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INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU

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Inca Trail to Machu Picchu imagenThis is one of Southern Peru´s most important tourist attractions, which is frequented every year by thousands of tourists who love hikes that offer grandiose sceneries, unique experiences and, with WorldWide Exotic Adventures, a personalized attention which allows every participant to enjoy each step of the way. During this trek of 43.5 km, we will pass by several astonishing archaeological complexes until our arrival at the Sacred City of Machu Picchu, the Fourth Wonder of the Modern World.

Along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you will also have chances to observe a varied biodiversity, with over 250 species of orchids, numerous bird species and, if we are lucky, we´ll sight the famous South American spectacled bear.

If you visit our mega diverse country Peru and if you are a fan of hikes in a positive and harmonious atmosphere, the Classical Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a first level cultural and natural adventure which you certainly cannot miss on.

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Day 1: Cusco – Huayllabamba

Between 4:00 and 4:30 a.m., our private transportation vehicle and agency staff will pick you up at your hotel or home stay, to go for a smooth ride on an asphalted road to Piscacucho (2,700 m./8,856 ft.), a community located at the level of Km. 82 of the Cusco – Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) railroad, the start point of the Inca Trail. We ́ll begin our hike by crossing the bridge over the Urubamba River, and walking along its left bank, as it flows northwest, along the Sacred Valley.
Following the trail along a flat terrain, we ́ll arrive to Miskay (2,800 m./9,184 ft.). From this point we are able to see below us the impressive Inca City of Llactapata (2,650 m./8,692 ft.). Then, we ́ll keep on hiking along the valley created by the Kusichaca River, gradually climbing for about five hours, until we reach the community of Huayllabamba (3,000 m./9,840 ft.), where we ́ll set our first camp. All along the way, we ́ll enjoy spectacular views of the Vilcanota Mountain Range, on the opposite side of the Urubamba River, where the impressive Mount La Veronica reigns at 5,832 meters above sea level, without mentioning the diversity of wild flora and fauna that can be found all along the valley.

  • Meals: Lunch and Dinner.

Day 2: Huayllabamba – Pacaymayo

This morning, we ́ll wake up around 6:00 a.m., and after breakfast, we ́ll start hiking the most difficult part of the trek, which consists of an abrupt and steep ascent that stretches for 9 km. During this climb, the landscape changes from sierra to puna (A dry and high area, with little vegetation). On the way to the first mountain pass, the Abra Huarmihuañusca (4,200 m./13,776 ft.), we might see herds of domesticated lamas and alpacas grazing on “ichu”, which is coarse tall grass and one of the few plants that grow at high altitude.

Following, we ́ll cross an area of cloud forest, which is the habitat of many different kinds of birds, like hummingbirds, for example, and flora such as orchids, bromeliads and ferns, as well as that of the Andean bear, also called Spectacled Bear (Tremarctus Ornatus). Today, we especially advise you to properly stock your daypack with energy bars, nuts and coca leaves that will keep your energy level high, and help you overcome altitude sickness (Soroche, in Spanish). Immediately after the pass, we ́ll descend into the Pacaymayo Valley (3,600 m./11,808 ft.). We ́ll arrive to our second campsite after about 7 hours of hiking.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 3: Pacaymayo – Huiñay Huayna

Today will be the longest, but also, the most impressive and interesting day of the hike, due to the number of archaeological sites, and to the lush cloud forest area that we ́ll be crossing, rich in Andean flora and fauna. From Pacaymayo, we ́ll climb to the second mountain pass called the Abra Runkurakay (3,970 m./13,022 ft.). Halfway up, we ́ll stop to visit the archaeological complex that bears the same name. This site, located at 3,800 m./12,464 ft., consists of a small oval structure that is believed to have served as a watchtower.

After going over the pass, we ́ll descend towards Yanacocha (Black Lagoon, in Quechua), and will enter the cloud forest, to finally arrive at Sayacmarca (3,624 m./11,887 ft.). This is a beautiful Incan architectural complex made up of a semicircular construction, enclosures at different levels, narrow streets, liturgical fountains, patios and irrigation canals. Continuing up an easy climb, we ́ll arrive at the third mountain pass which is the Abra Phuyupatamarca (3,700 m./12,136 ft.). Along this ascension, we ́ll have a chance to appreciate the magnitude and genius of the Incas ́ ancient engineering and manual craft, walking along paths which are semi-detached from the mountain, and seeing rocks that fill up ravines, in perfect order, allowing the trail to cross the multileveled Andean geography.

Then, we ́ll go through an Incan tunnel, to get to the already mentioned mountain pass, and will hike down to the Incan architectural complex with the same name, which is one of the most complete and best-preserved archaeological complexes along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and is located on top of the mountain. Phuyupatamarca means “High Place over the Clouds”. From there, one can observe a sophisticated sacred Incan architectural complex composed of water fountains with solid foundations, and offering impressive views over the Urubamba River Valley.

Afterwards, we ́ll continue our trek down the long descending stone steps leading to Huiñay Huayna (2,650 m./8,692 ft.), a beautiful Incan complex made up of an agricultural sector with numerous benched terraces, a religious sector with its temples and “Huacas” or sacred shrines dedicated to worshipping Incan Divinities, and an urban sector, close to which we ́ll set our camp up. This campsite also hosts a trekkers ́ lodge, a bar and bathrooms, with hot shower facilities. After visiting the impressive archaeological site, we ́ll enjoy our last dinner all together at our camp.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 4: Huiñay Huayna – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes – Cusco

On this fourth and last day, we ́ll get up at 4:00 a.m., to leave Huiñay Huayna an hour later, and climb to the Inti Punku which means Sun ́s Gate in Quechua. This will take an hour of hiking, along a trail paved with flat stone slabs that runs by the edge of cliffs, through lush highland jungle landscapes. From the Inti Punku, which is a fabulous vantage point, we ́ll have the overwhelming opportunity to contemplate a magical sunrise over the Sacred Inca City of Machu Picchu.

Afterwards, we ́ll descend towards Machu Picchu, and 40 minutes later, we ́ll finally enter the Incas ́ Lost City from the highest point, near the “Guardian ́s House”. From there, we ́ll descend to the checkpoint, where we ́ll get registered and will leave our backpacks, to immediately start a complete guided tour of the Incan City, which will take about two hours. After the tour, you will have some free time, to explore the site and climb up the Mount Huayna Picchu (optional for an extra fee). We advise you to book the entrance ticket for this additional hike well in advance, since there is a daily limit of 400 access tickets. The wonderful part is that, from up there, one can experience spectacular views of the whole Inca City of Machu Picchu, as well as of the valleys and mountains in its surroundings. Or, you might decide to visit the Temple of the Moon or the astonishing Incan Bridge; both within reach.

In the early afternoon, we ́ll all meet in the small pedestrian village of Aguas Calientes, to have lunch and, if you want to, you could take a short digestive stroll and relax in the local natural hot springs ́. Later on, we ́ll take the train back to Cusco, where we ́ll arrive after nightfall.

  • Meals: Breakfast.

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