Six Days to Machu Picchu

Six Days to Machu Picchu

Start: Cusco Finish: Cusco

Visiting: Cusco, Inca Trail (3100m)* or Quarry Trail (3700m) or Cusco, Inca Trail (3650m)* or Quarry Trail (3600m) or Cusco, Inca Trail (2650m)* or Aguas Calientes (2040m), Machu Picchu (2430) - Cusco


Duration: 5 Nights

Physical rating: High

Special diets catered: Vegetarians

Tour code: GGYM

Tour operator: Intrepid Travel

Group size: 1 - 16

Age range: 18-29 years

Tour operated in: English


From: $1210 $1067

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Tour Overview

If you've only got time for the Inca Trail, or if Machu Picchu is on your bucket list but you want to do your own thing for the rest of your time in the region, then this is the ideal trip. Arrive in Cusco and waste no time in tackling your choice of trail to the ‘City in the Clouds’, or alternatively hang out in beautiful Cusco and Aguas Calientes before travelling by train on the penultimate day of the tour. We employ local guides and porters, so you can be sure your trek is benefitting the Andean community.

Highlights

  • iconMachu Picchu itself is a true wonder, but trekkers also witness plenty of incredible scenery, smaller Inca ruins and archaeological sites along the way.
  • iconChoose your own adventure! Whether you pick the classic Inca Trail*, the Quarry Trail or take the train route, we are dedicated to making it unforgettable.
  • iconYour time is precious, so dive right in with a guided tour of downtown Cusco on the first day of your tour.
  • iconCommitment issues? This trip is perfect for those who want to tackle the Inca Trail (which legally must be done with an official operator) but don’t want to commit to a longer tour.
  • iconCommitment issues? This trip is perfect for those who want to tackle the Inca Trail* (which legally must be done with an official operator) but don’t want to commit to a longer tour.
  • iconDon't worry, we won't hog all of your time. You'll have plenty of opportunity to bounce around Cusco, digging deep into the city's pockets of Inca history and cobblestone alleyways.
  • icon*Please note that the Inca Trail trekking route is currently closed until further notice due to the pandemic. Quarry Trail and train option are still available.
  • iconChoose your own adventure! Whether you pick the classic Inca Trail, the Quarry Trail or take the train route, we are dedicated to making it unforgettable.

Itinerary

icon Day 1: Cusco

Location: Cusco

Accommodation: Hotel

Welcome to Cusco, Peru! Your adventure starts at 2 pm with a welcome meeting at your hotel. After the meeting your tour leader will take you on a walk around downtown Cusco. You’ll visit the facade of Qoricancha temple, the local San Pedro market, the main square, past the 12 Angled Stone, Regocijo Square and San Blas Square. This evening why not head out and have some dinner with your trekking buddies!

Included Activities:
-Cusco - Orientation Walk

Optional Activities:
-Cusco - Full Boleto Turistico Pass (access to 16 archaeological sites, transport & guides not included)
-Cusco - City tour

icon Day 2: Inca Trail (3100m)* or Quarry Trail (3700m) or Cusco

Location: Inca Trail (3100m)* or Quarry Trail (3700m) or Cusco

Accommodation: Route 1 & 2: Camping (with basic facilities)/Route 3: Hotel

Meals: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Depending on your pre-arranged travel arrangements, during the next four days you may: hike the classic Inca Trail*, hike the Quarry Trail or stay in Cusco for another two days before taking the train to Aguas Calientes. While away from Cusco, the bulk of your luggage will be stored at your hotel. If you’re hiking the Inca Trail* or the Inca Quarry Trail, the evening before you leave Cusco you'll receive a small duffle bag to carry your clothes in for the next four days (5 kg maximum).

Your team of porters will carry these bags for you, together with the food and equipment for the trail. Please note that you won't have access to these items until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group. If you’re travelling to Aguas Calientes by train, you'll be able to leave most of your luggage at the hotel in Cusco and only travel with the necessary items for the next few days.

Route 1 Inca Trail*: 
Today travel by minivan to the 82 km marker and meet your crew of local porters, cook and guide. The first day includes uphill trekking to the campsite, which is at 3,100 metres above sea level. On the way you’ll see the ruins of Llactapata, which was burnt to the ground by the last Inca emperor to discourage Spanish pursuit down the trail. In the evening, set up camp while the cook makes dinner.

