Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu which is by far the most famous trek in South America and is rated by many to be amongst the top 5 treks in the world. Hit the streets of lively Cusco and soak up its culture and charm. Explore the Lake Titicaca with its floating islands.
Note. For those who cannot get spaces on the Inca Trail there options such as: Lares trek/Salcantay trek or another short hikes.
Day 1: Arrive Lima City Tour
Day 2: Arrive Cusco & Cusco City Tour
Day 3: Sacred Valley of the Incas
Days 4 - 6: Start the classic Inca Trail (Camping). Start the classic Inca Trail (Camping). Note: permits are required, book in advance.
Day 7: Arrive at Machu Picchu
Day 8: Bus ride Cusco - Puno
Day 9: Visit the beautiful island of Uros and Amantani on Lake Titicaca
Day 10: Island Visits - Taquile - Puno
Day 11: Transfer Hotel to Airport or Terminal (End of the Service)
Note: Walking and journey times are approximate
DAY 1: Arrive to Lima
Arrive in Lima at any time. Our representative will greet you at the airport and private transfer to your hotel. There are no planned activities today so check-in and enjoy the city, although there is an optional walking tour or city tour in a van. This afternoon you are free to explore colonial and modern Lima, with visits to the Government Palace, cathedral, Plaza de Armas and the Archaeological Museum. Or hang around the bustling commercial districts of and Miraflores and Barranco.
DAY 2: Cusco City
Upon arrival to Cusco Airport, our staff will be waiting for you to drive you to the Hotel where you will receive an aromatic coca tea then you have the free morning to rest for a while. Later in the afternoon we’ll take you on a guided visit to see Cusco’s highlights, including nearby ruins of Sacsayhuaman, Q’enko, followed by a visit to the Main Square and famous ‘Koricancha’ or Temple of the Sun and of course the local market. (B)
DAY 2: Sacred Valley Tour
One of the most spectacular days of the tour takes us through the Sacred Valley of the Incas; once an important source of food for the Inca, the Sacred Valley is a lush agricultural region that continues to supply the city of Cusco with much of its produce. As it is 600m lower than Cusco, temperatures are on average 5 degrees Cº higher in the Sacred Valley.
Our travels will bring us through the major archaeological sites of Pisac and Ollantaytambo. At Pisac, an optional two hour or 5km hike will allow us to fully appreciate the Incan city nestled high in the Andean range. Later, the colorful artesian market at Pisac will no doubt be a highlight for those in search of unique souvenirs.
The day trip finishes in the picturesque village of Ollantaytambo, location of another large Inca site. This major ruin is known as the best surviving example of Inca urban planning and engineering. But more than that, Ollantaytambo is a living breathing Inca City. Here we catch our breath and prepare for our train voyage to Machu Picchu. (B)
DAY 4: Cusco - Wayllabamba
After breakfast we transfer you from your hotel in Cusco or the Sacred Valley to Piscaycucho (first check point and the start of the trail). Here you start hiking through the Urubamba river valley, After two hours, you will reach the first archaeological site called Patallacta, where we will appreciate the impressive landscapes and see the importance of this valley in the context of Incan history, later we will stop at Tarachayoq for lunch and then continue up the Cusichaca Valley passing houses of settlers to finally reach the Andean community of Huayllabamba, our first campsite. (L, D)
DAY 5: Wayllabamba – Pacaymayu
After breakfast, today we will start hiking early in the morning, here the trail ascends steeply to a large Pampa below the first pass, Llulluchapampa (the last chance to buy snacks or energy drinks) Here we have a breathtaking view of valley down and the Mt. Huayanay, along the trail up this narrow hanging valley we begin to see a cloud forest with abundant vegetation of various types of trees including the Queuña tree (polilepis), a rare forest to be found in the Andes. From here we continue a steady ascent on an Inca Trail up to the Warmiwañusqa pass (Dead Woman’s Pass) at 4,200m (13,692ft) which affords a magnificent view of our ascent and the trail ahead of us. Here we will take a well-deserved break and observe the beauty of the deep valleys. After the break we descend on a restored Inca Trail down to the Pacaymayo River, our 2nd campsite. (B, L, D)
DAY 6: Pacaymayu – Wiñaywayna
Today we ascend again to the second pass, about halfway up lies an Inca ruins of Runkuraqay (small, round, roofless stone building and thought to have been an astrological site and a sort of checkpoint for couriers following the trail to Machupicchu), after a short tour, we will continue to ascend to the second pass at 4,050m (13,200ft). From here we walk down on the original Inca Trail, passing a small lake and the first signs of the cloud forest then we reach the second larger Inca site called Sayacmarca “Town in a Steep Place” at 3,850m (12,551ft) This Incan ruin was built on a rock overlooking the trail and is accessible only via a single narrow stone staircase. A beautiful location overlooking the Aobamba Valley, it affords a respite for a leisurely walk through its imposing structures. After touring we continue along the ridge through amazing landscapes, viewing Mt. Salkantay from the western side and Mt. Pumasillo, a silhouette to the north on the horizon. We will stop at this valley to enjoy lunch. After lunch we continue walking through a rolling flag stoned trail and a tunnel; then we arrive to next Incan site called Phuyupatamarca “the village on the edge of the clouds” We will learn about the ritual functions that the Incas used this site for. Here we will see water fountains that Incas bathed in before they reached Machupicchu. From here the flag stoned trail winds sharply down into the cloud forest to the ruins of Wiñay Wayna “Forever Young” located below the ridge on the same water course as the previous site; it has also well restored Inca Ruins. Our campsite is here. (B, L, D)
