5 days from £1300pp plus international flights.
Peru's Inca Trail is one of the world's classic treks. It takes you through stunning Andean mountain scenery, along ancient pathways built by the Incas, past ruins of Incan forts and waystations, and ends with one of the world's most iconic and awe-inspiring sights - Machu Picchu. How could this not be one of the best treks you could possibly undertake?!
There are treks of different lengths offered along the Inca Trail. The 4-day trek is the most popular, but we strongly believe that our 5-day trek is the best!
Why? These are the reasons:
The trek is guided by a local professional guide, and porters carry all the gear including tents and cooking equipment. You just need to carry yourself and a day pack. Each night you camp in two-man tents and the crew make you wholesome meals to keep you going. Coca tea helps too!
It's not actually that it is hugely difficult terrain here, it is rather the altitude which makes this a challenge and can cause trekkers a problem. OK it's not Everest, but don't underestimate the challenge you are taking on with this, it is an arduous trek.
Note: In a bid to protect the trail, Tribes does not offer this trek in January-March as it tends to be far too rainy and the damage to the route during these months can be significant.
Our Inca trail trip starts in Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. We can easily get you here from wherever you will be prior to this section of your Peru trip. We'll start with a visit to this interesting old Inca town and lunch, before a short drive to the trailhead at Pisacucho (known as km82). You will meet your porters and cooks here - these are of course very important people for your journey to Machu Picchu. Since the earlier crowds have gone, you have a peaceful start to your hike on the undulating trail above the Urubamba River. You'll carry a daypack, but the porters are in charge of everything else. You can just enjoy the walk. We camp tonight beside the spectacular ruins of Llactapata (2788m).
With a hearty breakfast to sustain you, you climb up the Cusichaca valley to the tiny village of Huayllabamba - the last inhabited place on the trail. You are now heading up increadible Inca pathways, steeper than before, but in stunning scenery and perhaps passing hummingbirds and stunted cloud forest. Your camp today is at pretty grassy spot called Llulluchapampa (3680m). You might evern see Andean deer here.
Today will be your most challenging and exhilarating day. You climb to Dead Woman's Pass (4212m) the highest pass on the trail. Dropping into Pacamayu Valley, you then climb again to another pass (3998m) from where you might get gorgeous views of the Vilcabamba mountain range. The Inca trail is well-preserved up to Sayamarca which is at a junction of two old Inca roads. A few more ups and downs, and we reach our campsite at Phuyupatamarca (3650m).
Seeing the sun rise over snow-capped moutains of Salkantay and Veronica (clouds permitting) is not a bad way to start your day. You are going to say goodbye to your porters here, and head for your final goal, the lost city of Machu Picchu. Decsending Inca stairways through cloud forest, you come to the ruins of Winay Wayna, before continuing on the Gateway of the Sun. You step through this ancient stone gate and Machu Picchu lies beneath you in all its glory. You've made it. We will take photos from here and enjoy the moment, but we're going to leave it until tomorrow to explore this incredible citadel. For now, we're heading to the town of Machu Picchu Pueblo for a well-deserved shower and a rest at a hotel.
Today you have a day to explore this incredible historic site that you've come so far to see. Rediscovered from the jungle in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, this Unesco world heritage site was declared one of the new Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. And it's obvious why. The location is astonishing, the ruins are breathtaking, and the history behind the site is compelling. You have most of the day to enjoy this most special place, before catching the bus back down to Machu Picchu Pueblo in time for the afternoon train back to Cusco, where your journey ends. (We can of course arrange a hotel and other services in Cusco and elswhere from here). Breakfast.
Guide price from (pp sharing): £1300 (ex. international flights)
Price notes: 2017 guide price pp sharing: March to mid-December £1300.
Lunch at Ollantaytambo, all meals and snacks and water on trek; entrance fees; guide; porter support; camping equipment (except sleeping bag); hotel in Machu Picchu Pueblo on day 4; guided tour of Machu Picchu on day 5; return bus ticket from Pueblo to ruins, train to Cusco.
International flights and taxes; hotels in Cusco; meals not mentioned; sleeping bag (can be hired); entrance to Huayna Picchu (£45); drinks; tips; personal expenses.
Getting there: To get to Peru you need to fly into Lima. From here a domestic flight takes you to Cusco. From Europe Iberia Airlines or KLM are most frequently used for this route. There is no direct flight from the UK to Lima. A return flight will cost from about £900.
Departure dates: The 5-day Inca trail priced here is a set departure group trip (Tuesdays from mid-March to late December). Private departures are also available (any day) - please ask for prices.
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Flight time: Both KLM and Iberia have flights to Lima via Europe, leaving the UK early in the morning to arrive in Lima in the evening. The flight time is about 14 hours. It is also possible to fly to Lima via America.
Language: Spanish and Quechua are the official languages.
Visas: Not required for British travellers (up to 90 days). EC nationals can ask us for further advice.
Health: There are no compulsory vaccinations, except yellow fever if visiting the rainforest. Malaria prophylactics are also recommended in the rainforest.