CUSCO TREKKING

 

DAY 1: CUSCO - CACHORA - CHICCISQA

We leave Cusco early and continue 4 hour drive to the charming village of Cachora, which is situated on the edge of the Apurimac canyon. After lunch, there is a 2 hour hike to Capuliyoc (2915 metres/9561 feet) from where we have our first beautiful views of the Apurimac valley, and snow-capped peaks as Padrayoc and Wayna Cachora. Our total hiking time is about five hours. Accommodation: Camping at Chiccisqa 1950 m.

DAY 2: CHICCISQA - CHOQUEQUIRAO

We will descend to the magnificent Apurimac River (1550 metres/5084 feet) before beginning our climb to Santa Rosa and then onto Maranpata, where we will have lunch. The climb from the river takes about 4 hours and is tough. From our lunch spot we can see the ruins of Choquequirao. We will spend the late evening in the ruins, where we will watch the sunset and have the chance to see condors. Accommodation: Camping at Choquequirao campsite 3033m.

DAY 3: CHOEQUEQUIRAO TO RIO BLANCO

We have a chance to more fully explore the ruins and have a little rest in the morning. In the afternoon we will climbing over a ridge hike to the ruins Pinchinuyoc, where we will camp the night. This is definitely the easiest day of the trip! Accommodation: Camping at Pinchinuyoc about 3000m or depending on the group at Rio Blanco, a further 2 hours descent.

DAY 4: RIO BLANCO TO MAIZAL

After 2 hours of walking, we will arrive to the canyon of the Rio Blanco (1990m/6527 feet), where will have a rest before starting a difficult climb to our campsite of Maizal. The climb is 3- 4 hours. Accommodation: Camping at Maizal 3000m

DAY 5: MAIZAL TO YANAMA

We will walk uphill for about 3 hours through semi-jungle, to the Victoria Mines. Along the way we will see ancient mines and some Inca Ruins before climbing an hour more to the pass of Abra Victoria (4130 meters/ 13546 feet). The newly discovered Coryhuayrachina ruins are between Yanama and Maizal. Accommodation: Camping at Yanama 4100m

DAY 6: YANAMA TO COLPAPAMPA

During this day we walk for seven hours. We will ascend to the second pass which is the highest of our trek at 4850m/15908 feet. After the pass we will descend for three hours to the Valley of Totora, where will spend the night. Accommodation: Camping at Totora about 3900m  or Colpampa

DAY 7: COLPAPAMPA TO ICHUPATA

Today's hike goes mostly up, as we will climb from Totora or Colpampa, upwards, to the Salkantay pass (4600m). After 5 hours of hiking we will arrive to the second highest point of the trip (4,600m/13451 feet). From the pass you will descend about 2 hours to Salkantaypampa (4100m), where the group may camp, depending on how well you have progressed during the day.  You might continue to Ichupata.

DAY 8: ICHUPATA – PAMPACAHUANA

Alter a cold night, we continue our hike to start the 3-4-hour steep climb towards the Incachiriasca pass (4850m/15908ft), offering impressive views of the Salkantay snow peak. After a celebratory rest on the pass we will then descend towards our lunch spot at Sisaypampa, a flat area from which one can observe the Salkantay´s neighboring valleys (it is possible that you will see condors in this area). After lunch we continue towards the Pampacahuana community, located next to an original Inca canal, where we set our second camp and spend the night. Total walking 14 km.

DAY 9: PAMPACAHUANA – AYAPATA

From Pampachuana it's a 3 hours hike down the narrow, steep valley to the Inca fortress of Inkaracay (also known as Paucarcancha). This is a site well worth exploring and little known to the vast majority of visitors to Peru. It's about another ½ to 1 hours walk down to the small village of Wayllabamba, which is the point that we join the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.  In the afternoon, we leave Wayllabamba behind to start our way up the Warmihuañusca mountain pass. We only climb part way up the pass, stopping at Ayapata, where we camp and spend the night.  Total walking 12km.

DAY 10: AYAPATA TO CHAQUICOCHA

Today we continue our trek up to the highest point in the Inca Trail, reaching the mountain pass of Abra Warmihuañusca (4200m/13776ft). Immediately after the pass, we descend into the Pacaymayo valley (3600m/11808ft), from which we then continue to climb to the second pass, the Abra Runkurakay (3970m/13022ft), stopping halfway to visit the very impressive archaeological complex Runkurakay. This site, located at 3800m/12464ft, consists of a small oval structure that is believed to have served the purpose of a watchtower. After going over the pass, we descend towards Yanacocha (Black Lagoon) and enter the cloud forest to finally arrive at Sayacmarca (3624m/11887ft). This is a beautiful complex made up of a semicircular construction. Only 20 minutes away is Chaquicocha – 3400m (dry lake in Quechua), where we will camp.

DAY 11: CHAQUICOCHA TO WIÑAYWAYNA

After breakfast we have an easy climb, to arrive at the third pass, the Abra de Phuyupatamarca (3700m/12136ft). Phuyupatamarca is one of the most complete and best-preserved archaeological complexes along the Inca Trail to Machupicchu, and is located on the highest point of a mountain. From here we also have impressive views of the Urubamba River valley. We descend by stone to Wiñaywayna (2650m/8692ft). At this campsite we will find a lodge with a restaurant, bar and bathrooms with hot showers. Wiñaywayna is an impressive complex made up of an agricultural center with numerous terraces, a religious sector and an urban sector.

