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Superior Inca Trail

Overview

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is the most famous and popular trek in South America and with its spectacular setting in a part of the Andes still rich in the relics of the Inca civilization, its renown is justified in every respect.

This trip of a lifetime allows the opportunity to explore extraordinary ruins, enjoy beautiful mountain views, walk through strikingly different climatic zones and finally experience the unique feeling of arriving at Machu Picchu by foot. Trekking the trail over 5days/4nights is the best way to thoroughly appreciate this amazing trail whilst avoiding the busiest campsites. The extra day also allows us to spend longer at Machu Picchu, and at times, you will have this incredible site all to yourself. The return to Cusco is by train and private bus. This is an exciting way to view the mighty Urubamba River and the route you have just trekked.

Trip Code: PETSSUI

Travel Style: Small Group Tour

Location: Cusco

Flights: Ask us to help book your flights to South America. 

WHY YOU'LL LOVE THIS ITINERARY

  • Begin this incredible journey in Cusco, the once capital of the Inca Empire, complete with narrow cobblestone passages dotted with boutique style stores and rural Andean influence.

  • Undertake the incredible Inca Trail by land, pass through panoramic views of snow capped peaks, mountain streams, old Inca fortresses, stunted cloud forests & pastures feeding llamas and alpacas. 

  • Embrace the incredible wonder that is Machu Picchu, a truly humbling and transformative experience awaiting at the end of this incredible trail. 

  • This itinerary is easily combined with other land-based tours of Latin America, allowing you to experience a multitude of unique cultural experiences & natural landscapes  on the one incredible journey. 

ITINERARY INSPIRATION

This evening the trek operator will hold a pre-trek briefing at your hotel. Time will be reconfirmed with you directly on arrival. Please note your sleeping bag which is included will be provided to you at this briefing.

Pre-Trek Briefing

Cusco, set at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Peruvian Andes, was once the capital of the Inca Empire. It is known for its Spanish colonial architecture and Incan remains. Narrow, cobble-stoned streets lined by Inca walls stretch out from the main plaza in every direction. Many of the colonial buildings were built on top of Incan foundations and the stonework is unparalleled in its precision and beauty.

Cusco

You will be picked up early from your hotel by your Inca Trail guides and transferred through the stunning Sacred Valley, past the impressive Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo. An interesting drive takes you to the end of the road at Pisca K’uchu (km82) to embark on the famous Inca trail to Machu Picchu.

The trek begins with a gentle walk along the undulating shores of the Urubamba River. Arrive at Llactapata at an altitude of 2,788m, where camp is set up for the night beside the spectacular ruins, which you are free to explore at leisure. This truly is camping and trekking in style. Whilst walking all you need to carry is a daypack, all camping equipment is carried by the porters. All camp chores are done for you and delicious food is provided daily by the cooks.

Superior Inca Trail Day 1

Trek up the Cusichaca valley to the small hamlet of Huallyabamba, the last inhabited place on the trail. The path continues beside a mountain stream, passing humming birds and amazing stunted cloud forest. The camp for the night is a beautiful grassy area at Llulluchapampa at 3,680m, which boasts out-standing views of the valley below.

Superior Inca Trail Day 2

This is possibly the most challenging day of the trek. Rise early and begin your ascent to the highest point of the trail, Warmiwanusca (Dead Woman’s Pass) at 4,200m. You will see alpacas and llamas feeding on pastures of Ichu, a type of Andean grass. Then descend through Cloud Forest, home to many birds including sparrows and humming birds, and if you are lucky you may see the rare Spectacled Bear. Walk up original Inca steps to the archaeological site of Runkurakay and its Pass, where, weather permitting, snow capped mountains will come into view. Continue to the archaeological site of Sayacmarca where you will stop for a guided tour. Continue along the paved Inca path, through a preserved Inca tunnel to reach the Phuyupatamarca Pass and onto its ruins to spend the night.

