Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, (or opt to take the train)

Option: Do the trip but the Machu Picchu visit will be by train instead of hiking the Inca Trail, Call for details.

Machu Picchu

November 2-12, 2020

(if you have an established group, let us know your preferred date)

Join us as we walk in the footsteps of the Incas on one of the world’s oldest pilgrimages. The 4-day Classic Inca Trail is an exciting high altitude trekking experience where we climb up to 4,200m/13,780ft, passing glacier covered peaks and descending into lush green cloud-forest. Our unique tour combines the traditional Inca Trail Trek with in depth tours and activities exploring the Sacred Valley. Not only will this help you acclimatize for the trek elevations, but also allow you to experience local Andean life, markets, explore additional Inca ruins, and interesting salt flats. This more enriching experience of local life in this region of Peru will make your Inca Trail Trek experience unique and unforgettable!

Your Journey – 11 Days 10 Nights

Day 1: Arrive in Lima
Arrive in Lima via your international flight. After picking up your luggage and clearing customs, walk across the bridge to the Lima Airport Hotel. Settle into your room and rest up after your travels. You have an exciting trip ahead, filled with ancient ruins, local markets and hiking through the beautiful Andean Mountains!

Overnight: Costa Del Sol Lima Airport Hotel, Lima. Use luggage carts and wheel luggage across the street to the hotel. It is very close.
Meals: N/A

Day 2: Fly to Cusco
A morning flight brings you to the Inca capital of Cusco where Quechua and Spanish speaking descendants of the Incas hustle back and forth in the busy plazas and markets. Colonial churches sit atop bases of eerily accurate and smooth Inca stonework laid centuries before the arrival of the Conquistadors. The afternoon is yours to explore Cusco’s narrow cobblestone streets and little shops and cafes. Tonight, at 7pm, your guide will provide a briefing for you at your hotel. He will go over the entire trip and answer any questions you may have.

Overnight: Tierra Nueva, Cusco (double room)
Meals: Breakfast in hotel

Day 3: Sacred Valley Full Day Tour
The Sacred Valley is an area full of major Inca ruins and ancient villages. It is also well known for its fertile soil and exceptional crops. Departing around 8am from Cusco we first explore the beautiful Pisac ruins. Once we have finished exploring the ruins we will drive back down to the Pisac market where the entire town is converted into a street market (largest on Tuesdays, Thursdays & Sundays). Here you can find local tapestries, handicrafts, antiques, wool clothing, and local produce. Once you are done admiring the local wares, we continue driving to Urubamba, a picturesque village, where you will be able to have lunch in a restaurant of your choosing. After lunch we drive to Chincheros, a scenic colonial village where we will explore a 17th century colonial church, filled with beautiful intricate paintings that was built upon an Inca Temple. Lastly we travel back to Ollantaytambo, visiting the Ollantaytambo Fortress and Temple of the Sun, a mysteriously built structure with massive 12-foot stones. The tour ends at approximately 6pm. Relax, and enjoy dinner at a restaurant of your choosing.

Overnight: Tierra Nueva (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast in the hotel, snacks for the tour

Day 4: Maras, Moray, Salineras ½ Day Tour

Today we will explore three beautiful sites, located in the lush Sacred Valley of the Incas. Departing around 8:30am we will be transported to the local village known as Maras. Here you will see colonial architecture with incredible facades made of thin stone and lintels with sculptures in bas-relief. We then drive to Moray (3450m/11,319ft) where you can explore the incredible and mysterious circular agricultural terraces with complex irrigation systems that are surrounded by stunning mountain scenery. Finally we will visit the salt mines (Salineras) where you can walk among the 3000 salt pools and watch the salt miners harvesting the salt of the Incas! They have a cute little shop where you can buy some hand mined Andean salt to take home with you if you wish. After seeing Salineras we take our private transport back to the hotel in Ollantaytambo, arriving around 1:00pm.

