The Sun Path and Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 14 Days / 13 Nights
Tour Lima, the Ballestas Islands by boat, the Nazca Lines by plane, visit Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas, all before hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu! Then go on to Puno to visit Lake Titicaca and the Floating Islands of Uros!.Availability for The Sun Path and the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 14 Days 13 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.
Day 1: Arrival Lima – Transfer to Hotel
We’ll be waiting for you at the airport or bus terminal to bring you to your hotel. The rest of the day will be a free day for you to enjoy. Overnight in hotel.
Day 2: Lima City Tour
On your second day in Lima, we’ll take a city tour to visit some of the most important sites. We’ll start by picking you up from your hotel and walking towards the city center. Here we’ll admire the beautiful colonial building around the main square, Plaza Mayor, like the Government Palace, the Lima Cathedral, the Archbishop’s Palace, and the Municipal Palace. Some buildings are actually mansions and still have their original wooden balconies typical of that period.
We’ll also visit the more modern pat of Lima by visiting "El Olivar" in San Isidro Miraflores residential area and the Larco Mar shopping center, which offers a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean and contains souvenir shops where you can buy good quality fabrics made from vicuña and alpaca wool. Overnight in hotel.
Day 3: Bus to Paracas – Tour Ballestas Islands – Transfer to Huacachina Oasis
Today we’ll pick you up very early from your hotel in Lima and take a bus to Paracas. From here we’ll go to the coast so we can tour the Ballestas Islands by boat. During our tour we’ll see the mysterious Candelabra which can be seen from the boat and from there we’ll visit the Ballestas Islands which is a paradise for sea life! There are many types of sea birds and seals playing in the water or on shore.
After our fun with the sea animals, we’ll head back to the harbor of Paracas where, when you get off the boat, will likely have some time to walk around the area or go souvenir shopping. From here we’ll board a bus which will head out to the Huacachina Oasis which is right outside of the city of Ica where we’ll have lunch and stay the night. Overnight in hotel.
Optional: You can take sandboarding, dune buggy, or other adventure tours in this area.
Day 4: Flight over Nazca Lines – Night Bus to Cusco
Today we’ll leave the Huacachina Oasis and head for Nazca by touristic transportation. The trip will take about 2 hours and you’ll be able to enjoy the local landscapes along the way. We’ll go to the local airport where we’ll first watch an informational video to help you understand what you will see during your flight over the Nazca Lines. The flight will take about 35 minutes and you’ll be able to see different representations of animals and other figures.
A few you’ll likely see are condor, spider, monkey, etc. You’ll also see large lines that make geometric shapes. After we land we’ll have lunch and then continue our trip to Cusco on a night bus.
Day 5: Arrival Cusco – Transfer to Hotel – Free Day
When you arrive in Cusco, we’ll bring you to your hotel and giving you the rest of the day off to do as you please. Overnight in hotel.
Day 6: Cusco City Tour
We’ll have a 5 hour tour of a few of the important sites to visit in Cusco today. We’ll start by visiting Koricancha/Santo Domingo Monastery. Koricancha, according to historians, was believed to be the main temple where the Incas worshiped the Sun God. But when the Spanish conquistadors arrived they removed many of the golden decorations and statues as well as destroying most of the building. There is still a large part of the bottom of Koricancha which is now part of the Santo Domingo Monastery which you can still see today. From here we’ll leave the city and visit Sacsayhuaman which, although also partially destroyed by the Spanish after an Inca rebellion, is still very impressive with its large blocks of stone. Some weigh more than 100 tons!
We’ll travel on to Quenqo meaning ‘labyrinth.’ Experts believe this site was used for ceremonial purposes. This is also the beginning of the famous Inti Raymi festival. Next on our list will be Pucapucara which is believed to be a control point where the Incas controlled the entrance into Cusco. Our last stop will be the temple dedicated to the worship of water Tambomachay before going back to Cusco. Overnight in hotel.
Day 7: Sacred Valley of the Incas Tour
Today we’ll go through the Sacred Valley of the Incas on a tour which will likely last about 10 hours, taking up most of the day. We’ll begin with our visit to Pisac and its P’isaq Archaeological Park and Pisac Market. The Pisac Market is famous for the many handmade goods like textiles, pottery, paintings, jewelry and more. You can also hangout at one of the cafes and watch the business at the market instead.
After visiting Pisac we’ll travel to Urubamba for a buffet lunch. After lunch we’ll keep traveling to Ollantaytambo, where we’ll see many examples of Inca architecture throughout the town. Historians believe that Ollantatambo may have been a large fortress. After our visit to Ollantaytambo we’ll go on to Chinchero which also means ‘Rainbow City’ which has a great view of the area around it. The people living there still hold on to traditions generations old. 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 8: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (Day 1)
We’re going to hike the Inca trail starting today! We’ll begin by picking everyone up from their hotels and driving to KM82 which will take about 2 ½ hours giving you some time to rest along the way or eat a snack if you weren’t able to eat breakfast beforehand. KM82 will be our first checkpoint for the Inca Trail so make sure you bring along your passport which matches your Inca Trail permit and your ISIC (International Student Identity Card) if you booked your tour with a student discount. From here we’ll start hiking to Miskay. When we reach Miskay we’ll have lunch and a short break to rest. 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!.
