This highly rated 8-Day Peru deluxe package features the Classic 4 day Inca Trail Trek providing access to the most iconic landmarks in Peru. This specially designed tour travels into the most important areas of Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu.
Guiding Peru’s experienced indigenous guides lead you through this region of Peru explaining its unique mixture of Inca and Colonial culture with a special focus on the much famous and not so well-known archaeological sites.
The first 3 days of guided tours will give your body a chance to acclimatize, avoiding potential problems with elevation, during the following 4 days on the Inca Trail trek into the citadel of Machu Picchu.
1.Day: ARRIVAL TO CUSCO PERU
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Greeting by a Guiding Peru representative at the Cusco airport and private van transfer to the hotel in Cusco. Rest and acclimatize, while our team prepares for your upcoming week’s experience.
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In the late afternoon, your guide will return to your hotel and lead you on a private walking tour of the wonderful Cusco Inca Museum. Upon returning to the hotel you will enjoy an evening reception in the hotel’s courtyard followed by an itinerary briefing from your guide.
2.Day: GUIDED CITY TOUR OF CUSCO AND SACSAYHUAMAN PARK
Our guide will pick you up in the hotel lobby at 8:00 am and begin your deluxe city tour of Cusco.
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This morning you will enjoy walking through and discussing the most traditional and important streets of the city. You will begin in Cusco’s Plaza de Armas where your guide will describe the ancient Inca-built buildings and streets of the city, visiting along the way.
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Here you will have one of the best views of the city prior to continuing the walk down to San Blas Incan urbanization. Next, you will visit Cusco’s first church and enjoy one of South America’s finest pulpits carved in cedar wood. After touring this sacred church you will continue on foot to the Temple of the Sun, Qoricancha. Upon entering this Temple you will observe the clash between Inca culture and Catholicism and their variations in building techniques.
From Qoricancha you will continue walking along some of the side streets of Cusco to the Main Cathedral, where your guide will describe it’s history and the Andean art within, including the choir and the Andean last supper. Around noon, following this fascinating walking city tour, we drive up to Quenko, The Temple of Fertility, where you will have a 30-minute private guided tour.
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In these amazing highlands is where we will have a delicious, chef-prepared buffet picnic lunch with drinks. This location is near an ancient Inca trail, on the grounds of a newly built mountain village school. Following our lunch, we will visit with the children in the schoolhouse. We then start walking down on an ancient Inca trail to the Sacsayhuaman Incan archaeological site for a 2-hour private tour, exploring the complete site.
Once we finish our tour, we travel back by private van to your hotel in Cusco. This evening will be yours to enjoy on your own and, upon request, your guide will recommend to you a fine restaurant for dinner, overlooking the Plaza de Armas Square in Cusco.
3.Day: GUIDED SACRED VALLEY TOUR, PISAC MARKET, AMARU, OLLANTAYTAMBO, URUBAMBA
We will stop along the way in Awanacancha, a cultural social project, where you will have the first surprise of the day, before continuing the drive to the Pisac archaeological site, for the start of a tour around this Inca city. Awanakancha: a small camelid farm dedicated to the animals and intricate textiles produced from their wool. This social project is located 40 minutes from the city of Cusco en route to Pisac.
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Pisac Inca Site: this Incan Fortress includes a military citadel, religious temples, individual dwellings, baths, altars and water fountains.
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Pisac market: the most famous market in the Cusco region, This Sunday market has indigenous Quechua communities from the surrounding highlands sell their produce and stock up on supplies for the week.
Our guide will lead you through the cemetery, houses of priests and the sector of terraces, ending with an amazing view of the whole complex.
Following this tour, we will take the van to the next destination: Amaru community.
Amaru: a local community providing an authentic guest experience in potato farming/harvesting activity and weaving textile demonstrations.
