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Classic Inca Trail

From $4,195

  • Make the classic 4-day hike on the famous Inca Trail—one of the world’s greatest and most memorable treks!
  • Explore the enigmatic stone ruins of Machu Picchu over two days, including a special early morning tour of the impressive citadel
  • Camp amid breathtaking Andean scenery and bookend your hike with the comfort of luxury boutique hotels
  • Get to know charming red-roofed Cusco, ancient capital of the Inca Empire, and explore colorful villages and fascinating ruins

Our trek along the legendary Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of the world’s classic adventures, a four-day epic pilgrimage that echoes the ceremonial journeys of the ancient Incas. History unfolds before us as we hike up and down steep stone staircases, past long-abandoned villages and impressive temples, through green valleys and misty cloud forests until we arrive at South America's most awe-inspiring archaeological site, the enigmatic stone citadel of Machu Picchu. Only a limited number of travelers are allowed to make this trek each year, and MTS knows how to do it right. We’ve been leading treks and tours in Peru since 1969, and our trip leaders—all natives of the region or long-standing residents—are the best in the business. Our Inca Trail experience is unlike any other, with two nights at Machu Picchu and ample time before the trek to acclimatize and explore evocative Inca monuments and out-of-the-way villages near Cusco. This tour is one of our most popular trips and Inca Trail permits sell out quickly, so be sure to book early!

Day 1: Arrive in Cusco, via Lima

Welcome to Lima! You will be met by a Mountain Travel Sobek representative, who will assist you with your connecting flight to Cusco. Upon arrival in Cusco, your trip leader will meet you outside the baggage claim area at the airport and transfer to the Palacia del Inka-Cusco. Enjoy an afternoon guided tour of enchanting red-roofed Cusco and learn about the city's illustrious history as the ancient capital of the vast Inca Empire. The city's architecture is an intriguing blend of Inca and Spanish colonial influences and, in some places, colonial buildings were erected atop Inca stone foundations—a practice that was as much symbolic of Spanish dominion as it was practical. Ornate cathedrals, adobe walls, carved balconies, hidden courtyards, and cobblestone streets all add to the rich visuals of this ancient Inca city. For dinner, choose from many fine restaurants, then stroll around the central square where colorful Quechuan handicrafts are offered for sale.

  • Accomodation:Palacio del Inka-Cusco

Day 2: Explore Inca ruins near Cusco

Today we'll make a morning visit to several Inca ruins in the vicinity of Cusco, which may include the zigzagging channels of Kenko, the ceremonial bath of Tambo Machay (12,267'), and the majestic Sacsayhuamán fortress—the most impressive of them all with its perfectly fitted, mortarless stone blocks and zigzag walls. Next we'll enjoy a hearty lunch in the town of Pisac, with its vibrant market and impressive Inca ruins. Pisac is at the same elevation as Cusco and located high up on a ridge overlooking the valley. Its ruins extend from a fortress to a temple complex where you’ll see some of the finest Inca stonework in existence. Terraces extend up from the river perhaps 2,000 feet and you’ll descend through a network of stairs, walkways, tunnels, and temples and on down to the valley floor at 9,500 feet. We'll then continue to our hotel in the Sacred Urubamba Valley. (Hiking time: 2 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Posada del Inca

Day 3: Take a scenic drive to Chinchero, Maras and Moray

Today we’ll take a scenic drive from the valley to a highland plateau to visit the market town of Chinchero (12,398'). En route, we’ll pass through farmland areas with a patchwork of fields and adobe houses with red-tiled roofs, and enjoy views of snowcapped mountains in the distance. Chinchero is famous for a massive Incan wall located in its town square. The wall has ten of the largest trapezoidal niches known among Inca monuments. Next, we’ll continue across the plateau to the impressive earthworks at Moray, a large experimental agricultural station where the Incas dug concentric circular terraces. The ancient terraces are pre-Inca in origin, but they were enlarged and refined by the Incas. After a picnic lunch in Maras (11,086'), you can sightsee or hike a picturesque route downhill to the salt pans of Salinas. This was a strategic trading area in Inca times and salt is still harvested from spring-fed salt pans. In the late afternoon we'll return to our hotel in the Urubamba Valley.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Posada del Inca

