The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Leaving from Cusco by vehicle, the 5-day journey begins at Km 82, the marker that signifies the start of the famous Inca Trail. Our highly trained guides, being deeply familiar with the web of classic and lesser-known ancient Inca footpaths we’ll take, will expertly lead you through breathtaking high alpine passes, humbling valleys, dense cloud forests, and rushing rivers, past ancient Inca ruins and remote Andean settlements to ultimately arrive at Machu Picchu via Inti Punku (the Sun Gate), always a pace behind the crowds and a campsite away. Our team of porters and skilled cooks will await you at each campsite with a delicious hot meal and a comfortable place to rest your head each night, all the while leaving next to no impact on the land, communities, and environment we meet en route. On the final day, a guided tour of the citadel will bring to life the impressive ruins and lifestyle of it’s former inhabitants, leaving you reeling with newfound knowledge and unforgettable memories upon your return to Cusco on the final day.
Itinerary: Day 1 Cusco/Llaqtapata, Day 2 Llulluchapampa, Day 3 Phuyupatamarca, Day 4 Machu Picchu, Day 5 Cusco Location: Cusco Duration: 5 days / 4 nights Fixed departures: Every Wednesday & Sunday Season: From March to December
Why travel with us?
Pioneers: We are the first adventure company to operate the Inca Trail, as well as to Choquequirao. Since 1975 we have been providing adventurers with authentic life – changing experiences in Perú.
Eco Friendly Tour operator: Recognized as the World’s Leading Green Tour Operator by the World Travel Awards, and certified as a Sustainable Tour Operator by the Rainforest Alliance. We use Operating procedures to minimize our impact on the environment.
Experts in innovation: Travelling with us means discovering new trails path away from the crowds. We have private campsites on our treks, allowing you to disconnect from the world and fully enjoy the adventure.
Highly trained: Our guides are not only experts on routes, they have also been trained in first aid and in every adventure you choose you will find a specialist who will help you to live it.
Less is more: A good trip is built through the best experiences. In Explorandes we care about personalized service away from the crowds and in small groups, which allow travelers to connect with the surrounding environment, history and culture.
Specialized equipment: To ensure the safety and comfort of your trip we have the best equipment for camping, kayaking, climbing, mountain biking, etc.
We put Quality first: In Explorandes we build unique experiences through details. Our staff will make your trip an unforgettable experience.
Ollantaytambo to Llaqtapata
As the sun rises, we rise to begin our scenic 5-hour trek on a section of the Inca Trail few have visited. While many cross the Urubamba River at Km 82, we follow the river downstream to cross at Km 88, setting the tone for the rest of the trek and creating some space between us and the crowds. We’ll take our first break at Q’oriwayrachina for lunch, then cross the Urubamba River at Q’ente where you’ll have the option to visit the archaeological sites of Wayna Q’ente and Llaqtapata. We’ll set up camp for the night amidst the Inca terracing nearby. (L/D)
Time: 5-6 hours
Lllaqtapata to Llulluchapampa
We continue our journey up the narrow Cusichaca Valley passing houses inhabited by settlers until finally we reach the Andean community of Huayllabamba. From here the cobble-stoned Inca Trail ascends steeply through ancient native forest exploding with the sounds of birdsong. The trail then begins to level out at our campsite at Llulluchapampa, situated just below the first pass. Find breathtaking views of Mt. Huayanay and a first glimpse of the rare Andean cloud forest of quenua trees (polilepsi). (B/L/D)
Distance: 9 Km
Time: 6 hours.
Llulluchapampa to Phuyupatamarca
The day begins with a steady ascent up to Warmiwanusqa Pass (4,200m/13,692ft) where we’re met with rewarding views of the ascent we’ve just conquered and the much-welcome descent to the Pacaymayo River that lay ahead. After a hearty lunch in Pacaymayo, we ascend again to the ruins of Runkuraqay and our second pass (4,050m/13,200ft). From here, we walk down to the site of Sayacmarca (3,850m/12,551ft) on the original Inca Trail, passing a dry lake and our first signs of cloud forest. The walk along the ridge offers a leisurely respite from the day’s challenging ascents and long descents as well as incredible views of the beautiful Aobamba Valley below. We continue along the ridge through amazing landscapes and views of Mt. Salkantay on the western side, as well as Mt. Pumasillo silhouetted on the horizon to the north. We follow the flag-stoned trail until we arrive at our campsite at Phuyupatamarca, also known as “the village over the clouds.” (B/L/D)
Time: 7-8 hours
Phuyupatamarca to Machu Picchu
The day we’ve all been waiting for; Early, but not too early, we wake for a spectacular sunrise view just a short hike up the hill from our campsite, where our porters will be waiting for us with steaming hot cups of tea. This site is known to deliver some of the best sunrise views in the entire Machu Picchu Sanctuary. After some breakfast, we continue our trek along a buttress, passing the ruins at Phuyupatamarca. The flag-stoned trail begins to wind sharply down, taking us into the cloud forest to the well-conserved ruins of Winay Wayna located just below the ridge. Along the same trail the Incas once used, we trek for two hours through dense cloud forest until we reach Machu Picchu via Intipunku (the door of the sun), the magnificent citadel unfolded at our feet. After some time soaking in the glorious view, we take a bus to the village of Machu Picchu. The overnight at a local hotel and dinner on your own. (B/L)
Distance: 11.6 km
Time: Aprox 7 horas
Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo/Cusco
A quick, half hour bus ride brings you to the gates of Machu Picchu where you will begin a guided three-hour tour of this ancient hill-top citadel. Your guide will take you through the different sectors, bringing alive the history and stories of these ancient and iconic ruins. You’ll feel like you’re taking a step back in time as you soak up the astonishing views, expert knowledge, and impressive ruins. In the afternoon, we’ll return to the village where a train will take you back to Ollantaytambo or Cusco. Hotel and dinner will be on your own. B/L
End of Services
- Transportation by vehicle from hotel to the start of the trek.