Here a traditional Andean lunch will be served. But, before you enjoy this meal, the community will greet you with traditional music, played by ancient instruments, and an offering of flowers to our group and to the Pachamama (Mother Earth) for cleansing our spirits. Following the offering ceremony, we will join the craftspeople in collecting items, such as flowers, in the surrounding lands that are used to dye the wool textiles. Upon gathering the necessary materials, we will use ancient techniques of color dying the weaving fibers.
After this experience, ladies of the community will serve us a traditional lunch of fresh, organic produce from the area. Following this unique cultural experience will be displays of beautiful tapestries, scarves and other textiles that, if interested, you may purchase.
This will be your best opportunity to contribute directly to the people that created the fine products.
From Amaru, we will drive to Ollantaytambo where we will enter the ancient historic Inca Fortress and enjoy a 1.5-hour tour. Here is the best example of an intact Inca village, charming, with waterways running through the quaint streets of the town.
After exploring this archaeological site, you will drive a short distance to the neighboring village, Urubamba, located deep in the fertile Sacred Valley. You will have some free time on your own to shop, perhaps for those last minute hiking items and relax prior to this evening’s fine dinner at your hotel.
4.Day: INCA TRAIL TREK: OLLANTAYTAMBO TO KM 82 TO LLACTAPALA TO AYAPATA
Walking Hours: 6-7 hours
Walking Distance: 14km
Campsite elevation 3300m
High Altitude 3300m
Level of difficulty: Easy-moderate
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After an early breakfast, we leave the hotel in Urubamba, at 7:00 am, and drive to Km 82. Here we will meet with our porters and chefs as they prepare our gear for the next 4 days of trekking on the historic Inca Trail. We start hiking at the km 82, Piscacucho, the location of the main checkpoint (please make sure you have your original passport with you to enter the Inca Trail); the first 2 hours of hiking are relatively easy, as we make our way to our first Inca site, Patallacta that was an amazing administrative point of the Sacred Valley.
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From Patallacta it’s another 2 hours of hiking to our lunch stop around the first camping area of the trail Hatunchara. After our chef-prepared lunch, we hike about 2.5 hours until we reach our first night’s campground at Ayapata (3300 meters). Guiding Peru chooses this campsite because it is quieter than the others and allows for us to continue traveling ahead of the many other groups on the Inca Trail. Our dinner time is at 7:30 pm. While we wait for dinner, you will enjoy hot drinks and snacks in the comfort of your dining tent as your guide discusses today’s sites and plans tomorrow’s itinerary.
5.Day: INCA TRAIL TREK: AYAPATA – DEAD WOMAN’S PASS – PACAYMAYU – RUNCURACCAY PASS – CHAQUICCOCHA
Walking Hours: 8-9 hours
Walking Distance: 16km
Campsite Altitude: 3600m
High Altitude: 4215m
Level of difficulty: Challenging
We will start our day early with a hearty breakfast and a hot cup of Peruvian coffee or Cocoa tea. This is the most difficult and challenging day of the 4-day Inca Trail trek!
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We begin by hiking for roughly 4 hours to Warmiwañuska pass (the Dead Woman’s Pass) at 4215 meters, the highest pass of the trek.
Warmiwañuska pass (Dead Woman’s Pass): 13,828ft, the highest point of the Inca Trail
Along this trail, we will take a break to enjoy a cold beverage at a local village shop prior to reaching the pass. This will take us to Pacaymayu Valley (Hidden River). From the summit will be another 1.5 hours of hiking down the side of the valley to our lunch spot where our porters will have our dining tent set up and our chef will have a spectacular lunch awaiting our arrival. After lunch, we begin climbing again to the second pass of the day that will be 2 hours of additional hiking until we reach the pass. This will include the time we spend in the beautiful Inca site of Runcu Raccay, located at one of the best viewpoints of the valley. We then start descending to Sayacmarca (known as the inaccessible village); we will stop here for a rest and a nice tour, while enjoying the best sunset view of the trip, over the Pumasillo snow-capped mountain. Lastly, we will have 30 more minutes of easy hiking to our second campsite of Chaquiccocha (Dry Lake, 3600 meters). Following a wonderful dinner and refreshing drinks, your guide will discuss with you the fascinating Inca constellations in the Southern Hemisphere sky.
