WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?
Hiking up the stone-paved Inca pathways you will be left speechless by the beautiful natural scenery surrounding you, winding your way up valleys to mountain passes as high as that of Warmiwañusca ‘Dead Woman’s Pass’ at 4200m! When you finally pass beyond the cloud forest and walk through the arch of Intipunku ‘Gate of the Sun’ your long journey will be rewarded with a stunning view of the majestic Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.
Once you have arrived at the lost city you will be taken on a guided tour of the 7 most important Incan archaeological sites giving you the chance to learn more about this fascinating civilisation.
The trek will prove unforgettable not just because of the stunning landscapes but also because of the journey you will have made, making new friends and learning from the enigmatic and friendly local people, and who knows, you may even pick up some Quechua words, especially if you get to know the porters that will be accompanying you on your trek. They will be with you all the way to carry your gear, prepare meals and set up the camp after a long day walking.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
The Inca trail is a 45 Km / 28 Mile trek spread over 4 exciting days climbing from an altitude of 2680m to a peak of 4200m. The trek is rated moderate and any reasonably fit person should be able to cover the route.
You will need to attend a trek briefing the night before your departure, giving you the chance to meet your fellow adventurers and friendly guides.
Day 1: Cuzco to Ayapata
You will be collected from your hotel in Cuzco and driven via private bus to the start point of your epic trek, the village of Piskacucho at km 82. On today’s trek you will be guided through the imposing sculpted Inca farming terraces and the hillside settlements of Llaqtapata and Wayllabamba in Cusichaca Canyon. Camp will be at Ayapata and whilst enjoying a hot buffet dinner you can reflect on today’s activities with your fellow trekkers.
Day 2: Ayapata to Chakicocha
This is the longest day, but one rewarded with spectacular views down several valleys and up to the surrounding snow-covered peaks with the potential to see several species of birds including hummingbirds, falcons and black-chested buzzard eagles. You will hike for roughly 5-hours to reach the lunch stop in the Pacaymayo Valley, then another 3-4 hours to our night camp at Chakicocha.
You can walk at your own pace, stopping to catch your breath whenever you like. Today’s highlights are traversing Dead Woman’s Pass, the highest point of your trek at 4200m and the impressive ruins at Runkurakay and Sayaqmarca.
Day 3: Chakicocha to Winaywayna
Today’s hike is shorter than day 2 and exceptionally beautiful, passing the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, Winaywayna and Intipata and enjoying dramatic vistas of the Aobamba Valley. In getting to Phuyupatamarca (the Town of the Clouds), you will pass through the two short, natural tunnels in the mountains. After visiting this site, we will descend about 2,000 stone steps to Winaywayna. On this stretch of the trail you will be walking on the paved stone paths laid down by the Incan civilisation centuries earlier.
Day 4: Winaywayna to Intipunku, Machu Picchu and return to Cuzco
A very early start today to get to Intipunku (the Sun Gate) overlooking Machu Picchu for what will surely be one of the most unforgettable sunrises of your life. This will be a hike of 1-2 hours in the darkness so make sure you have a head torch!
From Intipunku, a final easy 40-minute walk will bring us to the entrance to Machu Picchu itself where the trail ends and you are presented with awe inspiring views of the imposing Incan citadel. Your guides will be on hand to guide you through the site and there will be free time available to for you to go off and explore or simply take a rest and drink in the stunning views.
After 4 days camping and trekking you may be in the mood to relax, lunch today is provided at a local hostel in the town of Aguas Calientes and here you will be able to store your bag, shower and/or explore the town before catching the train back to Cuzco.