The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

The Classic Trek in Peru

IMPORTANT NOTICE:
About the Inca Trail Trek Permits

Permits are issued by the Peruvian park authority and are limited to 500 persons per day on the Inca Trail. This includes passengers and all guides and support staff. Once permits are sold out (typically 4-6 months in advance), it is not possible to get onto the Inca Trail, either through us or any other company world-wide. There are no cancellations or wait-lists. If you are out of luck see our quality alternative Moonstone to Sun Temple Trek

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See for yourself why this is the most popular hiking trail in the Andes! You'll enjoy spellbinding Mountain scenery, unforgettable Inca sites, abundant orchids and hummingbirds. We spend four full days walking to Machu Picchu, and a fifth day exploring in the famous ruins. After more than 25 years operating this route, we know how important it is to give all participants adequate time to enjoy the sights at a comfortable pace. Stroll down the Royal Road into the famous Lost City of the Incas!

Many of our returning passengers tell us they found the trek more strenuous and challenging than they had anticipated. During four hiking days you cover 35 km/21.9 miles, starting at 8,700' and finishing at 7,860' above sea level. You must cross two high passes, with a maximum elevation of 13,887'. While trail conditions are generally good, and indeed the condition of centuries-old Inca paving stones is astonishing, some steep trail sections require careful footing and good hiking boots with lug soles. Nevertheless, thanks to our careful pacing, dedicated guides and professional support staff, the trip is suitable for novices as well as experienced hikers.

Porters carry the heavy gear; you walk carrying only a day-pack. Cooks prepare wholesome meals from Fresh ingredients and handle all the kitchen chores. You sleep warm and protected in high quality tents.

Group size: 2 - 16 passengers. For Private Trips for Groups Leaving any Day of The Week or Departures During January To March, Please Consult.

Dates:We depart at 6.30 am every Sunday &Wednesday starting end of March until the end of December

MACHU PICCHU, one of the most magical and mysterious places on Earth! Situated on the spine of a jungle cloaked granite peak towering some 2,000 ft. above an entrenched meander of the roaring river below, the site is frequently shrouded in misty clouds pierced by the powerful equatorial sun. Constructed from precisely sculptured granite blocks carefully joined with the projecting exposed stone of the surrounding mountain, the site may well be the finest architectural achievement of the new world.

Day 1: HuayllabambaWe pick you up at your Cuzco hotel around 6.30 am and transfer by van 3 hours west, to our trailhead at Piscacucho, on the Vilcanota River (km. 82 on the train route to Machu Picchu). Here we meet our porters, and pass through the trailhead control point where passports and trail permits are reviewed. We begin the hike by crossing the river on a suspension bridge, headed west into the park. We hike along the left bank of the powerful Vilcanota River, beneath the impressive snowcapped Nevado Veronica. The valley is dry, with Opuntia and Cholla cactus common; where irrigation is possible, we walk adjacent to fields of corn. In the rapids below the trail, you can spot Torrent ducks swimming in the eddies. These amazing ducks graze the algae growing on the bed of the turbulent river. We explore the enormous Inca ruins of Llactapata, then turn south and begin to gain altitude, climbing up the narrow side valley of the Cusichaca River. We camp on a quiet terrace belonging to a local family in the hamlet of Huayllabamba (2,954 m/9,690 ft). Distance 11.4 km/7.2 miles, elevation gain 300 m/984 ft. (L,D)

Day 2: Pacaymayo We climb steeply through fields and intriguing forest of indigenous queuña and chachacomo trees, then emerge above the tree-line and reach Warmiwañusqa Pass (4,234 m/13,887'). This ascent is the toughest challenge of the entire route for the majority of our passengers. Enjoy magnificent views from the pass to the Huaynay Range snowpeaks and distant Inca ruins. Descend to our camp at Pacaymayo in the valley below the pass (3,613 m/11,850 ft. Distance 7.7 km/4.83 miles, elevation gain 1,280 m./4,200 ft (B,L,D)

Day 3: Phuyopatamarka We climb steeply to reach a second pass (3,975 m/13,038'), and follow a fine Inca highway down to the exquisite ridge-top ruins of Sayaqmarka. Further on, we pass through a tunnel, and remarkable luxuriant cloud forest vegetation. Camp at the superb Phuyopatamarka ruins (3,679m/12,067 ft) overlooking the Vilcanota River far below. Phuyopatamarka is Quechua for "City above the Clouds". The views from our campsite toward the sacred peak of Salcantay are sublime. Distance 7 km/4.5 miles, elevation gain 362 m/1,190 feet (B,L,D)
Day 4: Machu Picchu We descend steeply, following the Royal Highway through orchid-rich cloud forest to Winya Wayna ruins. The final part of the trail on the east side of Machu Picchu Mountain is a stunningly beautiful traverse on finest Inca stonework through cloud forest, leading to the Gate of the Sun overlooking Machu Picchu. We reach this highlight in the golden sunshine of late afternoon, and descend toward the Inca city when it is nearly empty of visitors. We board a shuttle bus to descend a switch-backing road to Puente Ruinas and our camp by the river beneath the ruins (2,000 m/6,560 ft). We finish at our very confortable hotel in Aguas Calientes and welcome hot showers. Distance 9 km/5.8 miles, elevations drop 1,150 m/3,772 ft to Machu Picchu. (B,L,D)
Day 5 Machu Picchu/Cuzco We return to the site by shuttle bus. Those wishing to view sunrise over Machu Picchu can take the pre-dawn bus, which delivers you to the main gate of Machu Picchu at 6.00 am when the gates are opened to the public. An early start gives you more options to hike some of the peripheral trails, such as Wayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain. Please note: ticket costs and terms of sale for these optional destinations are subject to change. We include an in depth guided tour of the ridge-top citadel, allowing a full day so you have ample time to explore. We descend to the nearby village of Aguas Calientes with time for dinner before boarding an evening train to Ollantaytambo, with continuing transfer and arrival into Cuzco around 10.00 pm. Transfer to your hotel. (B)
MACHU PICCHU, one of the most magical and mysterious places on Earth! Situated on the spine of a jungle cloaked granite peak towering some 2,000 ft. above an entrenched meander of the roaring river below, the site is frequently shrouded in misty clouds pierced by the powerful equatorial sun. Constructed from precisely sculptured granite blocks carefully joined with the projecting exposed stone of the surrounding mountain, the site may well be the finest architectural achievement of the new world.

Important: at the time we confirm your participation on this trek, we register your complete name and your passport number (as these appear on your trip application) with park Authorities on the official trek permit. Please make a photocopy of the ID page of your passport, and keep it with your important trip documents. The trek permit is a legal document with specific restrictions limiting changes. You must bring this same passport with you on the trek. If for whatever reason you cannot bring the passport that is registered on the permit at the time of your original booking, or if you change your passport and cannot bring the original document, park authorities may refuse access to the Inca Trail. You then must bring both the expired passport and your new passport with you on the trail, and present both documents at the checkpoints. If your passport agency does not return your original passport, then it is essential that you keep a photocopy of the ID page of the original passport, and bring that with you to Peru.

Note: Some departures for this trip, depending on demand, may be operated in conjunction with another reliable tour operator due to trekking permit rules