7 Day Inca Trail Adventure
- Trek the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu with magnificent mountain views.
- Visit the magical citadel of Machu Picchu.
- Enjoy three hearty meals a day on trek prepared by our cooks.
- Journey on the train from Machu Picchu to the Sacred Valley.
This classic trek along the Inca Trail is considered by many to be one of the great short treks of the world, and is a superb introduction to trekking in the Andes. We ascend the jungle trails and cloud forests to appreciate the panorama of Andean peaks that would have inspired the Inca people as we make our way to Machu Picchu. Words cannot describe the exhilaration of the first sighting of these enigmatic ruins. Our trip culminates with a guided tour of Machu Picchu before heading back to Cuzco.
The first day is for your tour of Cuzco, the capital of the Inca Empire. You’ll visit Sacsayhuaman, an immense Incan complex with impressive stonework, and Koricancha, one of the most important Inca temples (the walls were once actually coated in gold!). You’ll also stop at the Cathedral where you’ll learn about the intricacies of the Cuzco school of art and view fascinating historical artifacts.
We leave Cuzco and head to the Chinchero Plateau to explore Chinchero, an important town in Inca times. The most striking remnant of this period is the massive stone wall in the main plaza which has ten trapezoidal niches. There are beautiful views overlooking the Sacred Valley of the Incas, with the Cordillera Urubamba and the snow-capped peak of Salkantay dominating the western horizon. Chinchero is believed to be the mythical birthplace of the rainbow. Visit the salt mines of Maras, a salt-producing center that dates back all the way to pre-Inca times with over 3000 salt pools all carved into the mountain side. Discover Moray’s mysterious concentric circular terraces which, according to some scholars, was an agricultural research center. Then savor dishes made with locally grown produce. After a leisurely lunch, we head to the Ollantaytambo archaeological site, before checking into our hotel to relax and enjoy beauty of this famous valley.
Meals: B, L, D
Another day in this beautiful place. The valley follows the course of the famous Urubamba River, one of the main tributaries of the Amazon river. During our time here, we visit some of the enthralling citadels, fortresses and temple ruins that are found along the valley including the site at Ollantaytambo. The village itself is a fascinating mixture of Inca and Colonial architecture. If the weather is good and we have time we can enjoy some short walks in the valley – a good way to prepare for the trek ahead. The evening is spent preparing for the trek at our hotel.
Meals: B, L, D
You will be picked up early from your hotel in the Sacred Valley for the drive to Chilca or Piscacucho where we start our first day of trekking. At this point we meet our trekking guide plus our cooks, porters and camp staff before setting off on this famous ‘Royal Highway of the Incas’, built more than 500 years ago. The first day involves approximately five to six hours of walking. During the first few hours we follow the course of the famous Urubamba River before stopping to admire the archaeological site of Patallacta (2750m / 9,020ft) – an ancient Inca city built on a series of terraces below the trail. From here we follow the narrow valley of the Cusichaca River to camp at one of two sites near the village of Huayllabamba – this means we actually avoid the very crowded campsites within the village used by most of the trekkers on the trail.
*Important: Please be aware that, because of the Peruvian authorities’ new rules on the Inca Trail, there may be changes in the actual trek itinerary and the campsites we use.
Meals: B, L, D
Next morning we continue up this narrow valley on the left bank of the river – whose source is one of the great glacier covered mountains, Salkantay. We then start a relatively steep climb up this classic trail towards the first pass – Warmihuañusca (4,200m / 13,700ft). After a rest at the pass and time to take in the spectacular views, we descend steeply into the Pacaymayo Valley where we spend our second night on the trail.
Meals: B, L, D
Today is the longest day of the trek. After breakfast in our campsite in the verdant Pacaymayo Valley we start ascending towards the small but impressively set archaeological site at Runkuraqay and on to Cochapata just below the second pass at (3,900m / 12,800ft). From here we walk the short distance to the pass and then descend past a mysterious small green lake to the large ruins of Sayacmarca and on to the last pass at 3,800m (12,450ft), which is more like a low ridge-line than a true pass. From here we get a great view down into the forested gorge of the Urubamba River more than 1700 meters below us. A short hike from here takes us over the Phuyupatamarca Pass at 3,700m (12,140ft), aptly named the ‘City in the Clouds’. We walk down along an incredibly well preserved section of the trail with great white granite slab walls and staircases all impressively set in high jungle to our final campsite at Wiñay Wayna (2,679m / 8,790ft).
Meals: B, L, D
After breakfast, we walk the last few kilometers to finally reach the awe inspiring Inti Punku (The Gateway to the Sun) above the ‘lost city’ of Machu Picchu (2,400m / 7,900ft). Your first view of the ruins really does take your breath away! We will enjoy a guided tour of the sanctuary followed by time to explore this fascinating site at your own pace (with the accompaniment of the guide). Then we will have lunch at Sanctuary Lodge. After lunch, we go by bus to the town below. In the afternoon or early evening we depart from Aguas Calientes for the train ride to Ollantaytambo where we transfer to our vehicle for the drive back to Cuzco. Depending on train schedules, we might arrive in Cuzco very late at night.
*Important: Peruvian authorities have implemented entry restrictions to protect Machu Picchu from the impact of its immense popularity. As of 1st July 2017 there are two time slots in which patrons can enter Machu Picchu for a maximum of four hours and must follow one of three predetermined routes. Additionally, all visitors must be accompanied by a guide at all times. These changes have been made to improve the visitor experience and in an effort to deal with overcrowding. PAD endeavors to ensure you get the most of your Machu Picchu experience regardless of these restrictions.
Meals: B, L
- 6 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners.
- Pick up from Cuzco hotel on day 1.
- Expert bilingual guide for each section.
- Group medical kit.
- Comfortable and central hotels.
- Private internal transportation.
- Group camping equipment.
- Porters to carry personal gear.
- Sightseeing and site entrance fees as listed (including Machu Picchu entrance fee)
- International and domestic flights and taxes.
- Travel Insurance (compulsory)