Superior Inca Trail Day 3

Rise early to watch the sunrise over the surrounding snow-capped mountains of Salkantay and Veronica. After breakfast, begin the final day of the trek with a steep decent to Wiñayhuayna, an Inca site built into the hills with fountain structures and curved terracing, overlooking the Urubamba River. Continue through the cloud forest to Inti Punku (The Sun Gate), where you will catch the first glimpse of the breathtaking Machu Picchu Ruins. Pass through the ruins and catch a bus down to your hotel in the colourful town of Aguas Calientes

Superior Inca Trail Day 4

In the morning return to Machu Picchu for a fully guided tour giving you an insight in the history behind the principal remains and monuments. There is time afterwards to hike to the Inca Bridge, Watchman’s hut or simply wander through the ruins soaking up the atmosphere. (Please note access to Huayna Picchu Mountain now requires an extra, limited-availability permit. Please enquire at time of booking if you would like one).

In the afternoon, you will board the train for a beautiful journey along the Sacred Valley of the Incas. On arrival there will be a bus waiting to transfer you back to Cusco.

Superior Inca Trail Day 5

Sleeping Bags are not included however they can be added for a small fee of US$12 per day. Please advise your destinations specialist if you would like to add it to your package.

Sleeping bags

You will be collected from your hotel at the appropriate time and transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

Transfer to the airport for onward destination

Add in additional highlights, spend more time in areas of particular interest to you, or extend your journey to visit other regions of Latin America or Antarctica.

 

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ITINERARY ADD-ONS

  • Why not add on a tour to the Galapagos at the end of your South American journey, spending 4 days exploring the beautiful archipelago that abounds with fascinating wildlife? Amidst spectacular volcanic scenery you will see a myriad of birds and animals from lava lizards to blue-footed boobies, Galapagos penguins, frigatebirds and giant tortoises. Find out more

  • Why not amend your itinerary and experience the incredible wonders of the Peruvian Amazon? Discover the incredible biodiversity of the flooded rainforest, spot the pink river dolphins of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, or simply enjoy the most exquisite Peruvian cuisine options on a luxury vessel. Find out more here Find out more.

  • Why not undertake an incredible journey to the world’s most remote wilderness? A 10-day Antarctica adventure will take you to the final frontier, take to the icy waters in a zodiac, be enthralled by ice-capped vistas and magnificent glaciers and introduce yourself to a host of Antarctic wildlife including penguins, seals and whales. Find out more.

WHY TAILOR-MADE?

  • Personalise your itinerary
  • Access to great flight deals
  • Choose your accomodation
  • Tailored travel insurance options
  • Choose your preferred dates
  • Cater to your travel needs
  • Personalise your itinerary
  • Access to great flight deals
  • Choose your accomodation
  • Tailored travel insurance options
  • Choose your preferred dates
  • Cater to your travel needs

Pricing & date

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Important Information

  • Accommodation as detailed in itinerary 
    Guiding by experienced local English-speaking guide
    All entrance fees including Inca Trail & Machu Picchu
    All meals as part of itinerary 
    Camping & cooking equipment included 
    Transfers Machu Picchu to Cusco hotel 

    Exclusions 

    International flights
    Visa & reciprocity fees (if applicable) 
    Personal expenses
    Entrance fee to Huayna Picchu 
    Gratuities for guides

  • 4 (average fitness required).
  • Available upon request.

  • Contact us for more details

  • Season and availability

Accommodation

We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

Sustainability

Being environmentally accountable is a crucial part of our organisation. Chimu is currently striving towards using less paper, taking several initiatives to do so and tracking our progress along the way. Our goal: A paperless organisation. For this reason, all information given to you will be sent electronically. We encourage those who choose to travel with us to support our aspirations and actions and ask that you reconsider printing out documentation. To view these documents, you can download them to your iPad or portable computer before and during your trip.

Chimu is passionate and dedicated to sustainability measures and understands the crucial part sustainability plays within the tourism industry.

We use local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprint. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting. Our guides are all highly qualified (most with university degrees) or equip with many years of experience and are paid above the standard wage. Whether it be our knowledgeable local guides, locally produced meals or the transport on tour, we do not use imported goods when local products are available. We aim to minimise our impact on the environment and give as much back as possible to the communities we work in.

While visiting the many national parks, heritage sites, museums and landmarks our travellers are encouraged to explore whilst remaining culturally aware and sensitive. We further encourage you to buy appropriate souvenirs and discourage the buying of anything wrongfully made or taken from the environment i.e. shells and endangered species products. Information on how you can be environmentally conscious, and travel responsibly will be made available in our Travellers Guides and provided during your travels by guides and staff.

For more information on our sustainability policies, including how we are striving towards being a paperless organisation, click HERE