6.Day: INCA TRAIL TREK: CHAQUICCOCHA TO WINAYWAYNA
Walking Hours: 4-5 hours
Walking Distance: 10km
Campsite Altitude: 2600m
High Altitude: 3600m
Level of difficulty: Easy
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Early morning again, waking up at 6:00 am to begin what for most people consider the most beautiful day of the Inca Trail. We will hike for about 1.25 hours in solitude as the other groups are well behind us. In this section of the Inca trail, there is the most fascinating of Incan pathways, which leads us to the cloud forest or commonly known as high jungle.
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As we walk, we will have the opportunity to see the sacred and majestic Salcantay mountain, the second highest snow-capped mountain in the region; after seeing this incredible view we will reach Phuyupatamarka (3600 meters) the third pass, here are great views overlooking the Urubamba River, Machu Picchu Mountain, snow-capped mountains of the Urubamba mountain range and the archaeological site of Puyupatamarca.
From Phuyupatamarka it´s a 3-hour hike down over 2700 steps to our last campsite of Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young) that is the most spectacular Inca site on the trail after Machu Picchu and the closest campground to Machu Picchu city. We will arrive early to our campsite, 1:00 pm for lunch and have the whole afternoon to relax and recharge our energies for tomorrow’s entry into Machu Picchu. In the afternoon we have plenty of time before the other groups arrive to explore many Inca sites in addition to the spectacular Wiñayhuayna. Your guide will teach you about the significance of the sites and combine all the information given to you along the trail to prepare you to understand the purpose of the majestic Machu Picchu.
Wiñayhuayna: “Forever Young” archeological site, consisting of upper and lower house complexes connected by a staircase and fountain structures located southwest of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary.
The last night of our celebration we practice the Inca Trail tradition of reciprocity, organizing a ceremony of goodbye in the evening to our team of porters and chefs. This evening, our chef will present you with a spectacular dinner presentation. We suggest going to bed early, in order to wake up early, to be first at the sun gate, to enjoy a few minutes alone in the peace of the scenery of Machu Picchu.
7.Day: INCA TRAIL TREK: WINAYWAYNA TO MACHU PICCHU TO CUSCO
Walking Hours: 2 hours + 2.5 hours Machu Picchu tour + Optional Huayna Picchu Climb
High Elevation: 2650m
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We wake up very early today, 4:00 am, according to your wishes and previous day’s discussions with your guides, as we prefer to be first in line for the checkpoint. Your porters will have a freshly prepared hot coffee or cocoa tea delivered to your tent as you pack your bags for the last day on the Inca Trail. At 5:30 am we will enter the last checkpoint and hike to our first destination of the day Inti Punku (the Sun Gate), in order to get the first spectacular view of Machu Picchu. We then descend to the citadel of Machu Picchu while enjoying the surrounding views of this incredible valley. At 7:30 am we will reach Machu Picchu city to begin our 3-hour private guided tour through the most spectacular and important points of the complex.
This UNESCO world Heritage complex was built as a ceremonial site and retreat for ruling elites, prior to becoming a military stronghold in preparation for the last stand against the Spanish Conquistadors.
After the tour, you’ll have plenty of free time to explore on your own or take the (optional) 10:30 am an entry to climb the mountain.
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Following our time in Machu Picchu, the bus brings us down to Aguas Calientes town. Here is where your guide will take you to enjoy your celebratory lunch at one of the finest restaurants in the village, before boarding the 2:30 pm train back to Ollantaytambo. Upon your arrival in Ollantaytambo, our private van will be waiting for your drive back to Cusco city, arriving for 6:00 pm. You will have this evening free to relax in the Plaza de Armas while selecting a restaurant to enjoy your last dinner in the city of Cusco.