DAY 7: Wiñaywayna – Machu Picchu – Cusco
On the last day of the trek, we will wake up early and follow a relatively flat path. After about an hour walk through a cloud forest covered Inca Trail we arrive to Intipunku “the sun gate” we have a well-deserved break watching the magnificent citadel of Machu Picchu at our feet, our final destination. From here we continue hiking for one more hour to finally arrive to Machu Picchu in the same way the Incas used to come. Once you get there you will have a guided tour after that you are free to explore city on your own, take pictures, or take any of the extra hikes
Later in the mid-afternoon you take the bus down to Aguas Calientes town to take the train back to Ollantaytambo then transfer to your hotel. (B)
DAY 8: Bus ride: Cusco - Puno
After breakfast our journey continues through the high plateau to Puno. Our full day overland journey through the majestic Andes will astound you. We’ll cover close to 400km (250 mi), go over mountain passes at 4,334m (14,222ft) above sea level, visit some of our favorite sites on the way which is shown below. Approximate arrival in Puno is 5:00pm.
ANDAHUAYLILLAS: It is named the "Sixtine Chapel of America" and in some sense the comparison examples of the Andean popular religious art. The church of Andahuayliaas is a jewerly of the mestizo baroque architecture that developed in Cusco. Its nave presents profuse decoration, especially in the celling decorated with carved panels which is a recover with pan de oro (type of gold decoration).
RAQCHI (Temple of Wiracocha God): To 121 Km of Cusco, it was an Inca church of monumental dimensions: 100 meters of length by 26 meters of wide and 14 meters of height; the temple is divided in two naves and each nave shows basics of 11 giant columns. The bases of the church are bulit perfectly carving stones continued with adobe. It is aprpreciated besides qolqas or granary places of military order, religious, Inka between others.
LA RAYA: Media point in the rout of Cusco - Puno. It is the highest part, it has 4335 meters above sea level, we can appreciate beautiful landscapes, llamas and vivuÃ±as, geographic union between two cultures quechua and aymara, we can see the Altiplano arid and dry union with the quechua zone with rivers and valleys.
PUKARA: It is the most important and oldest ceremonial center of the Altiplano, preceding to tiahunaco, characterized by a series oh echelon platforms ceremonial center. It's also possible to appreciate interesting litosculptures, trails or tomb stone of intriguing personage that seems to show evidence of a brave civilization. Here is where it was discovered the origins of the Andean culture in the Altiplano.
Puno, a city of 150,000 inhabitants, is considered by local populations to be a linguistic, cultural and political border. To the south toward Bolivia the Aymara people and language are dominant. To the north, the better-known Quechua is the dominant tongue. Fortunately, you will see both. (B, L)
DAY 9: Amantani Island / Lake Titicaca
After breakfast, our local guide will take us to the floating reed islands of the Uros and then on to Amantani Island by motor boat. The Uros people are a specific cultural group apart from the Incas. They are more sensitive and protective. We ask that visitors always proceed with respect. Please ask before snapping pictures, as some of the older generation will object
The locals are very friendly and produce souvenirs representing life on the Lake. You can support them by buying a souvenir if you choose.
After the Uros, we will take a step back in time as we arrive to Amantani. The island culture offers a glimpse into their ancient traditions and customs. A rural home stay will open your eyes to the true beauty of this place and the people that have inhabited the lake for thousands of years. All local food and beverages included. (B, L, D)
DAY 10: Puno / Lake Titicaca
We’ll start with an early wake up call to enjoy a spectacular sunrise over Lake Titicaca before visiting the neighboring island of Taquile. Famous for textiles and weavings, Taquile is a cultural treasure chest. We’ll spend an hour hiking to the summit of Taquile Island before enjoying lunch overlooking the Lake Titicaca. Our lunch will include local favorites, trout or kingfish, before heading back to Puno. (B, L)
DAY 11: Juliaca – Lima
We have a short drive to the Juliaca airport before a flight to Lima. Our services end today after a quick flight back to Lima and transfer to the airport for your ongoing international connection. We can arrange an additional post tour accommodation in Lima or Cusco upon client request. (B)
End of our services
Add on this Trip: the Nazca Lines, the Amazon Rainforest, Colca Canyon, and other extension tours or treks. Let us know.
What’s Not Included