The Inca Trail
To follow the Inca's footsteps on the Inca Trail the highway to Machu Picchu - is an unforgettable experience, few other hikes in the world can offer the variety of breathtaking scenery, from high sierra to tropical jungle, undoubtedly no other will take you though so many well preserved archeological sites.
The 27 miles Inca Trail begins at a point know as Kilometer 88. Here the local train from Cusco stops briefly. After crossing the river to 3 to 5 days walk into the past begins... To the right lies the archeological site of Quente (hummingbird) The main trail to the left, gently ascends through eucalyptus grove on easy terrain.
The first camp-site is at Cusichaca valley (bridge of joy). From then on the trail gets steeper and unrelenting, take deep breaths and pause to observe the beauty around it. The next campsite is a t Llullupampa (plains of Llullucha, a type of herb) where most hiker elect to end their first day. Start up early the next morning to reach the Warmimanusca pas (dead woman). The highest point of the trail at about 13,800 feet high. Traces of Inca history are evident, ancient stops and a wealth of archeological treasures lie ahead. The trail descends to the Pacamayo (sunrise) river, where there are good camping sites. Runrurukay (egg hut) is the first reward the oval shaped complex has a magnificent view oft he the Pacamayo Valley, believed to have served as a lookout post and tampu (travelers more passing between two lake before reaching with a superb view. From then on most of the trail is down hill.
Following the trail to the left another impressive Inca constructions is found ahead Sayamarca (dominant town), built at the end of a abrupt ridge with a sweeping view of the Acabamba valley (wavy plain) and the Inca trail. Form this point the path contours the mountain ridges passing a 20 meter tunnel. After the third pass at 3600mt. one encounters the spectacular view of the Urubamba Valley and soon after the beautiful site of Phuyupatamarca (town above the clouds), a restored Inca construction holding several ceremonial baths. Just ahead there is a camp site with the most impressive view of the entire trail.
The next major site along the trail is Winay Wayna (forever young) reached via an incredible 2 meter wide granite staircase, cut into solid bedrock straight down in the high jungle. The archeological area along with this section of the trail are recent discoveries. Winay Wayna s about 6 minutes walk south of the trail, built on a steep slope surrounded south of the trail, built on a steep slope surrounded by agricultural terraces. A large circular building overlooks a set of ten ceremonial baths, a small square marked by to buildings, and a amazing platform that ends in 200 meter cliff. From Winay Wayna the trail crosses open mountainside and then enters dense cliff-hanging cloud forest to finally pass through "Intipunku (Sun Gate), the royal entrance to the culmination of the journey: Machu Picchu. From this point you get an spectacular view of the Huayna Picchu and of the "Lost City of the Incas"
The weather in the Machu Picchu area is usually warm. April to November is the dry season, December o mach is considered rainy season and the weather in more variable. January and February are the wettest months.
