The Inca Trail Expedition enables you to discover this Andean country visiting its capital seeing its growing progress, stay at a jungle lodge in the Peruvian Amazon to spot incredible wildlife, hike through the ancient ruins of Cusco and visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas, immerse your senses at the colorful local markets, visit the Incan town of Pisaq and the fortress of Ollantaytambo, follow the Incas footsteps on the ancient Inca Trail for 4 days and 3 nights finishing at the breathtaking Machu Picchu.
From the ancient town of Cusco to jungle exploits in the Amazon and the famous Inca Trail Hike, this marvellous journey has it all. Fall in love with the Sacred Valley before starting one of the most excellent short hikes in the world. We begin the Inca Trail, hiking through exquisite landscapes, following the course of the Urubamba River, over the high pass at Warmiwañusca and later the second pass at Abra Runkuracay. The vista of the Andes will amaze you. From here the path turns through the Gateway of the Sun to Machu Picchu, where we take our time touring this astonishing and mysterious site. The river boat trip and rainforest walk in the rainforest are high points. You will stay in a jungle lodge - an ideal place for rainforest hikes, spotting wildlife and canoeing. This eventful trip ends in the lovely town of Cusco.
Arrive in Lima. You will be met by our representative at the airport who will be hold a board with your name on it. Overnight in hotel in Lima.
Fly from Lima to Puerto Maldonado, burrowed in the Andean mountains, down to the very large Peruvian Amazon Jungle, through little villages where the way of life has changed little over the course of time. You take a river boat to the lodge (about 1 hour), and see horned screamers, raptors, plovers, terns, macaws, parrots, kingfishers and toucans. Sleep in simple original lodgings in the middle of a nature lovers heaven, where we spend two days exploring the rainforest. Take boat excursions down the river and hike down forest paths.
Fly to Cusco. We recommend a day of sightseeing. On every corner you turn in Cusco you are rewarded with astonishing sights, such as the perfectly built Inca walls or the architecturally indulgent colonial churches and palaces. There are various optional activities you can do here, like white water rafting, horse riding, mountain biking and canoeing.
Pick up from hotel for your full day Sacred Valley of the Incas tour. You will explore the charming Peruvian land. Firstly you will visit Pisaq, well known for its busy market. Visit Pisaq ruins. After you get to enjoy a classic Peruvian lunch before visiting the fortress of Ollantaytambo. Overnight in Ollantaytambo.
Hike the Inca Trail 4 days/3 nights with professional tour guide, cook and porters. On the last day hiking to Machu Picchu look at the sun rise over the ruins at the Lost City. On day 9 after exploring Machu Picchu we take the afternoon train to Ollantaytambo, drive to Cusco.
Free day in Cuzco. Explore its awesome churches, colonial consructions and attractive streets.
Transfer to Cusco airport. End of tour or good time to extend your trip!
You will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel. There are no activities planned, so that you can arrive at any time. You are free to unwind at the hotel or amble around the town of Miraflores, the part of Lima where the hotel is situated. Some of Lima's finest galleries, museums, shops and restaurantsare around here. Established by Francisco Pizarro in 1535, Lima is the oldest capital in South America, with an excellent mixture of Spanish colonial and 19th century Europen architecture. If you have time we recommend the Museo de la Nacion or the Larco Herrera Museum.
Transfer to Lima airport to take a flight to Puerto Maldonado which lies deep in the Peruvian Amazon. Transfer from Puerto Maldonado to Tambopata River Port where you travel into the Amazonas by a motorized boat over the Madre de Dios River to our lodge settled snugly in the jungle. On our journey to the lodge, we will enter the buffer zone of this 1.3 million hectare conservation unit, where you have a chance to see bird species typical for the river and the forest´s outskirts.
The jungle lodge combines a native architecture and materials with a low-impact technology intending to preserve the local environment. Rooms of the lodge are simple, but comfortable, containing mosquito´s nets over each bed, flush toilets, showers (but without hot water) and kerosene (paraffine) lamps for lighting (there is no electricity). Staff of the lodge are naturalists, tourism professionals and community members who speak english.
You explore the Peruvian Amazon with local guides. On the third day of this Amazonian trip, we transfer you back to the airport ofPuerto Maldonado for your flight to Cusco located in the high Andes.
Upon arrival to Cusco, meet and greet, and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to acclimatize to its high altitude and discover the city at your convenience
Cusco was the capital and heart of the Incan Empire (Tawantinsuyo = the Country of the Four Cardinal Points) that served as a base to Inca´s expansion into new territories. It is also the archaeological asset of the Americas. The oldest running inhabited city on the continent, Cusco is infused with a feeling of enigma and importance. You can see a Spanish style in the city today with its charming pink tiled roof, arched plazas and steep bending alleyways. The city stands on huge Inca foundation stones, as you walk around town you can't miss the Inca Empire connection, from the stone walls that line the streets to the museums filled with antiques and relics of long gone communities.
If you feel up to it in the afternoon we recommend a city tour. Visit San Pedro Market where you will find the authentic local essence and discover the local goods. The glorious Qoricancha or Sun Temple which is now the Santa Domingo Church is a must see; its Quechua name means Temple of Gold because it was once plentifully bestrewn in gold and its brilliance can still be felt within it's walls.
