Our itineraries highlight the mind blowing Incan engineering and ruins while skipping the tourist traps to encounter an authentic Peru most travelers will never experience. Our friend and guide, Valentin is has lived in the Sacred Valley his whole life working on the Inca Trail and in tourism for over 20 years. He has recently cultivated relationships with schools and locals to bring us home-stays and local encounters not possible through other companies. He has also opened up his own family farm for us to tour! This truly elevates your experience and sets our adventure apart.
INCA TRAIL & SACRED VALLEY
Inca Trail permits for 2018 dry season (May-Aug) are sold out! Departures are available for November 2018. 2019 permits will also become available in November 2018. Inca Trail is closed all of February for maintenance. Book your adventure with us now for departures in 2019!
June 3, 2019
June 17, 2019
July 1, 2019
July 15, 2019
July 29, 2019
Aug 12, 2019
Aug 26, 2019
September 9, 2019
Cost: $3899/person ($299 USD Deposit + 2 Payments of $1800)
NOT INCLUDED: International Airfare, Huayna Picchu entrance at Machu Picchu ($60 and must arrange with Inca Trail permit), extra nights in Cusco, lunch and dinner on day 4, lunch and dinner on day 12.
Pace 3 – Several destinations, average time in each location: 2-3 days.
Activity Rating 4 - Activities of moderate intensity, intermediate level of fitness required
Day 1: Arrivals & Welcome Dinner
We will meet you at the airport and get you to your hotel. Freshen up and meet for our first dinner together!
DAY 2: TREK TO HUCHUY COSQO RUINS AND HOMESTAY
Plan to arrive in Cusco the day before our departure. Huchuy cosqo means "little Cusco" and is a less frequently visited but amazing Inca archaeological site. We will start today hiking for about 5 miles along one of the original Inca trails through a beautiful canyon and between amazing mountains before stopping for a trail lunch. Hike 5 more miles to this amazing ruin and get greeted by our homestay family. We will experience the life of local farmers living in remote areas high above the Sacred Valley in the same way their ancestors did during Inca times. We will have dinner with our family, and if we are lucky, the family may perform traditional music for us!
DAY 3: TREK TO CHINCHERO AND WEAVING/TEXTILE COOPERATIVE
After breakfast with the family, we will have an in depth tour of the archaeological site of Huchuy Cusco which was a very important place and was considered "Small Cusco". We will see the Inca king’s palace, the temple of the water, and ceremonial altars. After the tour we will head out on our hike to Chinchero. Once there we will stop in at the women's weaving cooperative where we will watch a demonstration of local weavers who are still using traditional Inca patterns and techniques for dyeing fabric. Here you will have time to browse the shop which sells Inca style purses, tablecloths, wall hangings, and many other colorful and exquisitely patterned artisanal goods. We will finish the day with another wonderful dinner and homestay in Chinchero.
DAY 4: SALT MINES - MARAS - MORAY - OLLANTAYTAMBO
Start our day with a tour of Maras, a collection of natural salt mines perched on the side of a steep mountain that have been used since pre-Inca times. It is truly a breathtaking site. We then continue on to the Moray ruin to contemplate the concentric circles that make up an ancient Incan agricultural laboratory. Hike down into the archaeological site which also housed one of the main amphitheaters for the Incas where they performed rituals and ceremonies.
DAY 5: ABRA MALAGA BIKE RIDE - OLLANTAYTAMBO RUINS
Ascend the winding road to Abra Malaga mountain pass at nearly 14,500 feet above sea level. Once at the top, visit the small church and gear up for our downhill mountain bike ride, but don’t let the height scare you. A smooth paved road makes this ride suitable for anyone. Descending 5,000ft over 50- kilometers makes this one of the longest possible bicycle descents in the world. Massive rock cliffs narrow the valley and steep terrain require switchbacks in the road. Duck into the forest to ride the world class Inca Downhill single track mountain biking trail along the way. This ride is a highlight and is a great way to acclimatize before the Inca Trail.
DAY 6: INCA TRAIL DAY 1 - OLLANTAYTAMBO - KM82 - LLACTAPACTA
Today we begin the Inca Trail, but first we climb to the top of the ancient fortress at Ollantaytambo to see the temple of the sun and enjoy amazing views of the Sacred Valley. After lunch we start our epic pilgrimage on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu at Km 82. We will hike along the Urubamba River to our camp at Llactapacta, the beautiful Inca archaeological site on the Urubamba River.
DAY 7: INCA TRAIL DAY 2 - LLACTAPACTA TO LLULLUCHAPAMPA
Wake up pampered with coca tea and hot washcloths delivered to your tent door. After a delicious hot breakfast we will meet the porters, take a group photo, and you can get to know the names and stories of the people who are working hard to take care of you on your trip. We will start the day by exploring the archeological site of Llactapacta which is one of the most magical places along the Inca trail. Because of time constraints, most other tour companies pass right by this place. The hike starts with the Cusichaca Valley, a local community still living the Inca style of life. We can stop and visit a local house and try chica, the traditional corn beer, and we can also feed the guinea pigs. The next 3 hours are a gradual uphill climb, then the hiking will be steep steps and switch backs for one hour. We will then break for lunch, have a siesta and continue 2 more hours on the Inca steps and switchbacks before arriving at our campsite of Llulluchapampa, a beautiful small campsite that is not used by many groups, located at the base of Dead Woman’s Pass. From the campsite, you can see stunning views of Huayanay mountain.
