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The Inca Trail, Machu Picchu & the Sacred Valley Guided Trek
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Highlights

  • Hike the Inca Trail
  • Machu Picchu
  • Lively Cusco, with its Colonial and Inca architecture
  • Discovering Andean traditions and culture in the beautiful Sacred Valley
  • Flexible, tailor-made itinerary

Walk the Inca Trail, explore Cusco and discover the traditions and culture of the Sacred Valley, accompanied by an expert local guide.

A few essential days acclimatising in Cusco and the Sacred Valley prepare you for your hike. Explore the city of Cusco and the Plaza de Arms, and enjoy the colourful Pisac ruins and markets.

Your four day hike will then lead you through cloud forests, past soaring peaks and colourful village communities to the sacred site of Machu Picchu. You have two full days to explore here before returning to Cusco.

You can download a map which shows the location of the quieter campsites we use on our tour, the route of the Inca Trail, and the altitude profile. 

Day 1: Arrive Lima

Arrive in Lima and transfer to your centrally located hotel. Fascinating museums, art galleries, and restaurants offering delicious local specialities all make Lima a fantastic place to start your Peruvian adventure!


Overnight: Casa Inca, Lima


Day 2: Fly to Cusco and Overnight

Take a short flight to Cusco this morning (not included) and transfer to your hotel in the heart of the San Blas district.

In the afternoon, relax and take it easy giving yourself time to get used to the high altitude (Cusco is located 3400m above sea level).


Overnight: Casa San Blas, Cusco


Day 3: Half Day City Tour of Cusco and Nearby Ruins

Enjoy a guided, in-depth tour exploring the city of Cusco and the nearby ruins including the vast fortress of Sacsayhuaman, the worship site of Kenko, and the main sites around the Plaza de Arms including the Cathedral, Inca walls and Santa Domingo Temple.

In the afternoon relax and take it easy, giving yourself time to adjust to the high altitude.


Overnight: Casa San Blas, Cusco


Day 4: Explore the Sacred Valley

Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, visit the Pisac Inca ruins, some of the finest in the area,  and colourful Pisac market.


Following a tasty lunch at a local restaurant,  continue down the Urubamba valley to reach the small town of Ollantaytambo. The Inca ruins situated on a hill-top landscape with dramatic terracing below are quite a sight!


Overnight: Hotel Sol de Ollantay, Ollantaytambo


Day 5: Inca Trail Day 1

After a hearty breakfast, meet your guide and fellow group members and transfer to Piscaychucho where you will start your Inca Trail trek! A 5-hour hike takes you through a little-visited section of the trail.


Stop at Q'oriwayrachina for a spot of lunch, then cross the mighty Urubamba river at Q'ente, with an option to visit the archaeological sites of Wayna Q'ente and Llaqtapata. Set up camp nearby, in a fantastic site amidst Inca terraces.


Trek: 11km, 5-6hrs


Overnight:  Tented Camp, Llaqtapata


Day 6: Inca Trail Day 2

Climb up the Cusichaca Valley, passing settlers' houses to reach the Andean community of Huayllambamba. The trail then ascends steeply to a large Pampa, just below the first pass, where you set up camp in this narrow hanging valley at Llulluchampampa.


Sit back and enjoy incredible views of Mt Huayanay which looms high on the horizon, as well as admiring the beginnings of a cloud forest with its rare Andean Quenua tree.


Trek: 9km, 6hrs


Overnight: Tented Camp, Llulluchapampa


Day 7: Inca Trail Day 3

Climb gently up to Warmiwanusqa pass at 4200m with breath-taking views over your ascent. After a short descent, continue climbing to the ruins of Runkuraqay and Sayacmarca.  Continuing along the ridgeline with views to the western side of Mt Salkantay and Mt Pumasillo, brings you to the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, or ‘village on the edge of the clouds’. The name speaks for itself!


Trek: 14km, 7-8hrs

Overnight: Tented Camp, Phuyupatamarca

Day 8: Inca Trail Day 4, Arrive Machu Picchu

An early wake-up call brings delight in the knowledge that you'll be reaching your ultimate goal today - Machu Picchu! From Phuyupatamarca, the flag-stoned trail winds its way sharply down through the cloud forest to the ruins of Winay Wayna.


From here it is just two hours before you  arrive at Machu Picchu. You'll approach in the same way that the Incas used to come - sighting this iconic citadel below, from Intipunku, the 'door of the sun'.


Take a bus down to Aguas Calientes (also known as Machu Picchu Village), where you'll stay overnight.