1 MEET AT THE CUSCO OFFICE AT 06.00 AM, TO BOARD THE BUS. MAKE SURE YOU CARRY YOUR ORIGINAL PASSPORT AND ISIC STUDENT CARD (IF APPLICABLE) JOURNEY TO Km 82 TAKES APPROX 3 HRS . WE ENJOY BREAKFAST ALONG THE WAY. WALKING TIMES ARE ALWAYS APPROXIMATE DEPENDING ON WEATHER CONDITIONS, GROUP ABILITY AND A THOUSAND OTHER POSSIBLITIES BUT YOU´LL WALK ABOUT 2-3 HRS BEFORE LUNCH. AFTER LUNCH, WE WALK ON JUST PASS THE VILLAGE OF WAYLLABAMBA FOR OUR FIRST CAMPING (3000mtrs).THIS FIRST DAY WALKING PASSES THROUGH VALLEY STARTING FROM 2380 mtrs WITH A SMALL CLIMB, REWARDED WITH SUPERB VIEWS OF MOUNT VERONICA, TO A PLATFORM OVERLOOKING THE INCAN SITE LLACTAPATA. approx 14km walking - 6 hours
DAY 2 THIS IS THE MOST DIFFICULT DAY AS YOU WALK FROM ABOUT 3000 MTRS TO 4200 MTRS, (DEAD WOMAN´S PASS). YOU CAN WALK AT YOUR OWN PASE, STOP TO GET YOUR BREATH WHENEVER YOU LIKE. YOU´LL FIND YOUR ENERGY RETURNS ONCE YOU CONTINUE DOWN TO THE VALLEY OF PACAYMAYO. CAMPSITE 3600MTRS. YOU CAN HIRE A PORTER FROM THE VILLAGE OF WAYLLABAMBA TO CARRY YOUR PACK TO THE TOP OF THE PASS. APPROXIMATELY 70 SOLES YOU MUST ORGANISE AND PAY THIS MONEY DIRECTLY TO THE PERSON WHO CARRIES YOUR ITEMS. PLEASE CHECK YOUR BELONGINGS UPON RECEIVING THEM AT THE END OF THIS SERVICE AS THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT SAS TRAVEL STAFF. THIS IS THE COLDEST NIGHT. +2/+4 DEGREES CELCIUS (DECEMBER) -3/-5 DEGREES CELCIUS (JUNE) approx 12km walking - 7 hours
DAY 3 EXCEPTIONALLY BEAUTIFUL BECAUSE OF THE RUINS AND INCREDIBLE PAVED TRAIL (AND MORE IMPORTANTLY FOR YOUR LUNGS, THERE IS A LOT MORE DOWN THAN UP!!!). THERE ARE ABOUT 2000 STAIRS DESCENDING FROM PHUYUPATAMARCA TO WINAYWAYNA, SO IF YOU HAVEN´T HAD KNEE PROBLEMS IN THE PAST, YOU PROBABLY WILL AFTER THIS! IF YOU HAVE HAD KNEE INJURIES; AN EXTRA PORTER IS RECOMMENDED SO THAT YOU ARE NOT CARRYING EXTRA WEIGHT WHICH WILL OVERSTRESS YOUR JOINTS. GUIDED TOURS OF ALL THE RUINS AND CAMPING GENERALLY AT WINAYWAYNA (2700MTRS)
* TAKE EXTRA CARE OF YOUR PERSONAL BELONGINGS IN THIS CAMPSITE AS ALL THE TOURS CAMP NEAR HERE. AS USUAL ALWAYS KEEP YOUR DAYPACK WITH VALUABLES WITH YOU. APART FROM STREAMS THE ONLY HOT SHOWER ON THE INCA TRAIL IS ON THIS THIRD NIGHT AT WINAYWINYA. THERE IS A HOSTAL NEAR THE CAMPSITE WITH AN 8MIN HOT SHOWER FOR 5 SOLES AND A BAR AND RESTAURANT WHERE YOU CAN ALSO PURCHASE BOTTLED WATER. approx 16km walking - 6 hours
GET UP EXTREMELY EARLY TO ARRIVE AT INTI PUNKU, "THE GATE OF THE SUN" AND VIEW OF FIRST SUN ILLUMINATING MACHU PICCHU. IT IS STILL 20 MINS WALK DOWN FROM HERE AND THE FAMOUS VIEW IS FROM THE TERRACES AT THE END OF THE TRAIL. TAKE YOUR PHOTOS NOW BEFORE THE 10:30 CROWDS ARRIVE.YOUR TOUR OF MACHUPICCHU SHOULD FINISH BETWEEN 10:30 AND 11:00AM AND YOU HAVE FREE TIME TO CLIMB HUAYNA PICCHU (min 90 MINS) Only 400 hikers maximum can climb this mountain, so start immeditaly after your tour!, OR JUST COLLAPSE UNDER THE TREE IN THE PLAZA OF MACHUPICCHU. IT WILL TAKE YOU BETWEEN 45 MINS TO AN HOUR TO WALK DOWN TO AGUAS CALIENTES.
the $6 bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes will be included
approx 7km walking - 2 hours to Machu Picchu
*** SPECIAL BUFFET LUNCH INCLUDED AFTER YOU VISIT MACHUPICCHU IN THE TOWN OF AGUAS CALIENTES IN OUR WELCOMING INN CALLED " HOSTAL VIAJEROS" , WHERE YOU CAN HAVE A HOT SHOWER, STORE YOUR BACKPACK WHILST YOU GO TO THE HOT SPRINGS OR SHOP AROUND THE VILLAGE.
