Walking the “qhapaq ñan”
During the Inca times, there were roads from Cusco to different places where they used to go. Currently, we have a 4-day and 3-night Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This is one of the most beautiful places where we can find tambos and checkpoints and the visitors can enjoy the beautiful geographic landscapes, the fauna and the flora. They can also see clearly the different ecological levels throughout the Inca Trail, which is the reason why it is the most frequented place in all South America.
Machu Picchu comes from a Quechua word that means old mountain, however, according to several scholars, its name could have originally been Llactapata. Machu Picchu was built not long before the 15th century, 80 km northwest of Cusco city and it is a citadel where a small Inca population lived.
According to documents dated from 16th century, Machu Picchu was a resting place for the Inca Pachacútec between 1438 and 1470. However, according to studies, the ruins were allegedly used before his rule so it can be said that it was a religious sanctuary because of its strong ceremonial nature.
Machu Picchu was declared as Peruvian Historic Sanctuary in 1981 and it entered the World Heritage list in 1983. It was also chosen as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Don’t miss a Colourful experience walking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu on our tour to Peru!
We will pick you up from where ever you are staying in Cusco, Urubamba or Ollantaytambo. Pickup from Cusco will be at 4:30AM, from Urubamba 5:30 AM and if you stay in Ollantaytambo, you get to sleep in a bit with your pickup at 6:30 AM. At your briefing, these times will be confirmed as they might fluctuate based on where you staying. We will then drive to Km 82, arriving at about 7:00AM. After a delicious breakfast prepared by your cook, we’ll go through the first Inca Trail checkpoint to begin our trek (please make sure you have your original passport with you to enter the Inca Trail). The first 2 hours of the trek are relatively easy as we make our way to our first Inca site, Patallacta which is an ancient Inca checkpoint for the approach to Machu Picchu. From Patallacta it’s another 2 hour hike to our lunch stop. After lunch we will hike for another 2½ hours until we reach the first night’s campsite at Ayapata (3300 meters). On this last stretch we pass through 2 small communities. If you want to buy any energy drinks or snacks you can do so here, you can also buy any essential items such as batteries that you may have forgotten. We’ll arrive to our campsite by 5:00PM and after settling in for a bit you can relax and have a hot drink and snack with your team of porters, chef and guide. By 7:30PM your dinner will be ready, and afterwards you can get some well-deserved rest.
Meals: Snack, lunch and dinner
Your porters will wake you up early with a hot cup of coca tea to get you ready for the day. Today is our longest day and we will start early. We’ll hike for roughly 4 hours to the highest pass of the trek, Dead Woman’s Pass (4215 meters/13829 feet). On reaching the pass we’ll stop for a short break to enjoy the views before setting off again to descend to the next valley (Pacaymayu Valley – Hidden River). It’s another hour and a half down the side of the valley to our lunch spot and a chance to refill our water bottles. After lunch we begin ascending again to the second pass of the trek. It’s 2 hours to the pass and along the way we’ll stop at a small Inca site (Runcu Raccay) and see two huge waterfalls cascading down the opposite side of the valley. After the second pass, it’s another hour downhill hike to reach the magnificent Inca site, Sayacmarca (an otherwise inaccessible village).
We’ll stop here for a rest and have a quick tour of the site and then watch the sunset over the Vilcabamba mountain range. It’s then just another 20 minutes until we stop for the night at our second campsite Chaquicocha (Dry Lake, 3600 meters). After dinner, if you’re not too exhausted, we can do some star gazing and we’ll point out the fascinating Inca constellations. In the magnificent Southern Hemisphere sky, away from all the artificial lighting, this sky is something to behold!