Overnight: Tierra Nueva (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast in the hotel, snacks for the tour

Days 5-7 Classic Inca Trail (If you opt to take the train to Machu Picchu, we will provide an alternate itinerary for these days.)
Walk in the footsteps of the great Inca civilization as we journey along their ancient route to the sacred city of Machu Picchu. Andean history comes to life along this ancient route as each day you pass ever larger ruins, seeing seven in total. Scenery changes from snowcapped mountains to lush green cloud-forest. Along the Inca Trail you will meet other trekkers on the same journey from all over the world, and our knowledgeable, professional, and friendly crew (guides, porters, cooks) take great care of your safety and comfort along the way.

Overnight(s): Spacious and comfortable 3 person, 3 season Mountain Hardwear Tents (double occupancy)
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and tea time provided

Day 5: Kilometer 82 to Wayllabamba
In the morning private transport will pick you up at your hotel and drop you at the beginning of the Inca Trail (known as km 82). We will double check that your are kitted out with the things needed for your trek, such as coca leaves, sunscreen, plastic rain ponchos, etc. When we get to KM 82 we show our permits and original passports (make sure you have the same passport number as the one when you made your reservation) at the Control Checkpoint. Then we walk 3 1/2 hours to lunch and another 2 1/2 hours to reach our first campsite Wayllabamba (3,000 m/9,843 ft). On the way we have the opportunity to see the third highest snow capped mountain in the Cusco region, named Wacaywillca or Veronica (5,800m/19,028 ft). Walking distance approximately 10km/6.2 miles (6 hour hike).
• Trek length: 12.5km(5-7 hrs.)
• Camp elevation: 3000m

Day 6: Hiking Wayllabamba to Pacaymayu
We have an early wake up call to continue hiking the Sacred Trail. Today we climb Dead Woman’s Pass, the highest pass of the trek, at 4,200 meters (13,779 ft). It will take approximately 5 hours to reach the top of the pass. The views from the Dead Woman’s Pass are spectacular and you can see glaciers, valleys, and never ending mountains. After the pass we continue downhill for 2 hours to our second campsite called Pacaymayu (at 3,600 m/11,810 ft). At the campsite we will have lunch and you will have the rest of the afternoon free until happy hour and dinner. Walking distance approximately 14 km/8.6 miles (7 hour hike).
• Trek length: 8.2km(5-7 hrs.)
• Camp elevation: 3650m
• Trek high point: Dead Woman’s Pass (4200m)

Day 7: Hiking Pacaymayu to Wiñaywayna
Early wake up call again to climb two passes today (Runkurakay and Phuyupatamarca). We will walk up a semi-steep path for 1 1/2 hours to reach the first pass Runkurakay at 3,950 m/12,959 ft. On the way we will visit the archeological site called Runkurakay. After the first pass we will continue downhill for 1 1/2 hours to our lunch spot Chakicocha (3,500 m/11,482 ft) visiting another archeological site, Sayacmarca, along the way. After lunch we walk 1 1/2 hours up to Phuyupatamarca Pass (3,650 m/11,975 ft) . This trail is particularly beautiful and from the pass we will see Machu Picchu Mountain, the Vilcabamba mountain range, and the Urubamba river. After the second pass we will continue downhill for 2 more hours to our third campsite Wiñaywayna         (2,700 m/8,858 ft). Walking distance approximately 16 km/9.9 miles (7 hour hike).
• Trek length: 7.2km(4-6 hrs.)
• Camp elevation: 3680m

NOTE: Campsites vary according to permits and your guide will inform you of any changes at the briefing

