Cultural Excursion

Classic Inca Trek

Cusco, Peru

We customize every trip

Prices From: $1,482 per person

This is the classic small group four day trek along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This is a magnificent hike for travelers who are in condition to hike up to ten hours, with breaks, in a single day. The pace may be daunting for some, but the beauty and history of the area encompass the hiker every step of the way. On the last morning you will arrive at Machu Picchu with plenty of time to explore the ruins before returning to Cusco by train. The hike is accompanied by the finest Inca Trail guides (English-speaking), well-paid porters and staff, and includes all meals, transportation, and camping equipment.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1- Piskakucho (km. 82) - Huayllabamba

This morning you will be picked up at your hotel. A spectacular early morning drive through the Sacred Valley of the Incas takes us to our trailhead at Km. 82 of the Machu Picchu railroad. After getting acquainted with our trail crew we set out, crossing a footbridge to hike a gentle two hours down the Urubamba canyon, and then visit imposing sculpted Inca farming terraces and the settlement of Llaqtapata on the banks of the Cusichaca side river. We then climb a short way up the Cusichaca valley to Huayllabamba, the last inhabited village on the trail, where we camp.

Day 2- Huayllabamba - Pacaymayo

We climb the steep-sided Llullucha valley past a rushing stream and through enchanted native polylepis woodland. Crossing the rim of a small plateau, we abruptly find ourselves in the puna, the treeless grasslands of the high Andes. The trail traverses an open slope opposite mighty mountain crags as we ascend to the first and highest pass, Warmiwañusca (4,200m/13,776ft). Here we encounter spectacular views of the trail ahead to the second pass, and look back to the sweeping snowpeaks and valleys of the Huayanay massif. The trail leads to the floor of the forested Pacaymayo valley, where we make camp.

Day 3- Pacaymayo - Wiñay Wayna

We pick up on an Inca stairway and ascend again past the small Inca site of Runkuracay. As we reach the second pass, the landscape opens onto spectacular new views to the snowpeaks of the Pumasillo range. We descend to the ruins of Sayacmarca (Inaccessible Town), an intricate labyrinth of houses, plazas and water channels, perched precariously on a rocky spur overlooking the Aobamba valley. The Inca trail, now a massive buttressed structure of granite paving stones, continues along the steep upper fringes of the cloud forest through a colorful riot of orchids, bromeliads, mosses and ferns. At the third pass pinnacles topped with Inca viewing platforms overlook the archaeological complex of Phuyupatamarca (Cloud-level Town). After pausing to explore the wondrous maze of Inca stone towers, fountains, and stairways that spill down the mountainside here, we begin a long descent through ever-changing layers of cloud forest. An Inca stairway partly cut from living granite leads us finally to our camp by the ruins of Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young), the largest and most exquisite of the Inca Trail sites.

Day 4-Wiñay Wayna - Machu Picchu - Cusco

An early morning hike takes us across a steep mountainside through a lush, humid cloud-forest of giant ferns and broad-leaf vegetation. Suddenly we cross the stone threshold of Intipunku (Sun Gate) and encounter an unforgettable sweep of natural beauty and human artistry –a backdrop of twisting gorges and forested peaks framing the magical city of Machu Picchu. We complete the final leg down the royal flagstone walkway, past outlying shrines and buildings and into the heart of Machu Picchu where we spend the rest of the morning with a guided tour of the highlights and some individual exploring among Machu Picchu’s multitude of hidden nooks and corners. In the early afternoon a bus takes us to the small town of Aguas Calientes where we board our return train to Cusco.

Location

Region: South America

Address:
Cusco
Peru

Amenities/Activities

Day Tours Day Tours

Ecologically Responsible Ecologically Responsible

Hiking Trekking Hiking Trekking

Archeology Indigenous Archeology Indigenous

GBC Staffpick GBC Staffpick

General Information

Price Includes:

  • Transportation from Cusco to the start of the trail
  • Inca Trail permit fee
  • A licensed, well-trained, English-speaking guide, who visits the clients the evening before departure to explain the trek and answer any questions
  • Camping Equipment: spacious North Face tents, dining tent, toilet tent, tables and chairs, oxygen bottle and cooking equipment. Trekkers need only bring a sleeping bags and other personal items.
  • Chef and Assistant Chef preparing healthy, hearty meals cooked with fresh, local ingredients.
  • Well-paid and well-treated porters. We supply the appropriate duffel for you to pack and them to carry. You carry only a light daypack.
  • Entrance fees to Machu Picchu
  • Transport by Vistadome train from Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes Station) to Cusco after the trek.

Price Excludes:

  • Lodging in Cusco and Lima before and after the trek
  • Additional night(s) in a hotel near Machu Picchu
  • Additional excursions/tours in Peru
  • Huayna Picchu entrance fee
  • Sleeping Bag Rentals ($9 per day)
  • Single Supplement (if required)
  • Any personal items or goods
  • Tips & Gratuities
  • Taxes & Fees