Cradle to the vast Incan Empire, the largest in pre-Colombian America, Peru’s power and gold attracted the Spanish conquistadors who used it to fund their own vast empire in the Americas. As a result, colonial gems like magnificent Cusco were built on Incan foundations, making for a fascinating hybrid culture. Peru is peppered with Incan sites, but none so famous as the “lost city” of Machu Picchu, whose breathtaking image seems to grace every brochure and travel book. Get acquainted with the wonders of the Incas in this exhilarating introduction to Peru. Embrace cultures past and present in the hills surrounding Cusco and delight in the amazing views as you travel by rail to Machu Picchu. Taking the train will allow you lots of time to explore ruins, museums, and markets. We employ the best local guides so that you’re free to enjoy the beauty of the region.
Our journey to Machu Picchu through the classic Inca Trail begins at your hotel, where you will be picked up after breakfast (optional) around 6.00 – 6.30. From your hotel there is a transfer 2 – 2.5 hours with your guide to our starting point; “km 82”. At the starting point you need to show your Inca Trail permit, your original passport, and your ISIC card if you have one. Here the Inca Trail begins and we will hike for 2 hours to Miskayl, where we will enjoy a nice lunch. The hike to Miskayl is a flat and very scenic, where we can enjoy the incredible landscape around us.
After the lunch we’ll have a two hour hike to Wayllabamba (3.000 m.) which will be our camping spot. We will arrive there around 5pm, and we will enjoy a nice dinner from our personal professional chef around 6.30 pm. After the dinner we will settle down for the night.
On the second day the guides will wake us up at 5.30am with warm tea, and we will eat breakfast at 6.00am so we can get a good start to the day. Our first hike today will begin around 6.30 and it will take around 5 hours (7 km) to get from our camp to the highest spot which is called “Dead Woman Pass” (4.600 m), where you can sometimes feel the spirit of the woman who resides on the side of the mountain.
From here we have a 2 hour hike down to our second camping spot (Pacamayu 3,600m), where we will have our lunch after about 7 hours of hiking. At the camp we will rest and around 6.30pm, we will have dinner. Later we will get comfortable under our blankets, so we can stay warm for the cold night.
We wake up at 6.00am and breakfast will be served by the chef at 6.30. At 7.00 we will start hiking. This day is a rich with history, and we pass 3 Inca ruins along the trail. To get to the first Inca ruin Runkqurakay (3,800m), we have to hike one hour up; after that we have another hour of walking to the second spot; Runku Pass (4,000m). After the second Inca ruin we have a peaceful walk for approx. 45 mins to Sayacrmarka (3,580m).
After the visit we will have 25 min. to Chakicoccha (3.600 m) where we will enjoy our lunch in natural surroundings and incredible landscape. After the lunch we have a one hour hiking to Phuyupatamarka (3.60 m), which is the last hike on the Inca trail of this day. On this place we can find the last Inca construction for today.
From this point we will have an easy two hour walk down to Wiñnahuayna (2.600 m), where we will settle our camp and our chef will make a nice buffet for everyone so we can say goodbye to the chefs and the porters in a very nice way at 6.30. If you still have energy left after the hike, you can visit the archaeological site of Wiñahuayna, only 5 minutes from our camp spot, a really delightful site on the Inca Trail with a lot of terraces and ruins.
On the last day we get up very early (3:30am) and have breakfast at 4:00. After the breakfast we hike to the first checkpoint, which opens at 5:30am. After the checkpoint we have one hour of hiking to the Sun Gate, where we take in our first views of Machu Picchu and the surrounding mountains. Here we will have 20 min. to rest. We then have 10 min. down to the lost city of the Incas; Machu Picchu. Here the Inca trail ends and we will enter Machu Picchu. At the city, we pass the second checkpoint where we leave our bags, which costs soles for each bag.
There you will also need to show your passport, the ticket and the ISIC card if you have one. Then, your guide will take you through Machu Picchu and the historic sites, ruins and temples of the site from 8:00 to 10:00. After the tour you will have some free time to explore all areas the city, its many different roads and take in the surroundings. After you have enjoyed the city of the Incas you can use your bus ticket to get down to Aguas Calientes, then take the train to Cusco via Ollantaytambo. The Expedition train leaves at 6.30pm in the evening and arrives in Ollantaytambo 2 hours later. In Ollantaytambo there will be a bus waiting for you to take you back to Cusco. Here your journey will end around 10.30pm.