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Cusco Tours - Tours in Cusco
The real Inca Trail is a walking route that leads through the mountains above the Urubamba river, following (at least partly) the course of an old Inca roadway leading to the city of Machu Picchu. The various ruins along the way serve to heighten the hiker's sense of anticipation as you approach the amazing Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu.
The Inca Trail, with Machu Picchu as it´s final destination, is the best known and most popular hike among tourists. The total hike is about 45 kms and it takes four days alltogether, including a one day visit to the ruins.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is beyond a doubt one of the most beautiful trails in America and also it gives you an unforgettable experience not to be missed. The Inca trail leads through the protected wild nature of the Peruvian jungle and forest steppe, passes several archeological Inca sights and offers impressive views. The Incas used this itinerary for their pilgrimage to the sacred citadel Machu Picchu.
Altitude: 2050 - 4200 m. / 6730 - 13780 f.
Route: Closed in February
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
You will leave Cusco (3350m/10990f) at 5:30 am on a tourist bus heading to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. By the time you reach our starting point of the trekking, km 82, you will make a short break in Ollantaytambo to have breakfast. The official beginning of the Inka Trail is called km 82. Here you will meet the rest of the group and take care of the registration facilities. After crossing the Rio Urubamba (2200m) you will start the legendary Inca Trail. The first day the trail is easy to walk and a good warm up for the following days. In Miskay we’ll have lunch at a small river bank while getting some information about the archeological complex of Llactapata. After that, you will continue the hike to Wayllabamba (3100m/10170f) and ascend to Yuncachimpa (3300m/10826f), the camping site where you will spend the night. From here, you will have a great view of the mysterious Veronica’s Snowcapped.
Level of difficulty: moderate
Hiking time: 6-7 hours
Total distance: 11km approx.
The second day is the ‘Free-Hike-Day’; means that everybody should walk in his/her own pace – of course you will meet during the small breaks or see each other while beating the stairs. Early in the morning the trail leads through the Valley of Llulluchapampa (3850m/12631f). The first 3km are step - enjoy the humid woodland and the water sounds. From Llulluchapampa follow the way for 2-3 hours until you reach the highest point of this section, the Warmihuañusca Pass (Dead Woman Pass) (4200m/113780f). This climb is known as the most difficult part of the Inca Trail. After a short break at the summit, you continue your hike down with a long and steep descent to the river Pacaymayo (Sunrise River) towards the Runkurakay pass (3050m/10007f) until you reach our camping site called Chaquicocha at (3650m/11975f). Here you can relax your body from the tough day while enjoying an amazing view over the mountains.
Level of difficulty: challenge
Hiking time: 8-9 hours
Total distance: 15 km approx.
The third day is the most beautiful one. You can notice a change in the eco-system while walking to the tropical forest of Wiñaywayna. You will pass two small lakes at the top of the second pass (3950m). It’s a gentle climb through beautiful cloud forest and a small Inca tunnel before the third pass (3700m) which offers a grand view over the Rio Urubamba Valley. The nearest settlement is named Phuyupatamarca "Town above the clouds" (3600m/11811f). A well preserved site with long chain Inca baths where one can enjoy impressive ancient engineering. You will pass another Inca Tunnel before visiting the ruins of Wiñaywayna "Forever young" (2650m/8694f). The Inca stairs change into a zigzag trail until you reach a red-roofed white building, the last camping site.
Level of difficulty: normal, unforgettable (easy)
Hiking time: 5-6 hours
Total distance: 10 km approx.
After breakfast at 4:30 am, you will head - equipped with your flashlights - to the Inti Punku (Sun Gate) to get the first glimpse of Machu Picchu and watch the sunrise over Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu. The last triumphal descent will take you almost one hour before you visit the citadel of Machu Picchu (2400m//7874f) around 8.00 am. You can enjoy its spiritual charm during a guided tour (about two hours) that helps you to understand the meaning and ancient use of the different buildings. After this tour you will have enough time to explore the archeological site on your own (f.ex. go to the Inca Bridge, explore the variety of buildings or climb Wayna Picchu for an amazing panorama picture). A bus takes you down to Aguas Calientes. Here you can soak away your aches and pain in the town’s hot springs (Entrance ticket not included). You will leave Aguas Calientes in the afternoon Back to Cusco.