Notes: The Inca Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people, but please come prepared, as the trail is 45 km long and often steep. Each day's journey generally consists of seven hours of walking (uphill and downhill), with stops for snacks and lunch. Trekking usually begins at 7 am (except on the fourth morning) and you reach the campsite around 5 pm. Accommodation on the trek is camping (three nights). Double tents (twin-share) and foam camping mats will be provided. The porters will set up the tents while the cook prepares meals.

Route 2 Quarry Trail: 
Make an early start today and drive to Choquequilla, a small ceremonial place where Incas worshipped the moon. Drive to the starting point of the trek, Rafq'a, and meet the horsemen who join us on the hike. After an hour’s walk, reach the small community of Socma. Carry on to the Perolniyoc cascade lookout, an opportunity to stop for photos and a food break. Continue to the campsite, which is 3,700 meters above sea level. You should reach the campsite around lunchtime. After lunch, set off to explore the Q'orimarca archaeological site, which once served as a checkpoint to the Incas.

Notes: The Quarry Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people. The hike is 26 km long in total and its highest pass is at 4,450 meters above sea level. Throughout the trek, horses will carry your gear and camping equipment. The first two nights are spent camping and the third night you will stay at a simple hotel. Double tents (twin-share) and foam camping mats will be provided. The porters will set up the tents while the cook prepares meals.

Route 3 Cusco:
For those travellers disinterested in hiking the trail or who are unable to, spend two extra nights in Cusco before travelling by bus to Ollantaytambo. From here take a train through the winding Urubamba Valley to the town of Aguas Calientes where you’ll spend a third night.

Included Activities:
-3 Night / 4 Day Inca Trail (or 2 Night / 3 Day Quarry Trail)

icon Day 3: Inca Trail (3650m)* or Quarry Trail (3600m) or Cusco

Location: Inca Trail (3650m)* or Quarry Trail (3600m) or Cusco

Accommodation: Route 1 & 2: Camping (with basic facilities)/Route 3: Hotel

Meals: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Route 1 Inca Trail*:
This is the most challenging day of the trek, as we ascend a long steep path (approximately five hours) to reach the highest point of the trail. Colloquially known as 'Dead Woman's Pass', Warmiwanusca sits at a height of 4,200 meters above sea level, providing amazing views of the valley below. The group will then descend to the campsite in the Pacaymayo Valley at 3,650 metres.

Route 2 Quarry Trail: 
This is the most challenging and rewarding day of the hike. A three-hour walk takes us to the top of the first pass of Puccaqasa (approximately 4,370 meters high). After enjoying picturesque views of the valley, it’s a short walk before stopping for lunch. Afterwards, make the two-hour hike to Kuychicassa, the highest pass of the trek at 4,450 meters. From here, descend to the sacred site the Incas called Intipunku (Sun Gate), with views of the Nevado Veronica mountain. Head to the campsite, only a stone’s throw away at Choquetacarpo.

Route 3 Cusco:
Today, perhaps your free day indulging your inner foodie in the eateries of Cusco. Head to lunch at the arty Fallen Angel restaurant, and if you still have room for dessert, the ChocoMuseo offers tastings and chocolate-marking workshops. All optional activities are at your own cost. 

icon Day 4: Inca Trail (2650m)* or Aguas Calientes (2040m)

Location: Inca Trail (2650m)* or Aguas Calientes (2040m)

Accommodation: Route 1:Camping (with basic facilities)/Route 2 & 3: Hotel

Meals: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Route 1 Inca Trail*: 
Start the day with a climb through the Pacaymayo Valley to Runkuracay pass (3,980 metres). Enjoy views of the snow-capped mountain of Cordillera Vilcabamba before descending for around two to three hours to the ruins of Sayacmarca. Continue over the trail’s third pass to the ruins of Phuyupatamarca (3,850 metres), also known as 'Town Above the Clouds'. Start the two-hour descent down the Inca steps to the final night's campsite by the Winay Wayna archaeological site.

Route 2 Quarry Trail: 
Today’s hike will all be downhill. The first stop is the incomplete Kachiqata quarry, where the Incas were intercepted by the Spanish. Around midday, come to the end of the trek. Explore the cobbled streets of Ollantaytambo before taking the short train journey to Aguas Calientes. This is where you’ll meet up with the travellers in your group who didn't hike. Visiting the natural hot springs in town is a soothing way to spend the late afternoon. Spend the night in a comfortable hotel before tomorrow’s visit to Machu Picchu.