Trek: 8km, 7hrs


Overnight: Inka Town Hotel, Aguas Calientes


Day 9: Explore Machu Picchu

Today is dedicated to a tour of Machu Picchu accompanied by your knowledgeable guide. They will walk you through the different sectors explaining the history of this  fascinating site and really bringing it to life! Return to Aguas Calientes and overnight.


Overnight: Inka Town Hotel, Aguas Calientes


Day 10: Free Day at Machu Picchu

You have the full day to yourselves at Machu Picchu today. Perhaps watch the sunrise at Machu Picchu (an unforgettable sight!) or you can choose to climb the sacred peak of Huayna Pichu (permit required). Either way, a full day to explore at your own pace, means that you get the very best out of your time at Machu Picchu.


In the late afternoon, take a train back to Cusco for a final overnight stay.


Overnight: Casa San Blas, Cusco


Day 11: Onward Travel

A private transfer takes you back to Cusco airport for your onward flight. Overnight not included.

Accommodation

7 nights accommodation in 2 and 3* hotels and inns are included in your trip in Cusco, Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes. We carefully select small friendly hotels that offer great value, food and welcomes. The accommodation we normally use is detailed in the itinerary.


For 3 nights on trek you will stay at quiet campsites in good quality two-man tents—usual information is as follows:


Eureka! Tent Fits 3 Persons max. (used for 2 persons), floor dimensions: 2.23m x 1.93m, weight: 3.6kg, aluminium poles, 2 doors, 2 windows, 2 lobbies.


The campsites have a separate dining tent, and bathroom tent. There are no showers on campsite but you will be given water to wash with in the morning.


Single Rooms and Solo Walkers

A supplement is payable for single occupancy—please note that we do not place strangers together in a tent, so if you are a solo traveller or travelling in a group with uneven numbers, then a single occupancy supplement will apply.


Meals


3 Dinners , 7 Lunches and 10 Breakfasts are included. Dinners are included for the 3 nights on trek but you are free to choose from local restaurants in the nights spent at Cusco, Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes. Breakfasts, snacks and lunch are also  included whilst on the trek (excluding alcoholic drinks). Food whilst on trek is simple but tasty. Lunches are provided on the guided tours on days 3, 4 and 9.


A typical trekking day may look something like this:



06:00 Wake-up cup of tea



07:00 Breakfast of yoghurt, granola, chuta bread, sliced cheese, tea/coffee Mid-morning: Snack of fruit (banana, apple), chocolate, munay nuts



13:00 Lunch of asparagus soup, grilled chicken & mashed potato



Late afternoon tea: cake, popcorn, tea/coffee



19:00 Dinner of corn soup, beef stew & quinoa, vanilla pudding



 

 

 




Casa Inca - Lima

A boutique hotel located in the centre of Miraflores in the heart of Lima with cosy comfortable rooms and offering a warm welcome.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Casa San Blas - Cusco

A small hotel located in the historic artisan's quarter of Cusco.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Inka Town Hotel - Aguas Calientes

Inka Town has 20 comfortable en suite rooms, all with views, cable TV, telephone, and hairdryer. It is also possible to take advantage of the laundry service (payable locally).


 

 

 


 

 

 



Tented Camp - Inca Trail


 

 

 

Availability

You can start this tour on Wednesdays and Saturdays between March and December. You will join guided group excursions of Cusco and the Sacred Valley, and a small group of up to 12 fellow walkers whilst you are trekking the Inca Trail.


Inca Trail permits are required and are on a request basis. 


***Inca trail permits are now sold out between April and August 2017,
Please contact us to discuss alternative routes and availability******


You may like to consider our alternative route to Machu Picchu, the Salkantay Trek which is also beautiful but is a quieter trek and does not require permits.


To issue permits we need: complete names, passport number, nationality, date of birth. Once issued, name and/or date changes are not permitted, and the cost is non-refundable. Release of permits is at the Peruvian authorities' discretion - currently permits start being released in the first few months for permits in the same year. Please do not book your flights until you have received confirmation from our team that your permit/s have been granted for you. Written confirmation of permit takes a minimum of 48 hrs after request is made.Thank you.

The group departures operate with a minimum of two participants, therefore if you are a solo traveller we will need to check first that minimum numbers are reached.


Tailor Made Itineraries and Private Guides

If you have more time, and would like to explore Peru further why not consider adding an extension to Lake Titicaca and the Floating Islands, Colca Canyon famous for its condors, or even a short trip to the Peruvian Amazon. We can also include numerous day trips and activities for you including cooking classes in Cusco, city tours, and tasting lunches to mention but a few.


We want to make sure you get the most out of your trip to Peru and we can happily arrange all of this for you and tailor make your trip completely to suit your requirements. Contact one of our Destination & Adventure Specialists now for more recommendations and information.


