Day 1 : Cusco – Piskacucho Km 82 – Llactapata- Ayapata:
we will pick you up from where ever you are staying in Cusco, Urubamba or Ollantaytambo. Pickup from Cusco will be at 4:30AM. At your briefing, these times will be confirmed as they might fluctuate based on where you staying. We’ll set out from Cusco on a True Mountain Traveler bus to arrive in the Inca’s Sacred Valley. We’ll have a break in Ollantaymabo, then drive to Km 82, arriving at about 7:30AM. After you get ready, we’ll go through the first Inca Trail checkpoint to begin our trek (please make sure you have your original passport with you to enter the Inca Trail).
The initial two hours of the trek are comparatively easy as we create our way to our first Inca site, Patallacta that is an ancient Inca stop for the approach to Machu Picchu. From Patallacta it’s another 2 hour hiking to our first lunch stop.
After lunch we are going to hike for another 2½ hours till we arrive the first night’s campsite at Ayapata (3300 meters). On this last stretch we pass through two little communities. If you would like to shop for any energy drinks or snacks you’ll be able to do so here, you’ll be able to get any essential items like batteries that you could have forgotten. We’ll arrive to our campsite by 5:00PM and after settling in for a bit you can relax and have a hot drink and snack with your team of porters, chef and guide. By 7:30PM your dinner will be ready, and afterwards you can get some well-deserved rest.
Walking distance: 8.7 miles/14 km (6-7 hours)
Campsite altitude: 3300 meters (high) above sea level
Considered: Moderate day (getting used to the Inca Trail)
Weather: Warm and windy
Day 2: Ayapata – Dead Woman´S Pass – Runcuraccay Pass – Chaquiccocha:
Leave your alarm clocks at home. Instead, your wake up call will be a hot cup of coca tea in bed. Today is our longest day and we will start early. We’ll hike for roughly four hours to the summit of the trek, Dead Woman’s Pass (4215 meters/13829 feet). On reaching the pass we’ll stop for a brief break to enjoy the views before setting off once more to descend to the next natural depression (Pacaymayu valley – Hidden River). It’s another 1 hour and a half down the side of the natural depression to our lunch spot and an opportunity to refill the water bottles. After lunch we start ascending once more to the second pass of the trek. It’s 2 hours to the pass and along the way we’ll stop at a small Inca site (Runku Raccay) and see two huge waterfalls cascading down the opposite side of the valley.
After the second pass, it’s another hour downhill hike to reach the impressive Inca site, Sayacmarca (an otherwise inaccessible village). We’ll stop here for a rest and have a fast tour of the location then watch the sunset over the Vilcabamba range of mountains. It’s then just another twenty minutes till we stop for the night at our second camping site Chakicocha (Dry Lake, 3600 meters).
After dinner, if you’re not too exhausted, we will do some star gazing and we’ll point out the fascinating Inca constellations. In the impressive southern hemisphere sky, faraway from all the artificial lighting, this sky is something to behold!
Walking distance: 9.94 miles/16 km (7-8 hours)
Campsite altitude: 3600 meters (high) above sea level (chilly weather)
Considered: Top day (you will have survived the two highest passes)
Area: Andes and Cloud Forest
Weather: Cold and rainy
Day 3: Chaquiccocha – Wiñaywayna – Sun Gate – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes:
Completing Day 2 and beginning Day 3 certainly deserves a pat on the back! wake up call early again, to begin what is commonly felt to be the Day 3: Chaquiccocha – Wiñaywayna – Sun Gate – most beautiful day from whole Inca Trail trek.
We hike for two hours on what we prefer to call “Inca flat” (gradual inclines) and start to enter the jungle, called the Cloud Forest. As we walk we are going to have the chance to visualize the majesty of Salkantay, the second highest snow-capped mountain within the Sacred valley, and an amazing panoramic view of the Vilcabamba mountain range.
Towards the end of the Inka flats we start to make our way up to the last peak at Phuyupatamarka (3600 meters) from wherever we’ll have nice views overlooking the Urubamba River. Down the valley we get our first views of Machu Picchu Mountain but the site itself is still hidden from view. From Phuyupatamarka it´s a 3 hour walk down a flight of steps to our lunch spot, close to Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young). Wiñay Wayna is the most popular campsite because its proximity to Machu Picchu. During the descent we visit Inca ruins, Phuyupatamarka (Town in the Clouds), Intipata (Terraces of the Sun) and Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young). We arrive at our lunch spot (2600 meters) around 12:30PM to have lunch.
We prefer to spoil our guests as we relish our last feast with the porters and chefs. It’s an Inca Trail tradition to organize a ceremony to introduce the team to the tourists once again and to thank them for the great job done (if you wish to provide tips for them then you can do so at this time). Afterwards we will walk 1 hour to the Sun Gate, where we will see the picturesque landscape of Machu Picchu. After taking in the once-in-a-lifetime views, we will begin our descent to Machu Picchu.
A big advantage of this hike, is that by the time we reach Machu Picchu, most of the day travelers will have returned home, so you will have the area to yourself. After taking photos, we take the bus down to Aguas Calientes and head to your hotel. After dinner, we recommend going to bed early to make the most of the next day.
Walking distance: 8 miles/14km (6-7 hours)
Considered: Easy day – mostly downhill!
Area: High Cloud Forest
Weather: Warm and very humid
Day 4: Machu Picchu one of the 7 wonders of world
We will wake up early in the morning in order to catch the sunrise at Machu Picchu. You will have a two hour guided tour by your private English speaking guide. After that, you will have time to explore Machu Picchu by yourself. Those who have tickets to wayna picchu will have time to climb the mountain, which takes approximately an hour and a half, round-trip. When you are done exploring, you can either take a bus, or walk, down to Aguas Calientes for lunch (not included). Following, you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo or Poroy, and then a bus to Cusco, where you will be brought back to your hotel.