Inca Trail Expedition 4D/3N
The Inca Trail is by far the most famous trek in South America and is rated by many to be amongst the top 5 treks in the world. With over just 26 miles (43 Km) of trail, the Inca Trail combines beautiful mountain scenery, lush cloud-forest, subtropical jungle and, of course an outstanding mix of Inca paving stones and ruins and tunnels. The final destination of the trail: Machu Picchu, the mysterious “Lost City of the Incas…”
With an early start on our first day, your guide will start you off with a delicious breakfast just before we make our way to the first Inca checkpoint on the trail (Don’t forget your passport!). We will then hike onwards to our first Inca site, Patallacta – a site believed to be used by the Inca as a stopping point for those on their way to the ancient city. Burned by the Inca as they retreated from the Conquistadors, today the remains of the village, include dozens of walled houses and other buildings, can still be explored. From here, we will continue our trek onwards into several more villages before the days end.
Every morning, become exhilarated as our porters prepare delicious – and nutritious! – coca tea. On our second day, we will be hiking upwards through Dead Woman’s pass. What makes Dead Woman’s Pass so famous (or infamous) is its altitude. At 4,215m (13,828 ft), it’s the highest (and most dreaded) point of the Inca Trail, and nearly 1,800m (5,905 ft) higher than the altitude of Machu Picchu itself. The pass comes during the second day of the hike, often perceived to be the most challenging. But not to worry, the beautiful views of the scenery are beyond worth the hike. After visiting many Inca sites throughout the day, we can enjoy the sunset over the Vilcabamba mountain range, atfer ascending through the Pacaymayu (Hiden River) Valley.
Some say the third day may be the most beautiful – passing through the Inca flat (gradual inclines) and begin to enter the peak of the jungle, which is also known as the cloud forest. As we walk we will have the opportunity to see the beauty of the Salkantay snow capped peak and a fantastic panoramic view of the Vilcabamba mountain range. Towards the end of the Inca flat we begin to make our way up to the last peak at Phuyupatamarka (3600 meters) from where we get great views overlooking the Urubamba river. Down the valley we get our first views of Machu Picchu mountain but the site is still hidden from view. Later in the evening, we will have a final Inca feast.
The last day, we finally finish our trek at the archeological site you’ve been waiting for. Machu Picchu is tangible evidence of the urban Inca Empire at the peak of its power and achievement—a citadel of cut stone fit together without mortar so tightly that its cracks still can’t be penetrated by a knife blade.
The complex of palaces and plazas, temples and homes may have been built as a ceremonial site, a military stronghold, or a retreat for ruling elites—its dramatic location is certainly well suited for any of those purposes. The ruins lie on a high ridge, surrounded on three sides by the windy, turbulent Urubamba River some 2,000 feet (610 meters) below.
Day 1,CUSCO – KM 82 – AYAPATA:
We’ll pick you up from your hotel between 4:30-5:00am and travel to Km 82. You’ll arrive at about 7:00am and you´ll stop for a delicious breakfast prepared for you by your guide. After breakfast we’ll go through the first Inca Trail checkpoint to begin our trek (please make sure you have your passport with you to enter the Inca Trail.) The first 2 hours of the trek are relatively easy as we make our way to our first Inca site, Patallacta, which was an Inca checkpoint for the approach to Machu Picchu. From Patallacta, it’s another 2 hour hike to our lunch stop. After lunch we will hike for another 2 and a half hours until we reach the first night’s campsite, Ayapata (3300m). On this last stretch we pass through two small communities. If you want to buy any energy drinks or snacks you can do so here. You can also buy any essential items (such as batteries) that you may have forgotten. We’ll arrive to our campsite by 5:00pm. By 7:30pm your dinner will be ready and afterwards you can get some well deserved rest.
- Walking distance: 8.7 miles/14 km (6-7 hours)
- Campsite altitude: 3300 m.
- Considered: Moderate day.
- Weather: Warm and windy.
