Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Walk in the Footsteps of an Ancient Civilization in Peru


Type of Trip: Cultural, Trekking Length: 10 days Season: Apr-Dec Rating: Grade III


The Incas created one of the most fabulous ancient empires. At its apex in the late fifteenth century, their impressive kingdom encompassed lands stretching from southern Colombia to central Chile, connected by a network of more than 2,500 miles of stone-paved highways, tunnels and bridges. The heart of the empire was Cusco, where they built fabulous temples, fortresses and a mountaintop citadel. These mysterious stone monuments stand today as a testament to the greatness of their creators.

This classic trek along the stone-paved Royal Road leads directly to Machu Picchu, the fabled Lost City of the Incas. Travelers on this path are treated to a broad introduction to Inca civilization presented by top guides, high quality camping equipment, and plenty of creature comforts along the way, making for a luxury Inca Trail experience.


 

Trip Highlights:

  • Adjust to the higher elevation by visiting unique Incan sites near Cusco
  • Hike to Pisac’s religious complex, dramatically overlooking the Sacred Valley
  • Stop at the Indian market in Chinchero en route to the trailhead
  • Witness a spectacular sunrise with views of Salcantay, the highest peak in the Vilcabamba range
  • Conquer two high passes and reap the scenic rewards during the 4-day Inca Trail trek
  • Arrive on foot to Machu Picchu through the Intipunku site, or Gateway of the Sun
  • Rejuvenate in the luxury of top hotels and take the Vistadome train back to Cusco

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Trip Itinerary


DAY 1: USA / LIMA
Arrive to Lima this evening and spend the night.

Days 2: LIMA / CUSCO
Fly to Cusco (11,150′), the archaeological capital of the Americas. Tour the city and its surrounding Incan sites.

DAY 3: SACRED VALLEY / CUSCO
Warm-up hike and visit to the town and ruins complex of Pisac, then return to Cusco.

DAY 4: CUSCO / HUAYLLABAMBA CAMP
Arrive to the trailhead near Piscacucho (9,150′) and embark on day 1 of the Inca Trail.

DAY 5: PACAYMAYO CAMP
Day 2 of the Inca Trail, crossing Warmiwañusqa, the highest pass, at 13,780′.

DAY 6: PHUYUPATAMARCA CAMP
Day 3 of the Inca Trail, with Runkurakay watchtower, Sayacmarca ruins and superb views as highlights.

DAY 7: MACHU PICCHU
Finish the trek with arrival to Intipunku, the Gateway of the Sun, and its incredible view of Machu Picchu.

DAY 8: MACHU PICCHU / CUSCO
Further Machu Picchu explorations, optional hike up to Huayna Picchu (8,860′). Afternoon return by train and bus to Cusco.

DAY 9: CUSCO / LIMA / USA
Flight from Cusco to Lima and guided sight-seeing before boarding an overnight flight.

DAY 10: USA
Arrive back to the USA and make your onward connections home.


All Southwind itineraries are fully customizable to your personal interests and travel dates. Please contact us for firsthand knowledge and help with your travel plans.

Detailed day-by-day itinerary (PDF)
With full trip profile, difficulty rating, weather, and other planning details.

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Dates & Rates


2017 Departures

  • May 05 – 14, 2017
  • Jun 16 – 26, 2017 (Inti Raymi Festival)
  • Jul 07 – 16, 2017
  • Aug 04 – 13, 2017
  • Sep 01 – 10, 2017
  • Sep 29 – Oct 08, 2017
  • Oct 27 – Nov 05, 2017
  • Notes

    Current regulations allow only 500 permits per day for the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and are granted on a first-come first-serve basis. We recommend making reservations 4-6 months in advance to secure your space.

    All departures are subject to permit availability. We can offer the trip on alternate dates for a minimum of two participants. Please contact a Southwind Travel Consultant for current permit status.

    2017 Land Cost

    $4,845 p.p.d. (4-6 participants)
    $4,415 p.p.d. (7-12 participants)
    $955 Single Supplement

    p.p.d. = per person based on double occupancy


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    Detailed day-by-day itinerary (PDF)
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    Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

