Tourists from all over the world feel attracted to the great adventure of the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, adventurous travelers who come to explore the beauty of nature and the archeological sites surrounding the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, known as the most famous trekking of South America. This tour is ideal for those who are full of energy to make a trek to Machu Picchu.
Reception at the airport. Our staff will be waiting for you with a sign saying Mario Expeditions and your name on it, to pick you up and take you to the 3 star hotel Casa Andina or a similar hotel. You will have all afternoon off to acclimatize and/or take an optional Cusco City tour.
Today is a free day to give you a chance to acclimatize to the altitude and climate in Cusco. However, if you feel like it, there is a classic one day tour you can make to visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The valley was regarded as sacred as it was very fertile and full of powerful spots in nature such as mountains and rivers that were places for the Incas to build ceremonial centres. In the Sacred Valley Tour we will show you around the region, visiting the archeological site of Ollantaytambo, and after passing through several villages and beautiful landscapes, the site and town of Pisaq. Click here if you like to know more about the Sacred Valley Tour.
You will be picked up early from your hotel (4:30 am) and we’ll travel by bus until Km82. Our trip will take 2,5 to 3 hours passing through the traditional villages of Chinchero, with a panoramic view to the snow-capped Sawasiray and Pitusiray-mountains, Urubamba and Ollantaytambo.Our bus will stop in Ollantaytambo for about an hour so we can have the first breakfast of our trip in one of the local restaurants. There, we’ll also have the opportunity to buy some much needed things for our hike such as plastic ponchos, insect repellent, sunblocker or camera batteries. After a delicious breakfast we will continue our trip passing the villages of Rumira, Chillca and Piscacucho until we reach the beginning of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu at Km 82. At Km 82, we will meet with the rest of our team and fellow adventurers. Our porters will receive us with a loud applause and we will have some time to prepare for our hike and receive a briefing from the government before starting our walk.
Then we’ll go to the first passport control at the entrance to the Inka Trail. We’ll cross the Vilcanota River and follow the path to the right until we reach the village of Miskay and the ruins of Patallacta that are looming up in front of us. The Incas, when they conquered the area, built a fortress here since the site had an excellent view and controlled the entrance to the historical inka. From parts of this trail there are excellent views of the Veronica mountain chain with Mount Veronica’s snow peak at 5.860m high.
You will also get a good view of the extensive Inca ruins of Llactapata (also known as Patallacta meaning “high city”). Llactapata was mainly used as an agricultural centre to supply Machu Picchu with food. The settlement comprised houses for workers and soldiers. After visiting the Patallacta archaeological centre we will continue until we get to our first camp at Hatunchaca to have lunch. Approximately one hour after lunch we will continue to the small village of Wayllabamba (3.000 m). The name Wayllabambain Quechua means “grassy plain”. Here is the second Inka Trail control post. Around 5.00 p.m. we’ll arrive at our camp in Ayapata (Yuncachimpa) where we’ll spend the first night of our adventure. As you settle in your camp tents, behind the scenes your dinner is already being prepared and at at 7:00 pm you can have a lovely dinner and get a well-deserved rest.
Walking distance 8.7 miles / 14 km (7-8 hours)
Altitude of the camp: 3.300 meters above sea level
Difficulty: considered a moderate day (getting used to the Inka trail)
This morning we will wake up early with a cup of hot coca tea. While the porters are preparing for the day, we’ll have a delicious energizing breakfast. Since today is our longest and hardest day of the Inka Trail, we will get an early start. We’ll walk approximately 3.5 hours to the highest point of the hike, the Dead Woman Pass (4.210 meters / 13,829 feet). Arriving at the pass, we will stop to take a short break and to take some photos and enjoy the views. Then, we are going to descend for about an hour to get to the next camp. Here, in Paccaymayo will be our second camp where we will have lunch. After lunch, we can fill our bottles with water and begin the ascent to the Inka site of Runcu Raccay, which in Quechua means “Egg Wall”. We will receive some information from our guide about this archaeological centre and have a short rest before going up to the second pass, RUNQU RAQAY. After Runqu Raqay, it is another hour walking downhill to reach the magnificent Inca site of Sayacmarca. This Incal village will show us how the Incas built their surveillance points and their warehouses. We’ll stop here for a quick tour of the site and then continue 20 more minutes to reach our camp Chaquicocha where we will spend the second night (3.600 meters). After dinner, there is some time to talk to our porters.