DAY 12: WIÑAYWAYNA TO MACHUPICCHU

On this last day we get up at 4.00 am to leave Wiñaywayna at approx. 5.00 am and climb to the Intipunku, or the Sun Gate. This will take an hour of hiking along a trail of flat stones on the edges of cliffs in highland jungle. From this fabulous spot, we may see the sunrise over Machu Picchu. From Intipunku we descend into Machupicchu, and 40 minutes later we enter it. We then descend to the control point where we register ourselves and leave our backpacks. We immediately begin a complete guided tour Machu Picchu that will take approximately two hours.

After your tour you can further explore the ruins by yourself or climb Huayna (Wayna) Picchu. You need to buy the Huayna Picchu entry separately. Also try to fit in a visit to the Temple of the Moon or Uyna Huayna Picchu while visiting Huayna Picchu.

Normally, during high season those people who climb Huayna picchu spend a extra day at the ruins just to get in the queue for the mountain and then spend a good amount of time on this classic mountain. If you don't get to do Huayna Picchu, other options are Inti Punku, Inca bridge, Machu Picchu mountain. We return to Cusco in the afternoon by the backpacker train (leaves either at 2.30pm or 6.00pm) and are met by a driver at Ollantaytambo who will transfer you directly back to your hotel. You will arrive in Cusco approximately 4 hours after your train's departure from Aguas Calientes.

 


 

IMPORTANT!

Government regulations will not allow reservations to be made unless accompanied by full passport details of the client and full payment of the entrance fee to the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. This is to assist in the 500 people a day rule. Therefore to guarantee your place on the inca trail trek or tour you must provide a scanned copy of your passport and a non refundable deposit.Your reservation will only be confirmed when we have your entrance ticket in our hands. In case of passport number change this information must be relayed to us or you will lose your booking. Original passport must be carried on trail.

ITINERARY NOTES

·        The times cited in this itinerary are approximate. Walking times depend on the group and the guide can change lunch spots and campsites, depending on the progress of the group. Each guide has their own preferred route and it might not correspond exactly to the route described here.

·      The above trek itinerary is our preferred option for this route. However campsites used during the Inca Trail section of the trek are subject to change depending on availability of spaces as issued by the Ministry of Culture, which are responsible for allocating the campsites to the authorized trekking companies.  This is of particular importance for the last campsite, as WiñayWayna is the closest campsite to Machu Picchu, only being 2 hours trekking from the famous Inti Punku. However there is not enough space at Wiñay Wayna for all the Inca Trail groups. The next nearest campsite is Phuyupatamarca which is a 5 hour trek to Machu Picchu. When we buy the trek permits for the group we are allocated the campsites by the government.

·        If having WiñayWayna as your final night campsite is important to you -  we strongly recommend that you book your Inca Trail tour as soon as you can.  As a “rough guide”, of the 500 permits issued each day, the last 200 permits will be allocated to trekkers who will camp at Phuyupatamarca.   As its actually to do with campsite allocation, not number of trekkers, we say “last 200 permits” as a guide, rather than a fixed rule.   However, if you are booking last minute, you might expect that you will camp at Phuyupatamarca.  

 

INCLUDED

·         Pre trek briefing

·         Collection from your hotel in the morning of trek departure.

·         Transport from Cusco to the trailhead

·         Inca Trail Permit (includes entry to Machu Picchu, but not to Huayna Picchu) Huayna Picchu $60 extra.

·         English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide (you will have an assistant guide for groups over 8 people).

·         Tents - 2 people in a 4 person tent which allows for greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks.

·         Basic foam mattress. If you require greater comfort during the trek we can hire you an inflatable mattress (eg. Thermarest) .

·         Cook and Cooking equipment (Assistants are provided for larger groups)

·         Toilet tent is included for first 6 days of trek. Toilet tent is NOT included the Inca Trail part of the route, because we use facilities provided by the Ministry of Culture.

·         Meals as indicated in the itinerary (optional vegetarian food). Our professional cooks prepare meals that incorporate elements of the western diet and also traditional Peruvian delicacies. (Please communicate with your guide/cook during the trek if you have a preference for certain types of dishes). Salads, if served, are washed in boiled water.

·         Porters (for equipment and personal items) They carry camping equipment, food and kitchen utensils. We provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items (up to 7 kg per person). If you wish to take more, you can hire a porter, please contact us for costs. Mules are used for the first 8 days of this trip.

·         1 emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if you are a little slower - only for first 8 days

·         Dining tent with camp tables and chairs & Kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals

·         Tents for our staff to sleep in

·         First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle

·         Bus down from Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu

·         Train ticket (Expedition service) from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo

·         Private transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.

·         Lunch on the last day is included in this itinerary.

NOT INCLUDED

·         Breakfast on the first morning.

·         Dinner on the last night.

·         Entrance to the thermal springs

·         Entry to Huayna Picchu ($60)

·         Tips for the guide, cook and porters

 

OPTIONAL EXTRAS (CONTACT US FOR PRICES)

·         Extra mule to carry YOUR things

·         Extra riding mule and muleteer to lead it

·         Sleeping Bag suitable for – 10deg

·         Deluxe Sleeping Bag suitable for -15deg.

·         Walking stick lightweight aluminum - Two sticks are recommended for tough hikes.

·         Thermarest inflatable mattress 

·         Thermarest Inflatable pillow