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Permits available for Inca Trail hikes in 2024. Taking reservations for all dates. In case hiking permits are sold out we can substitute the Quarry Hike or Lares Valley Hike.
Note that the Peru government increased cost of permits by $200 USD per person effective November 15, 2022.
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Day 1: Cusco Arrival & Walking City Tour
Arrival in Cusco Airport (best time to arrive from 9AM-12N) where Adios driver will be waiting holding a sign with your name. Transfer to the hotel for checkin followed by walking tour of Cusco. Your guide introduces you to local Peruvian culture and ancient Inca civilization with legendary stories and a visit to the main Plaza de Armas, once considered the center of the Inca Empire, and where the statue of King Pachacutec, whose brilliant vision led to the design and building of Machu Picchu, greets everyone. Continue on foot through authentic narrow Inca streets where you explore the historical city including markets and Qoricancha Temple, also known as the "Golden Temple of the Sun." See the remarkable achievements of ancient Peruvians that include stone arches, Inca walls, cobbled streets, and many examples of exotic architecture. Observe the impact of colonial invasion and how the collision of two very different societies fused into one enchanting hub of modern Peruvian culture.
Day 2: Cusco Outskirts Historical Ruins Hike
8:30AM Guide and driver pickup from your hotel to begin 15 minute drive to the tranquil terraced rocks of Tambomachay ruins (meaning guest house), with aqueducts, waterfalls and canals. This is an easy downhill hike to get you warmed up for the Inca Trail. It is said that the Inca emperor came here to bathe and perform religious rites in the water. Walk about 7 KM through local farms to the mysterious Qenco temple ruins where sacrifices and mummification took place. Not far are the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, one of the most significant archaeological legacies of the Incas. Due to the complexity of the layout of the massive blocks of stone, some bigger than a car, it is said that the construction of Sacsayhuaman lasted more than 50 years and employed over 20,000 men in the construction. Return to hotel by 1300 to 1400 hours. Enjoy lunch in restaurant of your choice. (about 4-5 hours) Please bring small daypack with sunscreen raingear, water, sunhat, warm layers and snacks
Day 3: Cusco - Ollantaytambo / Sacred Valley Tour by Van
8:30AM. Adios tour guide and driver will pickup from you hotel to begin scenic tour of the small towns of the Sacred Valley, including the village of Chinchero weavers, the geologic sink holes at Moray and the terraced salt ponds at Maras, finally arriving in Ollantaytambo, the oldest still-occupied village in Peru. Each town offers its unique interpretation of ancient customs and traditional life. Overnight in Ollantaytambo and dinner in local restaurant.
Day 4: Ollantaytambo - Inca Trail - Day 1
We enter the trail head after the morning groups are well on their way. Our trail meanders along the river before we see elevation and a welcome lunch, prepared by our porters. We continue to our campsite where dinner awaits followed by a good rest.
Hiking distance 13 km / Camp altitude 11,000 feet / 3350 m
Meals included: breakfast in your hotel, lunch, snacks and dinner on the trail
Day 5: Inca Trail - Day 2
After our hearty breakfast, we start our climb for the day which takes us through changing climactic zones before we stop for lunch. After lunch, we continue to the highest point of the trek, Dead Woman’s Pass, which tops out at 13,800 fasl. (4200 m.) Our descent takes us pass waterfalls and mountain flora and fauna before we reach the campground.
Hiking distance 18 Km / Camp altitude 12,000 feet / 3658 m
Meals included: breakfast lunch, snacks and dinner on the trail
Day 6: Inca Trail - Day 3
More incredible views as our hike winds through the Andes mountains full of plants, birds and images of ancient Incan culture. Our last night camping on the trail before our arrival to Machu Picchu.
Hiking distance 07 km / Camp altitude 8,500 feet / 2590 m.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner on the trail
Day 7: Inca Trail - Day 4 to Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes
The mystery unravels as we climb through remnants of Incan ruins and over stone steps that are hundreds of years old. Up and over the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) we get our first glimpse of the ancient citadel, Machu Picchu. Hike down about 45 minutes to the ruins where you have chance to take photos. Continue to main entry where you board shuttle bus for 30 minutes ride to Aguas Calientes. Walk to local hotel for checkin. Enjoy dinner in restaurant of your choice. (cost of dinner not included)
Hiking distance 5 -12 km (depending on which campground you are in) Hotel altitude 6692 ft / 2300 m
Hotel: 3* with private bath, breakfast and free wifi
Day 8: Machu Picchu - Cuzco
After breakfast in your hotel you take shuttle bus to return to the main entry of Machu Picchu for guided tour. Option to buy ticket to hike Huayna Picchu if available (add $85 USD pp) At mid-day you return to Aguas Calientes (now called Machu Picchu Pueblo) for quick lunch, then arrive at the station where you board the afternoon train to Ollantaytambo. Our driver will be waiting to take you 2 hours by car to your hotel in Cusco usually arriving by 6-7 pm.
Day 9: Fly from Cusco - Lima
Free morning in Cusco to explore on your own. Ask hotel reception to arrange taxi for transfer to airport at least 2H prior to scheduled departure. You’ll board your flight to Lima and your next destination.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I get altitude sickness in Cusco?