Day 4: Visit Ollantaytambo and begin hiking the classic Inca Trail

In the morning we'll visit the Ollantaytambo ruins, one of the few Inca towns that have survived in much the same form as when Incas designed it several hundred years ago. Here we'll see Incan canchas, enclosures of multi-family living quarters that share just one exit to the street, ingenious stonework, cobbled streets, and an extensive communal water system that survives to this day. We'll continue by vehicle to Km 82 and, after passing the control point, cross a footbridge and begin our trek along a trail following the Urubamba River, heading inland and slowly uphill at the Cusichaca Valley. Fortunately, the Incas left a marvelous path, including stone staircases up through cloud forests and open grasslands. We continue trekking to the small village of Huayllabamba (9,800'), enjoying some great views back towards the Urubamba Valley along the way. (Hiking time: 4 to 5 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Inca Trail Camps

Day 5: Hike over the steep Warmiwanusqa Pass ("Dead Woman's Pass")

We'll hike steeply through three vegetation and climatic zones over the Warmiwanusqa Pass (“pass of the dead woman” or "dead woman's pass"—13,776'), the first pass and highest point on the Inca Trail. We pass through harvested fields, a relic forest of queñua trees, and finally reach the puna or alpine grasslands. From the pass, there are wonderful views of the surrounding ridges and peaks. Descend to Pacamayo (11,800') and camp. (Hiking time: 6 hours approx.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Inca Trail Camps

Day 6: Head for camp at Phuyupatamarca and enjoy views of the Urubamba Valley

A steady climb takes us over Runkuraqay Pass (12,900'), with commanding views back toward Warmiwanusqa. Then descend to the remarkably situated ruins at Sayacmarca, a fortress city located on an unassailable promontory between two valleys, in an area where overgrown Inca ruins are still being uncovered! After a picnic lunch, we'll hike across a third (and last) pass to camp at Phuyupatamarca (“town at the edge of the clouds”) at 11,906 feet. Phuyupatamarca has remarkable views of the Urubamba Valley and interesting ruins lie just below the campsite. The afternoon is free to explore the area. (Hiking time: 6 hours approx.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Inca Trail Camps

Day 7: Arrive at mysterious Machu Picchu

From Phuyupatamarca we'll descend steeply to the jungle-bound ruins of Winaywayna (“Forever Young”), perched on a promontory above a gorgeous waterfall and featuring a series of ceremonial baths. The descent is mostly on a stone-hewn staircase that zigzags down the mountainside. From there we continue to Intipunku (“Gate of the Sun”) at about 9,400 feet, the original entrance to Machu Picchu. (Hiking time: 5 hours approx.)

Nestled between striking peaks high above the Urubamba Valley, Machu Picchu exists as an incomparably well-reconstructed ruin of staircases, terraced hillsides, altars, temples, fountains, and incredible vistas. We should arrive by the late afternoon, when the gentle light casts shadows on the impressive ruins below. We'll enjoy dinner and overnight at Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, located in the small town of Aguas Calientes and surrounded by gardens on the banks of the Urubamba River. In 2006 it was rated by readers of Travel & Leisure as one of the top 500 hotels in the world.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Day 8: Awake early to experience Machu Picchu at dawn

We’ll awake early to catch the bus to the ruins in time to experience the morning light over Machu Picchu and explore the ruins in depth before the train arrives with day visitors. We’ll have a thorough walking tour of Machu Picchu, visiting the various main structures and learning about their importance in the lives of the Incas.

After lunch at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Hotel, you'll have the afternoon free to explore some more on your own. Those who like can hike  the “Inca Bridge,” an ancient drawbridge leading to the jungle. You can also return to our hotel via bus and stroll its lovely gardens containing more than 372 species of orchid, native palms, ferns, begonias, fruit trees and medicinal plants.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Day 9: Bid farewell to Machu Picchu and return to Cusco

The morning is free to relax at the hotel, return to Machu Picchu, or take short hikes in the immediate vicinity. After lunch at the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, we’ll catch the return train to Cusco (about a four-hour ride). Once in Cusco we'll transfer back to the Palacio del Inka-Cusco. You'll have the evening free to relax or spend time exploring this charming city.

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accomodation:Palacio del Inka-Cusco

Day 10: Fly home

This morning we'll transfer to Cusco airport and fly to Lima. Upon arrival in Lima, you’ll be transferred to the Casa Andina Private Collection, where dayrooms will be available. The remainder of the day is free to relax before returning to the airport in the evening for your homeward-bound flight (most U.S.-bound flights depart in the evening), or to shop and explore on your own. You may want to visit the exceptional Gold Museum with its dazzling gold artifacts.

  • Breakfast
  • Accomodation:Casa Andina Private Collection—Miraflores

No group departures scheduled. Private departures are available on the dates of your choice, pending availability. Call us for details.

pricing

2016 Prices
$4,195 (5-14 members)
$4,495 (3-4 members)
$4,695 (2 members)

$400 internal airfare (subject to change)
$1,400 single supplement
$300 Inti Raymi festival & holidays

Plan ahead! Inca Trail permits sell out many months in advance.
Call us for availability.

