TRADITIONAL INCA TRAIL 4 DAYS - 3 NIGHTS
The Inca Trail to Machu picchu... The famous "Inca Trail" which connects the city of Cusco to Machupicchu's sacred citadel, is only a small part and tangential huge network of Inca roads. There were many trails built by Incas in Peru and South America, but there is only one Inca Trail, the one that is connecting to Machupicchu the Inca`s "Royal Sacred Highway" The Capac Ñan (in Quechua 'the road of the Inca king') or Inca Trail is the name given to the extensive trail system of 25 to 30 thousand kilometers linked and connected to the main axis of the road network Tahuantinsuyo (the Inca Empire.) All roads of the empire were linked to Cusco, the imperial capital, from which emerge a series of roads connecting the various peoples of the Inca Empire. During the Inca Empire was a means of integration for the Inca imperial expansion in the political-administrative, socio-economic, social, cultural and environmental.
Hiram Bingham, discoverer of Machupicchu in 1911, found the trail in 1915. The highway was traced and explored in more details in 1942 by the Viking Expedition with Paul Fejos 1941.
There is nothing like the feeling of discovery you get when, after 4 days of hiking stone-paved Inca pathways, you finally ascend the last trail, walk to the arch of Intipunku ("Gate of the Sun"), and see spread before you Machupicchu, the beautiful, enigmatic, "lost city" of the Incas. To arrive on foot, as the Incas did, is to step back in time and feel a real link with Inca history. The Inca Trail to Machupicchu is a classic hike. There are few short hikes anywhere in the world that can offer such a mix of jungle and sierra, so many secluded ruins to explore en route, and such stunning mountain views- plus the thrill of culminating at the most famous archaeological site on the continent... Machu Picchu.
Walking the Inca Trail with QORIANKA TOURS, Fully portered trek where your comfort is our prime responsibility, we make sure that you get the best experience of your holiday while you interact with the locals, explore and rediscover remote ancient Inca buildings, learning some Quechua words and history, take in the stunning landscape surrounding you and simply feel one with mother nature, while we carry your gear, prepare your meals, set up your tents avoiding crowded campsites and take care of all your requirements. At QORIANKA TOURS we want you to worry about nothing but getting the maximum out of your trip... just exceeding your expectations !! Tours designed with passion by experts and great value for money !
Day 1: CUSCO- PISKACUCHO KM 82- PATALLAQTA- CUSICHAKA- WAYLLABAMBA, AYAPATA.(CAMPING).-
Early pick-up from your hotel will begin around 5:00 am. We will meet at our departure point, Plaza Regocijo, by 5:30 to board our private transportation. Make sure you carry your original passport or ISIC card. Our journey from Cusco to Piskacucho takes approximately 3 hours, with many beautiful views of the Sacred Valley, the Urubamba River, Andean towns, and the Inca town of Ollantaytambo. Along the way, we will stop to stretch our legs, use the bathroom, and enjoy breakfast, before continuing on to Piscacucho (2,680 m / 8,790 ft). There we will meet our camp crew and the porters who will carry our belongings during our 35-mile hike. Passports in hand, we clear the official Inca Trail check point, cross a suspension footbridge across the Urubamba River, and begin our trek with a gentle climb. We have three hours on relatively level terrain as we follow the course of the river, rewarded with superb views of Mount Veronica (5,750 m). The easy walk passes through a forest of giant cactus and native bushes. At Miskay we take the trail to the left, ascending gradually to Willkaraccay high above the mouth of the Cusichaca River and across from the Inca town of Llactapata (Terrace Town). Our vantage point is from a flat bluff above the extensive site, which was built as a fort because it commands the entrance to the Cusichaca Valley. The terracing system was used during Inca times for growing maize, a prestige crop that needed irrigation in the dry highlands. After a short rest, we continue another 15 minutes down to our lunch site at Tayaroc. Our path is adorned with native flowers and bromeliads growing in the boulders along the left side, and by majestic views of the mountains in both valleys. Walking times are always approximate, depending on weather conditions, group ability and other factors. After lunch, another 3-4 hours will bring us to the village of Wayllabamba (3,000 m / 9,840 ft), followed by an uphill climb through woods and along a stream to our first camp at Ayapata (3,300 m / 10,824 ft). You will be rewarded with Te Macho and a buffet dinner.
Day 2: AYAPATA- LLULLUCHAYOQ- DEAD WOMAN´S PASS- PACAYMAYO- RUNKURAKAY- SAYAQMARKA- CHAKICOCHA (CAMPING).-
After breakfast, we depart from the Ayapata camp around 7:00 am. This is our longest day, but one rewarded with spectacular views down several valleys and up to the surrounding snow-covered peaks. We will put in a 5-hour hike to reach our lunch camp in the Pacaymayo Valley, then another 3-4 hours to our night camp at Chakicocha.
