If you are only going to trek to Machu Picchu once in your life, do it in style with this high quality 9-day itinerary including time to acclimatize and enjoy Cusco. Our Inca Trail programs can add one day onto the Trail. On this itinerary, we start the Trail a half day after the largest tourist groups. In this way, our camp sites are always half a day behind the big groups, ensuring quieter, more private nights, and a less crowded Trail during the day. Similarly, we arrive in Machu Picchu after the morning crowds have left the site, allowing for a more relaxed introduction to this legendary place. Rates vary depending on hotel choice and group size, we offer 3 star, 4 star and 5 star hotel options.
Today, you will be picked up at the airport in Cusco and transferred to your hotel. (This service is on a private basis.)
Cusco is a beautiful city with well preserved colonial architecture, evidence of a rich and complex history. The city itself represents the center of indigenous Quechua culture in the Andes, and by merely walking the streets one sees the layers of history. Spanish colonial buildings erected directly atop Inca walls line the square, while the modern tourist nightlife flourishes in their midst. The city is surrounded by a number of ruins, the most impressive being Sacsayhuaman, the site of the 1536 battle in which dozens of Pizarro's men charged uphill to battle the forces of the Inca. Nowadays, Cusco is known for its indigenous population--often seen on the streets in traditional clothing--and its substantial tourist-fueled night life.
Today, you will enjoy a half day private guided tour of the city, as well as some of the nearby Inca ruin sites. Cusco is a city with a wealth of history and wonder. As you wander through the streets, you will be guided through centuries of traditional culture and unique architecture. There is something to be admired in every direction you look, and a story to be told at every street corner. During your exploration, you will have the opportunity to discover the many highlights and hidden gems of Cusco. Although the modern travelers and vibrant night life can now be recognized in the city, Cusco is still known for its indigenous population--often seen on the streets in traditional clothing, maintaining it's colonial charm.
Your tour will then head out of Cusco, to visit the main Inca ruins in the Cusco valley, visiting Tambo Machay, Puca Pucara, Kenko, Sacsayhuaman, as well as some lesser known ruins. These impressive sites serve as a great introduction to Inca history, and by walking around them, you will continue to acclimate to the high altitude. (This service is on a private basis.)
Today, you will be whisked away on a half day private tour of Maras & Moray. To begin this excursion, you will visit the famous circular ruins of Moray. Here, you will have time to explore these fascinating ruins and learn all about their unique history from your expert local guide. Moray is believed to be an Incan agricultural center used to improve high altitude crops – an essential commodity for the huge Incan armies and road building teams that supported the empire.
From there, your adventure continues to the ancient town of Maras, with its outstanding Spanish door arches and beautiful church. Maras is famous for its spies, due to its strategic location above the Sacred Valley. After exploring this site, you will drop back down into the charming Sacred Valley of the Incas. Along the way, your guide will point out some of the most astounding salt-pans covering an entire hillside, which you can admire. At the end of your tour, you will be returned to your accommodations. (This service is on a private basis.)
This morning, you will be picked up from your hotel in Cusco, to embark on the unforgettable Inca Trail Trek! You will first be taken on a spectacular drive through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, where you will be dropped off at Chillca, the trailhead (2,670 m / 8,760 ft). Now, the adventure truly begins, as you continue on foot. Crossing a footbridge, you will be led on an undulating trek through a dry cactus zone, beneath soaring views of Mt. Verónica, with the turbulent Urubamba river on your right. You can stop for a break on a bluff, high above the Cusichaca Valley, to let your breath be taken away by the imposing sculpted terraces of Llaqtapata, a massive Inca farming complex. Afterwards, you will turn south and follow this side valley upstream to the village of Huayllabamba, where you will set up camp for the evening (3,000 m / 9,842 ft).
Distance: 16 km
Duration: 7 hours
Max Altitude Point: 3,000 m
From Huayllabamba today, you will begin a steeper ascent, climbing the Llullucha valley, along a stream that rushes through enchanted native unca woodland. Crossing the rim of a small plateau, you will abruptly find yourself in the puna, the treeless grasslands of the high Andes. Here, a stretch of open trail climbs beneath mighty crags, to your first and highest pass, Warmiwañusca (4,200m/13,776ft). From Warmiwañusca, you can look back to the spectacular snow peaks and valleys of the Huayanay massif, and ahead, to a distant view of tomorrow’s trail to the second pass. Descending a stepped stone trail, you will encounter your campsite (3,627m / 11,899 ft) in a clearing of the forested Pacamayo valley.
