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The Inca Trail is a very old route, more than 500 years old, built to connect the city of Machu Picchu. The complete Inca Trail, reaches the north of Argentina and Chile and the south of Colombia, crossing Peru through the city of Cusco, considered “the navel of the world”.
We will start the your trip by picking you up at your hotel at 06:00 AM to drive from Cusco to Ollantaytambo and then to Km 82. Here, we will have to register to enter the Inca Trail and will meet all the staff members that will do the trek with us. From Km 82 we will take a gentle hike for 2 hours until we arrive to our lunch spot known as Miskay. After lunch, we will take a short rest and then continue with our adventure for 4 more hours until we arrive at Huayllabamba. On the way, we will be able to see the archeological site of Patallacta. Finally, in Huayllabamba, we will have dinner prepared for us and then have a restful nigh of sleep in the tents in our camping site.
During the morning, we will drink coca tea to help us acclimate further to the high altitude. Soon after, we will have a hearty breakfast prepared by our trail chef. With this energy, we will start our second day’s adventure! We will hike for around 5 hours to get to the top of the mountain called Warmihuañusca. There, we will have an amazing view of the Andes! After taking in these panoramic views and resting, we will go downhill for about 1 hour until we arrive at our lunch spot. After lunch, we will continue trekking until we arrive to Pacaymayo where we will spend the rest of the evening resting and relaxing before sleeping again in our tents.
After having a nice coca tea and breakfast, we will continue trekking on the Inca Trail. We start at Pacaymayo and pass by the archeological site of Sayaqmarca. After visiting the beautiful Incan structures here, we will stop for lunch. After lunch, we will continue walking until we arrive to Wiñaywayna (Always Young) where we will fix our tents and the camping site to have dinner and sleep.
Today’s Highlights: Your excitement for our rendezvous at Machu Picchu will rise as we are hiking early in the morning through the forest to reach the Sun Gate which looks down over the entire grandiose site! You will have plenty of time to explore this truly magnificent World Wonder while you enjoy the beautiful sunrise from this once-in-a-lifetime viewpoint. Your group will learn about this mystical place in a two-hour guided tour of the ruins. Afterwards, you can opt to climb Huayna Picchu or Machupicchu Mountain (if you have pre-booked tickets) or walk to the Inca Bridge (without extra tickets).
Today we arrive at the long-awaited finale of our trek, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site – Machu Picchu! We will wake up early after a refreshing night to enjoy the serenity in the soft morning light as hike 2 hours from Wiñay Wayna to the Sun Gate or “Inti Punku.” Here, the Inca Trail officially ends. From this place, we will be able to admire the great beauty of the Inca citadel Machu Picchu! The Machu Picchu entrance check point is open from 06:00 AM until 17:00 PM. We will walk downhill for 1 hour and enter the hidden Royal Citadel of the Incas! Here we will have a 2-hour guided tour through this incredible ancient city to visit temples, terraces, palaces, priest’s houses, the sundial, the industrial sector, and the farming fields. Be amazed at the engineering ingenuity of the Incas which was so far ahead of their time and still partially a mystery today! Without having modern tools or even steel and iron to work with, the people who built this city were genius in organizing this community in a sustainable and beautiful way on the side of a mountain, even bringing water in canals through its streets for the people to use. When a Peruvian guide showed this site to Hiram Bingham, it was almost unrecognizable, covered in thick vegetation and in a state of disrepair. It has since been cleaned and restored and is now protected and treasured by the world at large!
After this tour, you are free to climb up to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (Be sure to book in advance to get tickets for these!). Each mountain takes approximately 3 hours to hike up and down. Another lower-impact option for which you do not need an extra ticket is to trek to the Sun Gate, the main entrance from the Inca Trail (this takes about 2 or 2.5 hours round-trip). Another option is walking to see the Incan Bridge. You will be able to stay and enjoy this magical city for as long as you need before taking the bus down to the town of Aguas Calientes. Here if you have left time before the train, you will be able to have lunch, visit the hot springs, and walk around the town and the artisan market. At 16:22 hrs (subject to availability), we will take the train to Ollantaytambo. A private bus will pick up our group and drop you off at your hotel in Cusco at about 20:00 hrs. Rest your feet and your body now, but we can assure you your heart will still be soaring for weeks and years to come!