LIMA, CUZCO AND THE INCA TRAIL

LIMA - CUZCO - URUBAMBA - INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU

  • Duration
  • 10 days
  • High Light
  • nature, culture and archaeology

From the arid, western coast of Peru, you will cross the Peruvian Andes, to visit the magical city of Cuzco, the former capital of the Inca Empire. You will travel through fertile valleys, witnessing the traditions and beliefs of its people. You will walk the unique 27 mile Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, where you will experience great adventure, archaeology and nature. You will be in awe of the incredible vista as you view snow capped mountains and the green vegetation of the cloud forests of the high jungles, sheltering the magnificent Machu Picchu.

DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN LIMA - TRANSFER TO HOTEL
DAY 2: FLIGHT TO CUZCO - CUZCO CITY TOUR
DAY 3: WALKING TOUR IN CUZCO NEARBY RUINS
DAY 4: SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS - LLAMA FARM - PISAQ - OLLANTAYTAMBO
DAY 5: INCA TRAIL (KM82 - LLACTAPATA)
DAY 6: INCA TRAIL (LLACTAPATA - LLULLUCHAPAMPA)
DAY 7: INCA TRAIL (LLULLUCHAPAMPA - PHUYUPATAMARCA)
DAY 8: INCA TRAIL (PHUYUPATAMARCA - MACHU PICCHU)
DAY 9: MACHU PICCHU - TOURING THE CITY
DAY 10: MORNING FREE IN CUZCO - FLIGHT TO LIMA

ITINERARY

DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN LIMA - TRANSFER TO HOTEL

Our representative will contact you at Lima airport and accompany you to the hotel.

DAY 2: FLIGHT TO CUZCO - CUZCO CITY TOUR

You will board the flight to Cusco. You will be contacted at the airport in Cuzco and escorted to your hotel. In the afternoon you will visit the most important attractions of Cusco, the ancient capital of the great Inca Empire. You will visit Qorikancha or Temple of the Sun (where the most exquisite Inca architecture ever found in the Andes is depicted) and The Cathedral of Cuzco (which is one of the largest cathedrals in Latin America and is richly decorated with many art pieces from the 17th and 18th century).

DAY 3: WALKING TOUR IN CUZCO NEARBY RUINS

You will walk along the outskirts of Cuzco city and visit the Inca ruins of Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Tambomachay and Puca Pucara. You will board your transportation to the archaeological site of Puca Pucara, where you will start your hike to the water fountains of Tambomachay. You will then continue through a descent path towards the Temple of the Moon and the Temple of the Fertility at Qenqo. You will have a picnic lunch and end your tour visiting the great archaeological site of Sacsayhuaman, a huge Inca temple, where some of the stones used for its construction are the size of a large car.

DAY 4: SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS - LLAMA FARM - PISAQ - OLLANTAYTAMBO

You will visit the Awanacancha, small farm where the four American camelidae (llama, alpaca, guanaco and vicuña) are exhibited. You will also learn the textile techniques of spinning, dyeing and weaving. You will have the opportunity to negotiate your purchases with the vendors. You will then visit the traditional market of Pisaq in the Sacred Valley and enjoy lunch in a nice restaurant. In the afternoon you will visit the Inca archaeological site of Ollantaytambo, and will hike up the staircases that climb to The Temple of the Sun. Since the current village of Ollantaytambo is only a few blocks away, you will have the opportunity to visit a local family and witness the lifestyle and breeding of domestic animals, such us the famous Peruvian guinea pigs.

DAY 5: INCA TRAIL (KM82 - LLACTAPATA)

You will leave your hotel in Cusco and drive to Km 82 of the railroad from Cusco to Machu Picchu, which is the starting point of the Inca Trail. You will enjoy a quiet, easy walking day, allowing you to adjust to the hike and the high altitude. You will hike for about two hours on relatively flat terrain on the left bank of the Urubamba River; you will then begin ascending along a narrow path to Willkaraqay (9570 ft / 2900 m) view point. From here you will see the confluence of two river valleys (Urubamba and Cusichaca), a very impressive view of Veronica snow capped mountain, and the Inca archaeological site of Patallacta (8745 ft / 2650 m). After lunch you will walk down to the valley of the river Cusichaca and camp in front of the archaeological site of Llactapata. In the afternoon you will visit the archaeological site with your guide.