Day 8: Hiking Wiñaywayna to Machu Picchu and transport back to Cusco
After waking up at 4am we begin our early morning hike that takes us across a steep mountainside through lush, humid cloud-forest of giant ferns and broad-leaf vegetation. At the top 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. We complete the final leg down the royal flagstone walkway, past outlying shrines and buildings and into the heart of Machu Picchu, where we spend the rest of the morning with a guided tour of the city’s highlights and some time for individual exploring among Machu Picchu’s multitude of hidden nooks and crannies. If you wish you can book one of the extra hikes within Machu Picchu (Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain). These hikes are permitted, incur a fee, and spots are limited. These hikes must be booked well in advance, at the same time the permit is secured. Please note that Machu Picchu now has 3 entrance times per day (as of 2019)and we include the first time slot, allowing entry until 11am. In the afternoon, a shuttle bus takes us to the small town below Machu Picchu, Aguas Calientes, where we will check into our hotel, have a nice hot shower, and then enjoy a celebration dinner together.
• Trek length: 11km (5-7 hrs.)
• Machu Picchu elevation: 2400m
Overnight: Comfortable Hotel in Aguas Calientes (double occupancy)
Meals: Breakfast on the trail, box lunch in Machu Picchu, snacks, celebratory group dinner in Aguas Calientes

Day 9: Exploring Cusco
After breakfast we catch a morning train to Ollantaytambo and private transport to our Cusco Hotel. The rest of today is yours to explore Cusco’s narrow streets and little shops and cafes. Travelers can visit churches, museums, wander through Cusco’s busy center, shop in local markets, see local artisan workshops in the old San Blas neighborhood, enjoy a massage, or just people watch in the Plaza de Armas.

Overnight: Tierra Nueva, Cusco (double room)
Meals: Breakfast in the hotel

Day 10: Cusco Four Ruins Tour
Today you will explore four spectacular ruins set just above Cusco City! The Cusco Four Ruins Tour offers an amazing glimpse into Incan history and culture. It is a wonderful way to decompress after trekking and is blanketed in beautiful wildflowers in April and May. The four ruins are located just above Cusco City and therefore the tour is easily completed in half a day. The massive, towering, rounded stone walls at Sacsayhuaman and the panoramic views of Cusco will take your breath away. You will be collected from your hotel at 8:30am and driven with your guide to the first ruin site (Tambomachay). As you walk to and visit each archeological site, your guide will explain the history, architecture, and local traditions. The four sites are Tambomachay, Puca Pucara, Q’enko, and Sacsayhuaman. After exploring the last ruin site you will walk down to the Plaza de Armas in Cusco City. The tour takes approximately 4 hours and is a great outing that can be done on horseback, on foot, or by car depending on your preference and fitness level.
Overnight: Tierra Nueva, Cusco (double room)
Meals: Breakfast at the hotel, snacks for the tour

Day 11: Sadly, today is your last day in Peru.

Private transport takes you to the Cusco airport for your departure flight to Lima. Connect to your departure flight home.
Meals: Breakfast in your hotel
Transfer: Drop off at the Cusco airport for your flight


• All transfers to and from airport/hotels and trek, as noted
• Pre-trek and tour briefing
• 7 Days of professional guide service with a licensed, professional, English-speaking guide
• 1 night in a comfortable hotel (double room) in Lima
• 5 nights in a comfortable hotel (double room) in Cusco
• 1 night in a comfortable hotel (double room) in Aguas Calientes
• Maras, Moray, Salineras ½ Day Tour
• Sacred Valley Full Day Tour
• Cusco Four Ruins ½ Day Tour
• 4 Day/3 Night Inca Trail Trek
• 3 nights camping on the Inca Trail in 3 person, 4 season Mountain Hardwear Tents (double occupancy)
• Extra thick foam mattress sleeping pads and self-inflating mattresses
• Meals on the trek: 4 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners, snacks and teatime. Meals are made fresh using locally sourced ingredients (can cater to any dietary requests or needs).
• Trek cook, kitchen and dining tents, tables and stools, stainless steel dishes and utensils
• Toilet tents, toilets, and toilet paper
• Porters to carry each guest’s overnight gear up to 8kg/17.6lbs per person
• Dry bags for each person’s overnight gear along the trail
• Boiled/purified water for water bottle/bladder every morning/afternoon/evening
• Hot water every morning and evening for hand washing purposes
• First aid kit including emergency oxygen tank and emergency horse(s)
• Train tickets from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo, private transport to hotel
• Machu Picchu Entrance ticket (first time slot 6am to 12pm)
• Bus tickets down from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes
• Guided tour of Machu Picchu with first entrance ticket included
• Dinner in Aguas Calientes (3rd night of trek)
• Celebratory dinner in Cusco at end of trek
• Booking/credit card fees

