This challenging trek passes ecological zones, alpine meadows, spectacular 20,000ft glaciated peaks, down through subtropical forest into the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
This trek is ideal for travellers wishing to get off the beaten track but still join onto the original Inca Trail. It is a wonderful trek taking you right from the watershed of the Apurimac to the Urubamba. We traverse through beautiful green valleys and camp next to turquoise glacial lakes. We also come across many Inca archaeological sites and enjoy a wide variety of flora, fauna and wildlife.
Day 1: Cusco (3,350m) – Mollepata (2,909m) – Soraypampa (3,400m)
We drive from Cusco by bus for approximately 4 hours to Mollepata from where our trek begins. Mollepata is a small village situated in the Apurimac Valley which is well known for its citrus produce. Here we meet up with our wranglers and their mules and horses that will carry our equipment during the trek. The trail climbs for approximately 1 hour before reaching Cruzpata, from where we get our first view of the magnificent snow mountain of Humantay (5,917m).
We pass many rivers continuing on our trek for about another 3 hours before reaching the small community and picturesque spot of Checchicancha. We stop here to take a break and have our lunch. In the afternoon we continue walking for about 3-4 hours to reach Soraypampa, which is nestled in-between the snow mountains., we will begin our hike toward Humantay Lake, a marvelous lake in the mountains, (3 hours hike). We will have a panoramic view of the majestic Salkantay, other mountains covered with snow We camp here overnight. (L / D)
Day 2: Soraypampa (3,400m) – Pampa japonesa (4,300m)
We continue walking today on a flat plain for about 3 hours. We stop to take lunch along the way and continue our trek for 3-4 hours. We have magnificent vistas today of the snow mountains. We reach our campsite which is approximately 1km away from the snow mountain, Salkantay. Here at our campsite we find many streams and two glacial lakes. At night we can hear the crashing of the glaciers. (B / L / D)
Day 3: Pampa japonesa (4,300m) – Sisay pampa
Our day begins with a slow uphill climb of approximately 4 hours to reach the Incachiriaska Pass (4,880m) which translates as ‘the place where the Inca cools down’. Around this area, in the rocky crags, lives the Andean Condor, the world’s largest bird. From here the trail levels off downhill and we reach our campsite for the night at Sisay pampa. (B / L / D)
Day 4: Sisay pampa – Huayllabamba (3,000m)
We continue to the end of the valley, which then enters a wider valley named Pampacahua, where we find an Inca canal that is still in full use by the local farming settlements. At the end of the pampa we find our first Inca archaeological site named Paucarcancha. We set up our campsite in the village of Huayllabamba where we leave our pack animals behind and relieve our porters for a new crew. We enjoy dinner and rest for the evening. (B / L / D)
Day 5: Huayllabamba (3,000m) – Pacaymayu (3,600m)
We take our breakfast and afterwards start our climb for about 2 hours to Yunkachimpa, where we take a short break. We then cross over to the Llullucha gorge and pass through a unique forest of Unca trees, a native species, which nowadays is hard to find except in isolated areas. We have now entered the Machu Picchu Sanctuary.
Once out of the forest we reach Llulluchapampa where we take lunch. We continue walking following an original Inca stone path and trek up to the Warmiwañusqa Pass (4,200m) where we have a magnificent view of our ascent and the trail ahead of us. We descend on a reconstructed Inca Trail down to the Pacaymayu River where we find our campsite for the night. (B / L / D)
Day 6: Pacaymayu (3,600m) – Wiñay Wayna (2,700m)
Today is one of the longest days on our trek and also one of the most beautiful. We start ascending until we come to Runkuraqay Inca archeological site from where we then continue ascending to Runkuraqay pass (4,000m). From here we walk down to the site at Sayacmarca (approx. 1 hour), a scenic location overlooking the Aobamba Valley on the original Inca Trail.
We stop here to take our lunch. We then continue along the trail through marvellous landscapes, viewing Mt. Salkantay and Mt. Pumacsillo. We arrive at Puyapatamarca ‘the village on the edge of the clouds’ which is our last viewpoint of the valleys and the tops of the snow mountains. From here we start descending down the Inca steps (approx. 3 hours) to our campsite at Wiñay Wayna. (B / L / D)
Day 7: Wiñay Wayna (2,700m) – Machu Picchu (2,500m) – Cusco (3,350m)
This is our last day on the Inca Trail. We rise early, have breakfast, and start walking. We navigate a ridge that affords us magnificent vistas of the surrounding cloud forest below.