- Double occupancy tents with Thermarest sleeping pads.
- Kitchen crew and necessary
- Camping gear
- All meals included during trek
- Bilingual guide
- Full day guided visit to Machu Picchu
- Lunch on day 5
- Transfer from Ollantaytambo or Poroy station back to Cusco
B- Breakfast / BL- Boxed Lunch / L- Lunch / D- Dinner SERVICES NOT INCLUDED
- Inca Trail entrance fee
- Return train from Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo or Cusco
- Hotel and dinner in Machu Picchu Village on day 4
- Alcoholic beverages
- Laundry Service
- Additional Tours
- Personal Insurance And
- Airline Tickets (Where Applicable)
- Sleeping Bags (We Can Rent)
- Hiking Boots
- Other Personal Gear
WHAT TO TAKE – Cotton short-sleeved shirts or t-shirts – Long-sleeved shirts – Fleece or Wool sweater and/or trousers – Lightweight pants – Regular and long underwear (at over 13,000 ft./4,000 masl) – Medium weight parka with fibber fill or down – Light cap and wool hat – Rain poncho (or rain gear) – Water bottle – Light gloves – Medium weight socks – Hiking boots – Sleeping bag (-5º to 0ºC) – Small daypack – Strong waterproof duffel bag – Sunglasses, Sun block, lip balm – Flashlight with spare batteries and bulb – Towel Personal First-Aid Kit. On each trip we carry a medical Kit but we suggest a small personal First-Aid Kit for bruises and blisters. A knee and ankle brace are sometimes useful especially if you suffer from weak knees or ankles. Include any special medication your doctor might suggest for you.
We are located in Miraflores, a residential district and an excellent location for business or tourism, nearby you will find shopping, dining and recreation areas.\r\n\r\nLocated 30 minutes from the international airport and 20 minutes from the historic center of Lima.\r\n\r\n
Conveniently located just two blocks from the main avenue José Larco Miraflores, and four blocks from Larcomar, our hostel is very near to the Pacific Ocean.\r\n\r\nWe offer a new lodging alternative, make yourself at home in our comfortable and spacious rooms.\r\n\r\nIn the safe and quiet business area of Lima, Miraflores is the tourist district of the city of Kings.\r\n\r\n
Tierra Viva Aguas Calientes
Tierra Viva Cusco Machu Picchu Hotel strategic location ensures our guests the best experience possible of the amazing Inca citadel. Our facilities are located in the quietest area of Aguas Calientes, facing the Urubamba River and surrounded by the Forest of Clouds. We have exclusively at your disposal, a bus stop from where our clients can directly take the bus to Machu Picchu or get to the archeological site after a 60 minute walk.\r\n\r\nModern style, our Hotel has 43 spacious and comfortable rooms, a lounge with a fireplace, a breakfast room and a bar to relax and enjoy some drinks after a day of adventures. Our hotel has a panoramic lift that has been decorated with Andean inspired graffiti by the Peruvian artist Carolina Málaga. Near the entrance of the hotel is the dining room, where every morning a delicious Andean buffet is served, and the Reception Desk were you can comfortably do your check-in.\r\n\r\n
El Mapi Hotel
“Smart” and “contemporary” are the de defining elements of this hotel. Set in the busy heart of Machu Picchu Pueblo, guests are ideally located to admire, experience and enjoy this quaint village. The hotel’s concept seeks to create a place where our travelers can find efficiency and friendliness. A modern resting environment for guests eager for a visit that promises comfort and calm as they encounter Machu Picchu, one of the New 7 Wonders of the Modern World.\r\n\r\n
IFK Lodge Hotel is magically and mystically situated under the gaze and protection of the Pitusiray Mountain (Apu), on the banks of the Sacred River of the Inca – the Urubamba River – which runs through the entire valley, creating a unique micro climate, turning the area into a natural, cultural and eco-environmental setting, which in turn soothes us with its hum, inducing us into meditation and romance.\r\n\r\n
Sacred Dreams is a Unique Lodge set in Peru magical Sacred Valley. We utilized the natural resources of this abundant land in building the lodge to provide you with the highest level of comfort while maintaining the most respect for local customs and harmony with the environment.