Day 2,AYAPATA – DEAD WOMAN´S PASS – RUNCURACCAY PASS – CHAQUICCOCHA:
Your porters will wake you up early with a hot cup of coca tea to get you ready for the day. Today is our longest day and we will start with an early wake up. We’ll hike for roughly 4 hours to the highest pass of the trek, Dead Woman’s Pass (4215 meters = 13,828 ft.) On reaching the pass we’ll stop for a short break to enjoy the views before setting off again to descend to the next valley (Pacaymayu Valley – Hidden River.) It’s another hour and a half down the side of the valley to our lunch spot and a chance to refill our water bottles. After lunch we begin ascending again to the second pass of the trek. It’s 2 hours to the pass and along the way we’ll stop at a small Inca site (Runcu Raccay) and see two huge waterfalls cascading down the opposite side of the valley. After the 2nd pass, it’s another hour downhill to reach the magnificent Inca site, Sayacmarca (Unaccessible Village). We’ll stop here for a rest and have a quick tour of the site and then watch the sunset over the Vilcabamba mountain range. It’s then just another 20 minutes until we stop for the night at our second campsite – Chaquicocha (Dry Lake, 3600 meters = 11,811 ft.) After dinner, if you’re not too exhausted, we can do some star gazing.
- Walking distance: 9.94 miles/16 km (7-8 hours)
- Campsite altitude: 3,600 meter = 11,811 ft high above sea level (chilled weather)
- Considered: Toughest day (we will survive two passes)
- Area : Andes and the cloud forest.
- Weather : Cold and rainy.
Day 3,CHAQUICCOCHA – WIÑAYWAYNA CAMP:
Completing day 2 and beginning day 3 certainly deserves a pat on your back! We begin early again, waking up at 6:30am to begin what is commonly believed to be the most beautiful day of the whole Inca Trail. We hike for 2 hours along what is known as Inca flat (gradual inclines) and begin to enter the peak of the jungle, which is also known as the cloud forest. As we walk we will have the opportunity to see the beauty of the Salkantay snow capped peak and a fantastic panoramic view of the Vilcabamba mountain range. Towards the end of the Inca flat we begin to make our way up to the last peak at Phuyupatamarka (3600 meters) from where we get great views overlooking the Urubamba river. Down the valley we get our first views of Machu Picchu mountain but the site is still hidden from view. From Phuyupatamarka it´s a 3 hour walk down a flight of steps to our last campsite, close to Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young). Wiñay Wayna is the most spectacular Inca site on the trail after Machu Picchu and the most popular campsite because of it´s proximity to Machu Picchu. During the descent we visit 2 Inca ruins, Phuyupatamarka (The Town in the Clouds) and Intipata (Terraces of the Sun). We arrive at our campsite around 1:00pm to have lunch and then relax for the entire afternoon so you’re relaxed and ready for your final day at Machu Picchu. Your guide will give you a small talk at around 4:30pm and you will visit the inca ruins of Wiñay Wayna spending about an hour and a half there. We will explain the significance of the site and combine all the information given during the trek so you’re fully prepared for your visit to Machu Picchu the following day.
We like to spoil our guests as we enjoy our last feast with the porters and chefs. It’s an Inca Trail tradition to organize a ceremony in the evening to introduce the team to the tourists once again and to thank them for the great job done (if you wish to provide tips for them then you can do so now.) It is advisable to go to bed at a reasonable time in order to get up in the early hours of the morning to arrive to Machu Picchu at the crack of dawn.
- Walking distance: 6.2 miles/10km. (5 hours)
- Campsite altitude: 2,600 meter =8,530 ft high above sea level. (Chilled weather)
- Considered: Easy day. (Just down hill)
- Area: High cloud forest.
- Weather: Warm and very humid.