NOTE: If you prefer to have a private guide rather than joining a group, this is available for a supplement on request. If you opt for a private guide, then you can start the tour on any day of the week.


Grade & Terrain

This tour is graded moderate to strenuous, and on walking days you will be trekking for between 5 and 8 hours. The trails are generally well maintained and are a good walking surface. We recommend that you enjoy a good level of physical fitness before tackling this trek.


The distances involved whilst walking the Inca Trail are not long, but you will be trekking at high altitude and altitude sickness can be a concern when on the Inca Trail. Our itinerary has been designed to minimise the chances of you suffering from AMS but each individual is different. Cusco stands at 3360m above sea level so that is why we include 3 days between here and the Sacred Valley before you start trekking. On trek you will climb to a maximum altitude of 4200m. Our pre-departure information pack includes a full section on altitude sickness and we recommend you read it so that you are fully prepared.


With the right preparation, anyone who is accustomed to hiking should be able to complete the Inca Trail.


Equipment

While trekking you will only have to carry a day bag with water, snacks, spare clothes and your camera. Your main bag will be moved by a porter. Please limit your luggage to one bag of up to 8kg per person. It is possible to store excess luggage at your hotel in Cusco.


We will supply you with a detailed equipment list as part of your pre-departure information pack. You will need normal walking and travelling gear as well as a sleeping bag and warm clothes.


Meals

3 Dinners , 6 Lunches and 10 Breakfasts are included. Dinners are included for the 3 nights on trek but you are free to choose from local restaurants in the nights spent at Cusco, Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes. Breakfasts, snacks and lunch are also  included whilst on the trek (excluding alcoholic drinks). Food whilst on trek is simple but tasty. Lunches are provided on the guided tours on days 4 and 9.


Your Guide & Porters

You will be accompanied by a local expert guide both on trek and for the excursions to the Sacred Valley and your Cusco City Tour on this tour.  Quality guides make the difference between a great trip and a wonderful experience, and our Peruvian guides are fully qualified and trained. All have many years experience of guiding in Peru, and speak excellent English. Additionally they are first aid trained and fully trained and experienced in dealing with cases of altitude sickness.


Your luggage and the camp equipment will be transported by porters who come from the local communities (Soqma, Pallata, Willoq etc) around the Sacred Valley. This kind of work allows them to support their family and communities. They are trained in environmental and social issues as well as emergency situations.  All porters have a specific task, dependent on the size of the group: cook, porters’ chief, assistant cook, tent attendant, WC attendant.


The guides and porters who take care of you on this trip are committed to yearly training.


Your Group

On trek you will walk with a small group of up to 12 fellow walkers, and you will join group excursions to the Sacred Valley and the city tour of Cusco.  If you prefer to have a private guide this is available for a supplement.


General Information:

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, (for example, proper rain gear jacket and pants, sun hat, sunscreen). Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this trip that you have adequate
travel insurance in place, including for emergency medical evacuation
and/or curtailment of your trip. Please ensure that you check your
policy as it should include cover for trekking at altitude.

Flights to Lima


Flights to Lima are available from the UK, Europe and United States.


From the United States major airlines include American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta Airlines Flight times to Lima are approx as follows - 8 hours from NYC, 9 hours from Los Angeles, and 6 hours from Miami.


From the United Kingdom and Europe, airlines include British Airways, Iberia and KLM. Flight times from London vary between 16-20 hours depending on connections and usually involve a change in Amsterdam, Madrid or the United States,


Airlines like Lan Peru and Avianca also operate flights via other major cities in South America.


Internal flights between Lima and Cusco are not included but can be booked as an optional if you would prefer us to organise them for you.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this trip that you have adequate travel insurance in place, including for emergency medical evacuation and/or curtailment of your trip. Please ensure that you check your policy as it should include cover for trekking at altitude.


Included

  • 7 Nights in 2 and 3* hotels and inns
  • 3 Nights in a two-man trek on trek
  • 10 Breakfasts
  • 7 Lunches
  • 3 Dinners
  • Transfers and excursions as per itinerary
  • Inca Trail Permit
  • Services of an English-speaking adventure guide

Excluded

  • Travel insurance
  • Travel to and from Lima
  • Internal flights between Lima and Cusco
  • Evening meals in Lima, Cusco and Aguas Calientes
  • Lunches on Days 1, 2 and 10
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Personal equipment
  • Tips for your trekking crew (expected but not mandatory - approx. $150 for the whole crew per party)

Extras

  • Additional nights in Cusco or elsewhere in Peru.
  • Internal flights between Lima and Cusco (price subject to availability)
  • Single room supplement for hotels if single rooms required.
  • Solo Trekker supplement (if single occupancy of a two-man tent, or uneven number in the group means a single tent is required).
  • Sleeping bag hire for during trek.

