9 Days – Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Cusco, Sacred Valley & 4 day Inca Trail Trek

Explore the highlights of Cusco and the Sacred Valley hiking and mountain biking while getting well acclimatized. Then engage on the challenging Classic Inca Trail (3x nights camping) to Machu Picchu with its unique flora, fauna and more ruins on the way, entering the site through the Sun Gate in early morning.

The whole trip including the Inca Trail is completely private (i.e. private guide, porters & team and all equipment included).

Customize this trip according to your preferences and travel style.

Day 1: Arrival to Lima – Welcome to Peru!

Just cross the street when leaving the exit hall of the Airport. Your hotel is located only a few meters away on the Airport’s premises. Relax and get some rest for the next day.

There are no domestic night flights in Peru. If your international flight arrives in the evening, you’ll need to spend the first night in Lima. The Wyndham Costa del Sol Airport Hotel is located inside the premises of the airport, only a few meters away from the arrival hall. If you’re arriving to Lima in the morning, you can directly continue to Cusco, allowing for an additional day.
You may arrive any time to Lima. The itinerary will be adapted to your actual arrival time.

Day 2: Flight to Cusco & Sacsayhuaman Ruins

Enter the Airport for your flight to Cusco (approx. 1:30 hour). Visit Sacsayhuaman, the majestic Inca Fortress overlooking Cusco. After a first introduction to the Inca’s history and a guided visit, you will have time to explore the vast site on your own.

After lunch, visit Cusco’s Main Square, get familiar with the streets of Cusco and admire its beautiful architecture.

Day 3: Hiking Pisac Ruins

Drive by private car to the village of Pisac (approx. 45 minutes’ total driving duration), experiencing the fantastic Andean landscape as you gradually descend to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Stop by a view point and enjoy the stunning view over snowcapped mountains.            
Drive up the mountain for a great view over the Valley and today’s highlight, a guided visit of Pisac Ruins on the Mountain’s top. Leave the crowds at the top and hike down to the village with more ruins on the way (approx. 3 hours’ hiking).
Enjoy your lunch at a local restaurant. Afterwards you’ll have time to explore Pisac’s famous handicraft market before driving back to Cusco.

Day 4: Mountain biking to Moray & stunning Inca Salt Flats

Mountain bike (optional) to the archeological site of Moray with its perfectly round Inca terraces, also known as the “Inca Lab”. Continue to the Inca Salt Flats and marvel at over 4,000 salt ponds built by the pre-Inca over 800 years ago, where the locals still harvest salt in exactly the same way as their ancestors did.
After lunch, drive to your nearby located hotel in the Valley and replenish your energy for the Inca Trail the next day.

The bike ride is optional, although ideal for travelers enjoying the outdoors. No former experience is required and the trail will be adapted to your preferences (easy to challenging). The car will follow the bikes the whole time, so you don’t need to carry anything.
If preferred, you can also choose to skip the bike ride and add in a hike instead or rather take it relaxed.

Day 5: On the Inca Trail: From Piskacucho to Patallacta and Ayapata (Day 1)

Get picked up in the morning at your Hotel in the Sacred Valley to drive to the starting point of your trekking adventure on the Inca Trail and meet your trekking team.

Enter the first checkpoint and hike for approx. 2 hours to the first Inca site “Patallacta”. From there, continue hiking for another 2 hours to the lunch spot. Replenish your energy for the last part of today’s hike to the campsite at Ayapata at 10,826 ft above sea level (approx. 2.5 hours’ hike).
Relax at the campsite, enjoy your dinner prepared by your cook and the team and get a well merited rest.

Walking distance: 8.7 miles (6-7 hours)

Day 6: Dead Woman’s Pass & Runcu Raccay Pass (Day 2)

After an early wake-up and breakfast, get ready for this challenging day. Begin hiking uphill (approx. 4 hours) to the highest point of the trek, the “Dead Woman’s Pass” at 13,829 ft altitude. Have a break and enjoy the stunning view from the top before descending to the Pacaymayu Valley (“Hidden River”) and further down to the lunch spot.    .
After lunch, hike up again to the second pass of the trek (approx. 2 hours), passing the small Inca site of “Runcu Raccay”. On the way, admire two huge waterfalls cascading down the opposite side of the valley. After the second pass, hike down for another hour until reaching the magnificent Inca site “Sayacmarca”.
Explore the site with your guide and enjoy the sunset over the Vilcabamba mountain range. Continue your way for approx. 20 minutes to the campsite of Chaquicocha (“Dry Lake”, at 11,811 ft).
After dinner, relax under the fantastic starry sky of the Southern Hemisphere.

