The Inca Trail is one of the most famous treks in South America and is rated by many to be in the top 5 trek in the world. In just 26 miles (43 Km) it a manages to combine beautiful mountain scenery, lush cloud-forest, subtropical jungle and, of course, outstanding mix of Inca paving stones, ruins and tunnels. The final destination of the trail cannot be beaten: Machu Picchu, the mysterious Lost City of the Incas.
Is one the most popular trek in Peru, and the world? What makes it so special is its rich biodiversity, the stone paved trail, the archaeological sites along the way, unforgettable views, snowy mountains, cloud forests and the natural beauty of the inca trail. The inca trail has exotic vegetation; it presents extraordinary ecological variety, including more than 450 varieties of Orchids, many species of birds and mammals. Machu Picchu itself cannot be fully understood without the experience of the inca trail trek. Its principle sites are ceremonial and multifunctional character, in ascending hierarchical order as you near the city. The Inca trail is essentially a work of spiritual art, like a gothic cathedral and walking the inca trail to machu picchu is an act of devotion to the incas memory. The four days inca trail trek covers about twenty-eight miles, starting at an elevation of 8,400 feet above sea level and ending at 7,800 feet. In the inca trail trek you must cross two high mountains passes with a maximum elevation of 13,700 feet. The trail conditions are generally good on this ancient inca trail to machu picchu. The guides are professional, knowledgeable, and English speaking. We use excellent equipment and serve savory nutritional meals. Its the best trek in Peru. We advise you to take the inca trail trek – inca trail to machu picchu.
We take small groups, Why?
The principal reason to take small groups in the inca trail to machu picchu, is to provide personalized service, in a small group is easy to keep walking together and enjoy the nature of the inca trail, there is a possibility to make friend and share experiences, interacting more closely with each other. Whereas, in larger groups from (10 – 16) people it trend to split into factions. Moreover, in larger groups tends to be a sizeable difference often over onehour in a section of the trail between the fastest andslowest member, what makes more difficult for the guides, cooks and porters to make their effective labors. In small groups, people are more likely to arrive at roughly the same time to hear the guides explanations. Also our porters are given the same food as the tourists. In larger groups agencies often provide inferior food for the porters. Smallgroups require less space in campsites and this enables the guide to select better locations. In small groups the guide, cook and porters have a more intimate relationship with the tourists and are better able to meet individual needs and attend to environmental issues such as waste disposal, contamination, etc. as the group will be together more of the time. Because of these reason in our standard service we take small groups, only in a group of friends and delegations we manage larger group. So choose small group.
What are the benefits of doing a private tour?
One of the main reasons why the private option is sought after is because you do not need to worry about which dates we have departures set for or if our departures have enough space…Your only concern is whether or not there are permits available…You can choose almost any date that you want if permits are available… In addition to the convenience and flexibility in booking, the private option provides a more personal trip experience for your group. We will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel.The guide will focus all of his energy and attention on your group. You can also be more specific about the foods that you would like to be served during the trek. It is a truly wonderful experience to go on such an amazing journey with only your friends and loved ones. Ask at South Adventure Peru Tours how you can arrange your own private tour.
Important new trail regulation MC(Ministry of culture)
Please note the MC(Ministry of culture) has confirmed a 50% increase on the Inca trail fee for trekkers and porters but from August not January 2007 as previously indicated…(1) Limited number of people can enter the trail each day (500 People per day) and hikers require permits obtained in advance by a licensed tour operator to do so.(2) Your passport details and ISIC student card if applicable must be presented to the UGM park control to obtain a permit. You must scan / fax your valid ISIC card at the time of booking and carry these documents on the trail or risk losing your permit. YOUTH TRAVEL CARD or ISTC is not accepted by the control. (3) We have daily departures for the 4 day Inca trail (except in all February) and from May to October (high season) you need to confirm your booking at least 3 months in advance if you do not have flexibility in a departure date. (4) For lower season dates November to April there are often many dates with permits available so just make your reservation through the website and confirm by email the deposit booking.
Concern about overuse leading to erosion has led the Peruvian government to place a limit on the number of people who may hike this trail per season, and to sharply limit the companies that can provide guides. As a result, advance booking is mandatory. A maximum of 500 people per day, including guides and porters, are permitted to begin the Trail every day. As a result, the high season books out very quickly. Note: that the Trail is closed every February for cleaning.
If you are a group of 2 – 3 or more people and there is still enough Permits Available in the Park (Ministry of culture MC), then we can open a new departure date according to your required date as long as it is not alongside another group departure date. * If for any reason you miss out on a trek permit you can still visit Machu Picchu by train. See the many options into our web site such as : 2 Day or 2 Day trip to Machu Picchu / 2 Day Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu / 2 and 3 Day hike to Huchuy Qosqo with Machu Picchu so I suggest you get further information from each and let us know which one is great option for your !!
If you are student, send us an scan of your student card (ISIC Card only) through e-mail at the same booking time (valid student cards are the International ISIC cards. Are not valid teachers card, or youth travel card. Notice that only the complete details will allow us to get your permit and save a spot for you, also make sure that if you renewing your passport after reserving the inca trail what counts in the passport number on which you made the booking. So, bring the old and the new passport in order to avoid problems at the inca trail check point, which is very strict.
