Large picfair 81505921 llama looking over machu picchu

Trek the Inca Trail

8-day Peru adventure including the Inca Trail, Cusco and the Sacred Valley ideal for those short on time. Acclimatise in the stunning Sacred Valley before heading out on the Inca Trail, one of the world's most iconic treks, towards the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

Afterwards, relax and explore Cusco, once capital of the Inca empire, and today a charming, cosmopolitan city with a rich cultural heritage.

Tailor-made Adventure 8 days

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $1,051 per person economy class from London

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Itinerary

Overview


  • Trek on the the classic Inca trail to magnificent Machu Picchu

  • Small Group Trek with experienced local team

  • Option avaible to upgrade to private trek, please ask for quote

  • Acclimatise pre-trek in traditional Ollantaytambo in the stunning Sacred Valley

  • Relax post trek in Cusco, the ancient Inca Capital with cobblestoned streets, cafes, markets and museums

Day-by-day

DAY 1: ARRIVE CUSCO AIRPORT & TRANSFER TO OLLANTAYTAMBO
You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in Ollantaytambo.
Accommodation: Pakaritampu

DAY 2: OLLANTAYTAMBO IN THE SACRED VALLEY
The beautiful Sacred Valley sits at very high altitude in the Andes, so it’s important to take time to relax and acclimatise in preparation for the impending Inca Trail trek. While it’s important to factor in plenty of rest, there are a number of activities we can arrange for you including mountain biking, horse riding, rafting or visiting local markets or fascinating Inca ruins in charming Ollantaytambo, where ancient Andean ways of life continue to this day.
Accommodation: Pakaritampu

DAY 3: COMMENCE THE INCA TRAIL (OLLANTAYTAMBO – HUAYLLABAMBA)
There’s an early-morning car transfer today to ‘kilometre 82’ where the day starts with a light, easy trek to the first archaeological complex, Llactapata, which will ease you gently into acclimatising to the altitude. The hike then continues up to Hatunchaca where camp will be set up for the night.

Throughout the four-day trek, there’ll be a combination of wonderful mountain views, lush sub-tropical vegetation and architectural ruins to explore, and porters will carry all equipment and up to 7kg of luggage per person. The porters are local Quetcha people who know the area very well and usually set off slightly earlier to ensure that overnight camps are set up before you arrive.

Approximate walking time: 4 ½ to 5 hours (distance 12 km)
Altitude: beginning of trek: 2,750 m.a.s.l. / ends at: 3,000 m.a.s.l.
Accommodation: Camping (in-camp upgrades possible)

DAY 4: HUAYLLABAMBA – PACAYMAYO (SECOND DAY OF INCA TRAIL)
A carbohydrate-based breakfast on this second day of the Inca Trail is the most important meal of the trek in preparation for today’s demanding hike. The hike commences through the Huayllabamba Valley to Yunca Chimpa in Llulluchapampa (3750 m.a.s.l.) and from here you’ll witness the Huayanay Valley before arriving at the highest section of the path known as the ‘Warmiwañusca’ or ‘Dead Woman's Pass’, which sits at 4,200 metres (approx. 14,000 feet) and which can be quite intense and challenging for some given the high altitude. The climb will take most of the morning and then after lunch, there’s a short, two-hour descent to Pacaymayo where camp will be set up for the night. With any luck, the porters and chef will have gone on ahead to set up camp and have your well-deserved, three-course dinner cooking on the fire. Don't be surprised if everyone heads to bed early after a tough but rewarding day.
Approximate walking time: 7 hours (distance 13 km)
Altitude: beginning of trek: 3,000 m.a.s.l. / ends at: 3,800 m.a.s.l.
Accommodation: Camping (in-camp upgrades possible)

DAY 5: PACAYMAYO – WIÑAYWAYNA (THIRD DAY OF INCA TRAIL)
Today is the most diverse day in terms of sites and scenery. In the morning, there’s an ascent to the second pass, Runcuracay, which sits at 3,680 metres (around 12,800 feet) followed by a short two-hour descent to the stunning archaeological site of Sayacmarca with its far-reaching views of the surrounding valleys and snow-peaked mountains. There will be some time to explore this fascinating spot before continuing along the original Inca stone path to the Phyyupatamarca complex where you’ll have a short tour before descending the 3 kilometres to Wiñaywayna. Here, camp will be set up for the night amongst the mystical ruins.
Approximate walking time: 10 hours (distance 15 km)
Altitude: beginning of trek: 3,800 m.a.s.l / ends at: 2,650 m.a.s.l
Accommodation: Camping (in-camp upgrades possible)

