Arrival to Cusco and afternoon city tour
Upon your arrival in Cusco, we will transfer you to the hotel of your choice within the city. After you arrive, you will have free time to take a short rest and adjust to the high altitude of the city. In the afternoon, you will have a sightseeing tour of Cusco with stops at the Main Square, the Cathedral and the Temple of the Sun, or “Korikancha”. We will continue the tour by driving out of the City to visit the Inca sites of Kenko, Tambomachay, Puca Pucara and the impressive Fortress of Sacsayhuaman, built strategically on a hill overlooking Cusco. This site is famous for its enormous carved stones laid with amazing precision to form the outer walls. Some of these stones stand over 9m / 30ft tall, and weight over 350 tons.
Sacred Valley Tour with an overnight stay in Ollantaytambo
Our tour guide will pick you up from your hotel at 8:30 a.m. and you will travel by bus to the beautiful village of Pisac in the Sacred Valley. In Pisac, you can visit the lively artisan market to shop for handicrafts and later the Pisac ruins high above the Sacred Valley. We will continue our scenic journey to Urubamba, the heart of the Sacred Valley, where we will stop for lunch. Here you can try some of the famous Peruvian cuisine. Some of our favorites are: lomo saltado, alpaca steak, aji de gallina, or quinua soup. After lunch you will continue the tour to the amazing town of Ollantaytambo. Ollantaytambo is a classic Incan city which still features the traditional urban construction of narrow streets adjacent to flowing streams. After your tour in Ollantaytambo is complete, our guide will show you your hostel in Ollantaytambo. In the evening, you will have more time for your own exploration of this town. We can also upgrade your hostel to a hotel if you prefer.
The beginning of the Inca Trail! Ollantaytambo – Km82 – Ayapata
We will start the first day of the Inca Trail with an early breakfast in Ollantaytambo before travelling by bus to Piskacucho, also known as kilometre 82, where we will begin our trek. Upon arrival at kilometre 82, you will need to present your entrance tickets, passports, and (if paying the student rate) student cards.
The start of the Inca Trail is at an elevation of (2,720 m/8,923 ft). From here, we will cross the Vilcanota River and follow its route to the right. The first day is relatively easy, a warm-up on the flat Inca terrain. We will have great views of the Incan fortress Huillca Raccay, the vast and incredible Inca site of Llactapata (officially called “Patallacta”), the Urubamba mountain range that divides the jungle, the Andes, and the beautiful snow-capped peak of W’akay Willca (5,860m/19,225ft), also known as Veronica. Our first campsite at Ayapata will be a 90 minute hike up to the small village of Wayllabamba, at an elevation of (3,000m/9,842ft) in the temperate green valley. The temperature at night here is usually around 10°C / 50°F.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Walking distance: 8.7 miles / 14 km (6-7 hours)
Campsite altitude: 3,000 meters / 9,842 feet above sea level.
Difficulty: Moderate (warm up to the Inca trail)
Weather: Warm and windy
Ayapata- The two pass – Chachicocha
This is perhaps the most challenging day of the trek since we will go over two high passes and walk 4 hours uphill. In the morning, we will pass by Llullucha Pampa, the last place along the trail that you can buy snacks and drinks. We will continue hiking uphill for two hours until we arrive to the top of Dead Woman’s Pass, located at (4200m/13,779ft). This is the highest point of the Inca Trail. Once at the top, our hikers can celebrate having completed the most difficult section of the trail while taking some beautiful pictures of the scenery. We will then start to walk down for one and a half hours until we reach Pacaymayo, at (3600m/11880ft), where we will have lunch. Here there are bathroom facilities. After our lunch, we will continue hiking uphill for 2 hours until we reach the Runcuracay pass, at (3900m/12900ft), which is the second highest point of the Inca Trail. On the way we will also pass the small Inca site of Runcuracay. We will then continue walking down for 2 hours until we will reach our second campsite, Chaquichocha. However, before we arrive at the campsite, we will pass by Sacyacmarca, an inca site along the way. The name Sayacmarca means “Inaccessible Town” and describes the position of the ruins perfectly. They are protected on three sides by sheer cliffs. From this point, the path descends into a magnificent cloud-forest full of orchids, hanging mosses, ferns, and flowers. We will walk through the cloud-forest until we reach Chacicocha, our campsite for the night.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Walking distance: 16 km ( 7-8 hours )
Campsite altitude: 3.600 meter high above sea level (chilled weather )
Considered: Top day (we will survive two passes)
Area : Andes and the cloud forest.