For a valid Booking, you have to send through e-mail the following info:
Today is the climax day hiking through the most popular ancient past through highlands to Machu Picchu citadel of the Incas. Around 5:30am the travelers will be collected for their hotels in downtown – Cusco. The travelers will be transferred by private van with enough room for the backpacks, foods and the other personal items. This journey goes through Andean village of Chincheros, Ollantaytambo Urubamba and finally Chilca. The tour guide will recommend stopping at Ollantaytambo to have country breakfast (not included in the trek price). After 3 hours of drive the journey ends at kilometer 82, this point is the trail head of the famous Inca trail to Machu Picchu. Before to start the hike the hiker will make the check in at the control point, this is the place to check everything before to start the hiking.
The trail takes us to the first Inca ruins as Huillca Raccay, this offer spectacular view of Urubamba valley and the Cusi Chacca River. The trekking includes break stop for pictures and relaxing according your felling. Continue hiking on the left bank of Urubamba River the hiker will be awarded with spectacular views of Veronica snow capped mountain, this is considerate one of the highest mountain with 5870 meters above sea level on the Cordillera Urubamba (Urubamba Mountain range). After 3 hours of hike you will enjoy the lunch near of Llaqtapata ruins (Upper Town in Quechua ancient language) and surrounded by pure nature and amazing views and of course guided visit of the ruins.3 hours more of uphill and following the ancient path by the left bank of the river (around 7 kilometers) the hikers will arrived to the little village of Wayllabamba. This place will be to set up the tents and spend the first night at 3000 meter above the sea level.
After country breakfast the hikers will be ready to leave the first campsite and start the hike following the ancient path along the left bank of the Lluyuchayoc River. Today we recommend to hike very slow and take your time because is the hardest day to climb up the pass. After 1 or 2 hours arrival to Tres Piedras (Three Stones), there is small bridge to be crossed named Wayruro (seed of good fortune) and there the hiker will stop for break and use the toilets facilities before to continue going up through cloud forest. Uphill hike for around 3 or 4 hours depending your physical condition and seeing spectacular views of Lluyucha Pampa (3680m). Continuing going up and following the amazing landscape you will get to the first and highest pass of the Inca trail, called in Quechua ancient language “Abra Warmy Wañusca” or Ingles means “Dead Woman’s Pass” (4200m).
The final part of the uphill trail will be the hardest because the altitude start to make effect to the hiker don’t got good acclimatization before to this trek. SOUTH ADVENTURE PERU TOURS recommend expending few nights at 3400 meters above sea level (Cusco) before to do this trek and reach this pass.At the Abra Warmy Wañusca normally many people reach this altitude and this is the best award for celebrate. Some hikers bring some special drink to share with the others taking resting, making pictures and if weather permit seeing spectacular scenes of uphill trail where some people still are making the effort to reach top. After plenty time on the top we start a nice downhill path to the second campsite at Paqaymayu valley (3600 meters above sea level). This valley offer nice views of the mountain range.
Today the hiker will have breakfast at 7am and the start another 15km of hiking passing through archaeological site as Runkuracay (Pile of ruins). This circular complex is located on the top of a mountain and between the border of the Andean climate and the cloud forest. To reach these ruins the trail climbs steeply up the opposite side of the valley towards the second pass..The investigation says this was a place to storage food and contains sleeping areas for the Inca army..After the guide tour of Runkuracay we follow the trail leads us to the second larger Inca ruins as known Sayaqmarca (Dominant Town or Inaccessible Town).On the way to the ruins the hikers passing through two small beautiful lagoons next of the trail…After Sayaqmarca the trail winds through jungle with orchids and bromeliads, through a tunnel, and along ridge above Urubamba River to Puyupatamarca (Town in the clouds). With stunning views of Salcantay, Veronica, and Pumasillo. Puyupatamarca, spreads out on either side of the trail with many agricultural terraces, a long series of baths (one and than a run of five going down the slope), and at the top of the site a large bedrock platform.
Some archaeologists interpret the site as primarily a place to worship the mountains, but also see important water source association with the springs feeding the baths. Puyupatamarca offer spectacular place to have lunch seeing the surrounded mountains. From Puyupatamarca descends via steep staircase to Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young) is an Inca complex neighbor to Machu Picchu, on an elevated perch overlooking the Urubamba River. The site consists of upper and lower house complexes connected by a staircase and fountain structures, beside the houses lies and area of agricultural terraces. This place was discovered in 1941 by Paul Fejos. After exploring the ruins we go to the campsite, there is a little lodge and restaurant where you can purchase some drinks available and hot shower for 10 Soles.
Early morning wake up at 4:30 a.m. for breakfast and to begin the trek to be the first at the archaeological site of Machu Picchu for the sunrise. We will descend rapidly from cloud forest into high jungle habitat. Orchids and hummingbirds are commonly seen along this spectacular section of the trail high above the river. We will arrive at Intipunko “Gate of the Sun” to observe the sunrise over Machu Picchu from an elevated vantage point. We continue down to the royal road and at last the “Lost City of the Incas”. A guided tour of the marvelous citadel, visiting the Main Plaza, the Royal Quarters, the Temple of Three Windows, the Circular Tower and the Sacred Sun Dial and Burial Grounds.
After the guided tour, you can enjoy an afternoon of self-exploration and discovery.. According with the time and your feeling you can coordinating with the tour guide climb to Huaynapicchu (Young Mountain) this climbing take around 1 hour to get the summit from where you can have the best panoramic view for photos of all Machu Picchu and of deep green canyon surrounding the sacred Inca City (If you want to climb to this mountain, you should book in advance and pay extra $75) Afternoon return to Cusco.
Cuzco is a city in southeastern Peru, near