DAY 6: INCA TRAIL (LLACTAPATA - LLULLUCHAPAMPA)

You will awaken early (as is normal when trekking in the Andes) so that you can begin walking before the sun is strongest. You will gradually hike upwards along the Cusichaca River Valley for one and a half hours to the farming community of Wayllabamba (9900 ft / 3000 m). Here you will start one of the most difficult parts of the trek, the steep ascent to Warmihuañuska Pass or Dead Woman’s Pass (13860 ft / 4200 m), the first and highest mountain pass in the Inca Trail. The total hike to the pass will be 14.4 miles. This day you will only hike half way to the pass and camp at Llulluchapampa (12210 ft / 3700 m), located in a beautiful area above the valley with fine views of the surrounding mountains and Huayanay snow-capped peak. En route you will walk along the cloud forest area, habitat of many birds and mammals such us the white tailed deer, spectacled bear and a great variety of birds.

DAY 7: INCA TRAIL (LLULLUCHAPAMPA - PHUYUPATAMARCA)

This day is the longest and the most beautiful of the hike. You will walk for eight hours over two high mountain passes. You will stop to visit beautiful Inca sites, and will finish the day at your camp with a spectacular view of the Salkantay snow capped mountain (20700 ft / 6271 m), which is the highest of the northern area of Cuzco. You will ascend to the pass of Warmihuañusca (13860 ft / 4200 m), which is the highest along the trail, with an incredible view of the mountains and valleys. After resting, you will descend into Pacaymayo valley (11880 ft / 3600 m), then ascend again through stone stairs towards the second mountain pass, visiting the Inca site of Runkuracay (12540 ft / 3800 m) (composed by a circular building), which was used as a control point and rest stop for those who traveled to Machu Picchu during the empire of the Incas. In the second pass, Runkuracay (13101 ft / 3970 m), you will have the opportunity to see in the Vilcabamba mountain range in the distance and Pumasillo Mountain (16170 ft / 4900 m) before you. Before lunch you will walk downhill towards Sayacmarca, Inca city built on the mountain top. This City exhibits temples, narrow streets, ceremonial plazas, aqueducts, water sources, housing and farming terraces. After lunch in the afternoon you will walk for two hours to the third mountain pass, Phuyupatamarca (12210 ft / 3700 m), which is your camp. This is undoubtedly the most beautiful stretch along your entire journey to Machu Picchu. The trail extends over the mountains offering views to the deep valley of the Aobamba River with the presence of many flowers, orchids and colorful birds. Your camp is a natural viewpoint to the Urubamba river valley. You will see the mountains of Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu from here and will enjoy the beautiful sunrises.

DAY 8: INCA TRAIL (PHUYUPATAMARCA - MACHU PICCHU)

This day you will arrive at your destination, traveling the last 7 miles. The trail drops off steeply for three hours to Wiñaywayna (8910 ft / 2700 m); you will lunch and visit the Inca site of Wiñaywayna, which is the most beautiful of the entire 27 mile journey. After lunch, you will walk across the eastern precipices of the mountain Machu Picchu up to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku 8992ft / 2725m). This is the place from where you will see Machu Picchu for first time, and then you will begin to descend slowly to the guardhouse, from where the most traditional photograph of Machu Picchu is taken. After a photography session, you will go to your hotel.

DAY 9: MACHU PICCHU - TOURING THE CITY

You will rise very early in the morning to enjoy the sunrise in Machu Picchu. You will visit the lost city of the Incas, in a tour that will include the most important and sacred sites of this wonderful city. After the tour, you will have the opportunity go up to the mountain Huayna Picchu (which appears in the traditional photography). In the evening you will take your return train to Cuzco city.

DAY 10: MORNING FREE IN CUZCO - FLIGHT TO LIMA

Your morning is free to explore Cuzco on your own.  In the afternoon you will be escorted to the airport to board your flight to Lima.

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