Day 1: Cusco –Challacancha- Biodomes at Soraypampa
Your trekking guide, chef and porters will pick you up from your hotel (Must to be located in Cusco) at 4:30 a.m., and you will drive two and a half hours to Mollepata where we will have Breakfast in a Local restaurant after we travel for anther 30 minutes to arrive to the trail head, Challacancha(3,300 meters). You will meet your horse man and horses, and have some time to prepare for the day and enjoy the scenary. You will experience the amazing views of the Andes, with the lushness of the valley, covered in green and some lovely waterfalls. Today, the hike will be of moderate difficulty, although it will be a 3 hour Hiking to Soraypampa where we will have lunch at the Biodomes. By the afternoon we will trek towards Humantay lake is 3 hours a round trip to the most beautiful blue lake, located at the bottom of Humantay glacier mountain at the eveing we wil enjoy the magestic of our luxury domes with private hot shower and toilets , beds, mattress and blankets included.
Elevation: From 2,900 to 3,800 m
Walking Distance: 8 km
Weather: Warm to hot and cold
Day 2:Biodomes Soraypampa – Ichupata
You will be woken up with hot drinks and breakfast. After you prepare for the day, we will introduce you to the alpines micro-climate and the amazing views of the high glacier peaks. They are considered to be the highest peaks around Cusco and the father of the other mountains by many Andean people (Apus means God). You will then begin you way to the main trail and continue towards your lunch spot, at Salkantay Pampa. It will be time to depart from the Humantay peak, and enjoy the views of a higher mountain, Salkantay Mountain (6,215 m). You will arrive here around 12:00 Middayand enjoy lunch. After lunch, we will have a two hour, steep climb to our second campsite, at Ichupata or Pampa Japonesa (4,200 m). Today, will be a cold day of hiking, so be sure to have your jacket, warm hat, sun glasses and gloves in your day pack. At the campsite, you will be welcomed by your porters to enjoy hot drinks and dinner. Tonight is the perfect night to spot the constellations and the views of Salkantay peak. This site is the closest camp to Salkantay, so it may be possible to hear some avalanches. However, do not let this scare you, they are not in close proximity to us. This is the highest campsite, so it should be a cold night, close to zero degrees Celsius.
Elevation: 3,500 – 4,300 meters
Distance: 11 km / 7 miles
Considered: Moderate to difficult
Day 3: Ichupata – Inca Chiriasca Pass – Inca Canal
After tea and breakfast, it will be time to embark on the most challenging, yet rewarding hike, to date. Your guide will lead you up the Inca Chiriasca pass (5,000 meters high), following a steady pace to witness the amazing views of the glacier mountains. Once you have reached the top, you will be treated to hot coca tea, and phenomenal views of the valleys, lakes and even some spectacular birds, such as condors and falcons. Following, you will start descending, or you may take an optional hike to a glacier, which only takes 30 minutes. Afterward, we will continue descending to your lunch spot, where your porters will be waiting with the traditional hot tea and a delicious lunch. For the rest of the day, you will walk down hill, through lush green valleys and winding streams, before reaching your campsite, in a little village of 10 families.
Elevation: 4,300 – 5,000 meters, then to 37,500 meters
Distance: 14 km / 8.6 miles
Day 4: Inca Canal – Pauccar Cancha – Wayllabamba – Ayapata
This day will give you a rare glimpse into the past as you wander through hillside paths, used by traditional Peruvian farmers, living the same way since the time of the Incas. Then, you will arrive at the famous Inca ruins, where your tour guide will provide you with some background on the Incas. After the ruins, your tour guide will point out new and different vegetation, as you move into the high, jungle micro-climate. Finally, you will reach the classic Inca Trail where your porters will serve you lunch. The afternoon’s hike will be all uphill, until we reach our campsite. Be sure you have your camera ready, with fully charged batteries, as you never want to miss this opportunity to capture the magnificent views of the mountains and enchanting natural waterfalls in the cloud forest.
