Great Inca Trail Day Hikes to Machu Picchu
Discover the ancient Inca capital of Cuzco, explore several forgotten Inca Trails that are hidden in plain sight and top it all off by hiking into Machu Picchu and unearthing the secrets of the Incas’ crowning achievement. We’ve called on our in-depth knowledge of Cuzco’s Inca trails, ruins and communities to put together a challenging itinerary that will take you far from the madding crowd to experience the Incas’ heritage. The best part? With two nights in a Cuzco hotel, two nights in a Sacred Valley property and two nights in Machu Picchu, you won’t have to go near a tent!
Starting from $3,790 per person
Pricing includes everything from your international arrival to your departure, with the exception of flights and a few lunches and dinners.
HOW IT WORKS
- Hike on ancient Inca Trails which very few foreigners get to experience. Meet the locals who still use these historic transport arteries daily and marvel in the wide open landscapes of the Andes.
- Hike little-known Inca ruins like Inkilltambo, Rumi Wasi and Huchuy Qosqo almost entirely to yourself – a moving contrast to the popularity of Machu Picchu.
- Hike into a remote Andean village whose Inca traditions are still thriving. Enjoy a fresh mountain lunch and a community visit (the women are incredible weavers) before hiking back out.
- Start the Inca Trail at KM104, seeing the best that the trail has to offer while reducing the time spent hiking.
- Overnight stays in comfortable hotels between the various day-hikes, to give you the opportunity to rest your hardworking body and make use of all amenities.
- Enjoy panoramic views of Machu Picchu from Intipunku “the Sun Gate”.
- A private guided tour of the key sites of Machu Picchu, with free time to further explore at your leisure.
- An optional private tour of Cuzco, the capital of the Incan empire, with stops at Sacsayhuaman, with its impressive Inca stonework, Koricancha, where the walls were once coated in gold, and Cuzco’s Cathedral.
- Time allowing, take a private tour of Lima, with visits to the city’s key sites, including the Larco Archaeological Museum, the San Francisco Monastery and the picturesque waterfront district of Miraflores.
This morning, your guide will meet you for your first hike in the mountains around Cuzco. You’ll start at the Temple of the Moon, a natural rock formation which has evidence of carvings and use as a ceremonial site. From here, there’s a short uphill section on original Inca Trail before you descend to the river valley. You’ll follow the river through a native forest, before arriving at the recently-excavated archeological site of Inkilltambo. Explore the terraces and constructions here, before picking the Inca Trail back up and continuing down the valley. The hike ends at the little-visited site of Rumi Wasi – a small site with really beautifully built walls.
This morning brings you further afield for a hike that starts just north of Cuzco. Your driver will take you as far as Qoricocha (13,420ft), where you will meet your support team. The hike starts with a gentle uphill to the high pass of Rumi Crusniyoc (14,110ft), from where you can enjoy fantastic views of the surroundings. It’s here that you pick up the Inca Trial that will take you all the way down to the Inca site of Huchuy Qosqo, winding through the valley into a narrow canyon, before popping out on the hillside above the Urubamba River. After exploring the ruins (check out the perfectly polished retaining walls and ceremonial fountain) descend to the valley floor 2,000ft below to return to your hotel.
After a 7 a.m. pick-up, you will be driven to a remote trailhead. From there you will continue on foot to begin your 2-3hr ascent into the remote village of Choquechaca. Upon arrival you will have the opportunity to eat a fresh mountain lunch and visit the community (their weaving is exceptional). Afterwards, return down the mountain, taking a short but steep detour on the way to explore the Inca ruins at Pumamarka. From here, your driver will take you back to your hotel for a well-deserved rest.
In the morning, you’ll journey by train to KM104, where you’ll begin hiking along the rail line. You will first approach Chachabamba at 7,380 feet and then will gradually ascend for approximately three hours, towards the fascinating archaeological site of Wiñay Wayna at 8,690 feet. After lunch, you will continue through the semi-tropical forest towards Intipunku (the Sun Gate), where you will enjoy your first panoramic view of Machu Picchu. Spend the evening relaxing in your hotel, readying yourself for more extensive explorations tomorrow.
Today you will uncover the secrets of Machu Picchu during a guided tour of the Inca citadel. You’ll visit the most important parts of the ruins to learn how and why they were constructed. You will also have the chance to hike to the top of Huayna Picchu Mountain for spectacular views! Then you’ll depart from Machu Picchu town, and take a train ride to Ollantaytambo. Upon arrival at the train station you will be met and transferred to your Cuzco hotel.
One of our representatives will pick you up from your hotel and drive you to the Cuzco airport for your flight to Lima. On arrival, connect independently to your international flight home.
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