We begin with a 900-m ascent up to the Warmiwanusca (Dead Woman’s) Pass at 4,200 m/13,776 ft. Along the way, we ascend steeply uphill through the Corralpunku Valley to the Llulluchayoc Zone, where you can see several species of birds. With luck we’ll see hummingbirds, falcons and black-chested buzzard eagles. We’ll soon enter a beautiful cloud forest, or polylepis woodland, and the treeless grasslands of the puna. From this point, you can see the highest pass ahead. The path climbs for two more hours along a large number of steps, some of them newly laid to protect the mountain from erosion. You can walk at your own pace, stopping to catch your breath whenever you like. This last hard climb brings us to Dead Woman’s Pass, the first of two that we will cross today.
Once the full group reaches this pass, we take a rest break before beginning a steep descent into the Pacaymayo Valley on the other side. You’ll find that your energy returns as we proceed along this downhill segment toward a generous lunch and rest.
In the afternoon we begin a second ascent, this time to the ruins at Runcuracay, located a bit below the Runcuracay Pass (3,950 m / 12,956 ft). From the pass, in clear weather, you can look back to the Dead Woman’s Pass and forward to a breath-taking sweep of snow-capped peaks. These include the 6,000-m Pumasillo (Puma’s Claw) massif. From here, most of the trail is downhill or gently undulating until we reach the impressive ruins at Sayacmarca.
After some exploration, another 20 minutes bring us to Chakicocha (3,400 m / 11,000 ft). This will be our coldest night on the trail, at around +3 degrees C in December and -4 C in June. Tea time and Buffet Dinner.
Day 3: CHAKICOCHA- AOBAMBA- PHUYUPATAMARKA- INTIPATA- WIÑAYWAYNA (CAMPING).-
At sunrise, you will catch sight of Sayacmarca back along the trail, perched on the side of one of the many mountains that surround our campsite. Today’s hike is exceptionally beautiful because we will pass the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, Winaywayna and Intipata, and enjoy dramatic vistas of the Aobamba Valley. This stretch of the trail is of well-kept paved stone, still in great condition after many centuries. Your lungs will appreciate the fact that today’s hike is much more down than up, and significantly shorter than yesterday’s.
In getting to Phuyupatamarca (the Town of the Clouds), we will pass through the first of two short, natural tunnels in the mountains. After visiting this site, we will descend about 2,000 stone steps to Winaywayna. If you have not had any knee problems up to this point, you may after this descent. If you have had prior knee injuries, we recommend the use of trekking poles, and perhaps an extra porter, to relieve some of the stress on your joints.
Around mid-day, we will arrive at the site of Winaywayna, which we will explore before completing a short additional hike to our camp site for the night (2,700 m / 8,856 ft). After lunch, we will visit the adjacent site of Intipata with its dramatic terrances.
A number of creature comforts will be available at this camp site. There is a bar and a small gift shop, and best of all, hot showers for a small fee. There will also be many more trekkers gathering here, ready for the final hike into Machu Picchu tomorrow. We therefore recommend taking extra care of your personal belongings here. Keep an eye on your daypacks and don’t leave anything outside your tent at night. Tea time and Buffet Dinner.
Day 4: WIÑAYWAYNA- INTUPINKU .-
We will get up very early - around 4:00 am - to get to Inti Punku (the Sun Gate), overlooking Machu Picchu for the first rays of the sunrise. This will be a hike of 1-2 hours, with significant upward stretches in the last half. You will be hiking in darkness, so a headlamp is strongly recommended.
From Inti Punku, a final easy 40-minute hike will bring us to the entrance to Machu Picchu itself. The trail ends at a series of terraces, which present classic views of the overall city. We will continue on to explore the site, with explanations provided by the trek guide(s). The formal tour will end in the late morning, after which there will be a couple of hours for more exploring on your own, or to just collapse under a tree in the central plaza area.
Additional options: If your legs, lungs and energy still hold up after our four days of hiking, it may be possible to climb the peak of Huayna Picchu, behind the main site. However, special permits are required and they are issued in limited quantities. So if you are interested, talk with your guide(s) at the initial briefing for the trek, and remind them on the third night to make arrangements. If permits are not available, you may instead hike to the Inca Bridge or climb Machu Picchu mountain, both located near the site.
In the early afternoon, lunch will be provided at “Los Viajeros” hostel down in the town of Aguas Calientes. There you will also be able to store your backpack, take a shower and/or look around the town a bit before catching the train back to Cuzco.
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