Inca Trail to Machu Picchu|
PeruPeru Regular Service 4-day Itinerary
Peru’s best-known hike visited by thousands of tourists every year. The classical 43-km trek leading to the Sacred Inca City of Machupicchu combines the visit of mysterious archaeological sites, amazing mountain scenery and lush cloud forest rich in Andean flora and fauna. Machupicchu is reached at sunrise on the fourth day.
Day 01: Cusco - Wayllabamba Between 4:00 and 4:30 am, we will pick you up at your hotel in our own private bus. We will then drive to Piskacuchu (2700 m.), a community located on the 82nd kilometer of the Cusco –Machupicchu railroad.
Starting at this point, we will cross the bridge and walk along the left shore of the Urubamba River as it flows north-west along the Sacred Valley. Following the trail along a flat terrain, we will arrive in Miskay (2800 m.), to then ascend and finally see, from the tallest part of an overlook, the Inca city of Patallacta (2750 m.).
We will continue trekking along the valley created by the Kusichaca River, gradually climbing for about five hours until we reach our first campsite in the Wayllabamba village (3000 m.).
All along the way we will see spectacular views of the Vilcanota ridge on the opposite side of the Urubamba River, where the impressive Veronica peak reigns at 5832 meters above sea level. Not to mention the diversity of wild flora and fauna that can be found all along the valley.
Day 02: Wayllabamba – Pacaymayo We will wake up at around 6:00 am, and after breakfast we will leave Wayllabamba behind to begin the most difficult part of the trek, which consists of an abrupt and steep ascent that stretches for 9 km.
Along this climb, the landscape changes from sierra to puna (a dry and high area with little vegetation). On the way to the first mountain pass, the Abra Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman´s Pass), we will see domesticated llamas and alpacas grazing on ichu, one of the few plants that grow at that altitude. We will also cross an area of the so called cloud forest, which is the habitat for many different kinds of birds like hummingbirds and sparrows and the Andean bear, which is also called the Spectacled Bear ( Tremarctus Ornatus).
We advise that on this day specially, your day pack is well stocked with candies, chocolates and coca leaves that will keep your sugar level high, and help with altitude sickness.
Immediately after the pass, we will descend into the Pacaymayo valley (3600 m.), where we will camp after approximately 6h of hiking.
Day 03: Pacaymayo – Wiñaywayna This day is the longest but also the most impressive and the most interesting, due the number of archaeological sites that we will visit and learn about from our guide. From Pacaymayo we will climb to the second pass, the Abra de Runkurakay (3970 masl). Half way up, we will visit the archaeological complex with the same name.
This site, located at 3800 m., consists of a small oval structure that is believed to have served the purpose of a watchtower. After going over the pass, we will descend towards Yanacocha (Black Lagoon) and enter the cloud-forest to finally arrive at Sayacmarca (3624 m.). This is a beautiful complex made up of a semicircular construction, enclosures at different levels, narrow streets, liturgical fountains, patios and irrigation canals.
Continuing up an easy climb, we will arrive at the third pass, the Abra de Phuyupatamarca (3700 m.). Along this climb we can appreciate the magnitude of the Incas´ ancient craft, by walking along paths semi-detached from the mountain, and seeing rocks that fill up ravines in perfect order, saving the trail from the multileveled Andean geography.
We go through an Inca tunnel to later arrive at the aforementioned pass and down to the complex of the same name. This 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.
Curiously, Phuyupatamarca means ¨town over the clouds¨. From above, one can observe a sophisticated sacred complex made up of water fountains with solid foundations, and also impressive views of the Urubamba River valley and the long descending stone steps along which we will continue on to Wiñaywayna (2700 m.).
At this campsite we will find a lodge with a restaurant, bar and bathrooms with hot showers. The campsite has the same name as the complex located only five minutes away from the lodge. Wiñaywayna is an impressive complex made up of an agricultural center with numerous terraces, a religious sector and an urban sector.
Day 04: Wiñaywayna – Machupicchu On this fourth and last day we will get up at 4.00 am to leave Wiñaywayna an hour later and climb to 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 will see the sunrise over the sacred citadel of Machupicchu. From Intipunku we will descend into Machupicchu, and 40 minutes later we will enter the citadel from the highest point through the ¨House of the Guardians¨.
We will then descend to the control point where we will register ourselves and leave our backpacks. We will immediately begin a complete guided tour of the Inca citadel that will take approximately two hours.You will then have free time to walk around, climb the Huaynapicchu Mountain, where one can experience spectacular views of all of Machupicchu, the valleys and mountains that surround it, or visit the Temple of the Moon and the fabulous Inca Bridge. In the afternoon, we will meet in the town of Aguas Calientes where, if you like, you can visit and relax in the thermal baths. From here we will take the train to the city of Cusco, where we will arrive after nightfall.
* Departure and arrival times are approximated.
** Campsites are subject to change according to the designation of the governmental institution regulating the use of the Inca Trail, as well as to our guide’s criteria and the evolution of the group.
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