 

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Casa Andina Private Collection—Miraflores

The Casa Andina Private Collection—Miraflores hotel is the top of its class in every aspect. Once the Miraflores César's, Lima’s fondly remembered, original five-star hotel, this modern icon was dramatically transformed in 2008 into the capital’s newest luxury hotel. Its quintessential Limeño flavor reverberates in the exquisite art collection of contemporary local artists and prized colonial-era antiques, in both public spaces and accommodations.

The 17-story hotel, with views over Miraflores and the Pacific coast, offers 148 sophisticated, contemporary luxury rooms and suites, with soundproofing and LCD flatscreen TVs in every room. First-class amenities include a heated, covered pool and breezy terrace, gymnasium with the latest exercise equipment, prestigious Joop salon & massage room, business center, and 5 multimedia-equipped corporate event & meeting rooms.

Inca Trail Camps — Sacred Valley

Your Inca Trail camping experience includes three nights on the trail with full porterage and set up. Tents are dome or ridge style and the dining tent, for lunches and sit-down meals, has table and stools. Camping along the Inca Trail has many incredible moments, from the peacefulness of nearby ruins at dusk to the beautiful low mists that float through the mountains at early dawn—to the camaraderie of the hikers and guides, who offer support and encouragement every step of the way.

Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

A luxury boutique hotel just steps from the train, but a secluded natural paradise. Located in the small town of Aguas Calientes on the banks of the Urubamba River, the Pueblo Hotel was rated by Travel + Leisure readers  as a top 500 hotel of the world in 2006. Rustic elegance distinguishes the private bungalows, each with its own fireplace, and the lush gardens are home to orchids, exotic birds and other flora and fauna.

Palacio del Inka-Cusco — Cusco

Facing the Sun Temple "Koricancha," this romantic, personalized hotel is a traveler's favorite, reaching 11th place on Condé Nast Traveler's list of top South American hotels. Rooms furnished in a classic, traditional style ensure the hotel maintains its serene character despite its central location. 

Posada del Inca

  • Make the classic 4-day hike on the famous Inca Trail—one of the world’s greatest and most memorable treks!
  • Explore the enigmatic stone ruins of Machu Picchu over two days, including a special early morning tour of the impressive citadel
  • Camp amid breathtaking Andean scenery and bookend your hike with the comfort of luxury boutique hotels
  • Get to know charming red-roofed Cusco, ancient capital of the Inca Empire, and explore colorful villages and fascinating ruins

Our trek along the legendary Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of the world’s classic adventures, a four-day epic pilgrimage that echoes the ceremonial journeys of the ancient Incas. History unfolds before us as we hike up and down steep stone staircases, past long-abandoned villages and impressive temples, through green valleys and misty cloud forests until we arrive at South America's most awe-inspiring archaeological site, the enigmatic stone citadel of Machu Picchu. Only a limited number of travelers are allowed to make this trek each year, and MTS knows how to do it right. We’ve been leading treks and tours in Peru since 1969, and our trip leaders—all natives of the region or long-standing residents—are the best in the business. Our Inca Trail experience is unlike any other, with two nights at Machu Picchu and ample time before the trek to acclimatize and explore evocative Inca monuments and out-of-the-way villages near Cusco. This tour is one of our most popular trips and Inca Trail permits sell out quickly, so be sure to book early!

DAILY itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cusco, via Lima

Welcome to Lima! You will be met by a Mountain Travel Sobek representative, who will assist you with your connecting flight to Cusco. Upon arrival in Cusco, your trip leader will meet you outside the baggage claim area at the airport and transfer to the Palacia del Inka-Cusco. Enjoy an afternoon guided tour of enchanting red-roofed Cusco and learn about the city's illustrious history as the ancient capital of the vast Inca Empire. The city's architecture is an intriguing blend of Inca and Spanish colonial influences and, in some places, colonial buildings were erected atop Inca stone foundations—a practice that was as much symbolic of Spanish dominion as it was practical. Ornate cathedrals, adobe walls, carved balconies, hidden courtyards, and cobblestone streets all add to the rich visuals of this ancient Inca city. For dinner, choose from many fine restaurants, then stroll around the central square where colorful Quechuan handicrafts are offered for sale.

