on to the P’isaq Archaeological Park before going to Urubamba for a buffet lunch. After our lunch we’ll travel on to Ollantaytambo. Ollantaytambo is believed to be a former Inca fortress because of its strategic location, large walls and guard houses. You’ll have the chance to see what is still left from the Inca architecture as you walk around. After Ollantaytambo we’ll travel on to Chinchero which also means ‘Rainbow City’ and still holds on to traditions from generations ago. It is located in an area where you can get a great view of the surrounding mountains and valley. People also come to see their church with its painted murals and traditional market. From Chinchero, we’ll return to Cusco around 7:00. Overnight in hotel.
Day 4: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (1st Day)
Today will be the first day of our Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu! We’ll start early I the morning by picking everyone up from their respective hotels and drive from Cusco to KM82. This drive will take about 2 ½ hours in which you can rest or eat snacks if you haven’t had breakfast. KM82 not only marks the beginning of our Inca Trail trek but also our first Inca Trail checkpoint. Don’t forget to bring your passport (we will have your Inca Trail permit ready) and your ISIC (International Student Identification Card) if it applies to you.
From KM82 we’ll be hiking on relatively flat terrain until we reach Miskay where we’ll have lunch. After lunch we’ll walk an additional 2 hours, going uphill, to Wayllabamba. Wayllabamba will be our first place to camp along the Inca Trail and since we’ll come at a good hour, we’ll have some time to relax before dinner. During dinner make sure to take your time and get to know the rest of your group but also make sure to get enough sleep for the more difficult day tomorrow!.
Day 5: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (2nd Day)
Today we’ll be woken up early by the porters with a hot cup of coca tea! Afterwards we’ll have breakfast and get ready for the most difficult day of our Inca Trail trek. We will leave Wayllabamba and hike up to Dead Woman Pass which will be our highest point on the Inca Trail trek at 4600 meters! It will take most of us about 5 hours to hike uphill until we reach the pass where we’ll take a well-deserved short break to catch our breath, take pictures, and take in the view.
From the Dead Woman Pass, which got its name from the mountain which looks like the profile of a woman looking up at the sky, we will hike downhill for about 2 hours to reach our camp at Paccaymayu. Here we’ll have lunch and time to rest after our difficult but rewarding day! Make sure to bring warm clothes and a well-insulated sleeping bag since the camp is at 3600 meters and will be especially chilly at night.
Day 6: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (3rd Day)
Today will be the third day on our Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu! We’ll have another cup of hot coca tea when we wake up and after getting ready we’ll have breakfast and go on with our trek. Today should be easier than the second day and we’ll also have the treat of visiting three different Inca ruins! We’ll start our hike by going uphill for an hour until we reach the Inca ruins of Runkuraqhay and afterwards hike up to the pass with the same name, Runkuraqhay Pass which is at 4000 meters. After the pass we’ll hike an additional 45 minutes to reach the Sayacmarka ruins. We’ll visit the Sayacmarka ruins before hiking another 25 minutes to Chakiccocha. In Chakiccocha we’ll have lunch and rest shortly before hiking on to the Phuyupatamarka ruins left by the Incas as well as being the name of the pass we will hike over at 3600 meters, Phuyupatamarka Pass.
From Phuyupatamarka we’ll hike another 2 hours to Wiñayhuayna. We’ll reach Wiñayhuayna around 5:00pm and since this is our campsite, we’ll have time to relax until dinner. Tonight’s dinner will be little different since it will be the last night with your porters and cook. They will leave early tomorrow after getting your breakfast ready. During dinner, while you’re wide awake (as compared to early tomorrow morning!) you can say your goodbyes and give them tips if you would like. Make sure to sleep well since tomorrow you’ll be visiting Machu Picchu and you’ll want to look rested for your pictures!.
Day 7: Machu Picchu Sunrise Tour – Return Cusco
Today will be the last day of our Inca Trail trek since we’re visiting Machu Picchu today! We’ll wake up around 3:30am with another hot cup of coca tea and after our breakfast we’ll walk to the Inca Trail control point. We’ll wait a little while before the authorities will let us pass. Here they will want to check your permit, passport and ISIC (if applicable), but once everything is verified we’ll hike to the Sun Gate where we’ll have our first view of Machu Picchu!
We’ll stop a little while to take in the beautiful view and take pictures before moving on. We’ll hike another 30 minutes to the control point outside of Machu Picchu where they’ll check our documents again, but this time you’ll have the chance to go for a bathroom break before entering and you can store your large backpack for a fee of 3 Peruvian Nuevos Soles. We will have a guided tour of Machu Picchu when we’re all inside. After about 2 hours of the group tour, you can walk around on your own to soak up the magical atmosphere of this enigmatic city! After you’ve taken your pictures and feel like you’ve gotten a good view of the city of Machu Picchu you will take one of the buses down to Aguas Calientes. If you’ve left yourself some time you can buy some snacks for the train ride or have lunch before getting on the train. You’ll ride the train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo where we’ll pick you up and bring you back to Cusco.
