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Inca Trail

Classic Inca Trail

10 Day Sample Tour
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Walk in the footsteps of the Inca on one of the world's oldest pilgrimages on our classic Inca Trail tour. This 10-day Inca Trail trek is an exciting, high mountain experience where you climb up to 13,800 feet, pass glacier covered peaks and descend into lush, green cloudforests. To acclimatize for the trek, spend a few days in Cusco and the Sacred Valley exploring ruins and bargaining at busy Andean markets. Combine this journey with an extension in the Amazon to create the perfect two week Peru adventure trip.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive Lima
Day 2 : Fly to Cusco
Day 3 : Explore Cusco
Day 4 : Sacred Valley of the Incas
Days 5-7 : Pilgrimage on the Inca Trail
Day 8 : Machu Picchu
Day 9 : Free Day at Machu Picchu. Return to Cusco
Day 10 : Fly to Lima and Return Home

Highlights

  • Explore Cusco's markets, colonial churches, & textile organizations
  • Trek the Inca Trail, passing through the Sun Gate as you enter Machu Picchu
  • Visit several ruins such as Sacsayhuamán & Pisac
  • Wake early and enjoy watching the sunrise over Machu Picchu

Places Visited

  • Peru
  • South America
  • Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo)
  • Cusco
  • Inca Trail
  • Inca Trail Day 1: Huayllabamba
  • Inca Trail Day 2: Pacaymayo
  • Inca Trail Day 3: Phuyupatamarca
  • Lima
  • Machu Picchu
  • Ollantaytambo
  • Sacred Valley

Activities

Trip Type

  • Adventure Life Exclusive

Activity Level

Challenging

Trip Snapshots

Beautiful Campsite 3rd night Inca Trail Have you hugged an alpaca today? Off balance Our guide as the sun breaks through the clouds Inca Trail hike Machu Picchu at sunrise Descending along the Inca Trail

Day 1 Arrive Lima

Arrive to Lima on the flight of your choice today. After picking up your luggage and clearing customs, walk across the street to the comfortable and conveniently located Ramada Costa del Sol Hotel. Settle into your room and rest up for your Peru tour ahead. Your exciting trip is filled with ancient ruins, local markets and hiking through the beautiful Andes Mountains!

Day 2 Fly to Cusco

Andean history comes alive in Cusco. Quechua-speaking descendents of the Incas fill the streets and markets, colonial churches sit atop bases of smooth stonework laid centuries before the Conquistadors, and campesinos (Peru's rural farmers) in colorful dress move busily back and forth across the plazas. In the afternoon, you'll explore Cusco's largest open market and the adjacent witches' market. After tasting a few unique local foods, visit the Center for Traditional Textiles in Cusco, a local organization committed to preserving the region's weaving traditions (if visiting the Sacred Valley on Sunday, you will visit their center in Chinchero instead). Watch weavers demonstrate their craft and learn about the history and processes of Peru's most well-known art form.

Day 3 Explore Cusco

Today is free to relax and explore with your guide or on your own. You can visit the churches and surrounding ruins, such as the enormous Sacsayhuamán ruins that overlook Cusco (these ruins showcase building blocks the size of pickup trucks). You can also wander through the bustling Plaza de Armas in the heart of Cusco, shop for love potions in the local markets, or people watch from the cafes and restaurants that line these lovely streets. For those bursting with energy, horseback riding, mountain biking, or even whitewater rafting (Class III-IV) can be arranged. The evening is yours to take in some of Cusco's varied and exciting nightlife where live folk music and excellent food abound!

Day 4 Sacred Valley of the Incas

This morning, journey into one of the most beautiful areas of Peru. The Sacred Valley often becomes one of the highlights of your Peru trip and you will soon see why! You'll test your bargaining skills with the locals while visiting one of the great textile markets in the area. You may also hike to the inspiring ruins of Pisac or take a short walk through the countryside to the seldom-visited town of Maras, where pre-Columbian salt mines still operate today. Visit the Inca agricultural terraces of Moray, thought to have been a nursery to experiment with and modify different varieties of crops. Eventually, you will make your way to the living Inca city of Ollantaytambo where you relax for the night.

