The Inca Trail

The Inca Trail

840 Views
8 Days From

$2773

$2436

The Inca Trail

8 Days Starting and ending in Cuzco

Visiting: Cusco, Ollantaytambo, Llulluchapampa, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cuzco

Tour operator:

Exodus

Tour code:

TPT

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 16

Physical rating:

Moderate

Age range:

16-99

Special diets catered:

Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements

Tour operated in:
English
From:
$2773
$2436 Operator discount: -$268 Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$69 -12%

NB: Prices correct on 19-May-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

Offering an unrivalled combination of history and dramatic scenery, the ancient Inca Trail winds its way from the powerful Urubamba River, across mountain passes and through cloud forests, passing several crumbling fortresses before reaching the lost city of Machu Picchu. This itinerary is specifically designed to maximise the time spent at Machu Picchu with an early morning tour of the ruins, quieter at that hour before day trippers and other trekkers arrive.

Highlights

  • Trek the classic Inca Trail to the Sun Gate for the iconic view of Machu Picchu

  • Discover Cuzco with its distinct Inca-Colonial fusion architecture

  • Climb Inca steps to the top of Dead Woman's Pass (4215m)

  • Alternative remote Moonstone Trek or One Day Inca Trail Option available when Inca Trail permits have sold out

Itinerary

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Day 1 : Start Cuzco (3400M); Free Time To Explore The Inca Capital.

Location: Cusco

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: MamaSara Hotel (or similar)

Meals Included: No Meals

Set amidst hills in the altiplano, the Imperial City of the Incas, Cuzco

(3,400) was the geographic, cultural and political centre of a vast empire

which, at its peak, stretched from present-day Quito in Ecuador to Santiago

in Chile. After the Spanish conquistadores invaded the city they started

building on top of the Incan structures, resulting in unique architecture, a

fusion of the Incan and Spanish colonial styles.



The group flight usually arrives around midday, giving time for a short

orientation tour around the city or free time to wander the cobbled streets

admiring the old houses, visiting its interesting museums, churches and

pre-Columbian buildings, or to sit in a café and sample a coca-tea.



It is recommended to take it easy upon arrival into Cuzco and to drink plenty

of water to allow your body time to acclimatise to the altitude (3,400m).



There will be a welcome briefing in the hotel lobby this afternoon/evening.

Day 2 : Free Day; Optional Sacred Valley Excursion.

Location: Cusco

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: MamaSara Hotel (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast

Today has been left free for exploring Cuzco, one of South America's most

beautiful cities. The Plaza de Armas is a fantastic spot for people-watching,

and Qorikancha – the Sun Temple, located in the Santo Domingo Church and

monastery, are worth a visit. The Mercado San Pedro is the place to try some

local produce and there are many handicraft markets to shop for souvenirs

such as alpaca jumpers and scarves.



Outside the town are more Inca ruins, notably the fortress of Sacsayhuaman

where the Inca armies made their last stand against the Conquistadores. Cuzco

is also the gateway to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and should you wish to

visit the sites, your leader can help organise an excursion, including Pisac

Market (optional).



If you fancy something more active then there are an array of other optional

activities available from Cuzco including paddle-boarding on a lake, mountain

biking, or a combination of via ferrata and zip-lining in the Sacred Valley.



In the evening you will need to pack and weigh your duffel bag ready for the

Inca Trail tomorrow – remember to keep your passport somewhere accessible

for the Inca Trail checkpoint.



Day 3 : Three Route Options

Location: Ollantaytambo

Accommodation: Camp

Accommodation Name: Huayllabamba Camp (full-service camping)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Route 1: The Classic Inca Trail is a tangential branch part of a 45,000km road network

linking the whole empire to Cuzco. It was built in the 15th Century to reach

Machu Picchu but was abandoned soon after the Spanish conquest. American

adventurer Hiram Bingham travelled along the trail when he came across Machu

Picchu in 1911. The trail opened to the public in 1970.



