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8 DAYS INCA TRAIL DISCOVERY TOUR (Lima to Cusco)

In the footsteps of the ancients

Follow the footpaths of the Inca to the roof of the Andes, passing ancient Tambo ruins, and breathing in pure mountain air by the lungful. Memorable moments are plentiful on the Inca Trail’s four-day trek, but none can compare to the moment you walk through the Sun Gate and catch your first glimpse of the forgotten city of Machu Picchu. It’s not just an accomplishment; it’s a transformative moment.

Why is the Inca Trail so Popular

The Inca Trail is one of our most popular trips in the region, and is ideal for travellers eager to combine the cultural highlights of the Sacred Valley with the challenge of one of the world’s best-known hikes. Since its rediscovery over a century ago, much has been done to excavate and study the site. The stretch referred to as the “Inca Trail” today is, in fact, merely the final, dramatic stretch of the Incan road to Machu Picchu. This part of the Trail is a challenging four-day trek from the floor of the Sacred Valley up high mountain passes and through cloud forests and jungle that tests the limits of mind, body, and spirit.

While it is physically demanding, the 40km (25 mi) hike remains within the reach of most reasonably fit travellers. Some parts are steep, especially the three high passes – one of which reaches an elevation of 4,200m (13,776 ft)! The end is appropriately nicknamed the “Sun Gate,” where mist-shrouded views of Machu Picchu prove to all who make it that the climb was undeniably worth it.


Tour Program

Day 1: Lima

Arrive at any time. Arrive in Lima at any time. There are no planned activities so check into the hotel and enjoy the city. There is a welcome meeting in the evening.

Day 2: Lima/Cusco

Early flight to Cusco. Free day for shopping and exploring the city. Optional city tour. Transfer to the airport for the flight to Cusco (the flight usually departs early – the group may leave the hotel by 4:30am). The day is free to relax and explore the fascinating city of Cusco, and to acclimatize to the altitude.

Exclusive Inclusions:Carte Blanche; Meals included: Breakfast

Day 3: Cusco/Ollantaytambo

Enjoy a full-day guided tour of the Sacred Valley. Stop at the G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op before exploring the Pisac ruins. Break for lunch at the G Adventures-supported Parwa community restaurant in Huchuy Qosco. Finish the day exploring the Ollantaytambo ruins with a local guide.

Travel through the stunning Sacred Valley of the Incas, visiting a women's weaving co-op. Meet the women and learn about traditional weaving and dyeing. Opt to pick up some handmade souvenirs and textiles directly from the women who made them.

Take a guided tour of the impressive Pisac ruins, the colourful artisan market (on market days only), and the small indigenous village of Huchuy Qosco. Have lunch at Parwa community restaurant. Eat a delicious buffet-style lunch. Proceeds of this meal go directly back to the remote community. Continue on to the town of Ollantaytambo. Take a guided tour of the large ruin site adjacent to the town. Ollantaytambo is the first taste of what lies ahead in Machu Picchu. Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch

Day 4: Ollantaytambo/Wayllabamba Camp

Depart Ollantaytambo by van to km 82 where the hike begins. Trek through beautiful scenery, with a variety of flora that changes with the seasons, passing several smaller ruin sites like Llactapata. A crew of local porters, cooks, and guides will take care of all the details for the duration of the hike. Porters carry the majority of the gear so you’ll only need to carry a small daypack with water, rain gear, snacks, a camera, etc. Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 5: Wayllabamba Camp/Paqaymayo Camp

Start early to climb the long steep path to Warmiwañusca, better known as Dead Woman’s Pass. This is the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769 ft). Most hikers reach camp by early afternoon, with ample time to rest and relax.

Trek over progressively spectacular and steeper terrain on your way to Warmiwañusca (aka Dead Woman’s Pass), the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769ft). Be prepared to face strong Andean weather (blazing sun or cold winds) around the pass. Take the hike slow, and drink lots of water along the way – amazing views are waiting as a reward. Enjoy some ample time to rest and relax after reaching the camp; most campers arrive around early afternoon. Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 6: Paqaymayo Camp/Wiñaywayna

Cross two more passes and ruins along the way. The first pass is Runquraqay at 3,950m (13,113 ft) where, on a clear day, hikers can catch a glimpse of the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba. Hike through cloud forest on the gentle climb to the second pass of the day, walking through original Incan constructions. The highest point of the pass is 3,700m (12,136 ft). On a clear day, enjoy the spectacular views of the Urubamba Valley.

At 3,650m (11,972 ft), reach the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, the "town above the clouds." Camp here or go another 1.5 hrs to the Wiñay Wayna ruins ("forever young") located at 2,650m (8,694 ft). Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 7: Wiñaywayna/Cusco

The final day of the hike starts pre-dawn to reach the Sun Gate before sunrise. Wake up around 03:30 and walk to the checkpoint. Catch the first views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu on a clear day. Hike down to Machu Picchu for a guided tour of the site and free time to explore. Opt to visit the Inca Bridge, if time allows.

Catch the bus to Aguas Calientes to meet any non-hiking members of your group. Eat and relax before your train back to Cusco in the afternoon. Meals included: Breakfast

Day 8: Cusco

Depart at any time. Meals included: Breakfast

Inca Trail & Machu Picchu
Wider view of the Trail
Residents of the Inca Trail
Close view of the Ancient Civilization

    TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Sample seafood in Lima
  • Explore ruins and haggle at local markets in the Sacred Valley
  • Conquer the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
  • Learn ancient traditions at the Women's Weaving Co-op
  • Meals Included: 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners. Carry some extra cash for meals not included - about $300
  • Transport: Plane, train, private van, hiking.
  • Experiences: Please note that hot water shortages and power outages can be fairly common in Peru (even in upgraded hotels and private homes). We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control.
  • Climate: Most people automatically assume that the weather is hot in South America, but because of the higher altitude in the Andes, the temperature can feel quite cold, especially at night.
  • What to take: We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage
8 Days Inca Trail Discovery Tour

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