Day 5-7 Pilgrimage on the Inca Trail

Walk in the footsteps of the great Inca civilization as you journey along their ancient trail to the sacred city of Machu Picchu. Andean history comes to life along this special route as each day you pass ever larger ruins. Notice how the scenery changes from snowcapped mountains to lush green cloudforest. The Inca trail trek is made with pilgrims from all over the world, and your friendly crew of guides and porters will take great care of you along the way.

Trek Details

(Click here for more information)
Day 5 - Kilometer 82 to Huayllabamba
Trek length: 7.8 miles (5-7 hrs) Camp elevation: 9,691 ft
Day 6 - Hiking Huayllabamba to Pacaymayo
Trek length: 5.1 miles (5-7 hrs) Camp elevation: 11,833 ft
Trek high point: Dead Woman's Pass (13,776 ft)
Day 7 - Hiking Pacaymayo to Phuyupatamarca
Trek length: 4.5 miles (4-6 hrs); Camp elevation: 12,067 ft
Day 8 - Hiking Phuyupatamarca to Machu Picchu
Trek length: 6.9 miles (5-7 hrs); Machu Picchu elevation: 7,875 ft

Some itineraries will hike farther on day seven and camp at a closer location to Machu Picchu, making the hike on day eight shorter. This will be up to the discretion of your Tour Leader and the Peruvian National Park Service. Your Tour Leader will notify you locally of your camping itinerary.

Day 8 Machu Picchu

The group descends 3,000 feet from their campsite at Phuyupatamarca to reach spectacular Machu Picchu in the afternoon. Tour the ruins and continue to the village of Machu Picchu Pueblo (formerly called Aguas Calientes) below the ruins. Enjoy one of many excellent local restaurants or end your day soaking in the hot springs after exploring one of the most magical archaeological sites in the world.

Day 9 Free Day at Machu Picchu. Return to Cusco

Today is your chance to watch the sunrise at Machu Picchu and to listen to the spirits of the city's past inhabitants before the hikers from the Inca Trail arrive. You can choose to book a permit to climb the sacred peak of Huayna Picchu, hike to the Sun Gate which overlooks the ruins or take a walk through the lush cloudforest to the Temple of the Moon. In the afternoon, you'll return by train to Cusco with your guide. (Let us know if you would like help arranging entrance fees or hiking permits for today – these are not included and sell out in advance!)

Day 10 Fly to Lima and Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast
Or with more time, extend your trip with a visit to the Amazon or to Lake Titicaca. Click here to see our Peru extensions!

Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo) - Hotels

Cusco - Hotels

Inca Trail - Campsites

Lima - Hotels

Sacred Valley - Hotels

Per person starting at
$2,825

Notes

$632 - $635 single supplement

June 15 & 21 departures include an extra day for the Inti Raymi Festival.

Included

  • 9 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
  • 9 Nights Accommodations
    • 6 Nights Hotel
    • 3 Nights Camping
  • 8 Days Private Guide Service
  • Gear Rental
    • Camping gear included EXCEPT for sleeping bags.

Excluded

  • Internal Flights
    • $425 Lima-Cusco-Lima
    • Flight cost is subject to change
  • Both International Arrival and Departure Transfers are excluded.
  • International Flights

Recommended Budgeting

  • $160 Meals not Included
  • $43 Airport Departure Tax
  • $95 Optional Excursions
    • $60 for return visit to Machu Picchu on second day + $20 local bus to ruins
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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This was our first trip to South America and we were a little nervous. But Adventure Life made things so easy! All our questions were answered before we left, and our guide, Vidal, was amazing! He gave us enough space to explore without rushing us along. He also knew where the best picture taking opportunities were, which was great.
Lindsay Gompf

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.
Typically not offered during this period because of weather conditions.

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