We leave Cuzco early and drive for roughly two hours to Ollantaytambo, our

last chance to buy any items needed for the trek. From here we veer off the

road and follow a track beside the river (45 minutes) to the start of the

Inca Trail at Piscacucho, commonly known as Km82. After greeting our trekking

crew, we show our passports at the checkpoint and begin the Inca Trail trek.

The trail runs alongside the Vilcanota River beneath the impressive

snow-capped Nevado Veronica, passing through cactus gardens and fields of

corn until we reach the enormous Inca ruins of Llactapata, where we continue

up a side valley to camp near the hamlet of Huayllabamba.



*Walk Profile: approx. 11km / 6‐7hrs walking*



Full-service Camping - Huayllabamba Camp





Route 2: Moonstone Trek: Trek past ruins and hamlets to the village of Chillipawa.

An early start as it's a very busy first day! We take a private minibus to the trailhead, stopping first to explore the nearby ruins from which the trek takes its name. This is a large site with several distinct Inca remnants, clearly of religious importance. As with the rest of the trek, we are most likely to have the site completely to ourselves. The Moonstone itself is a large carving on an enormous boulder, and its significance is not yet understood.



The trailhead is in a quiet, dusty valley and we soon climb high enough from the floor to enjoy some great views. At around lunchtime we stop to explore the imposing pre‐Inca fortress of Wata that straddles the trail. The ruin has not yet been accurately dated and pottery can often still be found lying on the ground. The path then traverses along a green side valley as we make our way above a few tiny villages before entering the village of Chillipawa, where we camp.



Walk Profile: approx. 10.5km / 6‐7hrs walking



Full‐service Camping







Route 3: One Day Inca Trail Option: Full day walking tour of nearby ruins including Tambomachay and Sacsayhuaman



The hills above Cuzco city are dotted with some of the most interesting Inca ruins. We drive to the highest, Tambomachay, and return on foot to Cuzco via Puca Pucara, Qenco and Sacsayhuaman: an easy acclimatisation walk to get used to the altitude. An open-air picnic lunch is included during the hike near the spectacular ruins.



Walk Profile: approx. 6.5km / 5-6hrs walking (inclusive of the time for visiting the sites)



Hotel Warari / Koyllur (or similar)







Day 4 : 3 Route Options

Location: Llulluchapampa

Accommodation: Camp

Accommodation Name: Pacaymayu Camp (full-service camping)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This is the longest and most strenuous day of the trek. A long climb takes us

first through an area of cloud forest to the meadows of Llulluchapampa, then

over the Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman's) Pass – at 4215m the highest point

on the trek. After quite a long, steep descent we camp in the scenic valley

of the Pacamayo River (3600m).



*Walk Profile: approx. 10km / 6‐7hrs walking*



Full-service Camping - Pacamayo Camp





Route 2: Moonstone Trek: Up the Accoccosa Pass and onto the high pampas.

Route 3: One Day Inca Trail Option: Free day in Cuzco





Day 5 : 3 Route Options

Location: Sacred Valley

Accommodation: Camp

Accommodation Name: Phuyupatamarca Camp (full-service camping)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We start the day with an easier climb which takes us past the ruins of

Runquracay and over the Runquracay Pass (3930m). From now on the Inca Trail

becomes a clearly defined path made of flat boulders. As we leave behind the

ruins of Sayajmarca, we suddenly enter rainforest; at one point the trail

passes through an Inca tunnel. We spend the night at a spectacular campsite

on the ridge above the Inca site of Phuyupatamarca (3680m) to benefit from

the views of sunset and sunrise.



*Walk Profile: approx. 12km / 5-6hrs walking*



Full-service Camping - Phuyupatamarca Camp





Route 2: Moonstone Trek: Continue along a narrow canyon and Incan aqueduct before crossing over to the Inca quarry of Canchiqata.