Located in a beautiful residential area, Casa Esmeralda by Ananay Hotels, offers a quaint yet elegant boutique concept that meets the needs of today’s guests who demand a personalized service experience and the warmth only a place like Cusco can offer.\r\n\r\n
The hotel is located 1 block from the Main Square and next to several touristic attractions; One of the house was once part of the house of the mestizo Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, which has been refurbished for hotel services.\r\n\r\nThe rooms are carpeted all with hot water the 24 hours. Wireless Internet and free buffet breakfast is included for all guests.\r\n\r\n
Hotel El Balcón
El Balcon is a pre-colonial house constructed around 1630 carefully restored in 1998 with the intention of offering first-rate lodging.\r\n\r\nLocated in the colonial center of Cusco, only three blocks from the Main Plaza de Armas overlooking the city and the surrounding mountains.\r\n\r\n
Rupa Wasi Lodge
Rupa wasi lodge has a unique location in aguas calientes that provides spectacular views of the mountains of machu picchu. Our lodge has rooms with private bathrooms and balconies that allow our guests to take full advantage of these beautiful surroundings.\r\n\r\n
Hotel El Albergue
Originally opened in 1925 under the name of lodge Santa Rosa, El Albergue is a historic and romantic lodge, located in the Ollantaytambo train station little more than an hour away from Machu Picchu and the city of Cusco.
With only 16 rooms special detail is given to each and every one, resulting in an elegantly rustic style. Beautiful gardens visited by hummingbirds are engulfed by the aroma of fuchsia, passionflower, peaches and avocado trees which all adorn the early 20th century lodge. Step outside and catch the train to the spectacular ruins of Machu Picchu.
While you are at El Albergue you may spend your days visiting the Inca and Pre-Inca archeological sights of Ollantaytambo, Pisaq and Moray, river rafting and mountain biking, and enjoying the beauty and culture of the Andes.
Casa San Blas Boutique
Casa San Blas was first, just a dream: We aimed to have an old 17th century house restaured in to the traditional way, and at the same time have the modern standards of comfort and good taste. The design and building was indeed a challenge. We decided to use traditional materials, as adobe, stone, wood and leather for the building and at the same time include bedding & equipment of high quality.\r\n\r\nNow, after a few years in the market we are proud of what we achieved: A highly personalized lodging standards and a succesfull boutique hotel with thounsands of happy customers.\r\n\r\nBeing the first “Boutique hotel” in Peru, back in 2003 drove us to design standards that would involve personalized service, learning opportunities, an architecture that is harmonic with the city and neighborhood as well as social and environmental responsibility.\r\n\r\n
Ananay Quinta San Blas
In this quaint neighborhood you will find Quinta San Blas an enchanting colonial-republican house completely renovated into a hotel boutique. With its top notch amenities and high quality service Ananay provides all the needs travelers search for after a long day visiting our beautiful city.\r\n\r\nSan Blas, along with San Cristobal, is one of the oldest neighborhoods of Cusco. Inca temples in honor of their god of thunder were replaced by what is now the oldest church in the city. It has now become the bohemian sector of the Inca capital, painters and sculptors teeming the streets selling their wares.\r\n\r\n
Ananay Palacio Manco Capac
Manco Capac Palace is a hotel built on what used to be a XIX century Peruvian republican mansion. Built on the foundations of Manco\r\nCapac’s original Palace, this sumptuous house is surrounded by authentic Inca platforms and located behind the San Cristobal Church.\r\nPart of the palace wall is still standing and only a few meters away from the hotel.