Elevation: 3,750 – 3,000 meters, then to 3,300 meters
Distance: 14 km / 8.6 miles
Considered: Moderate to difficult
Weather: Cold in the morning, warm in the afternoon
Day 5: Ayapata – Warmi Wañusca- Chaquicocha
This is the longest, but most interesting day, due to the Inca ruins and the cloud forest. After an early breakfast, we will start with a two hour climb, uphill in the Puna area. It is a dry place, with little vegetation at the Andean ichu. Some llamas can be seen here. When we reach the peak of the Dead Women Pass (4,200 meters high), you will have some time to rest and enjoy some glacier peaks and spectacular mountains, near by. Afterwards, we will start descending on the rock-paved trail, towards our lunch spot. Along the way, you will observe some flowers or orchids. Please try to walk slowly and be cautious of nature. This section is a perfect spot to watch hummingbirds. After lunch, we will begin climbing uphill for two hours, to reach the second peak. Half way through your journey, you will visit the Inca ruins, called Runcu Raccay.
This place has been said to function as a watchtower because of its oval shape, and its overtaking of the valley. After crossing over the second peak (4,000 meters high), we will start descending for one hour to the lake called Yanaccoha, where the Incas organized ceremonies for the Goodness of the water. Then, you will arrive at the famous cloud forest, and also one of the most beautiful Incan ruins, called Sayacmarca. Sayacmarca is where you can observe the original Inca houses, water fountains, water channels and the most spectacular views of the valley.
After the ruins, it will take you about 30 more minutes to reach our campsite, called Chaquicocha Once again, you will have an opportunity to see different types of flora and fauna, since you will be in the high jungle.
Elevation: 3,300 – 4,200 meters (the pass), 3,600 meters (the lunch) and again, 4,000 meters (the pass), 3,600 meters (the camp)
Distance: 16 km / 9.9 miles
Weather: You will experience the four seasons, all in just one day
Day 6: Chaquicocha – Phuyupatamarca – Wiñay Wayna
Today is the easiest day of the tour. In the morning, you will have views of the surrounding mountains, the Andes Mountain and the Pumassillo glacier peaks. There will only be about five hours hike, including the three Inca ruins to our campsite. The first ruin called Phuyupatamarca (cloud level-town), is two hours from the campsite. It is impressive to observe the lovely platform and houses where Incan nobles studied astronomy. The second ruin is nestled in the hillside of many terraces. It was perhaps, an Incan agricultural experiment station. You will also have views of the sacred valley, and the river of Urubamba. Finally, you will reach the last campsite, called Wiñay Wayna (2,600 meters), where you will leave your day packs and walk for five minutes to reach the most beautiful Inca ruins, along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This place is close to a village, where you can enjoy the beauty of the water channels, terraces, and temples. Religious ceremonies used to occur here.
After lunch, you will have an opportunity to take a hot shower, followed by a free afternoon to explore the most beautiful Inca site, Wiñay Wayna. Later in the afternoon will be your last happy hour and dinner, topped with a small presentation from your porters to say a final good bye. They will head back to Cusco the next day, while you continue your journey to Machu Picchu.
Elevation: 3,600- 2,600 meters
Distance: 10 km / 6.2 miles
Considered: Warm and wet
Day 7: Wiñay Wayna – Machu Picchu – Cusco
Today is the most important, so you will wake up earlier than usual. After breakfast, you will walk two more hours to Machu Picchu, where you will pass through the Sun Gate to experience some spectacular views of the stunning mountains, valleys, rivers and the Incan ruins. Upon your arrival, your tour guide will inform you about Machu Piccu for two hours. Following, you will have time to explore, by yourself. Be sure that you visit all the sacred places, temples, palaces and the famous Inca bride. When you are ready to make your way back to Aguas Calientes, there will be buses that depart on a regular basis, with a journey of approximately 30 minutes. After spending time in the town of Aguas Calientes, you will need to be at the train station 30 minutes before our train departs back to Cusco.
