Peru’s best-known trek visited by thousands of tourists every year. Throughout this 45-km trek you will visit stunning archaeolaogical sites, soak in the power of the Andean mountains and be surrounded by the lush flora and fauna. Our 5 day trek is an excellent option for those seeking a more tranquil experience, avoiding crowds found more commonly on the traditional 4 day trek.
This 5 day Inca Trail Expedition also includes one night hotel accommodation in a beautiful hotel in Aguas Calientes, catered food, and the opportunity to climb not only Machu Picchu but Huayna Picchu as well.
Total distance trekked: 45 km/ 28 miles
Maximum altitude: 4,215 m /13,825 ft.
Beginning altitude: 2,720 m /8,922 ft.
Overall trek difficulty: Moderate
You will have a thorough briefing with your guide 1 or 2 days before your Inca Trail Expedition. Your guide will meet you at your hotel and you can take this opportunity to ask questions and make any final preparations.
We welcome our first day bright and early, leaving from Cusco in a private van to Piscacucho (2,720 m /8,922 ft.) the starting point of our Inca Trail Expedition. We start by walking 3 hours along the shore of the Wilkamayu (Urubamba) river, a mainly flat terrain, which leads us to the Inca archaeological site of Llactapata (2750m/9020ft). After sharing a delicious lunch prepared by our experienced chefs we relax and take the day to explore and enjoy a guided tour of Llactapata. From here, we continue for another 2 hours until we set up camp for the night in the small beautiful village of Hatunchaca.
Early to rise! Off to trek the gorgeous valley along the Salkantay River and gradually climb 30 minutes until we reach the last village of the Inca Trail, Wayllabamba (3000m/9840ft). Along our journey we see spectacular views of the Vilcanota mountain range. As we venture further from Wayllabamba we begin to ascend for 1 ½ hours until we reach to Ayapata where we will stop for our lunch. After lunch we will still go for 2 more hours uphill with lots of steps until we arrive to Llulluchapampa (3,800 m/12,460 ft.), where we camp and spend the night.
Along our breathtaking journey today, we move through a variety of different landscapes and climates. Ranging from the low sierra to the Uncas forest to cloud forest, and to high puna (a dry and high area with little vegetation). High puna is our opportunity to spot llamas and alpacas grazing on the skirt of the mountains. Not only do we hike from the sierra to puna we also cross through the high jungle. High jungle is the home to many exotic birds and the Andean Spectacled Bear.
Today we will be visiting two ruins sites while surrounded by 360 views of snowcapped mountains and cloud forest. We begin our day with a nourishing and delicious breakfast to prepare for our hike 2 hours up to the highest point of our trek, Warmihuañusca pass, also known as Dead Woman’s Pass (4,215 m/13,825 ft.). Once we arrive, we will soak in the stunning views and then begin a two hour descent to Pacaymayu camp (3600m/11808ft.). At Pacaymayu we will relax and enjoy lunch.
Next, we journey to Runkuracay pass, climbing 2 hours (3970m/13022ft.). Halfway we rest and explore the Runkuracay archaeological site. Here we find ourselves at a beautiful oval structure which is thought to be historically used as a lookout point. Then we set forth descending for 2 hours to Incan ruins, at concha Marca, Sayacmarca (3624m/11887ft). This special site was only discovered in the early 1980´s and is tucked away in a small valley, perched atop an intricate series of tall, rounded terraces.
As we leave Sayacmarca, through a variant terrain we find our home for the night at Phuypatamarca (3700m/12139ft). Here, there is not only a magical sunset awaiting us but our first view of Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Mountain.
Today is the day, the day we step foot on the ancient city of Machu Picchu! Although, we first must adventure through 3 Incan ruin sites – Phuyupatamarca, Intipata and Wiñay Wayna and along the way learn about Incan history and culture.
Our day begins with Phuypatamarca’s incredibly breathtaking views and sunrise our first trail consists of stone steps leading us to Wiñaywayna (2,680 m /8,792 ft.). Wiñaywayna is the second largest ruins site next to Machu Picchu, consisting of complex structures with terraces, as well as urban and religious structures.
Next, we hike to the sacred site, Intipunku (2,720 m/ 8,920 ft.), in Quechua meaning Sun Gate. Here, amidst the mountains we view the sacred Machu Picchu city and the Wilkamayu River. Then we descend for approximately 45 minutes to the city of Machu Picchu and hike through the city to our bus taking us to Aguas Calientes.
In Aguas Calientes, we rest and relax spending our night in a comfortable and beautiful hotel. Also, you have the option to enjoy your afternoon in the natural hot springs to rejuvenate. Our dinner will be shared at the finest restaurant in the town.
We bring in the day with delicious breakfast at the hotel. At 5:30am we board the bus to bring us up the mountain to Machu Picchu. At Machu Picchu you will enjoy a 2 hour informative tour of the city. If you have chosen, at 10 am you will climb Huayna Picchu Mountain. This is included in the price of your Inca Trail Trek. However, if you decide not to you have more time to explore Machu Picchu, as there is much to explore before your bus ride back!
When we arrive back in Aguas Calientes we will board the expedition train to Poroy train station. Enjoying the beautiful views from the train window until we arrive in Poroy. From Poroy you will travel by private van to Cusco and we will drop you off at your hotel. Estimated arrival time in Cusco is 19:45.