Day 4,THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY – MACHU PICCHU (THE LOST CITY OF THE INCAS)
Wake up time is at 3:30am. We’ll eat breakfast at 4:00am and wait at the checkpoint to be one of the first to start trekking when they open the gates at 5:30am. We’ll wave goodbye to our porters and chef and then it’s full steam ahead to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku.) From here we have spectactular views of the mountains and Machu Picchu in all its glory. We reach the Sun Gate by 6:30am and then it’s just another hour´s trek down a stairway to reach the lost city of the Incas. As we approach Machu Picchu the views of the city just get better and better and at about 7:40am we reach the final checkpoint and enter Machu Picchu to begin our 2 hour guided tour. After the tour you’ll be given your bus tickets to make your way down to Aguas Calientes and you’ll have between 3-4 hours to explore on your own. At about 1:30pm we’ll meet at a restaurant in Aguas Calientes to have our last lunch together and you’ll be given your train tickets for your return journey to Cusco. We´ll arrange to meet 30 minutes before your train departs and then all go together to the train station. If you like there is an optional hike up Huayna Picchu mountain which takes about 45 minutes to reach the summit. From here you can enjoy fantastic views of Machu Picchu and the surrounding scenery. If you’re interested in this, please book it in advance for $65.
- Considered: The most exciting and magicial day!
- Area: High cloud and tropical forest Weather:Hot and very humid. (requires a lot of water)
- Pick up from your hotel by your tour guide.
- Transfer to the start of your trek, KM 82.
- Professional English speaking tour guide.
- Entrance fee to the Inca Trail National Park.
- Entrance fee to Machu Picchu Archaeological Sanctuary.
- Super PumaPath porters to carry all the equipment, tents, food, cooking gear, and dining tents.
- Permits and entrance fees for our porters and cooks.
- 4 breakfasts, 4 snacks, 3 lunches, 3 happy hours, and 3 dinners. All of these meals are prepared by our cook and his assistant.
- Coca tea served each morning in your tent for a gentle start to the day.
- Boiled water after breakfast, lunch and dinner to refill your water bottles.
- Happy hour including hot drinks such as mate de coca and locally grown coffee which is prepared by our cook.
- Snacks every morning.
- Oxygen tank and first aid kit.
- Vegetarian food and specialized diets on request.
- 2 people per tent. (4 man tents, clean, waterproof)
- All camping equipment.
- 2 or 3 hrs guided tour of Machu Picchu.
- Bus from Machu Picchu down to Aguas Calientes village.
- Expedition train return to Ollantaytambo then by bus to Cusco.
- OPTIONAL: Extra personal belongings. ( 7 kg = $ 75 for 4 days)
- Last lunch in Aguas Calientes.
What to bring
- Original passport.
- Student ISIC card. (www.isic.org) if it is applicable. (needs to be sent at the time of your booking)
- Day Pack.
- Hiking boots and sandals. (very important)
- Warm clothes: layers for variable temperatures, especially at night. Thermals/gloves/scarves; wool socks /wool hat for cold nights: About 4 T-shirts for the entire trek.
- Head lamp. (very important)
- Camera and extra batteries.
- Sunscreen/hat and sunglasses.
- Personal medical kit.
- Insect repellent.
- Rain Gear: a good rain jacket and rain pants and plastic rain poncho.
- Toilet paper.
- Small towel.
- Camel bag – if not you can take plastic bottles for water.
- Extra money for drinks & tips, souvenirs, etc. (soles or dollars) At least 200 extra soles.
- Bathing clothes for the hot springs (optional.) Recommended for those who stay extra night.
- OPTIONAL: Bring your own sleeping bag, trekking poles.
|Number of persons||Price per person|
Price for 2018-2019 (groups leaving between March 1st, 2018-2019 and January 31st, 2018-2019)
At PumaPath, your comfort and safety are of our utmost concern. Therefore, we provide all necessary camping equipment for your trek. Included in prices are: sleeping tent, rollmat and pillow for your comfort. Please feel free to bring your own sleeping bag if you prefer.
Price for 2018-2019 (groups leaving between the 1st March 2018-20189and the 31st January 2018-2019)
- Price per person : US$685 – Group.
Private Service Prices
- 2 people : US$885 per person.
- 3 people : US$845 per person.
- 4 people : US$785 per person.
- 5 people : US$745 per person.
- 6 people : US$705 per person.
- 7+ people : US$675 per person.
- Student Discount: US$35. (Requires ISIC Card to qualify)
- Optional Extras:
- Sleeping Bag US$25.
- Walking Pole US$20.
- Inflatable Mattress US$25.
- Single Tent Supplement US$75.
- Personal Porter to carry extra 7kg of personal items US$75.