THERE IS AN OPTION OF OVERNIGHTING IN AGUAS CALIENTES IN VIAJEROS BED AND BREAKFAST AND RETURNING TO CUSCO ON DAY 5.
SUGGESTIONS OF WHAT YOU NEED TO TAKE:
BACKPACK & DAYPACK : ( If you hire personal Porter SAS provide a duffle bag )
-5 C SLEEPING BAG : ( Can be rented at SAS office )
HIKING BOOTS :( Runners shoes are not recommended )
WALKING POLES: ( Very helpful for your knees descending the Inca steps)
WARM CLOTHES : LAYERS for variable temperatures specially at night.
T-SHIRTS and SHORT PANTS for a confortable day walks
FLASH LIGHT : & Batteries
CAMERA AND EXTRA FILM & Batteries
SUNPROTECTION : SUNSCREEN : SUN HAT : SUNGLASSES
THERMALS : WOOL SOCKS : AND WOOLEN HAT FOR COLD NIGHTS:
INSECT REPELLENT : don`t worry too much, there is no malaria risk but some mean sandflys on the first day and in Aguas Calientes!
RAIN PONCHO : A GOOD RAIN JACKET :
TOILETRIES / TOILET PAPER / SMALL TOWEL
BATHING CLOTHES for the hot springs.
GLOVES / SCARF : Trekking Pants or similar.
2 Liter WATER BOTTLE
WATER PURIFYING TABLETS Optional :
PERSONAL MEDICAL KIT : Bentoline Spray for Asmhatics, etc
ORIGINAL PASSPORT AND ORIGINAL ISIC STUDENT CARD IF APPLICABLE : IMPERATIVE
EXTRA MONEY FOR SOUVENIRS, DRINKS & TIPS,ETC ( Soles or Dollars )
Sleeping bag rent for 4 days $ 10 HOLLOFILL OR HOLOFIBER weigh 2 kg minus 4 degress celcius
$ 15 DOWN SLEEPING BAG 1.8 kg minus 10 degress celcius
Foam Pad Sleeping Mattress included weigh 800gms.( Bring your Therma-Rest Mattress as it will be more comfortable )
$15 Single Supplement for an individual, for the entire trek, or you can share a tent with other hiker same genre.
45 Lts Confortable Back Pack to rent for $15 for the entire trek.
Unless you hire an EXTRA PORTER you need to carry your back pack, sleeping bag and the mattress. You need to indicate this at the time of booking as porters who carry for the full 4 days require permits in advance in the same manner as trekkers.
PORTERS to carry up to $45 9kg $90 18 kg for the full duration of the tour from Cusco to Aguas Calientes. From May 1 2008 cost is 9kg = $50 18 kg = $100. 60% of trekkers hire an extra porter for the full extent of the trek. Regarding porters who carry personal items. You will need to carry with you a daypack with your Camera, water bottle, snacks, a fleece or something warm and a poncho in case of rain (unlikely in Dry season but as a precaution) and anything you will need before lunch as porters do not walk alongside you.A SAS duffle bag is provided for your items for the porter and this will be waiting for you in your tent at campsites.
Please note there are fines if you give an excess of 9 or 18 kgs so try to underpack rather than overpack or pay for an extra 9kgs. On day 2 you can hire a porter from the village of Wayllabamba to carry your pack over the pass to the second campsite approximately 50 soles. Please pay these porters directly.
Please check carefully your pack and belongings before the 2nd day optional porter leaves the pass.
TIPPING OF THE PORTERS
As for all American countries, tipping is normal and it is a tradition on the Inca trail. The porters will be much better off if you tip them in cash rather than beers in WINAYWAYNA. Generally groups prepare a collective tip at dinner on the last night which is shared out between the porters and cook on the last morning at breakfast. The porters protection group state. "Please let your group know that 30 soles per porter is a minimum for general porters, and deal separately with porters that carry individuals' bags." A group of 16 generally have approx 19 - 20 general porters. Tipping of porters who carry your personal items is separate and you are asked to tip an extra porter directly. Again the recommended minimum is $10 for 18kg. A general guideline is $15 tip per treker for the porters but please do not worry if others tip less or more. This does not account for tips for guides and cooks generally $10 - 15 more. Most trekkers take approximately $30 to cover the tipping tradition.