Walking Distance: 5 km /3 miles
Note: Before the government enforced the new legislation about protecting the Inca Trail, horses were the main transport to carry equipment from the trail head to Wayllabamba. Since they banned the horses, we have replaced them with out porters (on the Classic Inca Trail). You will have the same tour guide and cook throughout your tour. All meals are prepared on site, so that you will always have fresh food.
Includes / Not include
- Professional Guides: All of our guides studied English and tourism at Cusco National University. They all grew up in this region and have a true passion to teach others about their heritage. They are fun yet professional, and will ensure you are safe and happy.
- Permits: As soon as we receive your details and a deposit, we will purchase your permits (pending availability, check our Inca Trail Availability link). These permits are for a specific date and in your name. They can’t be changed, once confirmed. Only your passport number is allowed to be updated. The permit includes an entrance to Machu Picchu.
- Briefing: The night before your trek, you will come to our office for your briefing. You will receive your duffel bag that will stay with your porters, while you hike. This bag should not exceed 7kg/14 lbs and does need to include your sleeping bag and air mattress.
- Porters: We include a personal porter, who is responsible for carrying your duffel bag. There is no additional fee for this. You will not have access to your duffel bag until your evening campsite.
- Transportation: All your transportation is included in this trek. You will be picked up directly from your hotel around 4 a.m. (unless you are staying in Ollantaytambo) and brought to KM 82, to begin your trek. The train back from Aguas Calientes is included. This is Expedition class but can be upgraded to the Vistadome train for $75 per person. Once you arrive to the train station, you will be brought back to your hotel in Cusco. Your round-trip bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu is also included.
- Equipment: Bioandean Expeditions has the best equipment. We use North Face 4 season tents that are shared by only two people. You will have a spacious dining tent to enjoy your meals in.
- Food: Bioandean Expeditions chefs cook delicious meals that many previous trekkers have raved about. We honor all food restrictions. Be sure to remind your tour guide of any food restrictions at the beginning of your trek. Food is typically served family-style.
- You will enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner each day of the trek, along with a happy hour of tea and snacks. You will also be provided a snack each morning for you to enjoy along the hike. Your last meal with your chef will be after breakfast on day seven. Lunch the last day is not included.
- Water: Beginning from your first lunch until your last breakfast, Alpaca Expeditions will supply all the water needed. This water will be boiled, filtered and then cooled, before distributing. You must supply your own water bottles or camel back. We recommend carrying about 3L worth. We will refill our waters at each meal.
- First Aid: Every Bioandean Expeditions guide has received training in first aid from a physician. We conduct mandatory training sessions every February, which every single Bioandean Expeditions tour guide must attend. Your tour guide will always have a first-aid kit for basic medical problems (traveler’s diarrhea, cuts, scrapes, etc.) and oxygen. We will get you off the trail as quickly and comfortably as possible, if needed, and ensure you get directly to a clinic for treatment.
- Extras: We believe it’s the attention to small details that separates us from other tour companies. Every trekker receives a small pillow to sleep with, a foam mat for insulation, a day pack cover to protect their things while hiking and a rain poncho. We will work hard to create your best vacation.
- Rentals: Every trekker needs a sleeping bag, when camping. Inflatable air mattresses and walking sticks (with rubber tips) are optional, but encouraged. If you don’t want to bring any of the above, they are all available for rent:
- Sleeping Bag: $35
Inflatable Air Mattress: $30
Walking Sticks (Pair): $30
- Huayna Picchu: Huayna Picchu is the mountain that stands next to Machu Picchu. It is a 45 minute hike to the top. Going back down is quite steep, if you are scared of heights. This is done after your tour of Machu Picchu. The cost is $90. Arrangements need to be made at least one month in advance, due to popularity. Please understand that weather is out of our control.