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Special Interest

Inca Trail Discovery

Peru

7 days

Summary

A variation on the Classic Inca Trail, this trek takes a more leisurely pace and avoids the traditional campsites in favour of more secluded options. Arrive at Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate in the afternoon and return the following morning for that unforgettable vision of the mist clearing from the ruins as dawn breaks.

Highlights

  • One of the world’s most iconic hikes, enjoyed at a slower pace
  • Premium camping equipment includes thermarest mattresses and quality sleeping bags
  • Explore the wondrous maze of Inca stone towers, fountains and stairways spilling down the mountainside at Phuyupatamarca
  • Cross the stone threshold of Intipunku (Sun Gate) and encounter an unforgettable sweep of natural beauty of Machu Picchu, the world’s the best-known archaeological site on the continent
  • Return to Machu Picchu at dawn for the unforgettable sight of the mist clearing to reveal the ancient citadel

ITINERARY

Day 1 Cuzco

Arrive in Cuzco Airport and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax and acclimatise to the altitude. Your guide will meet you at your hotel this evening for a pre-trek briefing.

Day 2 Cuzco/Inca Trail

Depart through the Sacred Valley of the Incas to the trailhead; trek to your camp near the terraces of Llaqtapata. (3-4hrs, 6km)

Day 3 Inca Trail

Continue up the Cusichaca Valley walking into the Andean community of Huayllabamba. The trail ascends steeply to a large Pampa below the first pass. (8hrs, 12km).

Day 4 Inca Trail

A steady walk up to the Warmiwañusca pass at 4,200m affords a magnificent view of our ascent. You will descend to Pacaymayo then trek up to the ruins of Runkuracay. From here, walk down to the site at Sayacmarca, passing a dry lake – a beautiful location overlooking the Aobamba Valley. Continuing along the trail, arrive at Phuyupatamarca (the village on the edge of the clouds). (8hrs, 15km.)

Day 5 Inca Trail/Machu Picchu

Explore the wondrous maze of Inca stone towers, fountains and stairways spilling down the mountainside at Phuyupatamarca then begin a long descent through ever-changing layers of cloud forest. An Inca stairway partly cut from living granite leads us finally to the site of Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young), the largest and most exquisite of the Inca Trail sites.

In the afternoon we follow the last stretch of trail across a steep mountainside through a lush, humid cloud-forest of giant ferns and broad-leaf vegetation. Suddenly we cross the stone threshold of Intipunku (Sun Gate) and encounter an unforgettable sweep of natural beauty and human artistry –a backdrop of twisting gorge and forested peaks framing the magical city of Machu Picchu. (5 – 6 hours, 11km)

Day 6 Machu Picchu/Cuzco

Early this morning, board the mini bus for a second trip to the ruins with your entry and a tour included. As dawn breaks, watch the mist rise over the top of the mountain citadel, a truly unforgettable experience. Explore the ruins at your own pace before returning to Cuzco by train this afternoon.

Day 7 Cuzco

Transfer from your hotel to the airport for your onward flight.

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