5 DAY INCA TRAIL

5 Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

5 Days $2990 ex Cusco

Accommodation

3 Nights Camping
1 Night Hotel

Transportation

Mostly by foot.
Train & vehicle transfers

Included Meals

8 Breakfasts
6 Lunches
5 Dinners

Trip Grade

Category 3
High Heart Rate Holiday

A momentary pause as you suck in the air. Panting, hands on hips.

At over 4000 metres, even little things, normally simple things, can be a challenge.

The stone beneath your booted feet is cold and hard, yet despite this, incredibly, it is worn smooth by the generations of generations that once trod this same path as you.

Barefooted, then crude sandals… now here you are in modern, fitted hiking boots.

Yet, despite all this, the stunning view before you, is the same as they would have had hundreds, even thousands of years past.

“It’s an irritating reality that many places and events defy description. Angkor Wat and Machu Picchu, for instance, seem to demand silence… In the end, you’re just happy you were there – with your eyes open – and lived to see it.”

Anthony Bourdain

“In the variety of its charms and the power of its spell, I know of no other place in the weld which can compare with it.”

Hiram Bingham, (re) Discoverer of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu.

It features prominently in many people’s bucket lists, and with good reason. To see these incredible ruins, in person, is something else.

With time enough, most of these people who have it on their ‘list’ will eventually get to tick it off.

Sure, you can ride the train.

Even go for a touch of lux and take the Belmond Hiram Bingham (a luxury train service that is pure indulgence)…

But you’d be missing out.

Some of the best bits you’ll see, aren’t actually at Machu Picchu!

Here, away from the crowds, you can have the run of the mountains, almost to yourself…

Stunted Forest

The Journey

Your five day Inca Trail is carefully tailored to avoid the crowds.

By departing later than most groups, and allowing an extra day, you spend the whole trail out of sync with other tourists. Thus you will literally have the trail to yourselves.

This morning you visit the old Inca town of Ollantaytambo.

After a look around and some lunch you have a short drive to the trailhead at Piscacucho (km 82).

Here you meet the porters and cooks that will support your journey to Machu Picchu.

With the crowds now long gone, you hike an undulating trail above the Urubamba river to camp beside the spectacular ruins of Llactapata (2,788m/9,146ft).

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. (D)

After a hearty breakfast you climb gently up the Cusichaca valley to the small hamlet of Huayllabamba.

This is the last inhabited place on the trail. A little steeper now, you head up the beautiful Inca path, past hummingbirds and stunted cloud forest to your camp at Llulluchapampa (3,680m/12,073ft).

This beautiful grassy area has outstanding views and you may even see the Andean deer that come to feed here. (B,L,D)

Today is the most challenging day but also the most exhilarating.

You climb to Dead Woman’s Pass (4,212m/13,819ft) the high point of the trail before dropping into the Pacasmayo valley. Climbing once more you pass the Inca control post of Runkuracay to the second pass of the day (3,998m/13,117ft).

On a clear day there are spectacular views towards Pumahuanca mountain in the Vilcabamba range.

Sayacmarca. Located at the junction of two old Inca roads, historians still argue over its exact purpose. A few more gentle ups and downs and you arrive at your stunning campsite for the night, Phuyupatamarca, or ‘the place above the clouds’ (3,650m/11,975ft). (B,L,D)

This is the day you finally reach Machu Picchu. As you step out of your tent the views are stunning. Perhaps you will see the sun rising over the snow-capped mountains of Salkantay (6,200m/20,341ft) and Veronica (5,800m/19,029ft). Or perhaps you will have a cloud inversion, with the clouds filling the valleys beneath your feet. After saying a fond farewell to your porters it is time to put on your boots and head to Machu Picchu.

You descend through the cloud forest on beautiful Incan stairways, to Winay Wayna, another interesting ruin full of swallows and orchids.

Finally, you contour the hillside to arrive at Inti Punku, the gateway of the Sun.

As you step through the old stone arch, Machu Picchu appears laid out before your eyes.

After plenty of time for photos you carry on past this wonder of the world to catch the bus down to the colourful town of Machu Picchu Pueblo and a well-deserved hotel bed and shower. (B,L)

Journey Extensions

Check out our Journey Extensions for those that want to stay a little longer or try something different along the way.

Arequipa, the beautiful “White City” and the nearby Colca Canyon is the perfect place to start or finish a trip to Peru and is ideal for both acclimatising to the rarefied air of the Andes, or for relaxing in its hot springs.