Meals: Breakfast, snack, lunch and dinner
Completing Day 2 and beginning Day 3 certainly deserves a pat on the back! We begin early again, waking up at 6:30am to begin what is commonly felt to be the most beautiful day of the whole Inca Trail. We hike for 2 hours along what we like to call “Inca flat” (gradual inclines) and begin to enter the jungle, known as the Cloud Forest. As we walk we will have the opportunity to see the majesty of Salkantay, the second highest snow-capped mountain in the Sacred Valley, and a fantastic panoramic view of the Vilcabamba mountain range. Towards the end of the Inca flats we begin to make our way up to the last peak at Phuyupatamarka (3600 meters) from where we’ll have great views overlooking the Urubamba River. Down the valley we get our first views of Machu Picchu Mountain but the site itself is still hidden from view. From Phuyupatamarka it´s a 3 hour walk down a flight of steps to our last campsite, close to Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young). Wiñay Wayna is the most spectacular Inca site on the trail after Machu Picchu and the most popular campsite because of its proximity to Machu Picchu.
During the descent we visit 2 Inca ruins, Phuyupatamarka (Town in the Clouds) and Intipata (Terraces of the Sun). We arrive at our campsite around 1:00PM to have lunch and then relax for the entire afternoon so that you’re relaxed and ready for your final day at Machu Picchu. At around 4:30PM your guide will give you a short orientation and you will visit the Inca ruins of Wiñay Wayna, spending about an hour and a half there. We will explain the significance of the site and combine all the information given during the trek so you’re fully prepared for your visit to Machu Picchu the following day.
We like to spoil our guests as we enjoy our last feast with the porters and chefs. It’s an Inca Trail tradition to organize a ceremony in the evening to introduce the team to the tourists once again and to thank them for the great job done (if you wish to provide tips for them then you can do so at this time). It is advisable to go to bed at a reasonable time in order to get up in the early hours of the morning to arrive to Machu Picchu at the crack of dawn in the hopes that the weather will give us a beautiful sunrise over the ruins at Machu Picchu.
Meals: Breakfast, snack, lunch and dinner
Wake up time is at 3:30AM. We’ll eat breakfast at 4:00AM and wait at the checkpoint to be one of the first to start trekking when they open the gates at 5:30AM. We’ll wave goodbye to our team of porters and chef and then it’s “Forward On” to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku). From here we have spectacular views of the mountains and Machu Picchu in all its glory. We reach the Sun Gate by 6:30am and then it’s just an hour trek downstairs to reach the Lost City of the Incas. As we approach Machu Picchu the views of the city just get better and better! At about 7:40AM we’ll reach the final checkpoint and enter Machu Picchu to begin our 2 hour private guided tour. After the tour you’ll be given your bus tickets to make your way down to Aguas Calientes and you’ll have plenty of free time to explore on your own or climb one of the neighboring mountain – Huaynapicchu (must be arranged ahead of time). Your guide will offer to meet you down in the village of Aguas Calientes to enjoy your last lunch in a local restaurant. This is optional and not included. At lunch, he will hand out train tickets, so if you choose to skip, please arrange to get these before leaving him at Machu Picchu.
Unless you arranged for an upgraded train, we will book the Expedition class train departing Aguas Calientes at 4:20. Please make sure you are on the platform at least 30 minutes ahead of time. This train will be 2 hours to Ollantaytambo where an Alpaca driver will meet you and drive you back to the city in our bus, then we will drop you off at your hotel.
|Price per person: USD||730||730||730||730|
To book the Inca Trail is necessary to pay the 100% of the tour. This payment is not refunding for cancellations.
All rates are expressed in US dollars, per person, based on double occupancy and are subject to change without notice.
All our itineraries have been very carefully prepared taking your trip’s best operation into account. However, changing the order of some tours or routes might be necessary in some cases. Although these changes occur in few instances, the itinerary details should be taken as a basic guide.
If Colourful Peru oversees buying and issuing local-flight tickets, their prices may vary until the date of the flight’s booking and payment. Furthermore, the airline might change the flight number as well as its departure hour.
Once the flight reservation and payment are made, the latter will not be reimbursable. Changes regarding name, flight, route, trip’s date or cancellations are not allowed.
Hotel reservations that are not part of an organized trip
Cancellations and Reimbursements
Cancellations and Reimbursements
(*) Note: some suppliers consider stricter cancellation conditions, consequently, they reserve the right to charge additional fees for other penalties in such cases.
Regarding the Inca Trail: the reserve is subject to its payment and there will not be reimbursements in case of cancellations, moreover, neither name nor date changes are allowed.