This gorgeous colonial city offers nearby Incan ruins, cobble-stoned streets, museums, churches and a lively atmosphere. Walk along San Blas, the artisans' community and Hatun Rumiyoc street to see the Inca Roca palace, which is now the Archbishops Palace and go by the Twelve Angle Stone to appreciate it from closeup. On the main square is the Cathedral with its priceless and extraordinary colonial art work.
Other good museums are the Inca Museum, Qoricancha Museum, Archaeological Museum (which also houses a small art exhibition), Regional Historic Museum and Religious Art Museum.
Overnight stay in Cusco.
You will be driven to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The Sacred valley provided the Inca culture with large amounts of food agriculturally and includes various Inca remnants. The valley has been formed by the Urubamba River also known as the Vilcanota River and it goes through Pisac and Ollanaytambo up to the ancient natural sanctuary of Machu Picchu. The Sacred Valley is a lush agricultural region that keeps supplying the Cusco City with lots of its production. We are taken to the impressive Inca site of Pisac, an archaeological complex situated on the hillside high above the town, with amazing vistas of frost-topped mountains. This place has fascinating agricultural terracing carved into the mountainside. Uphill are well-kept temples, including a Solar Clock or Intiwatana which are magnificent designs. Carrying on our tour of Pisac we then go to the its long-establishedmarket. An excellent location for buying some keepsakes! We have enough free time here to have a wander and buy some crafts or try some classic Andean foods, drop in to one of the wood ovens for a tasty empanada or bread. Then we stop in Urubamba, considered to be the capital of the valley, to have a buffet lunch offering Andean cuisine (not included in the tour). Afterwards we continue toOllantaytambo, a little town brimming with native atmosphere and occupied since Inca times, we stop at the principle templethat was used as an Incan fortress during the Incas resistance. Beautiful views for some awesome photos.
We will be taken to the hotel where we can have some downtime for the rest of the day in this small town before before we hike to Machu Picchu the next morning. Overnight stay in Ollantaytambo.
The 4-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is physically demanding but worth it! An entire system of connections of joining roads linked Cusco to its colonies and its other commonwealths. The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu was part of that system. This wonderful route runs from high mountains down to cloud forest, going through ecological zones with a very array of flora and avifauna and a variet of archaeological sites. There will be cooks, and porters to carry most of the equipment so you just need to bring a backpack with the necessities. It is within the ability of the most reasonably fit. This 44 km (27 mile) trek is often steep with 2 high passes to be crossed. Temperatures at night may fall below zero so it is important to be prepared for that! It also sometimes rain, even in the dry season.
Day 6: From the trailhead at km82 the route follows the left bank of the Urubamba River. We visit the Inca archaeological sites of Willca Raccay and the ruins of Llacatapata. We then continue up the Cusichaha River Canyon which offers magnificent views of the Cordillera Oriental, including the beauteous Veronica Mountain (5850m). Lunch in Chamana and continue along the Cusichaca River until reaching the village of Huayllabamba. From there we ascend through high Andean land coverd with trees and bushes named to a large area of flat land without trees named Llulluchapampa, the location of our first campsite.
Day 7: You will cross the highest pass on your second day at Warmiwañusca (translates to 'Dead Woman's Pass)! (4050m)(13,280ft) before descending as far as Pacamayo where you have a lunch break. We then go down hill, along a paved Incan road to the ruins of Runkuracay and Sayacmarca. We then you get over the second pass - Abra Runkuracay and walk down the 'Royal Inca Highway' down to Sayacmarca, finally reaching our campsite at Chaquicocha.
Day 8: Today we come into the cloud forest and descend to the ruins of Phuyupatamarca by way of a stone stairway. This is one of the best preserved and completed sites. It is on top of a hill and its name in Quechua means "Town above the clouds". After a guided tour we have lunch there. From there the route goes down a dizzying slant along Inca stone steps for about 3 hours to the ruins of Wiñay Wayna, a charming Inca site positioned in thick forest. We have a guided tour, after dinner we set up camp at Wiñay Wayna.
Day 9: We hike the ancient steps to Intipunku, the Sun Gate, a further 2 hours from where we get our first sight of MachuPicchu. Accompanied by our guide we will go to the temples, houses, agricultural terraces and palaces and then have some time to have a look by ourselves. Afternoon return to Cusco by train.
Early morning of the last day, you will trek the last 5 kilometers of the Inca Trail to reach Inti Punku (the Sun Gate) before sunrise where we will enjoy the sanctorium of Machu Picchu as the sun comes up. You will have guided tour of the site and free time to explore. After your visit you descend to the town of Aguas Calientes where you can eat and unwind before taking your train back to Cusco in the evening.
Today you have time to explore at your leisure, maybe visiting some of the sites on foot or by bus. For the archaeological fans , the Inca sites of Quenko,
For the more adventurous there are optional activities such as white water rafting on the Urubamba River(grade 2-3) or mountain biking into the Sacred Valley of the Incas or Maras-Moray-Salineras and perhaps visiting some Incan sites along the way. You don't need to have experience to do these activities, instructions are given and all safety equipment provided
You can also visit the four encircling Inca ruins along the way: Qenqo, Puka Pukara, Tambomachay and the dramatic fortress of Sacsayhuaman, constructed startegically on a hill overlooking Cusco, distinguished for its huge carved stones, joined with amazing precision to form the outer walls, some of which are over 9m/30ft tall and weigh over 350 tons. You can also do horseback riding at these sites
Transfer to Cusco airport after breakfast. End of the tour or alternatively, a good time to extend your trip!
Please note: a return flight to Lima can be arranged upon request!