(4 Days/3 Nights) 

Per person is $1200 (twin share)

Includes: 2 nights in Colca Canyon, 3 Star Hotel in Arequipa, English speaking guide, tours of Arequipa, Colca Canyon and Cruz del Condor, Entrance to Santa Catalina and Colca National Park, Silustani tour and entrance fees

Lake Titicaca offers a great way to relax and explore the fascinating culture of the Aymara Indians who dwell upom the lake. Take a boat cruise to the amazing floating islands of Uros and Taquile Island, overnight with a local family on Amantani or watch a sunset at the pre-Inca Ruins of Silustani.

(3 Days/2 Nights) 

Per person is $1000 (twin share)

Includes: 3 Star Hotel in Puno, English speaking guide, Lake Titicaca tour, Luxury Train

A visit to our well appointed jungle lodge in the excellent lowland rain forest of the Tambopata National Reserve is one of the best ways to see some of the world’s best rain forest wildlife that is available in a short, economical stay.

The reserve and the adjacent Bahuaje-Sonene National Park, is home to over 20,000 plant species, over 900 species of birds (more species than in all of continental USA), 91 mammals, 1230 butterflies, 127 amphibians and reptiles, and much more. It’s a haven for the Amazon’s largest, most spectacular and most endangered predators – the Jaguar, the Giant Otter, the Harpy Eagle and the Black Caiman.

(4 Days/3 Nights) 

Per person is $846 (twin share)

Includes: Two or Three nights full-board at Jungle lodge and full guided service throughout, All transfers to and from Puerto. Maldonado airport to Jungle lodge by bus, boat and canoe

Visit some of the delights in Cusco’s surrounds!

The famed Incan ruins of Tambo Machay (known as the Incan baths), Puca Pucara, Pisac and its delightful terraced slopes, Q’enko and the vast ruin above Cusco itself, Sacsayhuaman.

(Half Day) 

Per person is $277 (down to $120 per person for a group of 4)

Includes: All entrance fees, English speaking guide, Transportation, Snacks & water

This lovely half day bike riding trip is a superb introduction to the Inca heritage of Peru, as well as being suitably flexible to suit everyone, from the beginner to the experienced.

At 3,650 – 3,250m, this is also a perfect acclimatisation ride to prepare you for your onward travels at altitude.

(Half Day) 

Per person is $162 (down to $66 per person for a group of 4)

Includes: English speaking guide, Transportation

Season

March to January (Closed for February)

Includes

  • Vehicle connection to and from the trail
  • Entrance into the World Heritage listed Machu Picchu
  • English and Spanish speaking guides trained in first-aid and C.P.R.
  • 3 Star hotel in Aguas Calientes
  • All meals as indicated in itinerary (Breakfast – B, Lunch – L and Dinner – D)

Excludes

  • International Flights
  • Accommodation in Cusco
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal spending money
  • Tips for General Guides
  • Any meals not listed as included

Your Guides and Safety

Your guide can make the difference between a good holiday and an exceptional holiday.

Efrain Valles (who has worked with us for over ten years), was even voted Wanderlust World Guide of the Year 2014!

All our guides come to us as recommendations from our current guides, and they are very careful who they recommend.

We consider training a vital investment to ensure the security and safety of all our trips. We also believe that trained guides are confident guides which help them to relax and enjoy the trip which we firmly believe will massively enhance your own personal enjoyment.

All our guides are qualified in first aid, with instructors brought in from the UK to run these courses.

On the ground, we have an extensive local contact network, which ensures that we are able to organize visits by the Doctors (when needed) and treatments as quickly and as comfortably as possible.

Accommodation

There’s no escaping it, this is a camping expedition, so for the most part, it’s going to be in a tent.

The plus side is, each and every morning, you’ll be waking in a new, stunning location!

“It’s an irritating reality that many places and events defy description. Angkor Wat and Machu Picchu, for instance, seem to demand silence… In the end, you’re just happy you were there – with your eyes open – and lived to see it.”

Anthony Bourdain

Food in Peru

Versions of most of the most common foods from home can be found, with hopefully something to suit even the fussiest of eaters (be they child or adult).

Furthermore, many Peruvian staples are now fairly commonplace in western grocers, especially the ubiquitous Quinoa.

For those wanting to be a little adventurous, we can rarely go past recommending Cuy (Guinea Pig).

Perhaps better known as household pets, in the Incan world, they have long been raised as a food source (you’ll even see evidence of this among the ruins as you explore).

Of course, if you’ve anyone with any dietary requirements, please reach out, as most can be accommodated.

“Peruvian food is so simple yet amazingly flavored with their traditional spices.”

L’Wren Scott, Model & Designer

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