    Accommodations


    luxury inca trail
    LIMA: COSTA DEL SOL — After a long flight to Lima travelers can step out of the International Terminal, walk a short distance, and enter the lobby of Ramada’s newly constructed Costa del Sol Hotel. This stylish four-star, 130 guest room hotel is the perfect place to unwind before exploring the wonders of Peru.
    luxury hike inca trail
    CUSCO: ARANWA BOUTIQUE HOTEL — Built in a colonial mansion of the XVI century, the Aranwa Cusco Boutique Hotel displays several paintings of the Cuzco school, colonial sculptures and carvings that transport us to the greatness of the time.
    inca trail luxury camp
    SACRED VALLEY: TENT CAMPING — Our first-class trekking services include: experienced, licensed, English-speaking, local guide; all group camping equipment; spacious 3-person all season Eureka K-2™ or North Face VE-25™ tents (shared by just 2 participants); Thermarest™ sleeping pads; and all meals, including 3 course served dinners.
    luxury inca trail
    MACHU PICCHU: INKATERRA PUEBLO — The Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel is a unique, 4-star ecological hotel situated in a cloud forest above the Urubamba River. Featuring 83 spacious, sunlit rooms, the style is Spanish colonial with stone archways and red tiled roofs. Cottages and gardens are reminiscent of a traditional Andean village.
    luxury peru inca trail
    LIMA UPGRADE OPTION:
    MIRAFLORES PARK HOTEL

    Located on the Malecon de la Reserva, the 5-star Miraflores Park Hotel has 81 suites offering guests the ideal space for work and rest. Enjoy ample private bathrooms in marble and granite, comfortable king-size beds, and a splendid ocean view.
    luxury inca trail
    LIMA UPGRADE OPTION:
    JW MARRIOTT HOTEL

    Enjoy a view of the Pacific Ocean against the shoreline at one of Condé Nast Traveler’s Top-20 Latin American hotels, the JW Marriott Hotel Lima. This 5-Star facility has prime location near the Larcomar shopping and entertainment center, and luxurious amenities.
    luxury inca trail to machu picchu
    MACHU PICCHU UPGRADE OPTION:
    SANCTUARY LODGE

    Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, by Belmond, enjoys a unique position at the entrance of the Inca Citadel ruins. The unequaled location of this upscale 4-star hotel allows guests easy access to Machu Picchu, as well as breathtaking scenery and bird watching.
    luxury cusco inca trail
    CUSCO UPGRADE OPTION:
    MONASTERIO HOTEL

    Built in 1592, the original monastery was given the seal of royal approval in 1692. The San Antonio Abad Seminary and was converted into Cusco’s best and most delightful 5-star hotel in 1995. Only two blocks from Cusco’s main square, the Monasterio Hotel features 109 guest rooms.

    Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

    Extensions


    AMAZON LODGES
    Length: 4 Days/3 Nights from Cusco or Lima
    Season: April to December
    Families and travelers with limited time, who want a taste of the Amazon rainforest, will enjoy the Reserva Amazonica or Sandoval Lake lodge, 45 min by boat from Puerto Maldonado. Both allow access to small oxbow lakes as well as forest trails with a variety of habitats.
    LAKE TITICACA
    Length: 4 Days/3 Nights from Cusco
    Season: April to November
    Introduction: For those who want to experience authentic Quechua culture first-hand and feel like you’ve traveled back in time, nothing beats a visit with a family on Taquile Island, one of Lake Titicaca’s natural islands.
    AREQUIPA AND COLCA CANYON
    Length: 5 days/4 nights from Lima
    Season: Mid-April to mid-November
    Introduction: Twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, Colca in southern Peru is one of the deepest canyons in the world. Since its walls are not as vertical, the valley is filled with small towns that preserve their ancestral traditions.
    PARACAS RESERVE
    Length: 4 Days/3 Nights from Lima
    Season: Year-round
    A visit to Paracas is a journey to one of South America’s most important protected coastal-marine systems. Whales, orcas, dolphins, sea lions and sea otters are just a few the 36 species of marine and land mammals found in the reserve.
    MANU BIOSPHERE RESERVE
    Length: 5 Days/4 Nights from Cusco
    Season: April to October
    For travelers wanting to maximize their wildlife viewing opportunities in a short extension, few places in the Amazon Basin can compete with Manu National Park in southeastern Peru. It is considered to be one of the most pristine and important rainforest reserves on the planet!
    NORTHERN PERU
    Length: 4 days/3 nights from Lima
    Season:Year-round
    Long before the Incas controlled the country, sophisticated cultures existed along the Peruvian coast; and northern Peru is one of the best destinations for visiting the remains of their cities. Moche sites including the renowned Lord of Sipan and the pyramids.
    NAZCA LINES
    Length: 3 days/2 nights from Lima
    Season:Year-round
    The mysterious lines etched into the coastal plains near the town of Nazca have fascinated scientists, archaeologists and visitors for decades. Best viewed from the air, Nazca figures such as the monkey, fish, hands and whale are highlights.
    CARAL RUINS
    Length: 2 days/1 night from Lima
    Season:Year-round
    In 2001 researchers stunned the archaeological community by carbon-dating the ruins at Caral back to 2627 BC. Step back in time to an early civilization while touring this UNESCO World Heritage Site.