Level of difficulty: normal, unique (easy)
Hiking time: 2-3 hours
Total distance: 7 km approx.
Hotel in Cusco
First breakfast at the beginning of the trail and last lunch in Aguas Calientes.
Bus downhill from Machu Picchu ruins to Aguas Calientes where the train station is situated; additionally you can pay the cost of US$9.00 for this service. Other possibility is a walk of an hour.
Sleeping bag (if you don’t have a sleeping bag there is the possibility of renting one for $ 28.00, 4 days).
Transportation from your hotel in Cusco to km 82.
Tourist train from Aguas Calientes to Cusco (Poroy)/or Ollantaytambo and bus to Cusco.
Bus going downhill from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes where the train station is situated Transfer from the train station in Cusco to your hotel in Cusco.
Entrance fees to the Inca trail and Machu Picchu.
Professional bilingual guide (Spanish and English).
Camping equipment (professional two-persons tents: Doite, model Cima 4, extra light/4kg, Doite, model Kailas 3, extra light/4.5kg and Doite, model Himalaya, extra light/4.5kg; sleeping mats, dining tent equipped with a table and chairs, a sanitary tent).
Cook, cooking equipment, meals (3 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners). Food includes pancakes, omelettes, soups, fresh fruit and spaghetti, chicken, fish, meat and rice, all rich in carbohydrates and very suitable for trekking, hot drinks including coca leaf tea which is excellent for the altitude.
Tea and snack time every day (tea, coffee, wantan, popcorn, cracker).
Porters to carry the main luggage (all the equipment and cooking stock).
First-aid kit and oxygen bottle.
(1) Visit to Huayna Picchu: For Huayna Picchu mountain requires to be booked long time in advance however we charge additional $ 65.00, and then we’ll guarantee your entrance for Huayna Picchu as well (This new State law began since the 18th of July, 2011).
(2) Extra porter: According to the law (26702) and supervised by the Ministry of Employment, the collaboration of an extra porter is given under the conditions the customer requires. However, the customer’ luggage mustn’t exceed 15 kg, since the porter is only allowed to carry 20 kg. The Service costs $ 140.00, and includes transport, entrance fee to the Inca Trail, food and camping equipment.
(3) Tips: Tips for porters, cooks and guides are always welcome. The porters are also very grateful for a small donation, for example clothes or school equipment for their children.
(4) Camping sites: the camping sites on the Inca Trail can be different from the ones described in our itinerary (Yuncachimpa, Chaquicocha and Wiñaywayna). This is due to a limitation of the places (Wiñaywayna is almost always fully booked). The camping sites (especially Wiñaywayna) are well known with the public. Therefore they will book their places well in advance (certainly when you want to go in the high season from May to September you have to book months in advance). If there isn’t any place anymore, the Ministry of Culture (entity of the government which supervises and controls the availability of the quotas for entering the Inca Trail) will assign other camping sites (Wayllabamba, Pacaymayu and Phuyupatamarca).
(5) Return ticket: We will leave Aguas Calientes by train either at 2:55pm or at 6:45pm. This depends on the ticket availability and on how far in advance you booked your trip. During the afternoon you will have time to have lunch in one of the nice restaurants in Aguas Calientes. Moreover you can visit the Hot Springs to relax a bit. You will be back in your hotel either at about 6:00pm or at about 10:00pm.
(6) Your health: It is a common misconception that because many people do the Inca Trail it must be easy. It is not. The Trail is 45km (26 miles) long and involves great physical exertion to complete. Combined with high altitude and extreme weather the trek can be hard work. Therefore we strongly recommend ensuring that you are well acclimatized, in good shape and healthy. This way you will enjoy your trip from the beginning on. A participant must declare if he/she has any sickness or medical disorder and must bring his/her own medicines.
(7) Weather: The Andean weather can be unpredictable, despite the sharp divide between dry and wet seasons. The dry season runs from May to October or November; the rainy season goes from December through April. Nevertheless, Inca Trail lies in the forested.
Prices from US$ 593.17 (per person based in double occupancy)
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