Distance: 7 km
Duration: 7 hours
Max Altitude Point: 4,200 m
Picking up camp this morning, you will head along an Inca stairway and ascend again past the small Inca site of Runkuracay . As you reach the second pass (3,900 m /12,800 ft), the landscape opens onto spectacular new views of the snow peaks of the Pumasillo range. You will descend again 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, you will camp by pinnacles topped with Inca viewing platforms, overlooking the archaeological complex of Phuyupatamarca (Cloud-level Town) (3,600 m / 11,810 ft).
Distance: 11 km
Duration: 7 hours
Max Altitude Point: 3,900 m
Today, you will explore the wondrous maze of Inca stone towers, fountains and stairways, spilling down the mountainside at Phuyupatamarca. You will then proceed to begin a long descent through ever-changing layers of cloud forest. An Inca stairway, partly cut from living granite, leads you at last to the site of Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young) (2,650 m / 8695 ft), the largest and most exquisite of the Inca Trail sites. In the afternoon, you will follow the last stretch of trail across a steep mountainside and through a lush, humid cloud-forest of giant ferns and broad-leaf vegetation. Suddenly, you will 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 (2,430 m / 7,972 ft). Every step of your excursion will be worth it, when you are rewarded with this!
After enjoying your first visit to the ruins, continue on to Machu Picchu Pueblo. You deserve the warm and comfortable night's rest in a hotel!
Distance: 11 km
Duration: 5 hours
Max Altitude Point: 3,600 m
Enjoy an early morning visit to the fabled ruins, spending today in both guided and individual exploration. Take your time to investigate the multitude of hidden nooks and corners, as you discover the most fascinating features of this astounding and mysterious Inca settlement. If you're itching for a challenge, you may be interested in embarking on the grueling trek up to the summit of Huayna Picchu. Facing steep and exposed steps, this journey is not for the fainthearted, but offers an astounding "condor's eye" view above the ruins. Please note that this trek requires a special Huayna Picchu Permit, which has not yet been included in your tour. Should you be interested in taking on this expedition at an additional cost, please let us know as soon as possible, as permits do sell out.
After an overwhelming adventure of this glorious monument to the Inca achievement, you will ride the return shuttle down to Machu Picchu Pueblo, where you will board the Vistadome train back to Cusco. Upon arrival at the Poroy station, which is located just outside of Cusco, you will be greeted by your driver and transferred to your accommodations within the city. Fall asleep dreaming of today's once in a lifetime experience!
Sadly, you have reached your final day in Peru. You will be transferred to the airport in good time to board your international departure flight home...Buen Viaje! (This service is on a private basis.)
If what you're looking for is a conveniently located hotel in Cuzco (Cusco), look no further than Quinta San Blas by Ananay Hotels. From here, guests can enjoy easy access to all that the lively city has to offer. With its convenient location, the hotel offers easy access to the city's must-see destinations. The facilities and services provided by Quinta San Blas by Ananay Hotels ensure a pleasant stay for guests. For the comfort and convenience of guests, the hotel offers free Wi-Fi in all rooms, 24-hour front desk, luggage storage, Wi-Fi in public areas, room service. In addition, all guestrooms feature a variety of comforts. Many rooms even provide wake-up service, heating, desk, soundproofing, telephone to please the most discerning guest. The hotel offers many unique recreational opportunities such as outdoor pool, massage. Superb facilities and an excellent location make the Quinta San Blas by Ananay Hotels the perfect base from which to enjoy your stay in Cuzco (Cusco).
Hotel Pakaritampu is located in the city of Ollantaytambo, in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, an hour and a half by car from the Cusco. The train station of Ollantaytambo offers easy access to Machu Picchu, an hour and fifteen minute ride away. The 37 guestrooms have spectacular views of the area, picturesque balconies, and private bath with hot water and shower. The hotel is surrounded by lovely gardens featuring a variety of flora typical of the region, and offers extraordinary views of the archaeological center and the nearby mountains.
Camping on the Inca Trail is an experience like no other. Meet and become friends with the porters and cooks that will support your journey to Machu Picchu. While walking all you need to carry is a daypack. Your luggage is carried by the porters, your tents are put up for you and your food is prepared for you. All you have to do is shoulder your daypack and enjoy the walking. Tents are new and sturdy and can fit up to two people each. Nothing beats waking to the smell of breakfast and stepping out of your tent to spectacular panoramic views of the Andes.
Step into the smart, contemporary and cozy confines of El MaPi, amidst the picturesque Machu Picchu Pueblo. Discover an efficient, lively and friendly atmosphere, which will welcome you into a wondrous escape from real life worries. The flowing lobby creates a sense of vitality. Lofty ceilings, panoramic windows and an open air cafe, allow natural light to filter between tall eucalyptus dried branches, creating a lovely and relaxing ambiance. Make the most of your enlightening visit to Peru’s most famous destination, the Machu Picchu Archaeological site, with the perfect home away from home at El MaPi.
*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.