Inca Trail and Machu Picchu, Peru with Lake Titicaca Extension
The Inca Trail is probably the most famous trek in the world and on the wish list of many walkers. The trail may only be 26 miles long but it packs a lot into a short stretch. There are stunning mountain views, lush cloud forest, sub-tropical jungle, Inca ruins and all leading to the Lost City of the Incas. Machu Picchu is nothing short of iconic and we will take our time to explore the ruins at our leisure. From the Sacred /Royal area to the Secular area where the workers lived, there is much to delight the traveller.
Our first days will be spent in the Sacred Valley where we will acclimatise by taking in some of the many fascinating Inca sites. Staying in this area rather than Cusco which is above 3000m will help us to adapt to the thinner air thereby reducing the risk of altitude sickness.
After our time in the Sacred Valley we will head out to walk the Inca Trail. Our team of porters will carry our main packs and help prepare camp for us each night. This will allow us to make the most of our days on this spectacular trek. We will camp for 3 nights and stay in a hotel on the 4th in nearby Aguas Calientes giving us the opportunity to see the Inca ruins in the early morning light.
Once our trek is complete we will head back to Cusco and after a good night’s rest there will be a morning tour on our final day before having the afternoon free to explore at our own pace.
For those who would like to extend their stay in Peru, there will be the option to explore the islands of Lake Titicaca. We will head north by road to Puno where we will spend the evening before heading out for our exploration of the islands and culture of Lake Titcaca. We travel by boat to the Uros Islands where the people live on floating reed islands. From there we enjoy a 3 hour boat trip to Amantani where we spend the night. The following morning it is on by boat to Taquile, where the people are renowned for the production of intricate weavings. After lunch we return to Puno for a final night before flying back to Lima for our onward travel.
Day 1 – Overnight flight to Lima
Day 2 – Arrive in Lima. Domestic flight to Cusco.
On arrival in Cusco you’ll be picked up by private transport and transferred to the Sacred Valley (2,400m altitude), with a couple of stops along the way. It’s a great first introduction to life in the Andes.
Day 3 – Sacred Valley Tour
Today is your first opportunity to explore the Sacred Valley and it’s many incredible historic sites. Today you’ll discover Pisac (market town & historic ruins), Chincheros (famous for textiles), Maras (salt mines) + Moray (a famous Incan agricultural site).
Day 4 – Sacred Valley Tour
Continuing with the acclimatization program there will be further exploration of the Sacred Valley, heading to Ollantaytambo to explore the numerous Inca ruins that exist here and taking short treks around the town.
Day 5 – Inca Trail Ollantaytambo – Llactapata
Start your trek from the charming town of Ollantaytambo, famous for its Incan fortress and temple ruins. Explore the cobblestone streets and observe life in the Andes. After lunch, drive to the trailhead at Piscacucho and meet the crew who will be accompanying you on the trail. The hike starts out by following a trail along the winding Urubamba river. With porters carrying your belongings, you will be able to enjoy the natural beauty with less stress. After an afternoon of trekking, you will reach Llactapata (2788m), the ruins of a grand administrative and astronomical complex. Set up camp with help from your crew, enjoy a freshly-cooked meal, and relax and enjoy the accomplishment of your first day. Trek: 6km /100m ascent / 2.5 hours
Day 6 Inca Trail Llactapata – Huayllabamba – Llulluchapampa
After breakfast, prepare to climb up the edge of Cusichaca Valley to Huayllabamba, a small village that will be the last human settlement on the Inca Trail. Afterwards, you will descend into true wilderness. Hike a steeper section of the Inca Trail that brings you into the beautiful cloud forests, where flora and fauna flourish. You may even spot hummingbirds fluttering among the tropical trees. The trail leads to Llulluchapampa (3680m), a patch of grassland frequented by Andean deer with an amazing view. Here, you will end the day and settle into your camp. Trek: 10km/ 1080m ascent /6 hours
Day 7 Inca Trail Llulluchapampa – Warmiwañusca – Phuyupatamarca
Today is the most rigorous day of the trek, but the challenge is worth it. Climb the trail’s highest and most demanding pass, the Warmiwañusca, or “Dead Woman’s Pass” (4212m). After that, everything gets smoother as you walk downhill into the Pacasmayo Valley. You will hike through a second pass past Runkuracay towards Sayacmarca, where you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of Pumahuanca Mountain. After the mysterious junction point, your trek continues just a bit longer. Phuyupatamarca (3650m), “‘the place above the clouds” will be your final destination for today. The site features one of the most intact Inca ruins and overlooks snow-capped, sacred Mt. Salkantay (6,200m). You will spend your night surrounded by clouds, miles above the rest of the world. Trek: 15 km / 1000m ascent /630m descent / 8 hours
Day 8 Inca Trail Phuyupatamarca – Wiñay Wayna – Machu Picchu Pueblo
This morning you will wake up to the rising sun illuminating the Salkantay and Veronica mountains (cloud level permitting). Then, bid farewell to your porters and carry on towards Machu Picchu. Continue down a set of Inca stone steps past more swathes of misty cloud forests. Soon, you will pass the Wiñay Wayna, a range of terraces with patches of orchids with swallows flying overhead. Finally, trek beyond the Gateway of the Sun, Inti Punku, and the sight of Machu Picchu will await you. Soak in the view and the evening glow before taking the bus down to Machu Picchu Pueblo, where you can shower and retreat to a comfortable hotel room. Trek: 14 km / 1000m descent / 6 hours
Day 9 Machu Picchu – Cusco
If you’re up bright and early, you’ll get to see the sun lighten up Machu Picchu. You will follow a hiking trail up to the sanctuary for an early view and to avoid the crowds. You’ll have a fully guided tour, and for those who have requested it, Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain is on the list. Enjoy your time here. Explore the ruins, have a snack, take some photos, or simply take in the splendour of your surroundings. At the end of your time exploring, you can take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes and wait for your return train to Cusco or Ollantaytambo where transport will be waiting for you to take you to your hotel.
Day 10- City Tour of Cusco.
In the morning you’ll embark on a short city tour of Cusco with the afternoon free to explore sites such as Sacsayhuaman, Q’Enko & Tambomachay.
Day 11 – Transfer to Cusco for domestic flight to Lima . Onward travel – overnight flight to UK.
Lake Titicaca Extension
Day 11 Bus to Puno from Cusco (7-8hrs) stopping along the way to take in the sights. Overnight in Puno.
Day 12: Uros Islands and Amantani
Early morning transfer from the hotel to the port and by motor boat to one of the legendary Uros Islands where you can see the lives of the Uros people who live on floating reed islands, some only 20 meters in length. After a beautiful 3hr boat ride, you reach Amantani Island where you will break into smaller groups to stay with local families. You have the opportunity to trek to the top of the mountain (4150 m.a.s.l) to see the Temples of the Pachamama and Pachatata and enjoy the traditional customs of the island people. Food prepared by your designated family.
Day 13 Taquile Island – Puno
After breakfast you take a short boat ride to the neighbouring Taquile Island, where you will tour around the ruins and visit these beautiful people, world famous for their intricate and fascinating weavings. After lunch you return by boat to Puno and transfer back to your hotel late afternoon. Overnight in Puno.
Day 14 – Domestic Flight from Juliaca Airport to Lima Airport. Onward travel – overnight flight.
Day 15 – Arrive UK after overnight flight.
For further information about travel / health/ what to bring please contact us.
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