Route 3: One Day Inca Trail Option: Visit Pisac market and Inca ruins in the Sacred Valley

Day 6 : 3 Route Options

Location: Machu Picchu

Accommodation Name: Terraza de Luna (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

From the ridge, we embark on the infamous Inca steps: a two kilometre stone

staircase taking us rapidly downhill amid a panorama of overwhelming

immensity, with the peaks of the Vilcabamba range above, and the river

thousands of metres below. After visiting the attractive ruins of Wiñay

Wayna, we have an undulating walk through cloud forest high above the river

to Inti Punku, the Sun Gate. From here we get our first full sight of Machu

Picchu itself, with Huayna Picchu rising behind.



Traditionally busy with groups of trekkers clamouring for photos, we plan our

arrival at Inti Punku later in the day so we can enjoy unobstructed views of

the magnificent ruins. Whilst most groups choose to visit Machu Picchu today,

we'll pass around the edge of the ruins and exit the site, descending to

Aguas Calientes for a well-earned rest, a shower and a comfortable bed for

the night. Our trekking permits allow us one entry into the site, which we

use for our tour tomorrow when we are refreshed and more able to enjoy it.



There is usually time for an optional visit to the hot springs in Aguas

Calientes, however in recent years they have become over-crowded and the

water quality can suffer as a result. We will be reunited with those who have

been on the Moonstone Trek or the Train Option at the hotel this afternoon.



*Walk Profile: approx. 9km / 6-7hrs walking*



*Hotel Inti Punku El Tambo (or similar)**







Route 2: Moonstone Trek: Descend to Ollantaytambo where the trek ends; catch the train to Aguas Calientes and re-join the rest of the group.



Route 3: One Day Inca Trail Option: One Day Inca Trail via Wiñay Wayna to Machu Picchu



Day 7 : Guided Tour Of Machu Picchu; Free Time To Explore Further; Return To Cuzco By Train And Road.

Location: Machu Picchu, Cusco

Accommodation Name: MamaSara Hotel (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast

In order to beat the day-trippers arriving from Cuzco and reach the ruins as

early as possible, a very early start is required to queue for Machu Picchu;

only government-registered buses can make the 30-minute drive up the winding

road to the site entrance, and during high season (May-October) queues can be

hours long. 



Machu Picchu is one of the architectural and engineering marvels of the

ancient world and what makes it all the more dramatic is its mountain

backdrop of staggering immensity. The Spaniards never found it; the Incas

left no records of it, and so Machu Picchu remained a great enigma, a city

lost for centuries in the jungle until it was rediscovered in 1911 by the

American historian Hiram Bingham. 



New regulations for visiting Machu Picchu are now fully enforced; of the

three possible visiting slots, we will purchase the morning slot from 06:00

until 12:00 (unless unavailable), you will be limited to a maximum of four

hours within the site and must be accompanied by a guide. There will also be

three set routes to follow around Machu Picchu; we select the most

comprehensive route. 



We catch an afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo (1hr 30 mins) and continue

by private bus to Cuzco (2hrs 30 mins).



*Hotel Warari / Koyllur (or similar)**

*



Day 8 : End Cuzco.

Location: Cuzco

Meals Included: Breakfast

For land only travellers, the trip ends in Cuzco after breakfast today. Those

who are travelling on the group flights will be taken to Cuzco airport to

catch the overnight flight back to London.



What's Included

  • Meals
    3 breakfasts, 0 lunches, 0 dinners.


* All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 3 dinners
* 4 nights en suite hotels and 3 nights full-service camping
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout
* Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
* Arrival and departure transfers
* Full porterage throughout trek
* Exodus kitbag 
* Inflatable sleeping mat while camping

What's Not Included

  • Sleeping bag (hire locally from US$20)

  • Visas or vaccinations

  • Single accommodation (available on request)

  • Travel insurance

Food


All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 3 dinners are included in the price of the
tour. 

Peruvian cuisine has developed a reputation for its flavours and originality
and it’s well worth trying out a few of the local delicacies. Amongst these
are ceviche (a spicy dish of seafood or fish marinated in lime juice), lomo
saltado (a Peruvian take on a beef stir-fry) and various hearty soups such as
the delicious quinoa soup. Other dishes include roasted cuy (guinea pig),
alpaca steak, and to drink, the national beverage: Pisco Sour.

Drinking water is included throughout the holiday as the tap water in Peru is
not safe to drink; boiled and filtered drinking water is provided on the trek
and elsewhere your leader will buy large water containers for you to refill
your bottle from. 

Hotel breakfasts are normally simple buffet-style affairs, usually including
bread/toast and jam, cereal, sometimes eggs or a cooked dishes, sometimes
fruit, tea/coffee and fruit juice. Regrettably, we cannot guarantee that
wheat/gluten-free products will be available for breakfast in all
locations – if you have an intolerance you may wish to bring your own
breakfast food.

Where lunch and dinner are not included in Cuzco/Aguas Calientes we'll visit
a variety of cafes and restaurants.

During the Inca Trail (or Moonstone Trek) hearty breakfasts are served and
good quality cooked lunches and dinners are provided, and usually consist of
soup or a starter, a main course with meat/fish and some form of
carbohydrates, followed by a dessert. Some snacks between meals are also
provided. Bed tea/coffee is brought to your tent each morning and juice or
hot drinks are provided with all meals during the trek.

 

Accommodation

The three-star hotels selected on our Andean trips feature an excellent blend of quality and comfort, with easy walking access to city and town attractions. The Inca Trail is offered on a full-service camping basis with full porterage, meaning our camp staff put up and take down the tents for you, cook, and do all the camp chores. You need only carry your backpack for the day and enjoy your time on the trek.



Cuzco: MamaSara Hotel (nights 1-2 and 7)







Just a few blocks from the historic centre, MamaSara is well located for our adventures in the one-time Inca capital of Cuzco. The design of the rooms pays homage to the city with locally sourced furniture and artwork, while the restaurant serves Peruvian Andean cuisine.



Inca Trail: Camping (nights 3-5)







We sleep and dine in good-quality four-season tents. We also have a toilet tent set up both in camp and during lunch stops. Boiled and filtered drinking water is provided to guests in the mornings, at lunch and dinner times so we can refill our water bottles.  While on the trek, a bowl of warm water for washing is provided each morning and evening. On the Inca Trail, we stay in official campsites where additional bathroom facilities are available.



Aguas Calientes: Terraza de Luna (night 6)







Terraza de Luna is conveniently located in Aguas Calientes near the train station and buses to Machu Picchu. In addition to the standard comforts and warm service, it has a wonderful rooftop terrace with a bar and lounge area to enjoy a drink and take in the views of the mountains and Urubamba River.



Worth knowing



Single accommodation (including tents) can be arranged, subject to availability. Please request this at the time of booking.

Check out our Q&As

  • Are flights included in this tour?

    International flights are not included with this tour.

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes, our local guides are English speaking.

  • Can you assist with pre or post tour accommodation?

    We are happy to assist with pre and post tour accommodation. Please enquire for detailed information.

  • Who is Exodus Travels?

    At Exodus Travels, we've been exploring the world for nearly 50 years. From Walking and Trekking, Cultural and Cycling, Responsible Wildlife, to Polar and our new Premium Adventures, we are proud to offer award-winning small group and self-guided tours to 100+ countries worldwide.

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    The minimum age for this tour is 16 years old.

  • Is there a supplement for solo travellers?

    If you would like to be paired with a tour member of the same gender, there is no additional charge. A single supplement can be requested if you would like your own room.

