"Definitely one for the bucket list! The Inca trail will no doubt be one of the first treks you hear of, and one of the last! History, culture and nature in abundance!"
Trekking the Inca Trail is a real ‘bucket-list’ adventure. The stunning trek to Machu Picchu, one of the world’s most iconic and important archaeological sites, is without doubt a highlight of any trip to South America. Hiking over the Peruvian Andes, through magical high-elevation ‘Cloud Forest’ and along ancient Inca trails, you’ll reach one of the seven New Wonders of the World on this unforgettable trek. Beginning in Cusco, the ‘gateway’ to the Inca Trail, you’ll travel through the Sacred Valley before starting your adventure with a bridge-crossing over the Rio Urubamba. As you trek to Inca sites, you’ll enjoy incredible views of natural features including the Rio Vilcanota, the Urubamba mountain range and the snow-capped Mount Veronica.
With some demanding ascents and steep descents, your trek continues through the Dead Woman’s Pass of Warmihuañusca. At 4,200m above sea level, this is both the highest point of the trail and your halfway mark! You’ll pass through an area of Cloud Forest, rich with bird-life, before following original Inca steps and later winding your way down to The Black Lagoon. Finally, arrive at the awe-inspiring ruins of Machu Picchu for the climactic end to your journey. Enjoy a guided tour of the main remains and monuments of the ruins, before exploring at your leisure.
To learn about the incredible wildlife that can be found along the Inca Trail, click here!
Chimu Adventures aims to minimise its impact on the environment and support local communities in any way possible. The company strives to source guides, meals and transport from the communities it operates in rather than importing. Chimu Adventures prides itself on the fact that all operations for this tour are carried out by locally-owned companies, and they select locally-owned hotels which share their values in terms of social and environmental responsibility. The company's guides are highly experienced and qualified, and are paid above the minimum wage; since they are local, travellers are able to gain a more authentic insight into the communities and environments they visit.
Travellers are encouraged to minimise their carbon footprint whilst touring with Chimu Adventures, and are provided with information and advice on responsible waste disposal and how to offset carbon emissions. This ensures that guests are equipped with the knowledge necessary to help them protect the diverse ecosystems they visit. The company also practices what it preaches, with sustainability measures including carbon offsets for company/staff vehicles, and processes to help create paperless offices and reduce waste. Chimu’s ‘Pass it On’ programme empowers local people, providing funding to help Latin American communities develop their own infrastructure. Finally, Chimu Adventures also offers travellers the chance to make a positive impact by visiting community projects.
Upon your arrival in Cusco, you’ll participate in an evening pre-trek briefing.
You’ll leave early in the morning to begin your tour, travelling by bus through the Sacred Valley to Piskachucho (2,700m above sea level). Your unforgettable trek begins with a bridge crossing over the Rio Urubamba. Continuing along the river shore you’ll arrive at the first Inca site, Patallaqta, after around three hours. You’ll stop for lunch in Taravoc, before spending the afternoon walking amongst a fantastic variety of flora and fauna, enjoying wonderful views of the Rio Vilcanota, the Urubamba mountain range and the snow-capped Mount Veronica. You’ll reach Wayllabamba (3,000m) in the mid-afternoon, where you’ll set up camp and enjoy a hearty dinner before spending your first night beneath the canvas.
Today you’ll travel around 9km over the course of seven to eight hours, with some demanding ascents and descents. Making your way up to Warmihuañusca (4,200m), also known as the ‘Dead Woman’s Pass’, you’ll see llamas and alpaca grazing on Ichu (a type of Andean grass). This is the Inca Trail’s highest point, and reaching it means you are halfway to your final destination of Machu Picchu! Descending through Cloud Forest, you’ll see a variety of birds including sparrows and humming birds and, if you’re lucky, you might spot the rare Spectacled Bear. Relax and enjoy an early dinner before settling down for the night at your campsite in the Pacaymayu valley (3,600m).
Today is the longest trekking day, but not the most arduous. Starting with an hour’s walk up Inca steps, you’ll reach the archaeological site of Runkurakay (3,800m). Passing by several small lagoons, the trail winds its way down to Yanacocha (the Black Lagoon) and continues on to the archaeological site of Sayacmarca. You’ll break for lunch at Chaquicocha camp, before continuing along the paved Inca path and through a preserved Inca tunnel to the ruins at the Phuyupatamarca Pass. Enjoy breath-taking views of the snow-capped Mount Salkantay before descending to Wiñayhuayna. This Inca site is built into the hillside and overlooks the Urubamba River. You’ll spend your final night on the trail here.
The most highly anticipated day of your trek starts with an early walk to Into Punku (The Sun Gate). Here, you’ll get the first tantalising glimpse of the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu ruins. You’ll embark on a 2.5 hour guided tour which will give you a great insight into the fascinating history behind the main remains and monuments. You’ll then have some time to explore the ruins at your leisure. Climb the Huayna Picchu Mountain and enjoy fantastic views of Machu Picchu from a different perspective, or visit the hot springs in the village of Aguas Calientes. Your train back to Cusco will leave in the late afternoon.
Transfer from your hotel to the airport for your outward flight from Cusco.
- Please note that it is recommended that you book at least 3 months in advance (or, if you’re planning on taking this tour in the May-September peak season, 6 months) to ensure you get your desired dates. This is because the Peruvian Government imposes a daily restriction on the number of people allowed to trek the Inca Trail.
- Accommodation as per itinerary
- Transportation Cusco – Piskacucho / Train Station – Cusco
- Tourist train from Aguas Calientes to Cusco (Poroy)/or Ollantaytambo
- Bus going downhill from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes where the train station is situated.
- Entrance fee to the Inca Trail
- Professional bilingual guide
- Cook : In charge of meal preparation.
- Porters : Carry tents and cooking equipment.
- Meals : 3B/4L/3D/Snacks and afternoon teas. Food vegetarian available upon request prior coordination.
- Equipment : Tents (2 people in each 3 person-capacity), inflatable mattress, dinner tent, kitchen tent, tables and chairs, first aid kit (Including oxygen bottle). Radio Communication.
- Minimum 2 people and maximum 16 people
- Sleeping bag (if you don’t have a sleeping bag there is the possibility of renting one)
- Entrance fee to Huayna Picchu