Day 1: Arrival in Lima
Upon arriving in the city of Lima, you will be welcomed by one of our representatives, who will give you a brief introduction to the city and to our services while en route to the hotel. You will have the afternoon free.
Day 2: Lima city tour
At the scheduled time, you will be picked up at the hotel to begin a tour of the city’s main avenues, boulevards, and squares. The tour will begin with an exploration of Colonial Lima. First, you will stop off at the Plaza de Armas (Main Square). There, you will explore the square by foot and admire the exteriors of the Palacio de Gobierno (Government Palace), the Cathedral of Lima, and the Municipalidad (City Hall), all examples of Lima’s still-present colonial architectural opulence. Afterwards, you will visit La Casa Aliaga, a colonial mansion that currently holds the distinction of being the oldest continuously inhabited private residence in the Southern Hemisphere. Next, you will make your way to the Convento de Santo Domingo (Santo Domingo Convent), a religious and architectural gem that houses holy paintings, images, and relics of Peruvian saints, as well as written accounts of the endeavors of the Dominican Order across the country. Finally, you will leave behind Lima’s Historic Center and begin your journey through the streets of modern Lima as you head toward the most traditional of the residential zones of the capital: San Isidro and Miraflores. In San Isidro, you will pass through the heart of the city’s financial district and then enjoy a panoramic view of the Huaca Hullamarca Pyramid, an important pre-Inca and Incan ceremonial center and cemetery built out of adobe mud bricks. Soon afterwards, you will travel to the district of Miraflores, a perfect spot to enjoy wonderful views of the Pacific Ocean. You will complete your tour of Lima with a visit to the Bohemian neighborhood of Barranco, a neighborhood called home by countless artists, photographers, and authors. Walk along peculiar streets lined with Republican houses, admire the splendid views, and visit the Puente de los Suspiros (Bridge of Sighs), witness to untold numbers of past and present romances, and source of inspiration for one of Peru’s great composers, Chabuca Granda. Remaining day at leisure.
Day 3: Flight Lima – Cusco and city tour
At the scheduled departure time, you will be met by the transport service and escorted to the airport. Upon arriving in the city of Cusco, you will be welcomed by one of our representatives, who will give you a brief introduction to the city and to our services while en route to the hotel. You will be free for the rest of the morning so that you can adjust to the altitude. History-filled alleys, churches, walls and archeological treasures await you in the magnificent Incan capital. In the afternoon, you will begin your tour as you enjoy the best view of the city of Cusco from atop Cerro Pukamoqo (Red Peak), a natural scenic overlook from which the outstretched arms of Cristo Blanco, a massive white statue of Christ, embrace the city in a benevolent gesture. You will then visit nearby Fortaleza de Sacsayhuamán (Fortress of Sacsayhuamán), a colossal structure of enormous stones, carved and fitted together with incredible precision. As you return to the lower part of the city, you will stop off at the Mercado de San Pedro (Market of St. Peter), which being the city’s main street market, will give you an opportunity to get to know the products of Cusco, overwhelming you with the sights, aromas, tastes, and colors of the region. Just a few blocks away, you will discover one of the most impressive buildings of Incan Cusco: the Korikancha (the Golden Temple)—a temple dedicated to the worship of the Sun God, whose interior walls were said to have been covered in gold. You will complete the day with a stroll through the Plaza de Armas (Main Square), where you will visit the Cathedral and admire its exquisite vestibules and priceless paintings from the Cusco School of the 17th and 18th centuries.
Day 4: From Cusco to the Sacred Valley
This morning, we will continue or trip toward Valle Sagrado (Sacred Valley), you will soon reach the must-see stop of Awanakancha. Here, you will learn about the various types of camelids (Llamas, Alpacas, Vicuñas, and Guanacos) that live in the Andes region. Additionally, the local villagers will teach you about the ancestral methods and techniques used to produce their textile art. A few miles farther along, you will reach Pisac, a beautiful place where Incan and Colonial influences have reached a perfect balance and created the unique way of life of the local inhabitants. You will get a chance to explore this quaint town, famous for its artisan markets where you can find extraordinarily fine jewelry and ceramic and textile craftwork. You will have lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, you will visit one of the last remaining Incan towns, Ollantaytambo, which was once fiercely guarded by a massive fortress. Discover the large archeological complex of what used to serve as a wayside inn for royal delegations on long journeys. Surviving structures here include multiple walls and towers that were used to protect the citadel from possible invasions. Time permitting you will get a chance to mingle with the locals at a typical Peruvian Andes establishment, either at a “chichería” (establishment for the brewing and sale of chicha, the famous traditional Andean drink made of germinated corn) or a bakery with still-functioning traditional ovens. Return to Cusco and overnight.