During peak season, the company reserves the right to change the cancellation regulations in case the suppliers apply other penalties or make the aforementioned changes.
Live Corporation carries out your trip’s arrangements, books transfer services, hotel rooms or other travel services required on your behalf, consequently, the company takes no responsibility for the loss of items, flight or tours delays due to events of force majeure, accidents or other events.
Live Corporation disclaims any liability for medical conditions, pregnancy, mental or physical limitations that might put at risk the health or integrity of the passenger or third parties during the operation of the booked tours or that might jeopardize the trip’s progress. Therefore, the company will not be obliged to any refunds or to address claims regarding the aforementioned reasons, even when there are not noticeable problems in normal circumstances.
Given this, it is important for the passengers to inform the company whether there is any of the aforementioned impediments, so we can offer and suggest suitable services according to the existing limitations.
INCA TRAIL REGULATIONS
The Inca Trail route is inside the Machu Picchu National Sanctuary, an area protected by the National Institute of Natural Resources (INRENA), that only allows the entrance of 500 visitors a day. Therefore, you should book your tour 60 days before your trip.
It is also important to know the park’s regulations that must be complied during your visit:
It is forbidden to: throw garbage, withdraw, kick or spoil the ruins’ or the trails’ stones, harm nature, disturb the animals, set fire or camp inside the ruins. You can only camp on the authorized places.
The climate in Peru can be divided by zones: the western Andes that has a dry and cold climate in winter and its very rainy during the summer. The rainforest that has a hot, wet and rainy climate and the desert coast with a warm climate without regular rainfall.
Cusco has a mild climate with temperatures that go from 14 ºC to 16ºC with warm days and cold nights. The rainy season is from December to March.
Machu Picchu has a semi-tropical climate with warm days and cold nights. The rainy season is from November to April.
The weather doesn’t hold the trip back in general, except when the “El Niño” phenomenon is very aggressive.
Peru Time Zone according to Greenwich Mean Time is -5 (GMT -5), same as Bogotá and Mexico throughout the year and same as New York during summer. When it is midday in Peru the hour in the most important cities is:
|Hong Kong||01:00 + 1day|
|Singapur||01:00 + 1day|
In Cusco: 3,360 meters above sea level
In Machu Picchu: 2,400 meters above sea level
The Peruvian Andes are at high altitudes, so it is necessary to take precautions to avoid altitude sickness or “soroche”. It is important to rest a few hours, to walk slowly and to eat light before beginning any tour. We also recommend drinking coca tea that helps with acclimatization. Even though water is potable in most cities, it is advisable to drink bottled water to avoid any problems.
To know if you need a visa to enter Peru, please go to the closest consulate since the requirement may vary at any moment. For more information, please go to:
Visa types to enter Peru
Peru’s official language is Spanish, which is spoken by 80% of the population. However, there is a large portion of the population that speaks Quechua and Aymara (especially in the Peruvian Andes). Moreover, we can find 55 dialects in the Amazonian rainforest.
Electricity in Peru is 220 Volts and 60 Hertz. In some hotels, you may find dual voltage outlets, however, we suggest checking your appliances’ voltage and take precautions by having a power adapter or converter.
During the last years, the Peruvian gastronomy has become famous because of its variety and exquisiteness. Among the most known dishes you can find the ceviche, a dish made of fish and seafood marinated in lemon juice.
There is a new gastronomy trend in Cusco called “novoandina”. The novoandina cuisine is based on the creation of new dishes using local ingredients such as quinoa, quiwicha, potato, alpaca and trout. This way, we have dishes such as alpaca tenderloin with “quinotto” (risotto made of quinoa instead of rice) or grilled trout with sautéed vegetables and native potatoes.
Restaurants during your trip:
Cusco: international, local and vegetarian food restaurants.
Aguas Calientes: international and local food restaurants.
Colourful Peru reserves the right to make any changes without prior notice due to weather conditions, river levels, transport departures or arrivals, etc., to assure a better development of your trip’s operation.
Walking the “qhapaq ñan”
Our team will be contacting you as soon as possible.