Day 1 – Lima
Upon arrival to Lima at “Jorge Chavez” International Airport, you will be met and driven to the hotel of your choice. Assistance with hotel check-in and a briefing of your program will be provided at this time. Overnight at hotel of your choice.
Day 2 – Lima - Cusco (B/-/-)
Buffet Breakfast will be served at your hotel, followed by an early morning private transfer to the airport to board your flight to Cusco (1 hour approximately).
Upon arrival to Cusco's airport, Capital of the Inca Empire, you will be met by a staff member who will assist and drive you to the required hotel. Hotel check-in and a program briefing will be provided at this time. After a short rest, and a delightful lunch, an afternoon tour of the city and nearby ruins. Take a visit to the Cathedral, one of the city’s greatest repertories of colonial art; the Koricancha (once the Inca empire richest temple), and the Pre – Columbian Art Museum which has a showcase of 450 archaeological pieces. Visit Sacsayhuamán, the most impressive ruin next to Cusco city meaning in Quechua “satisfied falcon” has a religious and military significance. Thought to be a hunting lodge, Puca Pucará is a rock structure which looks pink in some lights and the name means “red fort”. It is composed of several lower residential chambers, storerooms and an upper esplanade with great views. Finally visit Quenko; this shire means “zigzag” and consists of a large limestone riddled with niches, steps and carving, including zigzagging channels which gave the site its name. Try a light dinner for climatizing and an early overnight.
Day 03 – Cusco / Sacred Valley / Cusco (B/L/-)
Route: Moray - Maras – Salineras
- Total distance: 10 km (6,27 miles)
- Estimated walking time: 6-7 hours
- Maximum altitude point: 3, 028 m ( 9,934ft)
- Degree: Moderate to chanllenging
Buffet Breakfast served at the hotel. A transfer at 7:00 am from the hotel to take a full day tour to Moray and Maras, the Salinas Salt pans. The Maras–Moray one day trek is a fantastic way of combining breathtaking Andean scenery, local farming techniques, Inca Ruins, ancient towns and the interesting Maras Salt pans. The trek begins across the fertile plain of Chinchero, rich with grain, potatoes & beans, and gives a fascinating insight into traditional Andean agriculture. A picnic lunch is enjoyed at the circular Inca ruins of Moray before exploring these fascinating ruins. Moray is believed to be an Incan agricultural center used to improve high altitude crops – an essential food source for the Incan armies and road building teams throughout the vast Inca Empire. The trek continues along mule trails before passing through the ancient town of Maras with its outstanding Spanish door arches and vast church. Maras is famous for its spies due to its strategic location above the Sacred Valley. The trail then descends down into the Sacred Valley of the Incas. En-route are the incredible salt pans of Maras that were mentioned in the chronicles of the conquering Spanish. A vehicle waits in the valley for the drive to Cusco for an overnight. (B, L)
Day 04 – Cusco / Tambomachay (B/L/D)
Route: Cusco – Tambomachay – Huchuy Qosqo – Cusco (2 days -1 night trek)
- Total distance – Day 01: 25 kms
- Estimated walking time – Day 01: 9 hours
- Maximum altitude point – Day 01: 4,230 m (13,874 ft)
- Degree: Moderate to chanllenging
Early morning pick up from hotel at 7.30 am and drive to Tambomachay (3,800 m/12,464 feet), an archaeological complex situated in the Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Park. Tambomachay is comprised of a series of ceremonial water fountains, which are thought to have been dedicated to a water cult.
The day’s hike will start at this point, and will continue through puna landscapes and over the Sicllaccasa pass at 4,020m/13,186ft. Down the other side, we hike along a path that leads to the Ccauca ravine, where we encounter archaeological remains and wild crops, such as tarwi, and a large quantity of cacti. We continue on to the Queullococha pass at 4,185m/13,727ft, where we may enjoy views of the lake with the same name. Surrounding the area in spectacular views stand the Veronica, Pitusiray, Chicon and San Juan snow peaks. Continuing the path, we walk past the Queullococha Lake, where we may see huallatas, ducks and small fish, to then climb towards the Challu Challu pass at 4,220m/13,842ft. From this point, we observe the Chinchero planes and the Piuray and Qoricocha lagoons. We then ascend towards the fourth pass at Rumicruz at 4,230m/13,874ft and enjoy a panoramic view of the Qoricocha and the Vilcanota snow capped range. Here we rest and eat lunch. We then make our way to the Inca rock quarry at 4,220m/13,842ft, which was the place from where the rocks were extracted to build Huchuy Qosqo. Finally, we descend towards the Pucamarca community at 4,010m/13,153ft, where we arrive in the late afternoon. Here we dine and camp through the night. (B, L, D)
Day 05 – Tambomachay / Huchuy Qosqo / Cusco (B/L/-)
- Total distance – Day 02 (approximate): 8 kms (15.53 miles)
- Estimated walking time – Day 02 (approximate): 3 hours
- Maximum altitude point – Day 02 (approximate): 3,600 m (11,808 ft)
- Degree: Moderated