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    If you wish to make any changes to your booking, particularly if you need to alter any flights booked through us, please let us know as soon as possible. There is a booking or flight amendment fee of £40 per change and flight amendments often incur extra airline costs depending on the changes to be made and if the ticket has been issued or not.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Exodus has been trading since 1974

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Your final joining instructions and flight details, if booked with us, will then be sent out 2 to 3 weeks before departure. If you would like a hard copy posted, or if you require these any earlier, please contact the customer operations team. We advise that if you are booking connecting travel before receiving these, please ensure you leave plenty of time.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Travellers are welcome to opt to share a room with a tour member of the same gender for no additional charge. If you'd like your own room, we can request a single supplement so that you will have your own room throughout.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    You are welcome to meet the group after the tour has departed however there is no reduction in rate for joining a tour after the departure date.

Reviews from travellers on this tour

THE INCA TRAIL

Like most of the reviews this was something I'd lo

Like most of the reviews this was something I'd long dreamed of doing. So I booked it and was lucky enough that 5 of my friends also thought it'd be a good plan. We were also fortunate to have 6 other travelling companions who were an eclectic mix & excellent company throughout what was a wonderfull journey.If you're dreaming like I was, take the plunge, it's a fantastic experience.

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

This was my first experience of travelling outside

This was my first experience of travelling outside Europe. I absolutely loved it and it has made me so excited to see the rest of the world. I met some really great people and it was so great to experience this with them.

Excellent Adventure challenging at times

A fantastic Experience made all the better by the

A fantastic Experience made all the better by the Group who bonded straight away, I have completed the EBC Trek and the Annapurna Circuit as well but did find this Trek Challenging at times even though it is classed as moderate so the fitter you are the better it will be but we did have members of the group with little Trekking experience who made it but did struggle on all the Trek especially on day 2 but they made it with the support of the Guides Wilfrado and Bruce.

Inca Trail

The whole experience from beginning to the end was

The whole experience from beginning to the end was amazing. The experience was also made all the better having a guide like Mike Gamarra. His knowledge and passion for the Inca Trail and its history was unquestionable. He also brought us all closer as a group, and also made us all, including the chaskis, feel like a family. Would highly recommend this trip to anyone.

Breathtaking trek to the Inca Capital of Machu Picchu

The Inca trail, organised by Exodus, was a thrill

The Inca trail, organised by Exodus, was a thrill ride from beginning to end. I was so impressed with the organisation of the trip. We were looked after so well that I didn't have to think about how I was going to get around, or where my next meal would come from. The two guides were a constant source of fascinating facts, and helped keep the group motivaated. The group of Porters were superhuman. The camp site was stripped down as we left. They marched (And sometimes ran) past us during the trek. And always had the camp ready when we arrived. If this wasn't impressive enough, the meals were already in the process of being prepared. The food provided by the chef were delicious. Hadn't expected to be eating such great food. Fish, meat and chicken were the evening meals. Also popcorn was provided as an after trek snack. So impressed I would recommend this trek to anyone. And if this is how Exodus organise their trips, I will definitely use them again!!

THE INCA TRAIL

A well planned, interesting and enjoyable adventur

A well planned, interesting and enjoyable adventure.

The Most Awesome Trip

This trip for me was unbelievable and Fascinating

This trip for me was unbelievable and Fascinating and incredibly informative all at the same time

THE INCA TRAIL Moonstone Trek

A very well co-ordinated trip. It would have been

A very well co-ordinated trip. It would have been impossible to put together such a combination of events by myself for the cost of the trip. Absolutely no hassle, every potentional stress point was anticipated and solved by the trip leaders on the ground.

THE INCA TRAIL

Due to never having been on anything like this kin

Due to never having been on anything like this kind of holiday before we were looking forward to it and the different experience this would offer. The holiday went beyond our expectations and we had a fantastic experience with all elements of the trip running smoothly.

THE INCA TRAIL

A lot of fun, lots of steps, spectacular scenery. 

A lot of fun, lots of steps, spectacular scenery.  A sense of accomplishment that we hadn't taken the easy route by taking the train.

Read all 159 reviews

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Book with Confidence

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Exodus allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform exodus, 43 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Exodus requires a minimum deposit of 25% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 90 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of exodus charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

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