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Lima and Cuzco with 4-Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 11 day(s)
Group Size: 1 - 99 people
Destination(s): Peru  
Specialty Categories: Archeology/History   Hiking & Trekking  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: Yes
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 3379 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 6082 US Dollar (USD)

The Inca Trail is the trail the Incas used to connect the four corners of the Tawantinsuyo or Inca Empire. They had a sophisticated system of communication with messengers or ‘Chasquis’, with relays every 10 miles, which worked efficiently for the transportation of messages or goods for the rulers.

This trip can be customized to fit your individual travel dates and any specific requests you may have. Usually there are no set dates for our trips, however because of Government regulations the Inca Trail departs only on certain days and must be booked with plenty of notice. Permits may sell out about 3 or more months in advance during high season months and will be confirmed on a first come-first served basis. Passport number and date of birth must be provided at time of booking. Your travel consultant will prepare a customized itinerary for you.

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Overnight flight to Lima, Peru.

Day 2: Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. Afternoon city tour of Lima. Lima has always been one of the most important cities in South America since its founding in 1535. Journey through the historic center of the city. Admire the beauty of San Martin and Major squares, the Cathedral, the Government Palace and visit San Francisco Convent, religious building from the end of the XVI century and its catacombs. Also drive through the residential districts of San Isidro and Miraflores.

Day 3: Morning transfer to the airport to take the flight to Cuzco. Upon arrival in Cuzco, transfer to your hotel. Afternoon at leisure to acclimatize.

Day 4: Cusco - Wayllabamba. City tour of Cuzco, visiting the Korikancha temple or Temple of the Sun, the Cathedral and its Art Museum and the artisans quarter of San Blas and San Blas church. Continuing to the nearby water shrine of Tambomachay (the Inca Fountains), Puca Pucara (the Red Fortress), amphitheater of Kenko and finally the Sacsahuaman Fortress. Return to your hotel.

Day 5: 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 meters), a community located on the 82nd kilometer of the Cusco Machu Picchu railroad. Starting at this point, we will cross the bridge and walk along the left shore of the Urubamba River as it flow northwest along the Sacred Valley. Following the trail along a flat terrain, we will arrive in Miskay (2800 meters), to then ascend and finally see, from the tallest part of an overlook, the Inca city of Patallacta (2750 meters).

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 meters). 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 6: 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 Warmihuausca (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 meters), where we will camp after approximately 6h of hiking.

Day 7: Pacaymayo - Wiaywayna. 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 meters). Half way up, we will visit the archaeological complex with the same name.

This site, located at 3800 meters, 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 meters). 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 meters).

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 Machu Picchu, 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 Wiaywayna (2700 meters). 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. Wiaywayna is an impressive complex made up of an agricultural center with numerous terraces, a religious sector and an urban sector.

Day 8: Wiaywayna - Machu Picchu. On this fourth and last day we will get up at 4.00 am to leave Wiaywayna 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 Machu Picchu. From Intipunku we will descend into Machu Picchu, 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 Huayna Picchu Mountain, where one can experience spectacular views of all of Machu Picchu, the valleys and mountains that surround it. 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. In the evening we will enjoy a wonderful dinner at the hotel or in the village of Aguas Calientes. Overnight at a hotel in Machu Picchu.

Day 9: Day at leisure. You may choose to return to Machu Picchu, hike Huayna Picchu, or relax in the village of Aguas Calientes and its hot springs. In the afternoon, we will board the train to return to Cuzco. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel.

Day 10: Transfer to airport, to return to Lima. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. Afternoon shopping tour of Lima, taking you to the famous handicraft markets accompanied by our guides.

Day 11: Transfer to the airport to take the flight back home.

Airfare is included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- Air transportation from Miami to Lima in Economy class
- Air transportation from Lima to Cuzco
- Train ride to Machu Picchu
- Hotel Accommodation including continental breakfast
- All transfers between airports and hotels with assistance and baggage handling
- Guided tours of Lima, Cuzco and Machu Picchu in English including all entrance fees
- All Camping equipment which includes tents, mattresses (no sleeping bag)
- All meals at the Inca Trail and a specialized guide at the Inca Trail
- Meals where specified.