Weather: cold and rainy.
Chacicocha – Wiñaywayna
On this day we will walk for only 5 hours and see 3 Inca sites along the way. Many of our hikers say that this is the easiest and most unforgettable day of the Inca Trail. From Chaquicocha, we will walk for about an hour and a half to get to Phuyupatamarca, the third pass, at an elevation of (3550m/11550ft). On the way, we will pass through an impressive Inca tunnel carved into the rock. From here, there are spectacular views of several snow-capped peaks, including Machu Picchu Mountain and the town of Aguas Calientes. The Inca site Phuyupatamarca is located a short walk from the third pass. After visiting the site, we will continue our way down along a path featuring over 2,000 steps all the way to our final campsite, Wiñay Wayna, located at (2750m/8910ft). Wiñay Wayna is carved deep into the hillside above the Urubamba River and means “forever young” in Quechua. At Wiñay Wayna, we will have the final opportunity to thank our porters for their tremendous efforts at the tipping ceremony, as in the morning they will descend downhill while we continue on to our final goal.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Walking distance: 10km ( 5 hours )
Campsite altitude : 2.600 meter high above sea level (chilly weather)
Considered : Easy day (just downhill)
Area : High cloud forest.
Wather : Warm and very humid.
The Glory of Machu Picchu!
On our final day, we will wake up before dawn and prepare for one of the most awe-inspiring experiences of our lives, arriving at Machu Picchu. We will leave the last campsite at about 5:30 a.m., and after an hour of walking, we will arrive at Inti Punku, meaning: “Sun Gate”, at an elevation of (2730m/8792ft). From Inti Punku, you will be amazed by your first dramatic view of the sun rising over Machu Picchu.
After soaking in the view, we will walk down the final part of the trail and approach the ancient city, where we will be able to celebrate our accomplishment and take unforgettable pictures together in this amazing place.
We will descend to the main entrance, where we can leave our backpacks, use the restroom, and enjoy a quick coffee. After our break, we will re-enter Machu Picchu for a walking tour of the mysterious city, followed by four hours of free time for your own exploration of the Incan site.
After enjoying our final hours at Machu Picchu, you will take the bus down to the town of Aguas Calientes, where we will meet for lunch. You will then be given your train tickets for the return trip to Cusco.
Walking distance: 5km
Altitude at Machu Picchu: 2400m
Considered: The most exciting and magical day.
Area: High cloud and tropical forest
Weather: Hot and very humid
Hotel Tierra viva, Saphi ***
When choosing this itinerary, we will ask you to let us know which class of hotels you are interested in. The prices below reflect the hotel you choose.
For packages including 3 Star hotels:
Single Traveller (With Single Rooms): US $1050 per person
Groups of 2 or more (with double, matrimonial or triple rooms): US $1030 per person
Hotel we book in Cusco:
Tierra Viva. Website: tierravivahoteles.com/
All trains are Tourist Expedition Train but if you want to upgrade to Vistadome train US $65 per person, each way.
What is Included:
- All of your transportation including pick up and drop off at the airport
- All entrance fees including your permit for the Inca Trail, entrance to Machu Picchu and entrance for the Sacred Valley tour sites
- For the Inca trail we provide guide, amazing food, and equipment. For further information, please check our Inca Trail Itinerary
- 2 nights Hotel in Cusco (based on availability)
- 1 nights Hotel in Ollantaytambo (based on availability)
- Local flights and taxes
- Meals that are not mentioned in your itinerary
- Hiking equipment, such as walking poles or rain ponchos for the Inca Trail
What you need to bring:
For students: ISIC card
A daypack to carry your personal belongings
We provide a duffle bag for your a personal porter.
