Arrival in Cusco
You’ll spend the night before your trek begins in Cusco, the gateway to the Sacred Valley. It’s a colourful city of contrasts and carnivals, with plenty to keep you occupied. Staying in a cosy posada in the artistic district of San Blas, it’s a fifteen minute walk down cobbled streets to Plaza de Armas, Cusco’s central square. Your guide will meet you at your hotel to give you a briefing on what to bring and what to expect for the next few days.
Cusco - Wayllabamba
Today, you’ll be transferred by minibus to the bridge across the Rico Urubamba, the starting point of the Inca Trail. Here, the adventure begins. You’ll walk for 6 hours (12kms) along a level trail through misty rainforest with lianas dangling from dense green canopy, passing several small Inca ruins and villages on the way.
You’ll stop for a picnic lunch amidst gorgeous panoramas before ending the day in Wayllabamba, near the ruins of Llactapata. Your porters will have pitched tents before your arrival, so you can help prepare the dinner or find a quiet spot to watch the sunset. There’s no electricity, hot water or shower, but there is a toilet block.
Wayllabamba - Pacaymayo
This is the toughest day of the Inca Trail, so prepare yourself for a hearty trudge. After breakfast, you’ll climb stone steps carved into the mountains to Dead Woman’s Pass, perched at 4,200 metres above sea level. On the way, you’ll pass through mossy forests and around 9 hours later, you’ll reach the top of the pass, where you can celebrate your accomplishment and take a well-earned rest.
Pacaymayo - Winay Wayna
From Pacaymayo, you’ll visit the archaeological site of Runkurakay before continuing to the Inca ruins at Sayamarka, once an impenetrable fortress. Afterwards, you’ll conquer another staggering mountain pass at 4,000 metres, stopping for lunch at the top and gazing down at the distant valleys. Next, you’ll follow a twisting downhill path with changing panoramas at every turn.
As you descend, you’ll enter a world of orchids, ferns and exotic birds. In the Inca citadel of Winay Wayna, you’ll set up camp and have a farewell dinner with your group. After covering the toughest part of the trek, you’ll feel a real excitement amongst your fellow trekkers, especially considering what lies in store tomorrow…
Winay Wayna - Machu Picchu - Cusco
This morning, you’ll wake at twilight and walk for 2 hours before reaching Sun Gate. Here you’ll catch your first glimpse of Machu Picchu at dawn. It’s something that’s hard to put into words. When the sun creeps over the mountains and the clouds of mist part to reveal the ruins in all their glory, you’ll be left totally speechless.
At the end of your visit you’ll take the train back, arriving in Cusco around 7pm. At the station a taxi will be waiting to take you to your hotel in San Blas for some well-earned rest and relaxation.
A peek at your accommodation
Combine this trip with...
Where to next? This trip goes together perfectly with these: