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Offering an unrivalled combination of history and dramatic scenery, the ancient Inca Trail winds its way from the powerful Urubamba River, across mountain passes and through cloud forests, passing several crumbling fortresses before reaching the lost city of Machu Picchu. This fabled trail is specifically designed to maximise the time spent at Machu Picchu with an early morning tour of the ruins, quieter at that hour before the crowds of day trippers and other trekkers arrive.
- All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 3 dinners
- 5 nights en suite hotels and 3 nights full-service camping
- All transport and listed activities
- Tour leader throughout
- Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
- Arrival and departure transfers
- Full porterage throughout trek
- Exodus kitbag
- Inflatable sleeping mat while camping
- Trek the classic Inca Trail to the Sun Gate for the iconic view of Machu Picchu
- Climb Inca steps to the top of Dead Woman's Pass (4215m)
- Have a guided tour of Machu Picchu before the crowds arrive
- Discover Cuzco with its distinct Inca-Colonial fusion architecture
- Alternative remote Moonstone Trek available when Inca Trail permits have sold out
Day 1: Depart London
The overnight group flights to Cuzco leave London this evening.
Day 2: Arrive Cuzco (3400m); free time to explore the Inca capital
The group flight usually arrives around midday and there will be time for a short orientation tour of the city or free time to wander the cobbled streets admiring the old houses, visiting its interesting museums, churches and pre-Columbian buildings, or to sit in a café and sample a coca-tea.
Day 3: Free day; optional Sacred Valley excursion
If you fancy something more active then there are an array of other optional activities available from Cuzco, although you may wish to leave these until your return to the city after the Inca Trail trek, by which time you will be fully acclimatised. These include paddle-boarding on a lake, mountain biking, or a combination of via ferrata and zip-lining in the Sacred Valley.
Day 4: Start Inca Trail trek from km82; walk along Urubamba River, climb to Huayllabamba
We leave Cuzco early and drive for roughly two hours to Ollantaytambo, our last chance to buy any items needed for the trek. From here we veer off the road and follow a track beside the river (45 minutes) to the start of the Inca Trail at Piscacucho, commonly known as Km82. After greeting our trekking crew, we show our passports at the checkpoint and begin the Inca Trail trek.
Day 5: Cross Dead Woman's Pass (4200m), then descend to Pacaymayu
This is the longest and most strenuous day of the trek. A long climb takes us first through an area of cloud forest to the meadows of Llulluchapampa, then over the Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman's) Pass – at 4215m the highest point on the trek.
Day 6: Over Runquracay Pass (3800m) to ruins of Sayajmarca and Phuyupatamarca
We start the day with an easier climb which takes us past the ruins of Runquracay and over the Runquracay Pass (3930m). From now on the Inca Trail becomes a clearly defined path made of flat boulders. As we leave behind the ruins of Sayajmarca, we suddenly enter rainforest; at one point the trail passes through an Inca tunnel. We spend the night at a spectacular campsite on the ridge above the Inca site of Phuyupatamarca (3680m) to benefit from the views of sunset and sunrise.
Day 7: Walk down Inca steps to Wiñay Wayna and Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate
From the ridge, we embark on the infamous Inca steps: a two kilometre stone staircase taking us rapidly downhill amid a panorama of overwhelming immensity, with the peaks of the Vilcabamba range above, and the river thousands of metres below. After visiting the attractive ruins of Wiñay Wayna, we have an undulating walk through cloud forest high above the river to Inti Punku, the Sun Gate. From here we get our first full sight of Machu Picchu itself, with Huayna Picchu rising behind.
Day 8: Guided tour of Machu Picchu; free time to explore further; return to Cuzco by train and road
In order to beat the day-trippers arriving from Cuzco and reach the ruins as early as possible, a very early start is required to queue for Machu Picchu; only government-registered buses can make the 30-minute drive up the winding road to the site entrance, and during high season (May-October) queues can be hours long.
Day 9: Free day in Cuzco; optional activities available
Today has been left free to relax after the trek or explore Cuzco further. Again, your leader can help to arrange optional excursions and activities for you.
Day 10: Depart Cuzco
For land only travellers, the trip ends in Cuzco after breakfast today. Those who are travelling on the group flights will be taken to Cuzco airport to catch the overnight flight back to London.
Day 11: Arrive in London
The group flights arrive into London this afternoon.
- 5 nights hotels in en suite rooms, 3 nights full-service camping with dining and toilet tents
- 4 days point-to-point walking with full porterage
- Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader. Min. age 16 yrs
- Altitude maximum 4215m, average 3050m
- 7kg personal weight limit on Inca Trail
- Travel by private bus and by train
The hotels normally used are indicated within the itinerary, however, accommodation may differ from those stated depending on your departure date. All of our Cuzco hotels are small and locally-owned with en-suite bathrooms and breakfast facilities. All are located within walking distance of the central Plaza de Armas. Most hotels have a safety deposit box in the room but if not, there will be one at the reception.
Please note, prices listed are guide prices only and are based on 2 people sharing and don't include any additional supplements. Holiday prices are fluid and dynamic and may be changed at a moment's notice, prior to booking, at which point they are confirmed. Please call the team free on 0800 707 6229 for more departure dates available and a quote.
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