It's common for most people who are coming from sea level to experience at least mild symptoms of altitude sickness when they arrive in Cusco, which is 11,000 ft/3430 m above sea level. Age is not a factor for the severity of symptoms one can experience. But fitness can be. Symptoms vary from person to person, but can include:
-headache (the most common complaint)
-loss of appetite
The best natural remedy is to drink plenty of water before you arrive at altitude and continue to drink water even at night. Coca leaf tea is available in every hotel coffee bar and restaurant. There is no way to predict if it will alleviate your symptoms. The most reliable treatment for headache is to bring your own medication. Ask your physician about prescription treatments before you travel.
Is it safe to drink the water in Peru?
Tap water in Lima, Cusco and other larger cities is consumed by local people every day. But is it safe for you? There's only one way to find out and we suggest that you not drink the tap water or use it to brush your teeth. Bottled water is cheap and available everywhere including small towns and villages.
We support the reduction of the use of disposable plastic water bottles and encourage you to bring a purification device to make your own safe drinking water. The device should be rated to purify water from microbes and viruses, not just for taste. We found a small, inexpensive passive portable water filter that removes not only bacteria, but heavy metals and inorganic materials like chlorine, nitrite and fluoride. Here is a link to read more, and a discount code if you choose to buy it. Drivers may carry purified drinking water to refill your personal water bottle on day tours and activities.
What is the best way to travel between Lima and Cusco?
We recommend flying between the cities because other means require more time or are not practical for short vacations. There is no train service between Lima and Cusco. And while there is bus service, the drive is almost 24 hours long over paved, but winding mountain roads. There is no speedy highway. We recommend that you book Latam Airlines for the most reliable airline service. And we suggest you allow at least 4-5 hours layover in Lima airport if you intend to fly from Cusco to Lima for an international connecting flight on the same day.
Where should I stay if my international flight arrives in Lima in the evening?
There is only one hotel at the Lima airport. The Wyndham Hotel is connected to the arrivals terminal by a skybridge on the 2nd floor or by crossing a 3 lane road on the ground level. It takes literally 2 minutes to walk from the terminal to the lobby of the hotel.
This hotel is best for groups who arrive in Lima in the evening and plan to depart again by air the next day. For groups planning to stay in Lima, it's best to ask your hotel in the Lima city center to arrange a ground transfer, since there are no shuttle buses. The travel time is about 45 minutes each way when the traffic is moderate. Traffic can be routinely congested during the daytime, from 7AM to 8PM. The cost ranges from $35 USD each way and up. If your group is larger than 3 persons, you may need a transfer in a mini-van or two taxis.
Do I need vaccinations to visit Machu Picchu?
No. Covid vaccinations are not required to enter Peru. And other travel vaccinations are not required. The altitude of Machu Picchu is 8000 ft/2440 m and higher. Disease-carrying vectors do not thrive at higher elevations. US citizens are not required to get Yellow Fever vaccinations or prophylactic Malaria treatments. Although there have been no recent cases of Yellow Fever in Peru, some countries, including the US, recommend that visitors get Yellow Fever vaccinations prior to visiting the Amazon Rainforest, including Tambopata Reserve or Manu National Reserve. Even though these vaccinations are not required to re-enter the US, they may be required if you are transiting or traveling to another country before you return home. We recommend that travelers check the regulations for re-entry for any countries they will pass through after leaving Peru, Bolivia or Ecuador. Health regulations are subject to change from time to time. It is the responsibility of travelers to consult their own government health departments for up to date and relevant information.
This Adventure Includes
- 1 way Cusco airport tranfser upon arrival
- Meals on the hike - our cooks take great pride in serving wholesome, substantial meals & can accommodate various dietary needs
- Guides, 2 porters per hiker & camping equipment (3-person tent for 2, air mattress, kitchen tent)
- All our hikes include superior comfort upgrades - therma-rest mattresses, 2 porters per hiker, well-trained trail chef, high-quality meals, English-speaking guides
- All ground transportation
- Single entry to museums & archaeological sites in Cuzco, Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu
- Private, guided tour of Machu Picchu
- 3* hotels and accommodations with private bath, based on dbl occupancy
- Use of our Trekking poles
- Meals (except during the hike)
- Sleeping bags (bring your own or rent ours for $20 pp)
- Tickets to hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (add $85 USD pp)
- Gratuities at your discretion
- Travel insurance
- 1 way Cusco airport transfer upon departure
- Itinerary subject to change
- Our prices are quite affordable when you factor the added cost of 2 porters per hiker, which is for the porters' benefit, not yours.
- Inca Trail permits cannot be cancelled, refunded or transferred
- Valid passport needed at time of reservation (or expired passport while passport renewal is pending)
- Passport should be valid for at least 6 months after arrival in Peru
- We offer 26% discount on additional nights in Cusco, which can be added for $87 double room
- Groups with varying abilities have the option to divide into two: 1 group will hike 4-Day Inca Trail & other will hike 1-Day Inca Trail. Both groups meet up in Aguas Calientes at the end of Day 6.