  • Accomodation:Palacio del Inka-Cusco

Day 2: Explore Inca ruins near Cusco

Today we'll make a morning visit to several Inca ruins in the vicinity of Cusco, which may include the zigzagging channels of Kenko, the ceremonial bath of Tambo Machay (12,267'), and the majestic Sacsayhuamán fortress—the most impressive of them all with its perfectly fitted, mortarless stone blocks and zigzag walls. Next we'll enjoy a hearty lunch in the town of Pisac, with its vibrant market and impressive Inca ruins. Pisac is at the same elevation as Cusco and located high up on a ridge overlooking the valley. Its ruins extend from a fortress to a temple complex where you’ll see some of the finest Inca stonework in existence. Terraces extend up from the river perhaps 2,000 feet and you’ll descend through a network of stairs, walkways, tunnels, and temples and on down to the valley floor at 9,500 feet. We'll then continue to our hotel in the Sacred Urubamba Valley. (Hiking time: 2 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Posada del Inca

Day 3: Take a scenic drive to Chinchero, Maras and Moray

Today we’ll take a scenic drive from the valley to a highland plateau to visit the market town of Chinchero (12,398'). En route, we’ll pass through farmland areas with a patchwork of fields and adobe houses with red-tiled roofs, and enjoy views of snowcapped mountains in the distance. Chinchero is famous for a massive Incan wall located in its town square. The wall has ten of the largest trapezoidal niches known among Inca monuments. Next, we’ll continue across the plateau to the impressive earthworks at Moray, a large experimental agricultural station where the Incas dug concentric circular terraces. The ancient terraces are pre-Inca in origin, but they were enlarged and refined by the Incas. After a picnic lunch in Maras (11,086'), you can sightsee or hike a picturesque route downhill to the salt pans of Salinas. This was a strategic trading area in Inca times and salt is still harvested from spring-fed salt pans. In the late afternoon we'll return to our hotel in the Urubamba Valley.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Posada del Inca

Day 4: Visit Ollantaytambo and begin hiking the classic Inca Trail

In the morning we'll visit the Ollantaytambo ruins, one of the few Inca towns that have survived in much the same form as when Incas designed it several hundred years ago. Here we'll see Incan canchas, enclosures of multi-family living quarters that share just one exit to the street, ingenious stonework, cobbled streets, and an extensive communal water system that survives to this day. We'll continue by vehicle to Km 82 and, after passing the control point, cross a footbridge and begin our trek along a trail following the Urubamba River, heading inland and slowly uphill at the Cusichaca Valley. Fortunately, the Incas left a marvelous path, including stone staircases up through cloud forests and open grasslands. We continue trekking to the small village of Huayllabamba (9,800'), enjoying some great views back towards the Urubamba Valley along the way. (Hiking time: 4 to 5 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Inca Trail Camps

Day 5: Hike over the steep Warmiwanusqa Pass ("Dead Woman's Pass")

We'll hike steeply through three vegetation and climatic zones over the Warmiwanusqa Pass (“pass of the dead woman” or "dead woman's pass"—13,776'), the first pass and highest point on the Inca Trail. We pass through harvested fields, a relic forest of queñua trees, and finally reach the puna or alpine grasslands. From the pass, there are wonderful views of the surrounding ridges and peaks. Descend to Pacamayo (11,800') and camp. (Hiking time: 6 hours approx.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Inca Trail Camps

Day 6: Head for camp at Phuyupatamarca and enjoy views of the Urubamba Valley

A steady climb takes us over Runkuraqay Pass (12,900'), with commanding views back toward Warmiwanusqa. Then descend to the remarkably situated ruins at Sayacmarca, a fortress city located on an unassailable promontory between two valleys, in an area where overgrown Inca ruins are still being uncovered! After a picnic lunch, we'll hike across a third (and last) pass to camp at Phuyupatamarca (“town at the edge of the clouds”) at 11,906 feet. Phuyupatamarca has remarkable views of the Urubamba Valley and interesting ruins lie just below the campsite. The afternoon is free to explore the area. (Hiking time: 6 hours approx.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Inca Trail Camps

Day 7: Arrive at mysterious Machu Picchu

From Phuyupatamarca we'll descend steeply to the jungle-bound ruins of Winaywayna (“Forever Young”), perched on a promontory above a gorgeous waterfall and featuring a series of ceremonial baths. The descent is mostly on a stone-hewn staircase that zigzags down the mountainside. From there we continue to Intipunku (“Gate of the Sun”) at about 9,400 feet, the original entrance to Machu Picchu. (Hiking time: 5 hours approx.)