Waterproof jacket or rain poncho
Hat and gloves
2 pairs of pants (1 for hiking, 1 for camp)
Long underwear for sleeping/thermal underwear
Sun hat or cap
Personal First Aid Kit, Insect repellent
Water and/or water purification tablets
Toiletries/ toilet paper
Camera and Batteries
Flahlight or headlamp
Extra money for tips/snacks/beer. (We recommend at least 200-350 extra soles). (US $120)
Optional items to bring:
Basic First Aid Kit
Bathing suit for hot springs in Aguas Calientes
Please read our Itinerary for the Inca Trail and the “INCLUDED / NOT INCLUDED” section carefully at: tinyurl.com/Inca-Trail-Trek
- Make sure to pack accordingly to this list. (You don’t want to be caught in the rain without a Poncho!)
- It is very important that you meet in our office for you pre-departure briefing with your tour guide. In the briefing, we will go over the Itinerary for the Trek, finalize payment, and you will receive your duffle bag for the Inca Trail
How much is the tourist ticket? Where can I buy the tickets?
You have two options. You can either buy the partial tourist ticket which costs 70 soles and lasts 2 days. This allows you to visit three places. The other option is the full tourist ticket which costs 130 soles which allows you visit 16 places and is valid for 10 days.
The tickets can be bought on the way.
Important: This ticket does not include:
-Entrance to Qoricancha or Santo Domingo Convent (15 soles)
-Entrance to the Cathedral (25 soles)
When will I receive my duffel bag to put my belongings in?
We will give you one of our specially designed duffel bags at the briefing for the Trek the night before we depart. We use these bags to insure that the horses will be able to comfortably carry the weight.
Can I upgrade my Train to Machu Picchu?
Yes, all trains are Tourist Expedition Train but if you want to upgrade to Vistadome train US $65 per person, each way. Please let us know if you are interested in upgrading your train when you make your trek deposit with us.
Can I book a ticket to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain?
Yes, a ticket to climb Huayna Picchu can be added to your itinerary for US $65 per person. Please let us know if you are interested in climbing Huayna Picchu when you make your trek deposit with us.
Refunds and Cancellations
Refunds: If inti trek fails to confirm the reservation, your payment will be refunded in full.
Cancellation: Because of the strict regulations of the Inca Trail and Machupicchu, once you have made your reservation, you cannot cancel the space that you have reserved. You also may not alter the name or date of the reservation.
If you are unable to come on the date you have reserved, we cannot reimburse or transfer your deposit to someone else. Permits and tickets are also non-refundable, and non-transferable once Inti Trek purchases them and the reservation is done.
In the event you cancel your trip
If you cancel between 30 and 10 days before your trek, you must pay 50% of the total cost.
If you cancel between 10 and 3 days before your trek, you must pay 80% of the total cost.
If you cancel one day before your trek, you must pay 100% of the total cost.
In the exceptional case that you decide to head back once you have started the trail, we cannot reimburse any of your final payments. Unfortunately you will be responsible for all the extra expenses that occur during your transportation to the nearest town or Cusco for example food and transportation. If you want, you may join the group in Machupicchu for the walking tour and use all of the services onward. If so, we can help you buy a new train ticket to Aguas Calientes and bus ticket to Machu Pîcchu
I paid a deposit. Why do I still have to pay for part of the total cost?
At Inti Trek, we use our own money to pay for all the items that we need for the trek and tours that your deposit does not cover.
We also still need to pay for all the reservations we made for you. In addition, we must pay the salaries of the people we book to work for you on the trek. Typically they cancel other business opportunities to reserve the time to work for you.