Route 3 Train:
In the morning take a bus and train which is nestled in the hills at the foot of Machu Picchu. For those who want to, there’s time to visit Machu Picchu independently before the guided tour the next day. If you’d like to do this, please advise your group leader at the welcome meeting at the beginning of the trip. Otherwise, you might like to while away the afternoon in the natural hot springs of Aguas Calientes.

icon Day 5: Machu Picchu (2430) - Cusco

Location: Machu Picchu (2430) - Cusco

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: breaksfast

Route 1 Inca Trail*: 
The day starts before dawn with breakfast at 4.30 am. Say farewell to the porters as they descend to the train station and begin hiking by 5.30 am. The walk to Intipunku (the Sun Gate) takes around two-and-a-half hours. Weather permitting, enjoy unforgettable views over the ‘Lost City of the Incas’
 
Route 2 Quarry Trail: 
Depending on weather conditions, take a bus at 5:30 am this morning along the winding road to Machu Picchu. The journey takes around 30 minutes. At Machu Picchu, join up with the travellers in your group who hiked the Classic Inca Trail. If skies are clear, enjoy spectacular views over the ancient city from the Sun Gate, before going on a guided walk around the ruins.

Route 3:
In the morning at 5.30 am, take a bus up to Machu Picchu. The city was built around 1440 AD as a country retreat for Incan nobility, but there’s evidence that the land had been a sacred Incan site for much longer. Take a guided tour around the ruins of temples, palaces and living quarters, and enjoy free time afterwards to wander around on your own before the group returns to Cusco.

Visiting Machu Picchu:
According to Machu Picchu visiting regulations, all visitors must follow a pre-determined route within the site. This route must be followed in one direction only and once the guided visit commences exiting and re-entering the site is not permitted. Once the guided visit concludes, visitors must exit the site and personal exploration of Machu Picchu is not permitted.

For all trails - after taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities, it's time to return to Cusco for a well deserved shower and a pisco sour. Your evening is then free for the last night of your adventure.



Included Activities:
-Machu Picchu - Guided tour

icon Day 6: Cusco

Location: Cusco

Meals: breaksfast

Your adventure comes to an end this morning. There are no more activities planned and you're free to leave the accommodation at any time.

Optional Activities:
-Cusco - Pisco Making - Urban Adventures
-Cusco - Stand Up Paddle Boarding
-Cusco - Totem painting workshop
-Sacred Valley - Mountain Biking
-Sacred Valley - Via Ferrata & Zipline
-Rainbow Mountain Hike

What's Included

  • icon
    Cusco - Orientation Walk

  • icon
    Machu Picchu - Guided tour

  • icon
    Accommodation

    Route 1 - Inca Trail: Camping with basic facilities (3 nights), Hotel (3 nights). Route 2 - Quarry Trail: Camping with basic facilities (2 nights), Hotel (3 nights). Route 3 - Train option: Hotel (5 nights)

  • icon
    Meals

    5 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners

  • icon
    3 Night / 4 Day Inca Trail (or 2 Night / 3 Day Quarry Trail)

Included Activities

  • Cusco - Orientation Walk
  • 3 Night / 4 Day Inca Trail (or 2 Night / 3 Day Quarry Trail)
  • Machu Picchu - Guided tour

Transport

  • Private vehicle , Bus Taxi , Train - Route 3 only

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Got a question? Check out our Q&As

Ask A Question
How long has the tour company been trading?

Intrepid Travel has been taking travellers around the world for over 30 years

What are the Flexible booking conditions in place for Covid-19?

Lock your trip in with a deposit, then you just need to pay in full by 21 days prior to departure. If you cancel your trip up to 21 days before departure, you can transfer your deposit to another available trip or hold your deposit on file indefinitely (excluding Polar). We are an accredited member of ATOL, AFTA, ABTA, TICO, USTOA and the US Travel Association, so your booking is protected.

What are the Safety Policies in place for Covid-19?

We have reviewed all our health and safety policies and are implementing new minimum standards that emphasise increased hygiene and sanitation. These are in line with recommendations from the World Health Organisation and following the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Safe Travel protocols for tour operators, for which we have received a 'Safe Travels Stamp'

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

For almost all of our trips, we offer a single supplement option for those solo travellers who wish to have their own room. Please request this when booking, and we will secure you a single supplement wherever possible. Please note, if you are booking a last-minute trip, it may be harder for us to secure a single room.

What policies are in place for Covid-19?

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