Area: Andes and Cloud Forest
Walking distance: 16 km/ 9.94 miles (7-8 hours)
Altitude of the camp: 3.600 meters above sea level.
Climate: cold and rainy.
Difficulty: considered a top day; you will have survived the two highest passes!
Today our wake-up call will be at 6:00 a.m. Since today is considered to be the most beautiful day of the entire Inca Trail, we will have a relaxed walk. We’ll walk for 2 hours on gradual slopes with a view to the snow-capped Salkantay mountain full of orchids. We will have the opportunity to see the Vilcabamba mountain range, as well. Until the last high peak of Phuyupatamarka (3.600 meters) from where we will have an excellent view of the mountains. We’ll also be able to see how the clouds rise from the chasm, since this part of the mountain chain is always cloudy. After taking some photos, we will continue for about 2 hours until we reach another beautiful archaeological centre called the Inti Pata, the Terraces of the Sun. It’s a 30-minute walk along the flight of stairs an it’s advisable to use canes to avoid damaging your knees and spine. We will continue until we reach our last camp, Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young). Wiñay Wayna is the most spectacular Inca site on the Inka trail after Machu Picchu. The vegetation is beautiful. We’ll arrive at our camp around 1:00 p.m. to have lunch and relax before we visit the Inca ruins of Wiñay Wayna. If we’ll have enough energy after spending about an hour at the site, we can go to see a small waterfall that is nearby. Then, we also recommend participating in the farewell party with our porters and chefs, as it will be our last night on Inca Trail with them. We won’t be staying up late though, because it is advisable to have a good rest before getting up early for Machu Picchu. For at 4:00 a.m. we’ll get up and arrive at Machu Picchu at early dawn.
Area: High Cloud Forest
Walking distance: 6.2 miles / 10 km (5 hours)
Altitude of the camp: 2.600 meters
Difficulty: considered an easy day, all the way downhill!
This morning we’ll wake up very early at 3:30 a.m., as we will visit Machu Picchu at dawn. We’ll have breakfast at 4:00 o’clock, say goodbye to our group of porters and cooks and leave for Machu Picchu at 5:30 a.m. The walk will take about an hour, so we’ll get to the Sun Gate around 6:30 a.m. It is very exciting to see Machu Picchu from so close and to take some amazing pictures at dawntime. Once we’ve finished, we’ll walk for another hour to the Machu Picchu checkpoint. They will check your passport and you can leave your backpacks there, if you wish. Your guide will give you a 2-hour tour and show you around this great Sanctuary. Machu Picchu is recognized by the UNESCO as one of the 7 wonders of the world. You will get to know all about it! Although your guide will give you your bus tickets to Aguas Calientes after the tour, there is no need to rush. You will have a lot of time to explore the site on your own. For those who have booked tickets for Huayna Picchu mountain in advance, you will receive your tickets as well, and you can coordinate with your guide to visit the Huayna Picchu mountain next to Machu Picchu. At 1:00 p.m. you will depart from Machu Picchu and take the bus to Aguas Calientes to meet your guide and have lunch at one of the local restaurants, and then take your train back to Ollantaytambo. In Ollantaytambo our minivan will be waiting for you to take you back to Cusco.
Walking distance: km/ miles ( hours)
Altitude of the camp: meters
Difficulty: considered a day
Today is very important we will have free time to visit Cusco city all morning and prepare our bags and get ready to return home.