DAY 6: TREK WIÑAYWAYNA – MACHU PICCHU VIA SUN GATE, THEN ON TO CUSCO
After breakfast, you will head to the Inti Punku area, known also as the Sun Gate, where you will enjoy an impressive view of the majestic citadel of Machu Picchu. From here, it’s a short hike to the citadel itself. You will visit these impressive and remarkably well-preserved ruins accompanied by a guide who will explain the history and structure of this wonderful place. Finally, you will board a bus and head to the train station and make the onward journey to Cusco on the Vistadome train. Your hotel for the next couple of nights, El Retablo, is a simple, well-presented property nestled amidst Cusco’s ancient cobbled streets.
Approximate walking time: 2 ¼ hours (distance 6 km)
Altitude: beginning of trek: 2,650 m.a.s.l. / ends at: 2,400 m.a.s.l.
Accommodation: El Retablo

DAY 7: EXPLORE CUSCO
Spend this final day independently exploring bustling Cusco, the breathtakingly beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site. You might want to book a massage for your weary legs or spend some time in one of the many cafes at the Plaza de Armas taking in the fabulous views. The chocolate museum, ‘El Museo Cacao’, is well worth a visit and provides excellent insight into cocoa production in Peru, not to mention cooking classes and marshmallows with chocolate fondue in the café! There are also a whole host of ancient Inca palaces, temples and Spanish Colonial buildings to discover.
Accommodation: El Retablo

DAY 8: DEPART
You will be transferred to Cusco airport in good time for your flight home.

Accommodation


Guide price is based on recommended accommodations. Alternative accommodations and upgrades are available. Please get in touch or click on 'alternatives' below for alternatives and upgrade options.

Pakaritampu

Sacred Valley

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Superb Inca Fortress and hillside terraces
- Pretty, landscaped gardens
- Modest, comfortable accommodation
- Perfect base before or after Inca Trail

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Historic, characterful boutique hotel
- Close to 'Plaza de Armas' main square
- Beautifully-presented rooms
- Good value for money

Details

Getting there

Flight prices, details and operators will vary depending on date of travel, however the below gives an overview of key operators, routes and flight duration from the UK and the US at the time of writing. Note that it’s always possible to fly direct into Lima and overnight there before catching the morning flight to Cusco the following day. Please get in touch to discuss your requirements and obtain a current, detailed quote.

From the UK to Cusco
The fastest flight from London to Cusco is with Avianca airlines who make just one stop en route (Bogota) with a total flight time of around 17 ½ hours. Latin American Airlines (LAN) partner with British Airways to operate flights from London into Cusco via Lima, with flight times varying from around 15 to 24 hours. There are also several other indirect flight options (generally via Lima) with a couple of stops en route which take around 30 hours overall; examples include KLM, Iberia and Air France who all operate in partnership with LAN to operate flights from London to Cusco stopping both in Lima and in Amsterdam/Madrid/Paris respectively. Flights cost in the region of £800 to £1,500 per person depending on season and demand.

From the US East Coast to Cusco
Avianca operates flights from New York into Cusco with either one stop (Bogota), or two stops (Bogota and Lima), and flight times of around 11 to 14 hours. LAN also operate New York to Cusco, with just one stop in Lima and a similar flight time of around 11 hours. Flight costs range from $800 to $1,800 per person depending on season and demand.

From the US West Coast to Cusco
Avianca operates flights from Los Angeles into Cuzco, usually with just one stop in Bogota (and sometimes two stops; Bogota and Lima), with flight times of around 12 hours. LAN also operates on this route, as do Air Canada, Aeromexico and Finn Air depending on the time of year. Flight costs range from $800 to $1,500 per person depending on season and demand.

Price includes

The quoted price includes all accommodation (bed and breakfast basis), transfers and tours as mentioned in the itinerary. The Inca Trail includes all camping equipment (excluding sleeping bag and pillow), permits and all meals.

During the Inca Trail there will be an English-speaking guide, chef, supporting staff and porters to carry passengers’ luggage and camping equipment. The camping equipment comprises modern, North Face 4-season tents, therm-a-rest inflatable mattresses, first aid kit, walkie talkies and oxygen should it be required at high altitude. You’ll need to bring along your own sleeping bag, or we can arrange to hire one for you.

Facilities are generally simple, for example portable toilets are carried and set up in a small tent at lunch and overnight. It is possible, however, to upgrade the camping experience to include raised cot beds and ‘indoor’ dining in a mess tent, plus a massage service if you so wish. Special dietary requirements can be accommodated, and note that tips and alcoholic beverages for the Inca Trail are not included.