Day 8: Departure Cusco
We will pick you up and bring you to the airport or bus terminal according to your departure details. This will be the end of our services.
- Transfer Airport/Station to hotel to Airport/Station.
- 4 nights hotel in Cusco.
- Cusco City Tour.
- Sacred Valley of the Incas Tour.
- Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu (see what is included for trek below).
- Briefing (usually scheduled one or two days before your trek).
- Tourist bus to beginning of trek.
- Inca Trail entrance ticket.
- Machu Picchu entrance ticket.
- First Aid basic equipment and oxygen for emergencies.
- Professional bilingual (Spanish/English) guide (guides who speak other languages upon request).
- Meals: 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners (vegetarian, vegan, etc. dietary requirements available if requested during time of booking at no extra charge).
- 1 Bus ticket from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes.
- Expedition Train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo (see note about train availability, changes in times, etc.)
- Transportation from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.
- Drinks and personal expenses.
- National/international phone calls.
- Other items/activities not included in itinerary.
- Breakfast Day 1 of trek, Lunch and dinner on the last day of trek.
- Entrance fees for Thermal Baths in Aguas Calientes ($4).
- Porter to carry your personal belongings.
- Backpack storage at Machu Picchu (3 soles).
- Water for your water bottles. You can buy water along the way or bring water purification tablets.
- Activities and items not included in the itinerary.
Extras for your Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
- Walking sticks (10 $ for a pair of sticks)
- Extra porter for personal items (60$ for 7 Kilos – max. 7 Kilos)
- Upgrade to Single room in Aguas Calientes (35$)
- Upgrade to Vistadome train (80$ )
- Entrance ticket to Huayna Picchu (65$) – There is only a limited space at Huayna Picchu (400 persons per day), so it is a good idea to book in advance.
- We can help you to book hotels (standard and luxury) in whole Peru.
What You Need on your inca trail Hiking to Machu Picchu:
- You should bring your original passport (International Student card (ISIC) if applicable)
- Walking boots
- Waterproof jacket/rain jacket
- Warm jacket, hat and gloves
- Comfortable trousers
- Sun hat
- Sun protection cream (factor 35 recommended)
- Re-usable plastic or metal water container or camel bags
- Water for the first day, but on the way it is possible to buy bottles of water from local families.
- Insect repellent
- Personal medication
- Camera and films
Optional items to bring:
- Walking stick (with rubber tip)
- Plasters and bandages
- Baiting suit for the hot springs
- Extra money for personal expensive, tips and entrance fees for hot springs (entrance fee for the hot spring is: 4 US $ / 10 Soles), (recommended 200 Peruvian nuevos soles for extra money)
Discounts: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu 3 Days 2 Nights
- With an ISIC card you can get a discount (20$) of the Inca Trail; you need to scan and send it to us at the time of your booking.
- If you are under 17 years old, you can get a discount (20 $) of the Inca trail; you have to scan and send you passport to us at the time of your booking.
- The Itinerary can change according to the Peruvian government, climate and health status of the trekkers.
- The train schedule can change according to availability of the train company.
- The train that we provide is the expedition train to Ollantaytambo – if someone books a train ticket in the last minute it is not sure that they can come in the same train as the other group.
- If you would like to change your train schedule or tickets, you have to pay more for the transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco and for the price change of the train.
Altitudes Distances / Walking hours:
Cusco – Huayllabamba:
- Meals: L D
- Accommodation: Camping
- Maximum Altitude: 2954m/9694ft
- Minimum Altitude: 2670m/8761ft
- Distance Travelled: 9 km approx.
- Approximate Walking Time: 5 Hours
Huayllabamba – Pacaymayo:
- Meals : B L D
- Accommodation: Camping
- Maximum Altitude: 4226m/13866ft
- Minimum Altitude: 2954m/9694ft
- Distance Travelled: 12 km approx.
- Approximate Walking Time: 5 Hours
Paqaymayo – Phuyupatamarka:
- Meals : B L D
- Accommodation: Camping
- Maximum Altitude: 3974m/13039ft
- Minimum Altitude: 3627m/11900ft
- Distance Travelled: 16 km approx.
- Approximate Walking Time: 6 Hours
Wiñay Wayna – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes:
- Meals : B
- Maximum Altitude: 3688m/12100ft
- Minimum Altitude: 2088m/6850ft
- Distance Travelled: 6 km approx.
- Approximate Walking Time: 4 Hours
Preparation prior the trekking:
- due to the altitude we recommend a period of at least 2 days for acclimatization in Cusco at 3350m/9840ft
- We advise you to practice walking longer distances before doing the Inca Trail