DAY 8: INCA TRAIL DAY 3 - LLULLUCHAPAMPA TO PUHPHUYPATAMARCA
Today is our hard day when will reach our highest point on the trail at Dead Woman’s Pass, elevation 13,778 feet. The summit is a great place for a photo, but it is usually cold and windy so snap your photo quick, stay warm and start your descent through the Pacamayo valley, walking over steps that are still in place since Inca times. We will stop for some snacks and a little break before starting our second ascent to Runcuracay Pass. On the way, we will stop for a history lessons at an Inca watch-tower and an ancient Inca ceremonial site. We will then have lunch in Chaquicocha before our final hike to our amazing camp site at Puhphuypatamarca. This is by far the most beautiful camp-site along the Inca trail. From here there are 360 degree views of the Andes and night sky. We will gather after dinner for view of the Milky Way, the Southern Cross, constellations, planets and a lesson on Incan astronomy.
DAY 9: INCA TRAIL DAY 4 - PUHPHUYPATAMARCA THROUGH SUN GATE TO MACHU PICCHU - AGUAS CALIENTES
Our 4th day is riddled more amazing ruins only accessible via this sacred pilgramage. Wake up at 5:30 am in order to enjoy sunrise and see the rays of sun hitting the surrounding snow capped mountains of Salkantay, Pumasillo and Veronica which reach above 20,000ft. We will have a hot breakfast and then explore the Incan astronomical observatory at Puhphuypatamarca before starting on our final push to Machu Picchu. We will descend on Inca steps through the cloud forest to reach the Inca farming terraces of Inti pata and enjoy the stunning views of the Sacred Valley and Urubamba River. Finally, we will descend to the last ruin before Machu Picchu, the powerful and spiritual ruin of Wiñay Huayna (forver young), visit the temple of the Rainbow and stop for a detailed explanation of one the most picturesque Inca archaeological sites on the trail. After lunch we will hike the gentle trail to arrive at Inti Punku, the sun gate, and devour our first views of Machu Picchu. Arrive at Machu Picchu in time to take the classic postcard pictures of the citadel at sunset and marvel in your accomplishment before heading down to Aguas Calientes by bus for a well deserved hot shower.
DAY 10: SUNRISE OVER MACHU PICCHU - FULL MACHU PICCHU TOUR - HOT SPRINGS
Get an early start and enter Machu Picchu for sunrise viewing. Then we will have a 21⁄2 hour walking tour of the site where we will visit the most important temples and palaces and understand why the Incas built this magic place. Have free time to explore on your own or climb Hauyna picchu if you have purchased tickets to do so. Take your time in the ruins or take the bus back to Aguas Calientes to roam the markets and town square before dinner. After a long and challenging hike your body will love a dip in the natural hot springs and a nice cocktail before calling it a night.
DAY 11: TRAIN TO OLLANTAYTAMBO - INCA TRAIL GUIDE’S FARM TOUR - URUBAMBA MARKET - PISAC RUINS
Take an early train back to Ollantaytambo to reclaim your luggage and continue on to the town of Yanahuara where we will visit our Inca Trail guide Valentin’s farm overlooking the Sacred Valley where we will tour the farm lands, cut alfalfa to feed the guinea pigs, and you can participate in starting a batch of chicha, the fermented corn beer of the Incas. This will be followed by a private gourmet picnic lunch prepared by our chef and will feature local organic produce including some of Valentin’s own crops. After lunch, we will go to the local authentic non-tourist market in Urubamba. Here we will see local families selling things such as fruits, vegetables, flowers and natural medicinal plants. Tour the market and try local fruits such as the passion fruit, lucuma, and chirimoya. We will also see vendors selling the ingredients that we used to make our chicha. Then we will drive one hour to the majestic ruins at Pisac where we will visit terraced Inca ruins that are situated high on a mountain. From here we will climb to the top of the ruins and take in amazing views of the Sacred Valley and learn about the religious, astronomical and military functions of the site. The terraces here allowed the Incas to grow food above 11,000 feet. After visiting the Inca ruins, there will be a chance to hike on a little known, seldom used original Inca trail and through a tunnel that was build by the Incas. One of the largest Inca cemeteries is also located in the ruins at Pisac and we can tour this part of the site as well.
DAY 12: CUSCO CITY TOUR - SACSAYHUAMAN-CUY CUISINE (GUINEA PIG) AND/OR DEPARTURE
This tour will take you to local sites not included in most other city tours. First stop, the bustling San Pedro market where many Cusqueños start their day. We will stop to have coffee or tea and take a tour of the stands that sell everything from fruits and vegetables to meats and medicinal plants. You will then be led on a tour of the most important historical sites of Cusco including the Plaza de Armas and the main cathedral. Inside the cathedral you can see a massive silver altar and a painting of the last supper where they are eating guinea pig. Next is Coricancha which was the most sacred Inca temple dedicated to Inti, the sun God. When the Spaniards arrived in Cusco they demolished the temple and used the existing foundation to build a colonial church. Lunch will afford the opportunity to taste a uniquely Peruvian delicacy, cuy (guinea pig). After lunch, we will drive 15 minutes to the Unesco world heritage site of Sacsayhuaman. Located on a steep outcropping overlooking Cusco, this Inca site is composed of massive boulders held together without mortar. It was an important site for military and ceremonial purposes. We will tour the site and take in panoramic views overlooking the city of Cusco.
DAY 13: DEPARTURES & EXTENSIONS
Say our goodbyes over breakfast and part ways, until next time.
SHORT INCA TRAIL & SACRED VALLEY
Same itinerary as above with only 1 day hiking Inca Trail and lower price!
Other Itinerary Ideas
- Inca Trail & Sacred Valley Express - 7 Days
- Short Inca Trail & Sacred Valley - 5 Days
- Yoga Inca Trail - 7 Days
- Yoga Inca Trail & Sacred Valley - 10 Days
- Alternatives hikes include Lares, Rainbow Mountain, Salkantay, Choquequirao