Day 1: Arrive Lima
Today you will be picked-up at Lima airport and transferred to your accommodation for check-in. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to relax and visit Lima’s beautiful historic centre. Overnight in Lima.
Day 2: Lima to Cuzco
Pack your bag and get ready to be transferred to the airport to catch a flight to the Inca capital, Cuzco. On arrival there will be someone waiting for you to take you to your new accommodation for check-in. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to start acclimatizing at 3,400 metres above sea level. Overnight in Cuzco.
Day 3: Free Day Cuzco & Briefing
Enjoy one more day acclimatizing and getting to know the historic capital of the Inca Empire that thrived until the Spanish conquest. In 1983 Cuzco was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stroll around the streets of this beautiful city as you also discover amazing handicrafts and delicious new flavours. Overnight in Cuzco. NOTE: You will be required to visit the Cuzco office for a mandatory briefing on your trek today at 6pm. At this meeting you will receive detailed information on the route, a list of what to bring, confirm your pick-up for the morning of the trek and ask questions. Important: You will have a guide during the trek and on the Machu Picchu tour. However, during your bus and train transfers you will not be accompanied by a guide.
Day 4: Start of Inca Trail Trek
Accommodation Pick-Up between 5:00-6:00 am. Please make all of the necessary preparations one day prior to the trek. You will be taken by bus to the town of Ollantaytambo where you will have an hour to eat breakfast on your own and purchase last minute snacks, water, and walking sticks. Then you will hop back on the bus to Piscacucho (KM 82) where the famous Inca Trail journey will begin. Bring your original passport and student card (if applicable) for the first Inca Trail check point. Your guide will have your tickets for you. Hike along rolling hills in the Vilcanota River Valley passing by several small archaeological sites along the way. Lunch will be prepared half-way and you will have time to relax before reaching Wayllabamba camp (2,980m).
Day 5: Trek to Pacaymayo Camp
Today is the most challenging day along the trail with a vertical hike of 6 km (approximately 5 hours) to reach Dead Woman's Pass at 4,215m followed by a 3-kilometre hike down stone steps to reach Pacaymayo camp at 3,600m (approximately 2 hours). After an early breakfast around 6:00 am you will start off for the big hike. Take your time and rest as much as you feel necessary as you ascend more than 1,200 meters over the course of the morning. Don't miss awe-inspiring views of the valley as you reach the pass and remember to take your photograph at the top! Just after you cross Dead Woman's Pass you will be rewarded with spectacular views of nearby snow-capped mountain peaks and roaring waterfalls. Stroll slowly down to Pacaymayo Camp (3,600m) to enjoy the scenery. Arrive in time for lunch and a well-deserved nap to the sounds of the nearby waterfalls and nature. Then you will have the rest of the afternoon to enjoy the camp before dinner and an early bedtime.
Day 6: Trek to Winayhuayna High Jungle Camp
An unforgettable journey along ancient Inca stairways, mountain lakes, intriguing archaeological sites and humid jungle scenery awaits you. Start with a one-hour hike uphill to visit the oval-shaped Pacaymayo archaeological site believed to have been either a crop-storage structure or an Inca military fortress overlooking the valley to control the region. Continue one hour to Runquracay Pass (3,950m) where you can climb to the tip-top of the mountain for incredible views of surrounding peaks. Visit 2 more archaeological sites called Sayacmarca & Phuyupatamarca with your guide and have lunch along the way. By late afternoon you will reach Wiñayhuayna High Jungle camp (2,650m) set above a river valley in a high jungle / rain forest climate. After dinner, say a big THANK YOU to your porters and guides.
Day 7: Explore Machu Picchu & Return to Cuzco
A unique and magnificent experience is in the cards for you today. Wake up between 3:30 and 4:30am and have breakfast. Get on the trail early and head to the Wiñaywayna checkpoint, joining the lineup to wait for the gate to open at 5:30am. Once the gate opens, hike about an hour to reach the Sun Gate. Catch the first glimpses of light over the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu (fingers crossed for a clear day) - a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. Then continue down the final length of the trail for 40 minutes to reach the Machu Picchu archaeological complex perched delicately on the top of the sacred Machu Picchu mountain. You will have time to check your backpacks (bring water, sunblock, sunglasses, hat and sweater or rain poncho with you), grab a quick bite at the snackbar and use the restrooms before re-entering the site with your guide. Visit this magical site with your guide and have time afterwards to wander around on your own or hike optional Huayna Picchu. Take the bus to Aguas Calientes at your own convenience. If time allows, visit the local marketplace next to the train station, where you can shop until the train whistle blows signaling your return to Ollantaytambo. From Ollantaytambo, you will take a bus back to Cuzco, arriving around 10:30pm. You will be dropped off at the Plaza San Francisco. Please make your own way back to your accommodation from here. Overnight in Cuzco. DESCRIPTION OF MACHU PICCHU GUIDED SITE VISIT: The one and only, the most spectacular (and not to mention most popular) archaeological site in all of South America. Your guide will take you on a 2-hour tour of Machu Picchu walking you through the most important sites and covering the history of the place (if you haven't already heard it all during the Inca Trail Trek). Then you will have free time to explore on your own and take pictures at your leisure. When you decide to head back down to Aguas Calientes, there are buses departing every 15 minutes from the entrance or you can take the walking trail down if you feel like walking 1.5 hours downhill to Aguas Calientes town. Take an OPTIONAL hike up the steep peak named Huayna Picchu, which is located inside the Machu Picchu archaeological site for unforgettable views of Machu Picchu from a coveted perspective. You must purchase your ticket at least 2 weeks in advance for an additional cost in order to get one of the 400 passes (200 people are allowed up at 7:00am and 200 more at 10:00am). Trekkers arriving from the Inca Trail will only arrive on time for the 10:00am trek. Most trekkers are usually too tired to do this extra trek, but true adventurers shouldn’t miss out! Please send us an email directly to request this extra ticket.
Day 8: Cuzco Airport Drop-Off
It is time to say goodbye to the beautiful Inca capital as your trip will come to an end after being transferred to Cuzco Airport to continue your travels.