Inkaterrra – Sumaq
Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel is spectacularly located on the banks of the Vilcanota River in Aguas Calientes at the foot of Peru’s premier tourism attraction. The luxury property, with 62 exquisitely appointed rooms and suites, offers an exclusive guest experience infused with Inca influences and world-class amenities, services and appointments. Preparing authentic gourmet Peruvian cuisine, Qunuq Restaurant creates innovative and unique dishes that introduce ancient culinary traditions and exciting flavors to travelers and foodies. Aqlla Spa creates its own indigenous products with regional ingredients and incorporates historic Inca techniques in its treatments. Suquy Café & Bar mixes international and exotic native cocktails focusing on Peruvian herbs and fruits. Rather than do the exhausting mass-tourism day trip from Cuzco, Sumaq Machu Picchu’s guests fully experience Machu Picchu and the local Andean culture with the hotel’s proximity and ease of access to the legendary archaeological site and an array of indigenous culinary, cultural and nature experiences, from a Peruvian cooking and bar class to renewing vows in an Andean wedding to hiking, climbing and bird watching.\r\n\r\n
Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge
Belmond Sanctuary Lodge is the only hotel located adjacent to the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.\r\n\r\nIt offers its guests exceptionally easy access from early morning to late afternoon, when most of the day visitors and buses have left.\r\n\r\nSit out on a terrace and savour Peruvian cuisine based on produce grown on the Lodge’s own plot: this delightful hideaway is the perfect place to relax and unwind in the shadow of the Lost City.\r\n\r\n
Belmond Miraflores Park Plaza
Set in Mira ores, one of Lima’s most exclusive residential areas, Belmond Mira ores Park is an all-suite hotel offering breathtaking views out to sea. Its state-of-the-art facilities, spacious accommodation and pampering services make it the perfect hotel for both corporate and leisure guests. In Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2014 it was voted #10 in the “Top City Hotel in Central and South America” category.
Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba
Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba is a contemporary hotel with colonial inspiration, built in the heart of Urubamba Valley (Cusco), among flowers, mountains and trees. It creates an enabling environment for mental, spiritual and physical rest. \r\n\r\nThe hotel has a design inspired by the architecture of the Cusco region, with an interior design inspired by local materials. A luxurious Andean environment proper of the Inkaterra spirit preserves the authenticity of Peruvian highlands. \r\n\r\nIt is ideal for family holidays, offering various activities at the Valley and its surroundings, which are perfectly designed to assist travellers with the process of acclimatization. These allow the discovery of ancient traditions on the Andean farm and emphasize the history, traditions, nature and charm of the Sacred Valley.
Hotel Belmond Río Sagrado
In the Sacred Valley of the Incas, among verdant fields and towering mountains, lies Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado. Designed in the style of a local village, with charming villas constructed from natural materials, it o offers views of the mighty Urubamba River from each of the rooms. Located at a lower altitude than Cusco, it provides the perfect environment in which to relax and acclimatize. Rated #9 in TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards 2014 “Top 10 Small Hotels in Peru” category.\r\n\r\n
Belmond Palacio Nazarenas
Set in a tranquil plaza behind Cusco’s main square, this restored 17th-century palace and convent is now one of the city’s most exclusive hotels.\r\nAn irresistible mix of ancient and modern, it blends Inca walls, a cloistered courtyard and ancient fountain with a fabulous spa,\r\nthe city’s first outdoor pool and a cutting-edge restaurant.
TripAdvisor rated Belmond Palacio Nazarenas best luxury hotel in South America in its Travellers’ Choice Awards 2014.
The JW Marriott Cusco is located a few blocks from the Main Square among the main historical sites of the city, such as the Cathedral, the Qoricancha Temple and San Blas Neighborhood.\r\n\r\nThe Hotel has been designed and built on the 17th Century Colonial Convent of San Agustin, declared National Cultural Heritage by the Peruvian Government. The Convent was restored with utmost respect for the archeological remains from Pre-Inca, Inca, Colonial, Republican and Contemporary periods, which render the Hotel its unique character and offer an incomparable cultural experience for all guests.\r\n\r\nBuilt at 11,154 ft. above sea level, it is the first Marriott property constructed at such high altitude, so a supplementary oxygen system is available in all of its 153 rooms for guests’ total comfort.\r\n\r\n
Belmond Hotel Monasterio
Close by Cusco’s lively central square is Belmond Hotel Monasterio, a restored 16th-century and important national monument. This delightful retreat, set around a stunning central courtyard with a 300-year-old cedar tree, is known for its exceptional architecture and a gilded chapel hung with fine works of art.\r\n\r\nBelmond Hotel Monasterio has won numerous awards. In Condé Nast Traveler’s “Gold List 2014” it was named the number one hotel in Peru.\r\n\r\n
Early departure from your Hotel to the Sacred Valley towards Pisac. Driving up, near the Pisac Citadel, we will arrive to Amaru, where Our hosts, the locals from “Laraypas Indígenas de Amaru Association”, will welcome us explaining their daily life, traditions, and the work that the Association does on behalf of the traditional culture.\r\n\r\nDuration: 8 Hours
This tour is geared toward travelers looking for unique experiences. Doing Yoga on a SUP board is a special activity in and of itself, add in the breath-taking landscape and rich cultural backdrop and the resulting condition is an absolutely unforgettable experience. The class is facilitated by an experienced yoga instructor.