Continuing along the original Inca Trail we arrive at the Inti Punku (the Sun Gate), with a spectacular view of Machu Picchu. Our guide will help us understand the importance and functions of all the temples, and the history behind the Incas and the majestic Machu Picchu! After the tour you will have time to explore at your own pace, or to climb Huayna Picchu. You can wander down to Aguas Calientes for lunch where you will find an array of restaurants to choose from. In the afternoon you head back to Cusco by train. (B / L)
* People who want to visit Huayna Picchu must let us know as soon as they can, because according to new rules, there is a limit of people (400) per day that can climb it.
- Round trip transfer airpot hotel airport
- Hotel transfer and private bus to start of Inca Trail
- Return backpacker train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Cusco/Ollaytatambo (depending on availability). For Ollaytatambo we arrange a bus to transfer you back to Cusco.
- Professional english speaking guide (two guides for groups of over 8)
- All entrance fees to the trail and to Machu Picchu
- Meals: 6 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners (we provide generous amounts of nutritious meals and beverages and we have vegetarian / sepcial diet options available)
- Bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes
- Duffles for personal luggage (waterproof)
- Spacious tents
- Sleeping mats
- Dining tent, kitchen tent, latrine tent
- Tables and chairs for the group
- Cook and cooking equipment
- Last lunch at Totos house: http://www.grupointi.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2&Itemid=21
- Emergency oxygen bottle and first aid kit
- Horses (for Salkantay section) and Porters (for Inca Trail section) to carry the group equipment (food, tents, tables, etc.)
- Train Upgrades
- Half porter (carry 7kg) – $70
- Full porter 14kg (can be split between 2 persons)= $140
- Horse to ride from Salkantay to Huayllabamba (start of Inca Trail)
What is not included?
- Sleeping Bag (can be hired from us)
- Travel insurance
- Hot springs entrance
Considering an extra night in Aguas Calientes? We can change the date of your train ticket to the following day. Hotel and other costs associated with returning to Machu Picchu the following day are additional to trek costs. Please also note that your entry ticket to Machu Picchu is valid for one day only, if you wish to visit the ruins on a second consecutive day you will need to purchase another ticket.
Aguas Calientes Extra Day Upgrade Package (optional)
With hikes that trek the traditional Inca Trail, the standard package has clients returning to Cusco at the end of the trek, and they don’t spend a night in Aguas Calientes. This package provides clients the opportunity to stay in Aguas Calientes for an extra night, visit Machu Picchu for a second day and then return to Cusco by the comfortable Vistadome train.
- Cost: $195 per person on twin share basis. This price doesn’t change depending on the number of people in the group.
- Second day’s entry to Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu, valued at $60
- Bus up and down to ruins on extra day, valued at $17
- 1 night in a 3 star hotel, like Killa Inn Plaza Andina. These are nice hotels, well decorated, and clean.
- With limited eating choices at Machu Picchu hunger tends to send clients to Aguas Calientes; by including the buffet lunch we find that clients can visit Machu Picchu early, then go to the buffet to try lots of different Peruvian (and Western) dishes, rest and go back for a second look at Machu Picchu.
- Return in Vistadome train rather than Expedition train, which gives you the opportunity for a more varied timetable and to return in a nicer train, with big windows in the roof.
1 people US$1850 per person
- 2 people US$1350 per person
- 3 people US$995 per person
- 4 people US$960 per person
- 5 people US$925 per person
- 6 people US$895 per person
- 7+ people US$855 per person
- STUDENT DISCOUNT: $35 off per personStudent Discounts apply to anyone who has a valid GREEN ISIC card at the time of the trek or is 16 years old or younger. For those using an ISIC card to receive the discount, we do need to see a copy of the card at booking. For those booking children 16 years old or younger, we need a copy of their passport at booking time. Please send all to firstname.lastname@example.orgDiscounts
- Under 15 years will pay as student: US$35.00
- Under 7 years Discount: US$50.00
- ADDITIONAL ITEMS:As you see in our Additional Items under Trip Overview, there are several optional upgrades you can include in this trip. Below is a quick list of prices, but check our Overview section for more details.
Huaynapicchu: $75 per person
Vistadome Train (One Way): $70 per person
Vistadome Train (One Way): $80 per person
Sacred Valley Tour:
City Tour: $
Maras Moray Tour: