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The Inca Trail Tour

The most famous trek in Latin America.

Overview

The Inca Trail in Peru is by far the most famous trek in Latin America, and is rated by many to be one of the top five treks in the world. Within 26 miles (43km) you are treated to spectacular mountain scenery, lush cloud forest, subtropical ‘jungle’ and a glimpse into the Inca world, finishing in the stunning lost city of Machu Picchu.

Costs from £563 per person

Our local partners have been organising exceptional Inca Trail tours for over twenty years and have designed our Inca Trail holiday itinerary with you in mind - spacing out the trekking days to smoothly gain altitude at the beginning and to evenly distribute your efforts during the rest of the trek. They are the only operators to use the camp at Km. 82, where you can enjoy stunning scenery with the luxury amenities of indoor toilets, hot showers and a wood fired sauna. This is the best way to begin the Inca trail: fresh and relaxed right from your tent. You will avoid the extremely early wake up in Cusco (4:30 a.m.) and 2 hour bus transfer to meet the crowds at the entrance to the Inca trail!

Inca Trail, green mountain valley, Inca Trail, the sacred valley

Inca Trail, resting porters Flowers on vines

We also offer similar treks in the Machu Picchu area, the most popular of which is the Salkantay trek which ends in Aguas Calientes, giving you a good taste of Inca history and rural Andean life whilst offering a fascinating alternative to the Inca Trail.

 

If you would like any more information or to chat over the details of the trip we would be delighted to help. Telephone Telephone01964 552292 for more information or email email us today.

Classic Inca Trail

How we make it special

  • Our partners in Peru are the only operators to use our exclusive Camp at Km. 82; where you can enjoy nature with the amenities of indoor plumbing toilets, hot showers and a wood fire sauna in the midst of beautiful setting before beginning the official trek. The best way to begin the Inca trail: fresh and relaxed right from your tent.
  • You will avoid the extremely early wake up in Cusco, the 2 hour bus transfer to the trail head and also start the day before the crowds gather at the entrance checkpoint.
  • The Think Peru team will organise all your logistics for the Inca Trail, with our team of porters, a chef, bilingual local guides and camping equipment, so that all you need to do is trek and soak up the amazing scenery and ruins that you will meet along the way.
  • You optimize your travel time and help you to acclimatize by exploring the Sacred Valley in depth like few people do, on the way to the trail head at “Camp Km.82”.
  • For your enjoyment, we have designed this itinerary spacing out the trekking days to smoothly gain altitude at the beginning and to evenly distribute you efforts during the rest of the trek days.

 

Outline Itinerary
Day 1 – Sacred Valley & Private Camp at KM.82
Day 2 – KM.82 to Huayllabamba
Day 3 – Huayllabamba to Pacaymayu
Day 4 – Pacaymayu to Winaywayna
Day 5 – Winaywayna to Machu Picchu

Day 1 - Sacred Valley & private camp at KM.82 At 7:30 a.m. in the morning you will be picked up by a private vehicle from your hotel for a tour of the Sacred Valley before you begin the official Inca Trail the following morning. You will be driven over the pass above Cusco and descend onto a winding road to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. From here you will hike on Inca trails trough the magnificent Inca citadel of Pisac, considered one of the most outstanding Inca remains because of the quality of the stone work and breathtaking location overlooking the Sacred Valley. After a 1 1/2hour visit and hike you will be driven down the mountain for a short visit to the colonial town followed by a quick stop at their famous Indian handicraft market. Afterwards you will be driven downstream to Urubamba; here we will visit the local food market and have lunch at a local restaurant.

Afterwards you’ll visit Ollantaytambo, considered the most authentic living Inca town. This town has been continuously inhabited since Inca times until the present, conserving its original urban layout and stone walled homes. A guided walking tour through the extensive ruins and cobblestone paved narrow streets will make you feel like you are travelling back in time. From here you’ll travel for 40 minutes on a mostly unpaved road to the beautifully situated permanent campsite “Camp Km. 82” on the banks of the Urubamba River. Located at 2700 meters above sea level (8,900 feet), it offers indoor plumbing, hot showers and a firewood sauna. From the camp you enjoy panoramic views of the snow-capped Mt. Veronica (20,275'). This private camp is the starting point of The Inca Trail and is a wonderful place to relax and prepare for the challenge ahead. (B, L, D)

Day 2 - KM.82 to Huayllabamba You will meet your porters and pass through the Machu Picchu control station before beginning The Inca Trail! The trail starts by following the Urubamba River, and after a couple of hours of gentle hiking you reach a point to view the extensive Inca ruins of Llactapata. You continue hiking, this time away from the Urubamba River ascending and following the Cusichaca River towards the village of Huayllabamba, you have a picnic lunch nearby and continue ascending to our campsite right below the 2nd Park Control Station with splendid views of Mount Veronica. You will find your tents set up and ready for you. You will have time to rest a little before being served dinner (B, L, D)
• Total distance: 12 km (7,47 miles)
• Estimated walking time: 5-6 hours
• Maximum altitude point: 3,000 m (9,840 ft)
• Campsite altitude: 3,000 m (9,840 ft)

Day 3 - Huayllabamba to Pacaymayu After enjoying the beauty of this special campsite and a nutritious early breakfast you begin this challenging day: Today you go over the highest pass of the trail. You ascend through an interesting cloud forest of native trees before reaching the lunch spot at “Llullucchapampa”. You have lunch enjoying views of the far away Huayllanay Glacier and the high pass known as “Warmiwañusta” or Dead Woman’s Pass (4,200 meters above sea level). After lunch, you slowly ascend towards the high pass, taking time to stop and have a little break whilst being rewarded with spectacular views. After reaching the pass you will begin to descend to the campsite at Pacaymayu. (B, L, D)
• Total distance: 11 km (6,84 miles)
• Estimated walking time: 6-7 hours
• Maximum altitude point: 4,200 m (13,776 ft)
• Campsite altitude: 3,500 m (11,480 ft)

Day 4 - Pacaymayu to Winaywayna An early nourishing breakfast bolsters your energy for a day’s hike on the original cobblestone paved trail left by the Incas. You can appreciate the lovely changes in vegetation and geology as you pass through different ecological zones. You climb up and over the second high pass at 3,950m. On a clear day, your efforts are rewarded with unparalleled views of the snow covered peaks of the Cordillera Vilcabamba and the lush valley vegetation. Masterful Inca engineering is today’s highlight along the trail as you explore the Inca remains of Sayajmarca at 3,640m. You will have a picnic lunch and continue to the incomparable site of Phuyupatamarca, at 3,680m. You continue on to the campsite at Wiñay Wayna, where you have time to soak up some of the magical charm of the marvellous ruins nearby. (B, L, D)
• Total distance: 16 km (9,94 miles)
• Estimated walking time: 8 hours
• Maximum altitude point: 3,900 m (12,792 ft)
• Campsite altitude: 2,650 m (8,692 ft)

Day 5 - Winaywayna to Machu Picchu Today you will have an early rise if you wish to see the sun rise over Machu Picchu. This morning you will say your farewells to the porter and chef as they will not accompany you to Machu Picchu. After breakfast, we hike a couple of hours to reach Inti Punku, The Sun Gate. From here you will get your first glimpses of the spectacular city of Machu Picchu. From here you enjoy the sun rising over the mountain peaks and see the suns rays lighting up this ancient citadel. A quick descent along the wide royal Inca road and you enter the mysterious citadel for an in depth tour before exploring the site at your own pace. In the afternoon you catch the bus to the town of Aguas Calientes down below by the Urubamba River. (B)
• Total distance: 4 km (2,49 miles)
• Estimated walking time: 2 hours
• Maximum altitude point: 2,700 m (8,829 ft)
• Machupicchu altitude: 2,400 m (7,872 ft)

Classic Inca Trail Classic

If you would like any more information or to chat over the details of the trip we would be delighted to help. Telephone Telephone01964 552292 for more information or email email us today.

Luxury Lodge to Lodge

Adventure and luxury combine as you trek from lodge to lodge along the “Salkantray Inca Trail”. All your logistics are taken care of, and gourmet food, relaxation and comfort are in abundance during this wonderful trek each of the four lodges you stay at has hot showers, goose-down bedding and some lodges even have outdoor jacuzzis - so you can relax, enjoy and experience this majestic area of the world in style! The trek follows in the footsteps of the ancient Inca civilisation taking you from 3,900m/12,800ft to 2,100m/9,600, traversing magnificent mountain passes, exploring wild terrain that takes you through 15 different ecosystems, coffee plantations, snow-capped peaks, and with the chances for ethic and cultural exchange ever present with the local communities to past through, ending at the enigmatic and beautiful Machu Picchu.

