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There are few Peru Expeditions as exhilarating as hiking the Inca Trail! Get well acquainted with the vibrant culture and rich history of Cusco and the Sacred Valley before embarking on the iconic Inca Trail directly to Machu Picchu. Traverse mountain passes and cloud forests by foot, stargaze into Sacred Valley night skies, and explore countless off-the-beaten-path Inca sites along the way.
Welcome to the Capital of the New World – the launch pad to our effortlessly delivered encounter with the iconic and unexpected highlights of Cusco. Upon arrival at the Lima airport, a Natventure representative will meet you and show you to your hotel.
Arriving mid-day at your hotel, have the rest of the day to relax and explore. Since Cusco is located at 3,350m / 11,300 feet in elevation, during this first day you may want to take it slow to acclimatize. Nevertheless, this is a good chance to wander about the main square, with its many cafes and stores, or even visit a museum. There are also many options for casual and/or fine dining.
Spend the morning at your leisure. This is a good time to explore some of Cusco’s less-visited attractions including the famous San Pedro Market, the bohemian neighborhood of San Blas, or one of Cusco’s many fine museums. In the afternoon, explore some of the world’s best archeological sites, including the beautiful Cusco Cathedral, the sacred Temple of the Sun or Qoricancha, and the spectacular Sacsayhuaman fortress, with your Local Expert. This evening, head to the Cusco Planetarium to learn about the importance of astronomy to the ancient Inca and, weather permitting, look out at the glittering, starry sky through telescopes.
Uncover the Sacred Valley with a visit to Parque de la Papa, or Potato Park, a rural Andean community working to preserve hundreds of varieties of native potato. During this exclusive experience, you’ll walk through the park with a local guide to learn about potato cultivation, traditional weaving, and the importance of both these practices to Andean culture. Explore the former Inca stronghold of Ollantaytambo and Pisaq, stepping back in time amid ancient terraces, storehouses, and an enormous temple-fortress.
Your adventure starts today. Set out on the iconic Inca Trail, departing Urubamba by van to km 84 in Ollantaytambo, the starting point of the trek. Immerse yourself in the enchanting Andean countryside, hiking along meandering streams and crossing remote mountain villages and ancient sites as we get warmed up for the more challenging days ahead.
Today, we ascend the long, steep path to Warmiwañusca, better known as Dead Woman’s Pass—the highest point on the Inca Trail, at 4,198 meters (13,769 feet). Enjoy stunning views of the surronding valleys as you make your way up the rugged terrain full of native vegetation, and aim to reach our camp by early afternoon. Rest and relax at camp the remainder of the day, having an aromatic hot coffee or snacking a homemade popcorn.
Today we’ll cross two spectacular passes. The first pass is Runquraqay at 3,950m (13,113 ft) where, on a clear day, one can catch a glimpse of the snowcapped peaks of the Cordillera Vilcabamba. Continue through cloud forest on a gentle climb to the second pass, and arrive at the misty Inca site of Phuyupatamarca at 3,650 meters (11,972 feet), known as «the city above the clouds.” We will either camp here or settle at a further spot, near the beautiful terraces of the Wiñay Wayna site, at 2,650 meters (8,694 feet).
The final day of our hike begins before dawn. Reach the Sun Gate—the last checkpoint on the Inca Trail—in time to witness daybreak over Machu Picchu. This 15th-century Inca citadel was rediscovered by Agustín Lizárraga in 1902 and excavated by Hiram Bingham in 1911. Hike down for a guided tour through the ceremonial rooms and terraces of this breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage site before catching a bus to the frontier town of Aguas Calientes, where we’ll have free time for lunch. Continue by train to Cusco. Tonight, toast your Peru adventure at a farewell dinner.
After breakfast, transfer to the Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport and connect with your flight home or consider extending your holiday.
We will be traveling at high elevations while in Cusco, the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu. Cusco is at an altitude of 3,350 mts (10,990 ft) the highest point at the Inca Trail 4,198 mt (13,772 ft) and Machu Picchu, 2,400 mt (7,874 ft). Travelers should be physically fit. This expedition is not suitable for anyone who suffers from a respiratory disorder, a circulatory ailment, or a disability that limits mobility. Departures are typically 15-20 guests with a Expedition Leader and a guide for each group of 8.
A Natventure expert will accompany this Expedition, and local guides join us along the way.
MY OWN ROOM
During your expedition, sometimes it´s just more convenient and comfortable to have your own room. That´s why we offer the «My own room and tent» option – a single room all to yourself.
My own room option: from $ 1,455