Not Included:

• International/Domestic flights
• Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu hike permit (within Machu Picchu Ruins) – 75 USD per person
• Personal equipment: sleeping bag/walking poles (note: walking poles must have intact rubber bottom)
• Additional excursions or tours in Peru
• Lunch in Aguas Calientes on Day 4 of the Inca Trail Trek
• Single Supplement (Single room, Single tent)
• Travel/medical insurance (required)
• Personal meals and expenses beyond what is included above
• Tips and gratuities (this is optional but highly encouraged)
• Souvenirs

Optional add ons:
• Vegetarian/vegan menu (free of charge)
• Extra nights in Hotels (price upon request)
• Private room (Per night – Lima: $110 per person, Cusco: $70 per person)
• Private tent (Per trek: $150 per person)
• Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain (10am slot only and may miss part of the guided tour)$85 per person
• Second entrance time slot to Machu Picchu: 60 USD per person per time slot
• Extra Excursions

  • Cusco City Walking Tour: 6-10+ guests: 45 USD per person, 3-5 guests: 60 USD per person, 2 guests: 75 USD per person
  • Zip lining, paddle boarding, cooking classes: price upon request and depends on number of people participating)
  • Meals on non-trek days (price options upon request)
  • Post tour 2 day trek to Rainbow Mountain, $400 per person.

Your Travel Investment:
• 6-10 people: $2200 USD per person
• 3-5 people: $2400 USD per person
• 25% non-refundable deposit due upon booking in order to book permits, hotels, & other essential time sensitive items
• Balance due 60 days prior to trek departure

Our partner trekking company for this trip is Killa Expeditions

Killa Expeditions is a professionally-licensed tour operator based in the historical Andean city of Cusco, Peru. Killa was founded by a Peruvian with over 15 years of guiding experience and two trekking/travel/adrenaline
junkies from the United States. We operate treks, tours, and adventure trips throughout Peru, with a strong commitment to sustainable, ethical, and responsible travel. Our team is made up of the most knowledgeable,
passionate, and experienced resident guides and staff, all of whom have degrees in guiding, average 10+ years of guiding experience each, and receive specialized yearly training. Our guides in Peru are hand
selected by the owners of Killa Expeditions. All guides for our Peru treks and tours are native to Peru and speak fluent English (some staff speak other languages, contact us to enquire) to ensure excellent communication
and a positive experience overall.

Small Groups

We keep our groups small so we get to know each other and travel together, unified by the destination and our experiences.  Often lifelong friendships are forged. If anything, our growing group of like minded travelers start traveling together on future trips. “Where should we go next?” is often the last question asked as we depart for home.

Are you traveling solo? It is our pleasure to welcome you to our small group. We will match you with another solo traveler of the same gender. If you wish, you may choose to pay a solo supplement to have your own room. Please check for availability.

For each trip, you will be invited to our Facebook group so you can chat with fellow travelers, dream about the upcoming trip together, maybe prepare together, hiking, practice a useful skill, etc. Usually, we also organize a get together about a month before the trip to share information, pass out travel documents, and ‘break the ice’ so when we embark on our trip we already know each other a bit. If you don’t live in the area, no worries, we will Skype you into the party and mail you your travel documents.

Why negotiate and plan yourself. Even the best guidebook can’t give you the freedom to embrace and immerse yourself in the destination. Enjoy the pleasure of travel without having to think about the details, leave the planning to us, your job is to fully embrace the journey without the hassles! We are so happy you are considering being our guest and can’t wait to deliver your fantastic experience!