Luxury Lodge to Lodge Luxury Lodge to Lodge

Day1 Cusco to Salkantay Lodge

After an early breakfast you will be collected from your hotel and will set off towards the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Your first stop will be Limatambo to visit the Inca ruins of Tarawasi. Passing through the mountain range of Mollepata you will stop to enjoy local organic coffee before a short final leg to Marcocassa where you will begin the beautiful trek to Soraypampa, a moderate level path known as the “Camino Real” which translates as the Royal Path for around 6 hours before arriving at The Salkantray Lodge. The lodge is overlooked by Mount Salkantray which stands at 6,270m (20,600ft) making it the highest in the region. Welcomed by very friendly staff who will direct you to your rooms you will have time to freshen up before aperitifs and a gourmet dinner.

Day 2 A hike to Humantay Lake

You will spend the second night at the Salkantray Lodge and use this as a base for day 2 for taking part in a 4 hour moderate to challenging level trek to beautiful Lake Humantay. Lunch and dinner will be cooked by the gourmet chefs at the lodge. In the afternoon you are free to relax and take in the scenery from the comfort of the outdoor Jacuzzi before a challenging but rewarding day of trekking ahead.

Luxury Lodge to Lodge Luxury Lodge to Lodge

Day 3 Crossing the Salkantay Pass

Today, you ascend the Rio Blanco Valley to the highest point of the trek, the Salkantay Pass at 4,638m (15,213ft). The climb is rewarded with magnificent views over snow-capped mountains of the Vilcabamba Mountain Range with the south face of Mount Salkantay towering above you. Once the pass has been reached you descend to Wayra Lodge (3,906m/12,812ft) to relax and enjoy some fantastic food.

Day 4 Descending into the Cloud Forest

This morning you begin your decent along the Salkantay River where you will begin to feel the warm air rising from the jungle for the first time. This warm air fuels a different vegetation and the scenery becomes more lush in this area of cloud forest where butterflies pollinate the wild are rare orchids. Tonight at the Colpa Lodge (2,870m/9,414ft) where the chef will have prepared a Pachamanca -a traditional meal where the meat and vegetables are layered before being buried in an underground oven made from hot stones and plantain leaves. The Colpa Lodge is located in an open plateau at the confluence of 3 rivers. The afternoon can be spent enjoying the jacuzzi, relaxing in the grounds or you can explore a nearby orchid trail.

Day 5 Following the Santa Teresa River Valley

Today you will trek along the Santa Teresa river valley for approximately 5-6 hours through coffee plantations, avocado orchards and banana plantations. A hot picnic lunch by the river. After lunch there will be a one hour hike before you meet up with your private transport and are driven for around 30 minutes to the “Llactapata Inca Trail”. From here you make your way to Lucma Lodge (2,135m/7,003ft) visiting a coffee plantation en route and discovering how coffee is grown, harvested , dried and processed.

Luxury Lodge to Lodge Luxury Lodge to Lodge

Day 6 Llactapata Pass

The final day of trekking will begin with a 2-3 hour moderate to challenging trek uphill to the Llactapata Pass(2,736m/8.974m) From here you will get your first glimpse of Machu Picchu from the south west- a view few explorers ever get the chance to see. After exploring the recently restored Llactapata ruins you will lunch overlooking the beautiful valley below. After lunch you descend to the Aobamba River through bamboo forest and coffee plantations before boarding a train to Aguas Calientes.(train takes approx. 1 hour). Here you check into an award winning beautiful hotel for a celebration dinner before you reach your final destination.

Day 7 Machu Picchu

Today an early start to travel up to Machu Picchu to see the sun rise over the breath-taking ruins (approx. 30minutes). Here you will have a 2 hour guided tour of the ruins with a bilingual specialist guide with the option to climb the staircase to Huayna Pichu. After a late lunch in Aguas Calientes you will take your train Ollaytantambo from where you will be privately transported back to your hotel in Cusco. Arriving early evening.

 

If you would like any more information or to chat over the details of the trip we would be delighted to help. Telephone Telephone01964 552292 for more information or email email us today.

Think Galapagos

Rachel DexCall Rachel, Peru Specialist
on 01964 552292
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