It´s possible you will feel the effects of altitude on arriving in Cusco, ( 3,400 Mts - 11,350 Feet ) remember in the Andes the %of oxygen is less which makes you tired and weak before you adjust to it Especially if you flew from sea level, eg LIMA. It is best to wait at least two days before setting out on the trail, don´t drink alcohol, smoke or take sedatives. Drink lots of water and coca tea, catch a good sleep , and eat moderate ligh meals hight in carbohidrates , digestion goes very slow.
Very Important! :We also encourage you to allow at least 3 days in Cusco before your trek because apart from there being so much to see and do ( see our other activities or our Special Packages that will meet all your needs )....it is possible that your arrival could be delayed due to transport strikes or cancellation of flights due to poor weather etc and because there is no way to change your permit to another date you could miss out on your Inca trail experience altogether or feel the altitude effects more than you would have hoped due to even less time to acclimatise. So please keep this in mind when choosing the date of your trek!!!
Water: We suggest you take a 2 litres bottle of water on the first day and then you can refill this on the trek.( You can use the same plastic bottle for the entire trek ) We boil water each night which is available after breakfast each morning for your water bottles. We still suggest you take water purification tablets or filters for any unboiled water you take directly from streams or waterfalls etc. You can buy water along the first day, for the first few hours of Day 2 and the afternoon of Day 3 at the Hostal in Wiñaywayna.
Temperatures during the day: If you are walking in the sun it is very hot and feels like 26 degrees celcius, but when you walk through the forest or in the shadow of a mountain it can feel like 14 degrees almost immediately. At night on the second night it could get to -5 degrees celcius if you are really unlucky but more likely just freezing ! Third night is warmer being at 2700mts considered high Jungle!
Main hint for dealing with the temperatures is to try and keep your body temp as regular as possible by using layering of clothes so when you feel cool put on an extra layer before you get cold and if you start to feel warm take off a layer before you perspire which will leave you with a chill later if you don´t take care. The weather from Dec through to early March is usually the wettest on the trail.
Some days it may be drizzly all day or you may have a burst of rain and clear skies for the rest of the day or it could be wet off and on all day. You need good rain gear for walking as well as something to protect your pack. We have dining tents for all meals so you are protected at this time.
Hot Shower along the Trail: Unfortunately not yet, but a little hot water will be offered to you every morning for a quick wash, and very important to use this service before meals. There is a basic (pay 10 soles) timed electric shower at the 3rd night camping in Wiñaywayna, please do not expect too much !!!
There is a basic (pay 10 soles) timed electric shower at the 3rd night camping in Wiñaywayna, please do not expect too much !!!
Toilets : In each of the Campsites there are basic toilets constructed and maintained by the Inka Trail Park control,
Garbage : There are many bins along the trail, at lunch time and campsites our porters will always clean the area. Please keep this historical sanctuary clean and cooperate so that we only leave our footprints.
PROHIBITED : Alcohol, Drug use, Campfires, Graffitti, Collection of Orchids or Hummingbirds !!
|Tour Packages for the Andes Highland
| The best of Peru
|| The Lost City of the Incas
|| The Inca Trail
| Basic Cusco
|| The Sacred Valley
|Information Pages on the
||The Inca Trail
||The Sacred Valley
||The Inca Trail
CALENDAR AND FESTIVITIES
||Festival of the Magic - Ollantaytabo
||Cheraje (contest) Cusco
||Procession of the Lord of Earthquakes
||Vigil of the Cross - Hilltops with crosses
||Copus Christie Cusco
|First week in June
||Qouyllur Riti (Festival of Snows) Tinqui Mountains
||Raqchi Folk Festival
||Inti Raymi (Inca Festival of the Sun) Cusco
||Festival of Virgin del Carmen Paucartambo
||Peruvian Independence Day
||San Bartolome - Tinta
|Last Sunday August
||Huarachico Festival - Sacsayhuaman
||All Saints Day (read dolls) Cusco
||Santurantikuy (massive celebration of Christmas) Cusco
Many of the religious celebrations are a combination of Inca rituals with catholic ceremonies and include locals in their customs performing typical dances
Throughout the Year
||Baratillo (market in Cusco
|Thursdays and Sundays
||Market in Pisac
||Market in Chinchero