How far in advance do I need to book?

The Inca Trail is extremely popular, and permits are strictly limited on a first-come, first-served basis, therefore early booking is essential (ideally 6 months or more in advance of your travel dates). If you are unfortunately inflexible with dates, another option you may like to consider is the quieter Salkantay Trek which does not require permits.

How does it work with the guide and porters on the trek?

Quality guides make the difference between a great trip and an wonderful experience. Our Peruvian guides are fully qualified and trained. All have many years experience of guiding trekkers in Peru, and speak excellent English.

On this tour you will be accompanied by a local expert guide both on trek and for the excursions to the Sacred Valley and Community Weaving Workshop.

They bring a wealth of knowledge to your journey, opening your eyes to the legends, culture, food, flora and fauna of the Andes.

Additionally they are first aid trained and fully trained and experienced in dealing with cases of altitude sickness. They also carry a comprehensive first aid kit.

Your luggage and the camp equipment will be transported by porters who come from the local communities (Soqma, Pallata, Willoq etc) around the Sacred Valley. This kind of work allows them to support their family and communities. All porters have a specific task, dependent on the size of the group: cook, porters’ chief, assistant cook, tent attendant, WC attendant. Weight is an essential variable on the Inca Trail (each porter carries max. 24kg). All of our equipment weight is pre-measured to fit within the weight requirements for our porters’ health and safety. Tips are not included in our arrangements, and guidance will be given on this in our information pack.

If you prefer to have a private guide this is available for a supplement.

What size of group will I be in?

For the excursions to the Sacred Valley and on trek you will be in a small group of up to 12 people.

What equipment do I need?

While trekking you will only have to carry a day bag with water, snacks, spare clothes and your camera. Your main bag will be moved by a porter. You must limit your luggage to one bag of up to 8kg per person. It is possible to store excess luggage at your hotel in Cusco.

We will supply you with a detailed equipment list as part of your pre-departure information pack. You will need normal walking and travelling gear as well as a sleeping bag and warm clothes.

How fit do I need to be?

This tour is graded moderate to strenuous, and on walking days you will be trekking for between 5 and 8 hours. The trails are generally well maintained and are a good walking surface. We recommend that you enjoy a good level of physical fitness before tackling this trek.

The distances involved whilst walking the Inca Trail are not long, but you will be trekking at high altitude and altitude sickness can be a concern when on the Inca Trail. Our itinerary has been designed to minimise the chances of you suffering from AMS but each individual is different. Cusco stands at 3360m above sea level so that is why we include 3 days between here and the Sacred Valley before you start trekking. On trek you will climb to a maximum altitude of 4200m. Our pre-departure information pack includes a full section on altitude sickness and we recommend you read it so that you are fully prepared.

With the right preparation, anyone who is accustomed to hiking should be able to complete the Inca Trail.

When is the best time of year?

The trekking season on the Inca Trail is from March to December. Many consider the best months to do the Inca Trail are from May to September when the conditions are fairly dry and the weather generally sunny. Please bear in mind however that you'll be trekking at altitude, and the months of  June, July and August can also be very cold at night. 



REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

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macs adventureThe Inca Trail, Machu Picchu & The Sacred Valley
 
5.0

(based on 1 review)

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5.0

Life-changing Inca Trail trek adventure

By Lynn the pilgrim

from Ottawa, Ontario Canada

About Me Avid Adventurer, Pilgrim, World Traveller

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Challenging
  • Comfortable accommodations
  • Fascinating history and culture
  • Incredible scenery
  • Once in a Lifetime Experience
  • Well Organised

Cons

  • High level of fitness required

Best Uses

  • Pilgrimage

Comments about macs adventure The Inca Trail, Machu Picchu & The Sacred Valley:

Macs outsourced the Inca Trail trek, and the Machu Picchu & Scared Valley sightseeing excursions to excellent local providers. The transfers were all arranged perfectly, the hotels were all charming and authentic, and the guides were all highly knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful. We were very pleased with Explorandes services on the Inca Trail trek. Their concern with sustaining the environment and respecting the well-being of their guides and porters was evident. We were in a small group and walked and camped away from the crowds, which allowed us to more fully connect with the surrounding environment, history and culture. Our tent accommodations on the trek were very comfortable and the meals were excellent. It was a challenging trek, but very rewarding. A life-changing adventure. We have gone on pilgrimages booked through Macs Adventure for the past five years now, and are completely satisfied with the services provided by Macs Adventure.

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