We leave camp at around 8.00 am, and walk downhill towards the Leon Punku ravine, where we find remains of an Inca bridge and trail. This canyon boasts geological formations surrounded by majestic rocks and boulders that direct the river to Huchuy Qosqo at 3,600m/11,808ft, where we arrive by mid morning. Huchuy Qosqo is an Inca archaeological complex with imposing architecture that includes a large open ceremonial center, from which we enjoy a panoramic view of the Sacred Valley, the Vilcanota River, and the snow capped mountain range of the same name. While in the complex, we will receive a guided tour until lunchtime, after which we continue our way to Lamay at 3,000m/9,840ft. Lamay is a town dedicated to agriculture and cattle raising. Later in the afternoon, our private transportation drives back to Cusco. Estimated arrival time in the late evening. (B, L)
Day 6 – Cusco / Aguas Calientes (B/L/D)
Route: San Pedro-Chachabamba-Wiñay Wayna-Inti Punku-Machu Picchu (2 days-1 night trek)
- Total distance (approximate): 13 km (8,08 miles)
- Estimated walking time (approximate): 6-7 hours
- Maximum altitude point (approximate): 2,650 m (8,692 ft)
- Degree: Moderated
We pick you up from your hotel at 05.30am and take you to San Pedro train station to board the train that will take us to km.104 km on the Cusco – Machu Picchu railroad (starting point of the trek), where we will arrive at around 10:00 am. We start visiting the Chachabamba archaeological complex (2,150m/7,052ft), located very close to the control point, to then embark upon an 8 km ascending trail, which after four hours takes us to the archaeological complex of Wiñaywayna (2,650m/8,692ft).
This is an impressive complex made up of an agricultural center with numerous terraces, a religious sector and an urban sector. On the way up we will have magnificent views of the Urubamba River valley and the Choquesuysuy archaeological complex located on the other side of the river, and also of a beautiful waterfall located just a few minutes away from Wiñaywayna. We then go on and climb to Intipunku, or The Sun Gate. This will take an hour of hiking along a trail of flat stones on the edges of cliffs in highland jungle. From this fabulous spot, we may contemplate the sacred citadel of Machu Picchu. From Intipunku we descend to Machu Picchu and then by bus to Aguas Calientes. We are then accommodated at the selected hotel. (B, BL, D)
Day 7 – Aguas Calientes / Cusco (B/-/-)
We wake up early and board a bus, which will take us up to Machu Picchu where we begin a complete guided tour of the Inca citadel that will take approximately two hours. You will then have free time to walk around, climb the Huayna Picchu Mountain, where you can experience spectacular views of all of Machu Picchu, the valleys and mountains that surround it, or visit the Temple of the Moon and the fabulous Inca Bridge. In the afternoon, we meet in the town of Aguas Calientes where, if you like, you can visit and relax in the hot springs. From here we take the train back to the city of Cusco, where we arrive after nightfall. Overnight at the hotel of your choice. (B)
Day 8 – Cusco - Lima (B/-/-)
Breakfast served at the hotel. Morning transfer to the airport to board the flight to other Peruvian destinations or to Lima in order to connect with your international flight.
- Transfers from all hotels to starting points for treks.
- Train ticket from Cusco to km.104 (starting point of the trail.)
- Inca Trail and Machu Picchu entrance fees.
- Meals: As indicated in the itinerary.
- First-aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle.
- Bus ticket from Machu Picchu ruins down to the village of Aguas Calientes – 1st day.
- Round trip bus tickets Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes – 2nd day.
- Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Cusco (Vistadome Service.)
- 7 nights hotel accommodations.
- International and domestic airfares.
- Meals or any other item not described in the itinerary.
- Personal expenses.
- Tips to guides and hotels’ staff .
- International airport tax from Lima: US$ 30.25 - subject to change
- Domestic airport taxes Lim/Cus/Lim : US$ 11.09 - subject to change.
- Local taxes (19% V.A.T. is applicable only to Peruvian and foreign residents of Peru; in order to be exempted you will need to show your passport.)
Cusco’s climate is divided into two differentiated seasons: the rainy season, from November to April (the heaviest rainfalls occurring usually between January – March); and the dry season, from May to October. The dry season is colder, so temperatures can drop to below 0 degrees at night.
Along this hike, temperatures range from 10-20ºC during the day, although they could be a little colder when crossing the pass in the dry season in case of bad weather.
- Rain jacket or poncho (plastic ponchos can be purchased in Cusco.)
- Strong footwear, ideally trekking or sport shoes.
- Camera, films and batteries (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions.)
- Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain or cold.
- Sun block.
- Insect repellent.
- Original passport
Appropriate clothing along the trails
Hiking pants and T-shirts are commonly used during the day, complemented by a sweater or fleece and waterproof jackets if cloudy or rainy. It is very convenient to have light raingear available in the daypack (rain poncho or jacket and/or rain pants) as the weather changes easily and rains can suddenly occur. At night, warm clothing is required in Aguas Calientes and Machupicchu, although the temperature is usually warmer than in Cusco due to the lower altitude.