We will provide a comprehensive list of suitable clothing and sundry equipment to bring on the trek, although please note that very comfortable, worn-in hiking boots are highly recommended. We also advise you to hire walking poles at the start of the trail.

When is best?

The high season on the Inca trail is from April to September when the conditions are fairly dry and the weather generally sunny. June, July and August (peak season) can see slightly colder night time temperatures so be sure to bring some layers.

The rainy season lasts from November to March/April and whilst the treks during this period are much quieter, the rain - especially in January and February - can make the trekking harder. The Inca Trail is closed in the month of February every year for vital cleaning and maintenance - although alternative trekking routes are available at this time, note that the weather tends to be very wet, so February is best avoided unless you particularly enjoy trekking in the rain

Is it for me?

This is a relatively short, streamlined itinerary aimed at adventurous travellers looking to make the most of the classic Inca Trail experience in a compact period of time, while also enjoying a brief rest and some fascinating culture in the lovely city of Cusco afterwards. The proposed hotels are simple yet comfortable and the Inca Trail camping equipment is good and modern but basic, with the option to upgrade to a little more in-camp comfort if preferred. If you want to participate in a trek where you will push yourself physically, but at the same time gain an insight into an ancient people and culture, then this will be right up your street.

You do need to be in good shape to participate and it is recommended that you do some regular exercise in the month before you depart. That said, you don’t have to be exercise mad; children as young as 7 and adults of 68 have completed the trail. You will be hiking at altitude, so it is recommended that you acclimatise for a couple of days before embarking on the trip.

Don’t worry about being rushed along too fast, there will be plenty of time for comfort breaks and chances to admire the views along the way. The guide will always walk at the back with the last person in the group, so you really don’t need to be concerned about taking too long.

Due to the huge demand to travel this iconic route, the government only issues a certain number or permits per day to ensure that the trail does not become overcrowded and damaged. This includes all porters, guides and cooks, so it fills up quickly. The high season on the trail is from April to September so we recommend planning ahead; try to book at least 5 to 6 months in advance. If you want to trek in quieter times, you may wish to consider dates outside of the high season (see ‘when is best’).

This trek is organized by a professional and licensed tour operator who has been operating in the region for many years. They know what they’re doing and treat their porters well, ensuring that they are well equipped and fairly paid. To read more about trekking to Machu Picchu, the alternatives and best times to trek, read our guide to the Inca Trail.

If you have any other questions, please refer to our frequently asked questions page or contact us.

To read more about trekking to Machu Picchu, the alternatives and best times to trek read our guide to the Inca Trail.

Safety

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office check www.gov.uk/travelaware

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 504 reviews

(5.00/5)

  • My sister, her boyfriend and I had a fantastic time.

    Both guides were excellent, spoke good English and were very knowledgable.

    The food was also excellent - some of the best I had during my 4 months in South America!

    The taxi arrangements were good and on time to get us started on the first day and overall we had a really great time and would definitely recommend the trip to anyone!

    MissingAnon reviewing Trek the Inca Trail on 02 January 2012

  • From beginning to end the service from both Tourdust and the local operator was fantastic. Despite being the rainy season we had a fair bit of good weather, and even when we didn't it couldn't take away from the great experience and amazing sites. Our guide Odon really made it for us. There was a smallish group of 8 of us. He understood everyones needs and tailored our days to make sure everyone got the most out of it. Whenever he could he made sure that we were ahead of other groups and got time at the most interesting sites on our own. He also hads fantastic knowledge and always had really interesting things to tell us which made the trip even better. Our team of porters were also fantastic. The food was amazing and you wouldn't believe they were cooking it in a camp tent. Thank you to the whole team for making this such a great trip. I would highly recommend Pachamama if you are thinking of doing the trail. Becks and Will - Jan 2011

    MissingAnon reviewing Trek the Inca Trail on 30 January 2011

  • Hi Lisa,

    The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.

    Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)

    Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!

    Best regards,
    Woan Chyi

    MissingWoan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019

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Alternative Itineraries

Our itineraries are carefully designed by our experienced travel designers based on years of experience and customer feedback. For a custom itinerary tailored to you, please enquire giving as much detail as possible on your brief.

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'From Price' is the average per person price for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $1,445 per person economy class from London

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Families from $3,566 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $1,445 per person economy class from London

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Adults from $1,741 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average per person price for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $1,051 per person economy class from London

Families from $1,658 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $1,051 per person economy class from London

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