Day 9: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (Day 2)
Today we’ll be woken up with a hot cup of coca tea before breakfast! After breakfast together we’ll start hiking up to Dead Woman Pass which will likely be the most difficult part of your Inca Trail trek! Dead Woman Pass is at 4600 meters and the hike there will likely take about 5 hours. When we reach the pass we’ll have some time to rest and take picutres from this height. After our break we’ll continue hiking to Paccaymayu, which will be downhill. Today will have been a tiring day, so you’ll especially enjoy the dinner and get a very good night’s sleep! But due to the elevation of the camp (3600 meters) tonight will also be the coldest, so make sure to bring a warm sleeping bag!.
Day 10: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (Day 3)
Today we’ll wake up to a hot cup of tea again and after breakfast we’ll continue hiking. We’ll hike up hill from camp for about an hour to Runkuraqhay where we’ll visit the Inca ruins and then climb the Runkuraqhay Pass which is at 4000 meters. After this part we’ll hike downhill for about 45 minutes to the Sayacmarka ruins and from there to Chakiccocha where we’ll have lunch today.
Afterwards we’ll hike to the Phuyupatamarka ruins and then to the Phuyupatamarka Pass which is at 3600 meters. From here we’ll hike down to Wiñayhuayna which should take an additional 2 hours. 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.
Day 11: Machu Picchu Sunrise Tour – Return Cusco
Today will be the last day of our Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu! We’ll wake up early and have breakfast before heading to the Inca Trail checkpoint where they’ll check your passport and ISIC (if this applies to you) again and you’ll have to wait a little while before they let you enter. When we can pass we’ll hike to the Sun Gate where we’ll have our first view of Machu Picchu! From here we’ll hike on to Machu Picchu where they will want to check our documents again. 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. After seeing most of the main sites with the guide, you’ll have time to roam around the ancient city on your own. Afterwards, you’ll take one of the buses down to Aguas Calientes. Here you can have lunch (not included) or go souvenir shopping if you’ve given yourself enough time before your train leaves. According to your schedule, you’ll board the Expedition train to Ollantaytambo where we’ll be waiting to pick you up to bring you to Cusco. Overnight in hotel.
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.
Day 12: Bus Cusco to Puno Guided Tour
We’re leaving Cusco today and heading for Puno in a touristic bus which makes stops 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 a buffet lunch and drinks are served during the day. When we arrive in Puno we’ll bring you to your hotel. Overnight in hotel.
Day 13: Titicaca Lake Full Day Tour
Today we’ll visit Titicaca Lake and its Floating Islands of Uros and Taquile Island! We’ll begin the day by picking you up from your hotel and going to the harbor. From the harbor we’ll board a boat to the Uros Floating Islands. We’ll visit the local community which lives there, learning about their customs and community life. The Uros people have made these floating islands from reeds gather from the edges of Lake Titicaca for centuries in an effort to protect themselves from other tribe. After our visit, we’ll board the boat again to travel about 2 hours to Taquile Island.
The community living on Taquile Island is well known for their weaving tradition, making things like their "Chullos", knitted hats earflaps, and "The Calendar Waistband", showing the annual cycles connected to rituals and agricultural activities. After visiting this Quechua speaking community, we’ll travel to the top of the island where we’ll have lunch together. After our visit to the island, we’ll walk down to the small harbor to get in our boat which will bring us to the harbor in Puno. From here we’ll ring you to your hotel. Overnight in hotel.
Day 14: Departure Puno
Today we’ll be leaving Puno and according to your schedule, we’ll pick you up from your hotel and bring you to the airport or bus terminal. This will be the end of our services.
- Transfer Airport/Station to hotel to Airport/Station – Lima, Cusco and Puno.
- 2 nights hotel in Lima.
- 1 night hotel in Huacachina Oasis.
- 4 nights hotel in Cusco.
- 2 nights hotel in Puno.
- City Tour Lima.
- Ballestas Islands Tour.
- Transfer to Huancachina Oasis.
- Transfer to Nazca.
- Nazca Lines flight tour.
- Night Bus from Nazca to Cusco.
- City Tour Cusco.
- Sacred Valley of the Incas Tour.
- Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu (see what is included for trek below).
- Tourist bus from Cusco to Puno (includes lunch and drinks during trip).
- Lake Titicaca guided tour (visit Uros Floating Islands and Taquile Island).
- Lunch on Taquile Island.
- Tourist motorized boat for Titicaca Lake tour.
- Transfers from/to hotel and Lake Titicaca harbor.
- 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