Nestled between striking peaks high above the Urubamba Valley, Machu Picchu exists as an incomparably well-reconstructed ruin of staircases, terraced hillsides, altars, temples, fountains, and incredible vistas. We should arrive by the late afternoon, when the gentle light casts shadows on the impressive ruins below. We'll enjoy dinner and overnight at Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, located in the small town of Aguas Calientes and surrounded by gardens on the banks of the Urubamba River. In 2006 it was rated by readers of Travel & Leisure as one of the top 500 hotels in the world.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Day 8: Awake early to experience Machu Picchu at dawn

We’ll awake early to catch the bus to the ruins in time to experience the morning light over Machu Picchu and explore the ruins in depth before the train arrives with day visitors. We’ll have a thorough walking tour of Machu Picchu, visiting the various main structures and learning about their importance in the lives of the Incas.

After lunch at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Hotel, you'll have the afternoon free to explore some more on your own. Those who like can hike  the “Inca Bridge,” an ancient drawbridge leading to the jungle. You can also return to our hotel via bus and stroll its lovely gardens containing more than 372 species of orchid, native palms, ferns, begonias, fruit trees and medicinal plants.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Day 9: Bid farewell to Machu Picchu and return to Cusco

The morning is free to relax at the hotel, return to Machu Picchu, or take short hikes in the immediate vicinity. After lunch at the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, we’ll catch the return train to Cusco (about a four-hour ride). Once in Cusco we'll transfer back to the Palacio del Inka-Cusco. You'll have the evening free to relax or spend time exploring this charming city.

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accomodation:Palacio del Inka-Cusco

Day 10: Fly home

This morning we'll transfer to Cusco airport and fly to Lima. Upon arrival in Lima, you’ll be transferred to the Casa Andina Private Collection, where dayrooms will be available. The remainder of the day is free to relax before returning to the airport in the evening for your homeward-bound flight (most U.S.-bound flights depart in the evening), or to shop and explore on your own. You may want to visit the exceptional Gold Museum with its dazzling gold artifacts.

  • Breakfast
  • Accomodation:Casa Andina Private Collection—Miraflores

Casa Andina Private Collection—Miraflores

The Casa Andina Private Collection—Miraflores hotel is the top of its class in every aspect. Once the Miraflores César's, Lima’s fondly remembered, original five-star hotel, this modern icon was dramatically transformed in 2008 into the capital’s newest luxury hotel. Its quintessential Limeño flavor reverberates in the exquisite art collection of contemporary local artists and prized colonial-era antiques, in both public spaces and accommodations.

The 17-story hotel, with views over Miraflores and the Pacific coast, offers 148 sophisticated, contemporary luxury rooms and suites, with soundproofing and LCD flatscreen TVs in every room. First-class amenities include a heated, covered pool and breezy terrace, gymnasium with the latest exercise equipment, prestigious Joop salon & massage room, business center, and 5 multimedia-equipped corporate event & meeting rooms.

Inca Trail Camps — Sacred Valley

Your Inca Trail camping experience includes three nights on the trail with full porterage and set up. Tents are dome or ridge style and the dining tent, for lunches and sit-down meals, has table and stools. Camping along the Inca Trail has many incredible moments, from the peacefulness of nearby ruins at dusk to the beautiful low mists that float through the mountains at early dawn—to the camaraderie of the hikers and guides, who offer support and encouragement every step of the way.

Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

A luxury boutique hotel just steps from the train, but a secluded natural paradise. Located in the small town of Aguas Calientes on the banks of the Urubamba River, the Pueblo Hotel was rated by Travel + Leisure readers  as a top 500 hotel of the world in 2006. Rustic elegance distinguishes the private bungalows, each with its own fireplace, and the lush gardens are home to orchids, exotic birds and other flora and fauna.

Palacio del Inka-Cusco — Cusco

Facing the Sun Temple "Koricancha," this romantic, personalized hotel is a traveler's favorite, reaching 11th place on Condé Nast Traveler's list of top South American hotels. Rooms furnished in a classic, traditional style ensure the hotel maintains its serene character despite its central location. 

Posada del Inca

Dates and Pricing

No group departures scheduled. Private departures are available on the dates of your choice, pending availability. Call us for details.

pricing

2016 Prices
$4,195 (5-14 members)
$4,495 (3-4 members)
$4,695 (2 members)

$400 internal airfare (subject to change)
$1,400 single supplement
$300 Inti Raymi festival & holidays

Plan ahead! Inca Trail permits sell out many months in advance.
Call us for availability.

 

Select Trip Type Before Requesting Reservation

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Award-winning journeys recognized by Travel +Leisure

Award-winning journeys recognized by Travel +Leisure