How We Make Your Escape Awesome!

We are ready to answer your questions throughout the process via phone or email.

Once you sign up and pay your deposit:

  • We will send you a link to your My Trips account. You can view your trip details any time from your PC or Mobile Phone.
  • We will send you arrival and departure details so you can make your flight arrangements.
  • We will email you your final payment reminder about 1 week before it is due.
  • About two-three months before the trip we will send significant details like packing lists, further itinerary details, etc.
  • One month before the trip we will mail you your travel documents (or pass them out at a gathering for those local).

Facebook Group

You will be invited to a private Facebook group where you can meet, virtually, your fellow travelers, discuss the trip, make any preparation plans together, and share your excitement.

Our groups are typically 10-15 travelers. We aren’t a ‘big bus’ tour and don’t want to be. We don’t just look out the window and drive by the sights. Typically, our tours are custom and private. The advantage is, we can say, ‘stop here, we want to see this’ and we can stop and explore, even if it isn’t in the plan. Yes, we have an itinerary, but we also feel it’s important to take advantage of unexpected moments that arise. We attract travelers who are flexible and adventurous. A bit of spontaneity is a good thing!

You should know, our travelers are like you, they don’t want a canned tour, they like a sense of freedom on their trip, they understand the value of flexibility in travel, and they love the idea of working with a planning team that understands and respects their travel values.

So, Is this Trip for You?

  • You love traveling with like minded people and a tour company that is focused on traveling deeply into a destination, knowing how to read the group and make the best decisions for a perfect trip.
  • You find joy in trying new things, food, activities, etc.
  • Plans are good, and important to a great trip, however, flexibility sometimes brings a deeper experience and it’s OK with you.
  • You enjoy meeting and traveling with new people.
  • Some moderate physical activity will bring you the memories that make your trip special.

This Trip is Not for You If…

  • Travel is stressful and sometimes you find yourself anxious and frustrated when things don’t go perfectly as planned.
  • New things, new situations, aren’t really your thing.
  • You don’t like trying unusual local foods.
  • You feel uncomfortable and unsafe in places that are ‘foreign’ to Western culture.
  • Too much walking for long distances is tough.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often will I change accommodations during the trip?

Please refer to the itinerary. You will stay in the same hotel in Cusco for most of the trip with camping on the Inca Train and one night in Aguas Calientes.

Can I extend my stay?

Absolutely, adding a pre or post stay always enhances a trip. You spent the money to get there, why not stay a while? We will be happy to help you make plans.

What airport do I fly into and out of?

You will fly round trip to Lima and the take a round trip flight to Cusco.

What are VISA requirements for these countries?

There are no visa requirements for Peru.

What type of currency is used in these countries?

The currency used in Peru is the Sol.

Who do I contact for other questions and travel advice?

Call us at 860-779-6531 or send an email to lwhittemore@cruiseplanners.com

What is the age group of my potential fellow travelers?

Our guests typically range in age from 45-75. They tend to be of an age where they are either already retired and traveling is an objective for them, or are getting close. There are some tours that attract a younger group, sometimes adult children of a traveler in the group will join the tour.

Groups tend to be predominantly female, although we are wanting a good mix of men and woman, solo and couples traveling.

In any case, our travelers are in good health, active and adventurous.

I’m not a tour person, will this be too much of a standard tour for me?

No worries here, your fellow travelers feel exactly the same way and so do we, your tour curators. Of course there are some parts of our tours that are standard, we travel often by a van or motor coach, we eat together and do activities together. What makes us different, are two critical things, we don’t like traditional touring either, we work hard to be different. And two, you will always have the opportunity to choose. If you want to do something on your own or different than the group plan, you are welcome to do that.

We would love to have you join us! We will do our best to provide the opportunities and activities that allow you to make amazing memories and lasting friendships. We are looking forward to traveling with you.

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