Walking distance: 9.94 miles (7-8 hours)

Day 7: From Chaquicocha to amazing Wiñaywayna Ruins (Day 3)

After an early wake-up and breakfast, hike for approx. 2 hours, entering gradually the Cloud Forest. On the way, enjoy panoramic views on snowcapped Sakantay Peak and on Vilcabamba mountain range. Continue hiking uphill to the last peak of the trek at the ruins of Phuyupatamarka (“Town in the Clouds”, at 11,811 ft) from where you’ll have great views on the Urubamba River. From Phuyupatamarka, continue your hike for approx. 3 hours down to the campsite of Wiñay Wayna (“Forever Young”, at 8,530 ft), the most spectacular Inca site on the trail. In the afternoon, relax at the campsite and replenish your energy for your visit of Machu Picchu the next day. Later, explore the ruins of Wiñay Wayna with your guide.
Enjoy your dinner with the team and have an early night to be well rested for the next day and the highlight Machu Picchu.

Walking distance: 6.2 miles (5 hours)

Day 8: Entering Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate & Huayna Picchu (Day 4)

Wake up very early (around 3:00 AM) and start your hike to the Sun Gate with breathtaking views on Machu Picchu as you approach the site in the light of the rising sun.
Enter the site through the Sun Gate and hike down (approx. 1 hour) to the center of Machu Picchu and explore the vast and impressive Inca city with your guide. Climb challenging Huayna Picchu (or Machu Picchu Mountain) for a panoramic view over the whole site.

Take the bus down to Aguas Calientes. After lunch, travel by VISTADOME-Train to Ollantaytambo where your driver is waiting to get back to your hotel in Cusco.

Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain?

For those who wish to add in an additional hike to the cultural visit of Machu Picchu should consider climbing one of the two additional mountains located on the site of Machu Picchu.
Tickets are limited per day and need to be purchased well in advance. The challenging hike uphill takes about 1 hour, rewarded with breathtaking views from the top. However, in case of Huayna Picchu, it’s important that you are not afraid of heights (narrow steps next to an abyss). In case heights are an issue, Machu Picchu Mountain would be the better choice.

Day 9: Flight to Lima & Farewell

Enjoy some free time in Cusco to further explore. Then get picked up at your hotel and drive to Cusco Airport for your flight to Lima & Outbound flight.

Safe journey home & come back soon!

There are domestic flights from Cusco to Lima all day. However, your international flight should not leave before 10 AM to make it in time to Lima. Your domestic flight will be booked in accordance with departure time of your international return flight.

hot!

9 Day Peru Adventure

Cusco, Sacred Valley & Classic Inca Trail (4-day trek)
as of USD 3,470per person
3 Star accommodation for 2 travelers, based on double room occupancy (outside public holidays)

as of 3,660 USD per person
4 Star accommodation for 2 travelers, based on double room occupancy (outside public holidays)

as of 4,190 USD per person
5 Star accommodation for 2 travelers, based on double room occupancy (outside public holidays)

Includes:

  • 2x domestic flights: Lima – Cusco (roundtrip)
  • All accommodation: 5x nights in the Hotel category of your choice, 3x nights at the campsite (Inca Trail)
  • Meals: 8x breakfast, 3x lunch, 3x dinner
  • All Transportation: all transportation by private car, including airport transfers
  • All entry fees: all entry fees to sites visit during the trip, including Inca Trail Permits, Machu Picchu & Huayna Picchu (or Machu Picchu Mountain), train tickets (Vistadome) and bus tickets down to Aguas Calientes
  • All equipment: Tents, dining and private toilet tent, mattresses & sleeping bags
  • Private Trekking Team: Cook, assistant, porters & private English-speaking specialized guide
  • Private English-speaking guiding service on excursions
  • All tours and excursions

Excludes:

  • Your international flight
  • Trip insurance
  • Tips for the guides and staff

Activities

  • Visits of the main archeological sites of Cusco & the Sacred Valley
  • Hiking Pisac Ruins (2.5 – 3 hours)
  • Mountain biking (optional – no former experience required)
  • Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (4 days) / 3x nights camping
  • Guided visit of Machu Picchu + climbing Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain

Difficulty

Challenging – you need to be in good health and physically very fit.

Time Sensitivity

Very time sensitive – Inca Trail permits are limited per day and need to be purchased 6 – 8 months in advance in high season.