Day 5: Cusco-Km 82-Huayllabamba
Early in the morning, we will go from our hotel to Km 82 of the railroad that leads to Machu Picchu. Here we will meet the porters and the rest of the team that will be joining us. We’ll start our trek led by the porters. We will walk down the Urubamba River, as we enjoy a magnificent view of the snow-capped peaks, until we reach the ruins of Llactapata. We then leave the Urubamba Valley behind and follow the Kusichaca river until we reach Huayllabamba, about 3000 meters (9842 feet) above sea level. There we will spend our first night in a comfortable campsite. We will stop for lunch along the way. We will walk approximately 11 kilometers (7 miles) in 6 hours.
Day 6: Huayllabamba-Pacaymayo
This morning we will get up very early, and after a nutritious breakfast we will start our ascent to the Warmiwayñusca (Dead Woman) pass, at 4200 meters (13780 feet) above sea level, through a narrow path filled with vegetation. After about 5 hours of hiking, we will have arrived at the summit of the pass. From here we will enjoy breathtaking views of beautiful snow-capped mountains punctuating the blue sky. We will stop along the way for lunch. Once we reach the end of the pass, we will stop at Pacaymayo, located at 3600 meters (11811 feet) above sea level, where we’ll set up camp to spend the night. We will walk approximately 7 kilometers (4.5 miles) in 7 hours.
Day 7: Pacaymayo-Wiñaywayna
Today we’ll begin with one of the most beautiful stretches of the Inca Trail, due to the number of archaeological sites we will find en route. After breakfast, we will go up a small hill leading to the circular ruins of Runkurakay, which was used in the Inca era as a military vantage point. We will rest for a while, and then we will begin our descent down a very well-preserved stretch of the Inca trail until we reach the stairs leading to the ruins of Sayacmarca, located in a natural promontory at 3620 meters (11877 feet) above sea level. Throughout the hike we will enjoy spectacular views and we will see many birds and a wide variety of orchids. From Sayacmarca we will enter the cloud forest through a stone path that will lead us to the ruins of Phuyupatamarca (City on the clouds) after crossing a small pass. After that we continue to descend until reaching the ruins of Wiñay Wayna, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful structures after Machu Picchu, at 2650 meters (8695 feet) above sea level. After visitin the ruins we will go to the camping area where we’ll spend the last night of the trip. From Pacaymayo to Phuyupatamarca we will walk approximately 7 kilometers (4.5 miles) in 6 hours. From Phuyupatamarca to Wiñay Wayna we will walk approximately 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) in 3 hours.
Day 8: Wiñaywayna – Wiñaywayna-Macchu Picchu-Cusco*
Prepare to have the experience of a lifetime. We will leave behind our campsite early in the morning and will head towards the Inti Punku, or Gate of the Sun, the last pass on the Inca Trail at 2740 meters (8990 feet) above sea level. From this point, Machu Picchu will appear to be wondrous and unreal. After a guided visit through the citadel, we will have some free time to walk through it again. We will be assisted at the predetermined time in boarding the train to Cusco from the Aguas Calientes station. Arrival at Cusco and transfer to hotel.From Wiñay Wayna to Machu Picchu we will walk approximately 5 kilometers (3 miles) in 4 hours. From Phuyupatamarca to Machu Picchu we will walk approximately 9 kilometers (5.5 miles) in 7 hours. *Lunch this day is not included.
Please note: This schedule is for reference only and is subject to change.
Day 9: Cusco departure
At the scheduled departure time, you will be met by the transport service and escorted to the airport or station, as needed