Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Itinerary in Brief:  Cusco & the Sacred Valley, then the classic Inca Trail

  • Explore and acclimate in Cusco
  • Warm up hike in the Sacred Valley
  • 3 nights camping on the Inca Trail
  • You carry only a daypack
  • Great meals, first class camping
  • Truly outstanding, experienced guides
  • Stay at premier hotel just below the ruins
  • Please call or email us with questions

Day by Day Itinerary

Included meals are indicated in parentheses: (B,L,D)

Day 1       Lima

Arrive to Lima, former capital of the Spanish empire in the Americas, and transfer to your first class hotel ideally located in the Miraflores district, Lima’s main cultural and commercial district. This is the best area of town for strolling around and is home to many of Lima’s best restaurants. (If you are interested and time permits, private tours of Lima or visits to any of Lima’s museums can be arranged; we can also arrange culinary tours focusing on Peru’s increasingly renowned cuisine or art tours for those with special interests.)
Casa Andina Private Collection Miraflores (upgrades available to Hotel B, Miraflores Park Hotel, and others)

Day 2     Cusco/Sacred Valley of the Incas

You will be transferred to the airport to catch your flight over the Andes to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire. Upon arrival in Cusco, you will be met for transfer into the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The Sacred Valley is at lower elevation from Cusco (9000 instead of 11,000 feet) and provides a more comfortable place to acclimatize. En route to your hotel you will stop at the ruins of Pisac, where you will have great views of the Sacred Valley and the opportunity to do some easy downhill walking. Afterwards, you will stop for lunch at an acclaimed local restaurant and then be dropped off at your hotel, a traveler favorite in the region due to its local charm and beautiful location.
Hotel Sol y Luna (B,L)

Day 3       Sacred Valley of the Incas

Today you have a privately guided tour visiting some of the most impressive and interesting sites in the Sacred Valley, including Maras, Moray and Ollantaytambo. You’ll get out and see the Sacred Valley on your own two feet, with the chance to do some acclimatization walking (your private guide will be there to accommodate whatever level of additional hiking you want to do).
Hotel Sol y Luna (B,L)

Day 4       Begin Inca Trail

Today you start the Inca Trail part of your trip. You will be transferred in the morning to Km 82 of the railway from where you will trek for approximately 4 hours along a little visited section of the trail, following the Urubamba River. You will arrive to Chamana in the area of Llactapata and spend the night. In the afternoon, you will hike to some of the nearby Inca sites. Your guide will make sure that everyone is feeling well and is properly acclimitized, so that you can all make the most of your experience. (Hiking Time: 4-5 hours; distance: about 5 miles).
Camp at Chamana (B,L,D)

Day 5       Llulluchapampa

After reaching the site of Patallacta you continue up the Cusichaca Valley, passing local settlers, and finally arriving to the small community of Huayllabamba. From here the trail ascends to to a large pampa (grass field) where you will camp for the night. (Hiking Time: 6 hours; distance: about 5.5 miles)
Camp at Llulluchapampa (B,L,D)

Day 6       Phuyupatamarca

Today you will ascend to the highest pass on the trek, Warmiwanusca (13,692 ft.), before descending to the Pacaymayo River and past the Runkuraqay ruins. This day is filled with breathtaking views as you walk through the Andes, finally reaching Phuyupatamarca (which means “the town a the edge of the clouds” in Quechua), where you will make your final camp. (Hiking Time: about 8 hrs; distance: about 8.5 miles)
Camp at Phuyupatamarca (B,L,D)

Day 7       Machu Picchu

You start your hike with views out towards the Vilcabamba region and its snow capped peaks. As the trail winds downward you will enter into a cloud forest, arriving to the Inca site of Winay Wayna. After about 2 more hours of hiking you will find yourself at Intpunku, the Gate of the Sun, where you have a magnificent view of Machu Picchu. After descending to the ruins along the final stretch of the Inca Trail you will catch a shuttle down to the town of Aguas Calientes for the night.
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 8       Machu Picchu and Cusco

Today you make a return visit to Machu Picchu in the early morning to observe the ruins. This is a great way to experience the site when there are far fewer people around. After visiting the ruins you will make your way down to the train station for your afternoon train back to Cusco.
Palacio del Inka (upgrades to Palacio Nazarenas or other hotels are available) (B)

Day 9       Cusco

Today you have a privately guided tour of this fascinating city, visiting the historical highlights and also making a visit to the massive fortress of Sacsahuaman that sits on the hill overlooking all of Cusco. This fortress is where the Incans made their feircest stand against the Spanish conquistadors. You’ll have the option to walk down from Sacsahuaman to central Cusco by way of the San Blas neighborhood. Dinner on your own out at one of the city’s excellent restaurants. 
Palacio del Inka (B)

Day 10       Return Home

In the morning you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight to Lima. Upon arrival to Lima you will have assistance at the airport in making your connecting flight home. If you have extra time in Lima, we often arrange a driver for our clients so you can go out to eat or see some of Lima prior to your departure.